Monday, September 8, 2014

Poor kids (short story)

When I think back on the old days, I recall a boy, a classmate, named Harold. What a fucking name for a kid. I don't remember his last name to look him up on Facebook, but I remember his face, his clothes, his smell, his demeanor. He didn't graduate high school with me, so he either got his GED or graduated a year behind.
Basically this boy I knew throughout Elementary school, looked like he just got off his shift from a factory. His pants and shirts were torn, muddy, and he smelled like he had been working in tobacco fields all weekend. He was probably smoking cigarettes when he was ten years old.
I never said a mean thing to Harold, but most of our classmates were little bitches and dicks so they ostracized him for his smell and appearance. One instance, the teacher removed Harold from the room in order to have a long talk to the class about politeness.
Of course Harold wasn't a smart kid but who was to determine that if he was never given a chance? Maybe if kids treated Harold like a fucking Human being, he would be building computers or some shit.
He's probably working construction, which ain't bad--but ain't that good either. That's how his parents were raised by his Grandparents. And his Grandparents were raised like this because of Harold's Great Grandparents, and so on.
Maybe his parents were working all the time. Or maybe his parents didn't work at all. Maybe they were shooting up heroine in front of Harold and he felt like his life was pre-destined or planned. As a ten, eleven, and twelve-year-old, he subconsciously pushed his peers away by repressing his hopelessness, and he created a hard exterior or a "smell" which repelled other people.

Dustin, he was another classmate that was blatantly poor because his clothes were torn and dirty, obviously not new clothes, probably hand-me-downs. The difference between Dustin and Harold--Dustin was a cute kid and wanted attention and social interaction. When given a chance, Dustin really shined. His classmates including myself, realized that he had potential. I suppose I was attracted to this Dustin boy because I was a poor kid that was a little different.
Dustin's Mother left him and his brother and sister with their Father, who was also an unfit parent. It makes me wonder how young kids deal or process this information about their parents, and how it unconsciously affects them in adulthood and throughout schooling. This kid didn't end up graduating high school with me either.

When I was twelve, my best friend and I would observe Dustin on the playground and take notes in our journal. We would joke that Dustin had "the Stupid" but we were being ironic and really it was just a cover up for how I felt about Dustin.
Years later, actually the first couple of days of our Freshmen year, Dustin and I made it clear we liked one another. He was a poor smart kid, and I was another lower class smart kid. I think our feelings lasted about a week until I found a new prospect.
But I have one last memory of Dustin, where I bought $5 worth of weed from him. I'm not sure it was marijuana because at the time I never had seen it before and I used regular notebook paper to roll the "weed" into. And when I attempted to smoke, the paper and "weed" burned up immediately.

I remember Dustin's last name, so I looked him up on Facebook. I suppose he doesn't have an account or a computer. Usually anyone with a computer has a Facebook account.

Maybe because I take the time to think about the past and write about it, I have all these memories of people that I don't care about anymore. But I wonder if anyone else sits around thinking about memories of school, and remembers these people like I do. What are they doing right now on a cold Sunday afternoon.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

"Cross-section of a Tomato Stem" (Painting)

Titled "Cross-section of a Tomato Stem". The Painting measures at 8x10 inch on canvas. The Painting took two hours and was completed on September 6, 2014. I used only three colors, Turquoise, Black, and White--if you consider White as a color.

My last four paintings have been Animated microscopic images of plant tissues and their systems. See the other three in the links: "Strawberry (Fragaria) Embryo sporophyte with two cotyledons inside seed coat", "Microscope picture of Embryo development in Seed (Painting)", and "Veins of a leaf / Fractal Geometry".
Because I'm a gardener, I tend to be fascinated by the structures of plants. The Painting below is an Animated interpretation of a cross-section of a Tomato stem. The stems acts as an organ support, storage, and distribution of food and water. The cells you see have been divided over a period of time to develop the large Tomato plant. Certain cells, have different functions and altogether different appearance as you can see in the Painting below.
 For example, Xylem and Phloem are both complex, vascular tissues that thread through the ground tissue of the plant. But Xylem conducts water and dissolved mineral ions through vessel members while Phloem conducts food (sugars) through sieve tubes.
 I don't know if you have ever grown Tomatoes, but I have grown them as tall as six feet! Imagine the veins inside the stem which carry water from the roots to their leaves and flowers.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

"Heart-Shaped Embryo" (painting)

"Heart-Shaped Embryo and development of a seed, Shepherd's Purse (Capsella)"

The Biology textbook I have features many pictures of cells under a microscope. The pictures of cells under a microscope are like an extraordinarily intricate and colorful hallucination turned into an Abstract painting.
The painting I did here titled "Heart-Shaped Embryo and development of a seed, Shepherd's Purse (Capsella)" measures at 11x14 inch on canvas. The painting was translated from the Biology textbook by Starr, Evers, & Starr (seventh edition, page 460). As mentioned within the title, the painting captures the embryonic development of a seed from the Shepherd's Purse (Capsella) plant. The embryo is shaped much like a heart, the Basal cell below looks like a heart too, fixed on a spine. The "spine" is actually referred to as the "Suspender."
This painting was started on the 29th and I finished yesterday on August 30th, 2014. Immediately after finishing this painting (which only took 2 hours), I started and finished another Embryo painting yesterday, which you can see here: "Strawberry (Fragaria) Embryo sporophyte with two cotyledons inside seed coat". 

