Tuesday, January 14, 2020

The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove Chapter 6~8

Six Catfish's Story Was 'bout fifty year ago. I was hoboing through the Delta, playin juke joints with my partner Smiley. He called Smiley cause he don't never get the Blues. Boy could play the Blues, but he never got the Blues, not for a second. He be broke and hungover and he still always smilin. Make me crazy. I say, â€Å"Smiley, you ain't never gone play no better'n Deaf Cotton, lessin you feels it.† Deaf Cotton Dormeyer was this ol' boy we used to play with time to time. See, them days, bunch of Bluesmen was blind, so they be called Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Willie Jackson – like that. And them boys could play them some Blues. But ol' Cotton, he deaf as a stone, a little bit more of a burden than bein blind iffin you playing music. We be playing â€Å"Crossroads,† an' ol' Deaf Cotton be over on the side playin' â€Å"Walkin Man's Blues† and a-howlin like a ol' dog, and we stop, go down to the store, have us a Nabs and a Co-Cola, and Deaf Cotton just keep right on playin. And he the lucky one, 'cause he can't hear how bad he is. And didn't nobody have the heart to tell him. So, anyway, I says, â€Å"You ain't never gone play no better than ol' Deaf Cotton, lessin you get some Blues on you.† And Smiley say, â€Å"You gots to help me.† Now Smiley, he my friend from way back – my partner, see. So I says I will get the Blues to jump on him, but he got to promise not to get mad how I do it. So he say okay, and I say okay, and I sets to sic the Blues on him so we can go to Chicago and Dallas and makes us some records and get us some Cadillacs and so on like them boys Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker and them. Smiley, he had him a wife name of Ida May, sweet little thing. He keep her up there in Clarksville. And he always sayin how he don't have to worry 'bout Ida May when he on the road cause she love him true and only. So one day I tell Smiley they's a man down Baton Rouge got him a prime Martin guitar he gonna sell for ten dollars, and would Smiley go get it for me cause I got me a case of the runs and can't take the train ride. So Smiley ain't out of town half a day before I takes me some liquor and flowers and make my visit on little Ida May. She's a young thing, ain't much for drinkin liquor, but once I tells her that ol' Smiley done got hisself runned over by a train, she takes to drinkin like a natural (in between the screamin and cryin and all, and I had my own self some tears too, he being my partner and all, God rest his soul). And before you know it, I'm givin' Ida May some good lovin to comfort her in her time of grief and all. And you know when Smiley get back, he don't say a word 'bout my sleepin with Ida May. He say he sorry he can't find the man with the guitar, gives me my ten dollars, an' say he got to go home 'cause Ida May so happy to see him she been doing him special all day. I say, â€Å"Well, she done me special too,† and he say that okay, her being sad and me being his best friend. That boy was greased to the Blues, and they just wouldn't stick to him. So I borrowed a Model T Ford, drove over to Smiley's, and done run over his dog, who was tied up in the yard. â€Å"That dog was old anyways,† he say. â€Å"I had him since I was a boy. Time I get Ida May a puppy anyways.† â€Å"You ain't sad?† I say. â€Å"Naw,† he say. â€Å"That ol' dog had his time.† â€Å"You hopeless, Smiley. I gots to do some ponderin.† So I ponders. Takin me two days to come up with a way to put the Blues on ol' Smiley. But you know, even when that boy standing there over the smokin ashes of his house, Ida May in one arm and his guitar in the other, he don't do nothin but thank God they had time to get out without gettin burnt up. Preacher once told me that they is people who rises to tragedy. He says colored folk gots to rise to tragedy like ol' Job in the Bible, iffin they gonna get they propers. So I figures that Smiley is one of them who rises to tragedy, get stronger when bad things come on him. But they more than one way to get the Blues on you. Ain't just bad things happening, sometime it good things not happenin – disappointment, iffin you know what I mean? So I hears that down Biloxi way, round 'bout one of them salt marshes on the Gulf, they is a catfish big as a rowboat, but nobody can catch him. Even a white man down there will give five hundred dollars to the man bring that big ol' catfish in. Now you know people be trying to catch him, but they don't have no luck. So I tells Smiley I got me a secret recipe, and we gonna go get that catfish, get that money, and go up to Chicago