Blow winds, crack your cheeks. — King Lear
It’s what they say one flies into: sudden black rain and skeletons of lightning reeling on the wings. Once, coming into Memphis, back to the Navy at night, we hit the big one—a covey of plastic glasses and magazines flushed to flack the ceiling. Crying began. And because I thought I’d never get home again, I prayed like an atheist in a foxhole for the first time forever.
Flying home was beautiful, unbounded blue skies, clouds soft as the cotton from aspirin bottles, the whole dome of heaven serene and empty as the skull after electro-shock therapy, the fields far below, once sere and gray, grown green as the baize of a billiard table, the towers of Atlanta tall and ivory as pieces on a chessboard. My sweetie ran to the plane and swept me up and kissed me home. Later we parted, of course, the walls of our apartment pocked with a minefield of fist holes.
If Daddy was the Master of Righteous Indignation, Mother was the Mistress of Rage: slapping, kicking, breaking things over our heads—a flute, Chinese checker board, even a garden rake— so when I tell the therapist my recurring dream of having to walk across floors of overflowing excrement to piss, and she tells me I have backed-up issues that need to be unclogged, it makes sense, and that’s usually when I stand up and storm out.