"Strawberry (Fragaria) Embryo"

"Strawberry (Fragaria) Embryo sporophyte with two cotyledons inside seed coat"

I mentioned in the last post my new fascination with observing cells under a microscope. Well, I've always been fascinated, but skimming through a Biology textbook led me to create two painting in the last two days that represented pictures of seeds under a microscope. In the last post, which you can see here "Microscope picture of Embryo development in Seed (Painting)", the embryo resembles a heart, but with this painting from the picture I referenced, the embryo looks like an 'Alien wearing a wig' (so my boyfriend says).
The painting below describes the Strawberry (Fragaria) where the seeds (ovaries) appear to the surface of the mature receptacle (Strawberry flesh).
This painting took (maybe) 30 minutes. I started and finished the painting on August 30th, 2014.

"Veins of a leaf / Fractal Geometry" (Painting)

The painting titled "Veins of a Leaf / Fractal Geometry" which measures 9x12 inches on canvas, was finished September 4th. The painting took approximately seven hours. I still may do finishing touches.
The idea behind this painting comes from the phenomenon that nature displays as branching of roots, or veins, or a mountain and rivers.

The reference photo is posted below painting.


"The Encumbrance of Nature" by Cassie Kinney (Poem)

The Encumbrance of Nature
Much of what we say stays to avoid extending pain—
Much of what we do remains an avoidance of shame.

To rid the Vampire, would be to free the parasite—
Life feeding off life, feeding on control and might.                 

Seduced by power, instinct cannot be judged by morality—
Animals neither deserving nor unworthy.

Not so different, not so similar—
Considered to have Free Will, just a prisoner.

Habitual, offensive creatures of war—
Never discerning or empathetic implore.

Manipulating other peoples through schemes—
Over thickets, glass doors and icy streams.

Beings with the same needs—
Choose to live different creeds.

Each repressing faults—
Ego complacently assaults.

Instinctively holding onto secrets—
Boxing them and hiding the pieces.

Unanswered questions—
Entangling misconceptions.

by Cassie Kinney

The Trucker and his wife (short story)

When I was 18 years old, one of our neighbors warned us of a trucker moving in next door, and to be cautious with the kids around him. The Trucker had a record with three accounts of sexual assault to an 11 year old girl.
As the years have went by, he has made attempts to talk to me and my family. I continue to stay distant from him. In fact I wish when he made attempts at civility, I want to scream "Get away from me!"
This Trucker misrepresents his true character. If one of our neighbors hadn't told us about him, I would never have looked him up in the police records. I would never have thought twice about going over to his house and making conversation because that's how we hillbillies are. If I didn't know about him, I would just think of him as a friendly neighbor that gives offerings.

One time, the Trucker offered some of the beans from his garden and also offered to pay us to pick beans for him. Well of course I wasn't going to say 'yes' because I had my own gardening tasks anyway, but my boyfriend capitalized on the opportunity to take advantage of a pervert. Another time, the trucker offered my grandfather wood for free, and of course my grandfather never says 'no' to free stuff.
My third, and most recent, encounter with him, was last year around October or November when I was climbing a Persimmon tree in another neighbor's yard. To clarify, there are four households spread out we consider our neighbors. Anyway, I was picking Persimmons from the women's tree (the lesbian neighbors.) The Trucker saw that I was shaking the tree and struggling to climb up the tree--so naturally he climbed up the tree and shook it the tree aggressively, dropping many fruits. I said "thanks" in a busied tone, and started filling the bag with fruits. He said, "I was hoping these didn't go to waste. I love 'em." My dog was with me, and he looks over to her and says "Well, look at that, the dog even likes 'em. Ha! Ha!"  He watched my dog eat the fruits off the ground, and he sort of it slowly walks back away to his home.

The Wife is more of a mystery to me, even though I see her everyday. I always wondered how she could be with a man that was accused of molesting a child. 
She must be in her late fifties or early sixties, and usually wears one outfit per week. This week has turned into two weeks, of her wearing the same purple Tunic shirt with navy blue elastic shorts. I may have picked up on her habits a little since I don't leave my house much either. 