and make us a record. Now I knows they ain't no catfish big as a rowboat, and iffin there was, he'd be caught by now, but Smiley need him a disappointment iffin the Blues gonna jump on him. So I spends the whole ride down there buildin up that boy's hopes. Cadillacs and big ol' houses ridin on the back of that catfish. We ridin in that ol' dog-killin Model T Ford, two hundred feet a rope and some shark hooks in the back with my secret catfish recipe. I figure we get us some bait on the way, and sho' nuff, I accidentally run me over two chickens got too close to the road. ‘For dark we down on the bayou where that ol' cat spose to live. Them days 'bout half the counties in Mississippi got signs say: NIGGER, DON'T LET THE SUN GO DOWN ON YOU IN THIS COUNTY, so we always plan to get where we goin' ‘for dark. My secret recipe a gallon jar of chicken guts I keep buried in the backyard for a year. I takes that jar and punches some holes in the lid and toss her out in the water. â€Å"A catfish smell them rotten guts, they be there lickety-split,† I tells Smiley. Then we hooks up one them chickens and throw it out there and we sits back and has us a drink or two, me all the time talkin trash 'bout that five hundred dollar and Smiley grinnin like he does. ‘For long Smiley doze off on the bank. I lets him sleep, thinkin he be more disappointed if he wake up and we ain't caught that catfish. Just to be sure, I starts to pull in the rope, and ‘for I got it pulled in ten feet, somethin grab on. That ol' rope start burning through my hand like they's a scared horse on't'other end. I musta yelled, cause Smiley woke up and goes running off the other way. â€Å"Watch you doin?† I yells, and that old rope burnin through my hands like a snake on fire. Well, that it, I think, and I lets go of the rope. (A Bluesman got to take care of his hands.) But when the rope come to the end, it tighten up like an E string and make a twang – throw moss and mud up into my face – and I looks round and see Smiley crankin up that Model T Ford. He done tied the rope on the bumper and now he drivin it back out the bayou, pullin whatever out there in the water as he go. And it ain't comin easy, that ol' Ford screamin and slidin and sound like it like to blow up, but up on the bank come the biggest catfish I ever seen, and that fish ain't happy. He floppin and thrashin and just bout buryin me in mud. Smiley set the brake and look back at what we catch, when that ol' catfish make a noise I don't know can come out a fish. Sound like woman screaming. Which scares me, but not as much as the noise that come back out the bayou, which sound like the devil done come home. â€Å"You done it now, Smiley,† I says. â€Å"Get in,† he say. Don't take more than that for me, cause somethin risin up out the bayou look like a locomotive with teeth, and it comin fast. I'm in that Model T Ford and we off, draggin that big catfish right with us and that monster thing coming behind. ‘For long we got us some distance, and I tells Smiley to stop. We gets out and looks at our five-hundred-dollar catfish. He dead now, dragged to death, and not lookin too good at that, but in a full moon we can see this ain't no ordinary catfish. Sho, he got his fins and tail and all, but down on his belly he growin things look like legs. Smiley say, â€Å"What that?† And I say, â€Å"Don't know.† â€Å"What that back there?† he say. â€Å"That his momma,† I say. â€Å"She ain't happy one bit with us.† Seven It has the soul-sick wail of the Blues, the cowboy tragedy of Country Western. It goes like this: You pay your dues, do your time behind the wheel, put in long hours on boring roads, your vertebrae compress and your stomach goes sour from too much strong coffee, and finally, just when you get a good-paying job with benefits and you're seeing the light at the end of the retirement tunnel, just when you can hear the distant siren song of a bass boat and a case of Miller calling to you like a willing truck stop waitress named Darlin', a monster comes along and fucks your truck and you are plum blowed up. Al's story. Al was drowsing in the cab of his tank truck while unleaded liquid dinosaurs pulsed through the big black pipe into the underground tanks of the Pine Cove Texaco. The station was closed, there was no one at the counter to shoot the bull with, and this was the end of his run, but for a quick jog down the coast to a motel in San Junipero. On the radio, turned low, Reba sang of hard times with the full authority of a cross-eyed redheaded millionaire. When the truck first moved, Al thought he might have been rear-ended by some drunk tourist, then the shaking started and Al was sure he was in the middle of