Dear Spiral Notebook
I wanted to write down about outhouses and such but that seems kind of vulgar, but I figure that writing about it can't be much worse than the living through it.
From the time I was 10 years old until I was fourteen, it was my job to empty the slop jars every morning. Even now, I have no idea how that chore got assigned to me. By this time we was back in Houston again, back to that little old house. My oldest brother Bobby, had stayed back in East Texas with my grandparents and my oldest sister Sissy, had runned off with an older man named Boots. Didn't none of us ever see her again because he took her back to his family place way up north somewhere and she died a couple of years later in her own bed trying to birth twins that were laying wrong in her belly. She and both babies died. There weren't no money to go up there for a funeral or anything. Funny, but I don't recall any of us ever really talking about that. Mama just kept on with her gardening and hoeing and cooking and cleaning. Surely she must have cried somewhere in private, but I don't recall anyplace private in that little house. Oh yeah, I was going to write about the outhouse and slop jars.
Outhouses, if you had one built right weren't a scary place. The men folk, cause they took longer in there, would sometimes carve pictures and words on the inside and it gave you something to look at. The smell was just something you sort of got used to. I never much minded it. The downside was the size, color and sound of the flies. They was big and green. Nowadays they call those horse flies, but we just called em' shit flies.
I don't know a child one, even my own children and grand children who would empty out a slop jar without calling the police or children services on their parents. It was an awful awful job for a little girl who's daddy drank and deposited the worst of a nights drinking in a slop jar. No body would help me do it and that is the memory that sticks out in my head, not receiving compassion or help for that job. That's the reason for this notebook writing today, a memory that taught me a little something about compassion for the burdens of others.