They were driving from San Francisco down to Monterey, and Davis wasn’t feeling well. He had waxed immortal the night before, fueled by drink and Guided by Voices. It seemed to Davis that Ellen was driving badly, changing back and forth into the lane, bumping methodically over the strips of tars, just to worsen his nausea.
“You have to pull over.” He didn’t make it out of the car and pressed his The Club is Open T-shirt over his face so tight that the puke shot up inside his sunglasses.
She stared out the windshield, her arms crossed. “You’re disgusting.”
“Do you have a napkin or something?”
“Remember that we’re staying at Doris Day’s Bed & Breakfast tonight?” She rolled down her window.“I guess I should get another shirt.” He half expected her to drive away as he rummaged in the trunk.
She rolled down her window. “She might even be there, you know.”
But she wasn’t and he slept in the big bed with the window open and had a shower and a very good dinner after that.
Dee Brown’s Bury My Heart at Wounded Kneeis a book that you will never forget. The prose are terse and clear, the images startling, the narrative impossible to digest. It must be read.
“Father, your young men have devastated my country and killed my animals, the elk, the deer, the antelope, my buffalo. They do not kill them to eat them; they leave them to rot where they fall. Fathers, if I went into your country to kill your animals, what would you say? Should I not be wrong, and would you not make war on me?” (Red Cloud, Oglala leader)“It is cold and we have no blankets.The little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food; no one knows where they are -perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my chiefs! I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.” (Chief Joseph, Nex Perce Chief) “We tried to run, but they shot us like we were a buffalo. I know they are some good white people, but the soldiers must be mean to shoot children and women. Indian soldiers would not do that to white children.” (Louise Weasel Bear, Sioux)
Wounded Knee Massacre, 1890
If we are to have a chance of becoming anything, we must remind ourselves of who we are and where we have come from. Dee Brown’s book does exactly that.
Personally, I don’t understand tattoos. As much as I might be fascinated by Hannah Arendt at the moment, I think it would be a mistake to get a tattoo. The same is true for Kiribati.
It’s even true for Victoria’s Secret. All of that said, a tattoo can be good short form for an aspect of a character in fiction. It’s a device I am toying with at the moment in The Ark. One character is a video game addict. Another says little. And the last, ironically, overstates.