the bull moose earthquake of the century – the big one – the one that twisted cities and snapped overpasses like dry twigs. You thought about those things when you towed around ten thousand gallons of explosive liquid. Al could see the tall Texaco sign out of the windshield, and it occurred to him that it should be waving like a sapling in the wind, but it wasn't. Only the truck was moving. He had to get out and stop the pump. The truck thumped and rocked as if rammed by a rhino. He pulled the door handle and pushed. It didn't budge. Something blocked it, blocked the whole window. A tree? Had the roof over the pumps come down on him? He looked to the passenger door, and something was blocking that one too. Not metal, not a tree. It had scales. Through the windshield he saw a dark, wet stain spreading over the concrete and his bladder emptied. â€Å"Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, oh shit.† He reached behind his seat for the tire thumper to knock out the windshield and in the next instant Al was flaming bits and smoking pieces flying over the Pacific. A mushroom cloud of greasy flame rose a thousand feet into the sky. The shock wave leveled trees for a block and knocked out windows for three. Half a mile away, in downtown Pine Cove, motion detector alarms were triggered and added their klaxon calls to the roar of the flames. Pine Cove was awake – and frightened. The Sea Beast was thrown two hundred feet into the air and landed on his back in the flaming ruins of Bert's Burger Stand. Five thousand years on the planet and he had never experienced flight. He found he didn't care for it. Burning gasoline covered him from nose to tail. His gill trees were singed to stumps, jagged shards of metal protruded between the scales of his belly. Still flaming, he headed for the nearest water, the creek that ran behind the business district. As he lumbered down into the creek bed, he looked back to the place where his lover had rejected him and sent out a signal. She was gone now, but he sent the signal anyway. Roughly trans-lated, it said, â€Å"A simple no would have sufficed.† Molly The poster covered half of the trailer's living room wall: a younger Molly Michon in a black leather bikini and spiked dog collar, brandishing a wicked-looking broadsword. In the background, red mushroom clouds rose over the desert. Warrior Babes of the Outland, in Italian, of course; Molly's movies had only been released to overseas theaters – direct to video in the United States. Molly stood on the wire-spool coffee table and struck the same pose she had fifteen years before. The sword was tarnished, her tan was gone, the blonde hair had gone gray, and now a jagged five-inch scar ran above her right breast, but the bikini still fit and muscles still raked her arms, thighs, and abdomen. Molly worked out. In the wee hours of the morning, in the vacant space next to her trailer, she spun the broadsword like a deadly baton. She lunged, and thrust, and leapt into the improbable back flip that had made her a star (in Thailand anyway). At two in the morning, while the village slept around her, Molly the crazy lady became, once again, Kendra, Warrior Babe of the Outland. She stepped off the coffee table and went to her tiny kitchen, where she opened the brown plastic pill bottle and ceremoniously dropped one tablet into the garbage disposal as she had every night for a month now. Then she went out the trailer door, careful not to let it slam and wake her neighbors, and began her routine. Stretches first – the splits in the high wet grass, then a hurdler's hamstring stretch, touching her forehead to her knee. She could feel her vertebrae pop like a string of muted firecrackers as she did her back stretches. Now, with dew streaking her legs, her hair tied back with a leather boot lace, she began her sword work. A two-handed slash, a thrust, riposte, leap over the blade, spin and slash – slowly at first, working up momentum – one handed spin, pass to the other hand, reverse, pass the sword behind her back, speeding up as she went until the sword cut the air with a whistling whirr as she worked up to a series of backflips executed while the sword stayed in motion: one, two, three. She tossed the sword into the air, did a back flip, reached to catch it in midspin – a light sweat sheeted her body now – reached to catch it – the sword silhouetted against a three-quarter moon – reached to catch it and the sky went red. Molly l ooked up as the shock wave rocketed through the village. The blade slashed the back of her wrist to the bone and stuck in the ground, quivering. Molly swore and watched the orange mushroom cloud rise in the sky over