Her husband, being a truck driver, stays gone all week and comes home on the weekends. Sometimes he is gone for weeks at a time. One time it seemed he was gone for a month. So, the Wife stays alone with their seven dogs for days and weeks.
She leaves her house as much as I do--so I notice things about my neighbors I wish not to know. She rarely drives anywhere--I think her husband told us once that she couldn't see very well--so that would explain why she doesn't drive her car anywhere. 
She goes outside twice a day with her dogs, once early in the morning and once late at night. She sits in her porch swing, smoking and watching the dogs. Although she has many, I only know the names of three because she yells at specific dogs. I'll hear her say "Oh shut up, Harry!" to the biggest and tallest dog, who is black with white feet--I like to say that he's wearing socks.
To a shorter and smaller white dog, she'll say "Get your ass over here, Apollo!" A similar looking dog she calls Cookie, she'll say "Cookie, get in the house." I think I have heard her call one of the dogs "Sis" but I'm not sure. Her Wiener dogs stay inside, I am assuming they use "puppy pads". When they do come outside, they're little ass holes that try to instigate my dog. There is one dog that lives permanently outside, chained up, and you never hear from him much. I believe he is a hunting dog.

I've noticed in the last couple of months, she has someone see her for several of times each day, sometimes spending hours with her. What's strange is that there is a different person that one person will stop by everyday for weeks and then I never see those people stop by again, but a different person will stop everyday for weeks. It's almost as if they're taking shifts by monthly. I would not be surprised if the husband, the trucker, paid people to go check in on his wife every day. The person that has been stopping by these days, drives a black truck and lives up the road from us.

Before them, a person driving a white station wagon would stop by with two teenage girls. Before those people, someone driving a red car, would stop by to see the woman. Once a year during the Summer, the Wife has family come in with a Camper for a weekend or longer. There are many children that stay as well.
I'm not sure of the circumstances, but if the Trucker is a Lifetime Registered Sex Offender and the case was true, then why are these children around him? Do any of these people know he tried to molest an 11 year old? Does the Wife's family know who he is? I'm not sure the Trucker knows I know about his record but I have monitored him, his wife, and their home for the last six years.

Then again, I cannot say whether the accounts were false, only the Trucker and the girl know the Truth. The little I know about the couple, the more questions I have about their relationship. How could a level-headed woman be with a man that was accused of something like that? She must have already been in love with him. But what was the circumstance? What was the pretext of the situation? Does she even know her husband did this or was accused?

These are the only things I know about the woman and man I have lived next to for six years.

by Cassie Kinney

The women neighbors (short story)

Years ago I heard they weren't out-of-the-closet. In fact, when my boyfriend's Uncle, Bob, asked if the two of them were a couple, one of the women said "We're just friends." Of course Uncle Bob then asked the most attractive woman if she wanted to go on a date. The answer was 'no.'

To this day, I suspect the women were being sarcastic when they said they were just two, 50-year-old friends, living together for the last fifteen years. Maybe they were trying to have a laugh for later.
Apparently my Dad went to school with the more attractive lesbian. Which means, she is close to fifty while the other lesbian is nearing sixty.

They seem very open and out to me. Both women are Radiology Professors at a University that's about 15 minutes from us. Every Summer they have a party for their Radiology Graduates, which seems to be only an interest among female students.
Are the students in on their secret? Is it not a secret now? 

They work exactly the same schedules, both leave at 7:38am and come home at 3:35pm every week day, yet they leave and come home in separate vehicles. What a waste of gas and money to fool with another vehicle.
Then again, they probably don't know what to do with their extra cash when you live in a rural area. And, if they ever separated, one would have to have another vehicle. Which one would move out though?

They mow their lawn once or twice a week, even through drought weather! I'm not joking when I say this either, they literally mow so that the grass does not reach an inch tall. My mother always looks over at the women mowing in unison, and whispers "Come over here and mow our yard!" My Papaw has observed the frequency with which the women mow as well, and says "They're just killing their grass. That's why their lawn is brown." It's true, their lawn is brown and looks dead. They have spent a lot of money adding fertilizers but they won't stop mowing.
Compared to our yard, which maintains grass as tall as five inches or more, our yard looks like a Jungle. Their yard looks like a fucking school yard.
With the addition of their American flag and pole, their yard really does look like a school yard.

It seems like they barbeque once every two weeks. They relax out on their porch deck for a higher view of the neighborhood. They sit by their grill, turning the steaks or whatever upper-middle class people eat.
In the night I step out onto my porch, look to the left of me, and the flickering from their tiki-torch is the only light amongst the darkness. It emits the smell of citronella. I hear mumbling and then laughter coming from their deck.

They really love each other. The extent of my knowledge about the two women ends there.

by Cassie Kinney