Pine Cove. She held her wrist and stared at the fire in the sky for several minutes, wondering if what she was seeing was really there, or if perhaps she'd been a little hasty about stopping her meds. A siren sounded in the distance, then she heard something moving down in the creek bed – as if huge rocks were being kicked aside. Mutants, she thought. Where there were mushroom clouds, there were mutants, the curse of Kendra's nuked-out world. Molly snatched the sword and ran into her trailer to hide. Theo The shock wave from the explosion had dissipated to the level of a sonic boom by the time it reached Theo's little cabin two miles out of town. Still, he knew that something had happened. He sat up in bed to wait for the phone to ring. A minute and a half later, it did. The 911 dispatcher from San Junipero was on the line. â€Å"Constable Crowe? You've had some sort of explosion at the Texaco station on Cypress Street in Pine Cove. There are fires burning nearby. I've dispatched fire and ambulance, but you should get over there.† Theo struggled to sound alert. â€Å"Anyone hurt?† â€Å"We don't know yet. The call just came in. It sounds like a fuel tank went up.† â€Å"I'm on my way.† Theo swung his long legs out of bed and pulled on his jeans. He snatched his shirt, cell phone, and beeper from the nightstand and headed out to the Volvo. He could see an orange corona from the flames in the sky toward town and billowing black smoke streaking the moonlit sky. As soon as he started the car, the radio crackled with the voices of volunteer firemen who were racing to the site of the explosion in Pine Cove's two fire engines. Theo keyed the mike. â€Å"Hey, guys, this is Theo Crowe. Anyone on scene yet?† â€Å"ETA one minute, Theo† came back at him. â€Å"Ambulance is on scene.† An EMT from the ambulance came on the radio. â€Å"The Texaco is gone. So's the burger stand. Doesn't look like the fire is spreading. I don't see anyone around, but if there was anybody in those two buildings, they're toast.† â€Å"Delicate, Vance. Very professional,† Theo said into the mike. â€Å"I'll be there in five.† The Volvo bucked over the rough dirt road. Theo's head banged on the roof and he slowed enough to buckle his seat belt. Bert's Burger Stand was gone. Gone. And the minimarket at the Texaco, gone too. Theo felt an empty rumbling in his stomach as he pictured his beloved minimarket nachos going black in the flames. Five minutes later he pulled in behind the ambulance and jumped out of the Volvo. The firefighters seemed to have the fire contained to the as-phalt area of the Texaco and the burger stand. A little brush had burned on the hill behind the Texaco and had charred a few trees, but the firemen had drenched that area first to keep the fire from climbing into the residential area. Theo shielded his face with his hands. The heat coming off the burning Texaco was searing, even at a hundred yards. A figure in fire-fighting re-galia approached him out of the smoke. A few feet away he pulled up the shield on his helmet and Theo recognized Robert Masterson, the volunteer fire chief. Robert and his wife Jenny owned Brine's Bait, Tackle, and Fine Wines. He was smiling. â€Å"Theo, you're gonna starve to death – both your food sources are gone.† Theo forced a smile. â€Å"Guess I'll have to come to your place for brie and cabernet. Anyone hurt?† Theo was shaking. He hoped Robert couldn't see it by the light of the fire and the rotating red lights of the emergency vehicles. He'd left his Sneaky Pete pipe on the nightstand. â€Å"We can't locate the driver of the truck. If he was in it, we lost him. Still too hot to get close to it. The explosion threw the cab two hundred feet that way.† Robert pointed to a burning lump of metal at the edge of the parking lot. â€Å"What about the underground tanks? Should we evacuate or something?† â€Å"No, they'll be fine. They're designed with a vapor lock, no oxygen can get down there, so no fire. We're going to have to let what's left of the minimart just burn out. Some cases of Slim Jims caught fire and they burn like the sun, we can't get close.† Theo squinted into the flames. â€Å"I love Slim Jims,† he said forlornly. Robert patted his shoulder. â€Å"It'll be okay. I'll order some for you, but you can't tell anyone I'm carrying them. And Theo, when this is all over, come see me at the shop. We'll talk.† â€Å"About what?† Robert pulled off his fire helmet and wiped back his receding brown hair. â€Å"I was a drunk for ten years. I quit. I might be able to help you.† Theo looked away. â€Å"I'm fine. Thanks.† He pointed to a ten-foot-wide burned strip that started across the street and led away from the fire in a path to the creek. â€Å"What do you make of that.† â€Å"Looks like someone drove a burning vehicle out of the fire.† â€Å"I'll check it out.† Theo got a flashlight from the Volvo and crossed the street. The grass was singed and there were deep ruts cut into the dirt. They were lucky this had happened after the rainy season had started. Two months earlier and they would have lost the town. He followed the track to the creek bed, fully expecting to find a wrecked vehicle pitched over the bank, but there was nothing there. The track ended at the bank. The water wasn't deep enough to cover anything large enough to make a trail like that. He played the flashlight around the bank and stopped it on a single deep track in the mud. He blinked and shook his head to clear his vision, then looked again. It couldn't be. â€Å"Anything over there?† Robert was coming across the grass toward him. Theo jumped down onto the bank and kicked the mud until the print was obliterated. â€Å"Nothing,† Theo said. â€Å"Must have just been some burning fuel sprayed out this way.† â€Å"What are you doing?† â€Å"Stomping out the last of a burning squirrel. Must have gotten caught in the flames and ran over here. Poor guy.† â€Å"You really need to come see me, Theo.† â€Å"I will, Robert. For sure I will.† Eight The Sea Beast He knew he should return to the safety of the sea, but his gill trees were singed and he didn't relish the idea of treading water until they healed. If he'd known the female was going to react so violently, he would have re-tracted his gills into the folds beneath his scales where they would have been safe. He made his way down the creek bed until he spotted a herd of animals sleeping above the bank. They were ugly things, pale and graceless, and he could sense parasites living in every one of them, but this was no time to be judgmental. After all, some brave beast had to be the first to eat a mastodon, and who would have thought that those furballs would turn out to be the tasty treats that they were. He could hide among this wormy herd until his gills healed, then perhaps he'd take one of the females on a grateful hump. But not now, his heart still ached for the purring female with the silvery flanks. He needed time to heal. The Sea Beast slithered up the bank into an open space among the herd, then curled his legs and tail under his body and assumed their shape. The change was painful and took more effort than he was used to, but after a few minutes he was finished and he quietly fell asleep. Molly No, this wasn't what she had planned at all. She had stopped taking her meds because they had been giving her the shakes, and she'd been willing to deal with the voices if they came back, but not this. She hadn't counted on this. She was tempted to run to her kitchen area and gulp down one of her blue pills (Stelazine – â€Å"the Smurfs of Sanity,† she called them) to see if it could chase the hallucination, but she couldn't tear herself from the trailer window. It was too real – and too weird. Could there be a big, burnt beast lumbering out of the creek? And if so, had she just watched it turn into a double-wide trailer? Hallucinations, that was one of the five symptoms of schizophrenia. Molly kept a list of all the symptoms. In fact, she'd stolen a desk drawer version of the DSM-IV – The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the book psychiatrists use to diagnose mental illness – from Valerie Riordan. According to the DSM-IV, you had to have two of the five symptoms. Hallucinations were one; okay, that was a possibility. But delu-sions, no way; she wasn't the least bit deluded, she knew she was having hallucinations. Number three was disorganized speech or incoherence. She'd give it a try. â€Å"Hi, Molly, how the heck are you?† she asked. â€Å"Not well, thank you. I'm worried that my speech may be disorganized,† she answered. â€Å"Well, you sound fine to me,† she said, by way of being polite. â€Å"Thanks for saying so,† she replied with genuine gratitude. â€Å"I guess I'm okay.† â€Å"You're fine. Nice ass, by the way.† â€Å"Thanks, you're not too bad yourself.† â€Å"See, not disorganized at all,† she said, not realizing that the conversation was over. Symptom four was grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior. She looked around her trailer. Most of the dishes were done, the videotapes of her movies were arranged chronologically, and the goldfish were still dead in the aquarium. Nope, nothing disorganized in this place. Schizo 1, Sanity 3. Number five, negative symptoms, such as â€Å"affective flattening, alogia, or avolition.† Well, a woman hits her forties, of course there's a little affect-ive flattening, but she was sure enough that she didn't have the other two symptoms to not even look them up. But then there was the footnote: â€Å"Only one criterion required if delusions are bizarre or hallucinations consist of a voice keeping up a running commentary on the person's behavior or thoughts.† So, she thought, if I have a narrator, I'm batshit. In most of the Kendra movies, there had been a narrator. It helped tie a story together that was supposed to take place in the nuked-out future when, in fact, it was being filmed in an abandoned strip mine near Barstow. And narration was easy to dub into foreign languages because you didn't have to match the lips. So the question she had to ask herself, was: â€Å"Do I have a narrator?† â€Å"No way,† said the narrator. â€Å"Fuck,† said Molly. Just when she'd settled into having a simple personality disorder, she had to learn to be psychotic all over again. Being schizo wasn't all bad. Being diagnosed schizo ten years ago had gotten her the monthly disability check from the state, but Val Riordan had assured her that since then her status had changed from schizophrenic: paranoid type, single episode, in partial remission, with prominent negative symptoms, persecutory-type delusions, and negative stressors (Molly liked to think of the negative stressors as â€Å"special sauce†) to a much more healthy, post-morbid shizotypal personality disorder, bipolar type (no â€Å"special sauce†). To make the latter you had to fulfill the prerequisite of at least one psychotic event, then hit five out of nine symptoms. It was a much tougher and more subtle form of batshit. Molly's favorite symptom was: â€Å"Odd be-liefs or magical thinking that influences behavior and is inconsistent with subcultural norms.† The narrator said, â€Å"So the magical thinking – that would be that you believe that in another dimension, you actually are Kendra, Warrior Babe of the Outland?† â€Å"Fucking narrator again,† Molly said. â€Å"You're not going away, are you? I don't need this symptom.† â€Å"You can't really say that your ‘magical thinking' affects your behavior, can you?† the narrator asked. â€Å"I don't think you can claim that symptom.† â€Å"Oh hell no,† Molly said. â€Å"I'm just out practicing with a broadsword at two in the morning, waiting for the end of civilization so I can claim my rightful identity.† â€Å"Simple physical fitness regimen. Everyone's trying to get into shape these days.† â€Å"So they can hack apart evil mutants?† â€Å"Sure, Nautilus makes a machine for that. Mutant Master 5000.† â€Å"That's a crock.† â€Å"Sorry, I'll shut up now.† â€Å"I'd appreciate that. I really don't need the ‘voices' symptom, thanks.† â€Å"You've still got the monster-trailer hallucination outside.† â€Å"I thought you were going to shut up.† â€Å"Sorry, that's the last you'll hear from me. Really.† â€Å"Jerk.† â€Å"Bitch.† â€Å"You said†¦Ã¢â‚¬  â€Å"Sorry.† So without voices all she had to deal with was the hallucination. The trailer was still sitting there, but admittedly, it just looked like a trailer. Molly could imagine trying to tell the shrink at county about it when they admitted her. â€Å"So you saw a trailer?† â€Å"That's right.† â€Å"And you live in a trailer park?† â€Å"Yep.† â€Å"I see,† the shrink would say. And somewhere between those two little words the judgment would be pronounced: crazy. No, she wasn't going to go that route. She would confront her fears and go forward, just as Kendra had in The Mutant Slayer: Warrior Babes II. She grabbed her sword and left her trailer. The sirens had subsided now, but she could still see an orange glow from the explosion. Not a nuclear blast, she thought, just some sort of accident. She strode across the lot and stopped about ten feet away from the trailer. Up close, it looked – well, it looked like a damn trailer. The door was in the wrong place, on the end instead of the side, and the windows were frosty, as if they'd iced over. There was a thin patina of soot over its entire length, but it was a trailer. It didn't look like a monster at all. She stepped forward and ventured a poke with her sword. The aluminum skin of the trailer seemed to shy away from the sword point. Molly jumped back. A warm wave of pleasure swept through her body. For a second she forgot why she had come out here and let the wave take her. She poked the trailer again, and again the pleasure wave washed over her, this time even more intense. There was no fear, no tension, just the feeling that this was exactly where she should be – where she should always have been. She dropped her sword and let the feeling take her. The frosty layer on the trailer's two end windows seemed to lift, revealing the slitlike pupils of two great golden eyes. Then the door began to open, not from side to side, but splitting itself in the middle and opening like a mouth. Molly turned on her heel and ran, wondering even as she went why she hadn't just stayed there by the trailer where everything felt so good. Estelle Estelle was wearing a leather fedora, a pair of dark sunglasses, a single lavender sock, and a subtle and satisfied smile. Sometime after her husband had died – after she'd moved to Pine Cove and started taking the antide-pressants, after she'd stopped coloring her hair or giving a damn about her wardrobe – Estelle had vowed that no man would ever see her naked again. At the time, she considered it a fair trade: carnal pleasures, of which there were few, for guilt-free cookies, of which there were many. Now, having broken that vow and lying in her feather bed next to this sweaty, stringy old man, who was teasing her left nipple with his tongue (and who didn't seem to mind that said nipple was leading her breast over her arm rather than jutting skyward like the cupola on the Taj Mahal), Estelle felt like she understood, at last, the Mona Lisa's smile. Mona had been getting some, and she had her cookies too. â€Å"You are some storyteller,† Estelle said. A spidery black hand crawled up her thigh and parked an index finger moistly on her pleasure button – just settled there – and she shuddered. â€Å"I didn't finish,† Catfish said. â€Å"You didn't? Then what was all that ‘Hallelujah, Lord, I'm comin home!' followed by the barking?† â€Å"I didn't finish the story,† Catfish said, his enunciation remarkably clear, considering he didn't miss a lick. Harmonica player, Estelle thought. She said, â€Å"I'm sorry, I don't know what came over me.† And she didn't. One minute they were sipping spiked tea and the next there was an explosion and she had her mouth locked over his, moaning into him like a saxophonist playing passion. â€Å"You didn't see me fightin you,† Catfish said. â€Å"We got time.† â€Å"We do?† â€Å"Sho', but you gonna have to pay my way now. You done chased the Blues off me and I feels like they ain't never comin back. I'm out a job.† Estelle looked down to see Catfish grinning in the soft orange light and grinned herself. Then she realized that they hadn't lit any candles, and she didn't have any orange lights. Somewhere in the tussle between the kitchen and the bedroom, amid the tossing of clothes and groping of flesh, they had turned the lights out. The orange glow was coming through the window at the foot of the bed. Estelle sat up. â€Å"The town is on fire.† â€Å"It is in here,† Catfish said. She pulled the sheets up to cover herself. â€Å"We need to do something.† â€Å"I got an idea a somethin we can do.† He moved his spidery fingers and her attention was taken away from the window. â€Å"Already?† â€Å"Seem soon to me too, girl, but I'm old and this could be my last one.† â€Å"That's a cheery thought.† â€Å"I'm a Bluesman.† â€Å"Yes, you are,† she said. Then she rolled over on him and stayed there, off and on, until dawn.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Outline Of A Literary Analysis Of The Insane Connection

Outline Structure for Literary Analysis Essay The insane connection II. Paragraph 1: Introduction (Use HATMAT) A. HOOK!! B. Authors Edgar Allan Poe and Emily Dickinson both use structural choices repetition, punctuation, and tone to shape the central idea of madness. C. Within â€Å"The Tell-tale heart† and â€Å"I felt a funeral in my brain† both writers write about the death of someone or something. D. Neither stories state the narrators’ names but throughout the stories, both are in first person point of view. E. Poe’s story is about the narrator who is obsessed with an old man’s â€Å"vulture eye† that causes the narrator to kill the old man and later after guilt starts to kick in, the narrator admits his crime to the police. Dickinson’s story is about the main character feeling a funeral in her brain where treading mourners gather and the narrator falls into something that isn’t stated but can be interpreted as the narrator falling into their grave. F. Throughout the two stories, the author’s use different structural choices that both develop the central idea madness though they are different definitions of madness. III. Paragraph 2: First Body Paragraph A. One of the structural choices is repetition that both stories use to shape the central idea of madness. B. Context for the quote 1. Poe’s narrator is ranting inside his head as he obsesses over the old man’s eye and in Dickinson’s narrator is hearing a drum. 2. As Poe’s narrator is ranting in his head, the narrator isShow MoreRelatedAnnotated Bibliography : Mental Health3645 Words   |  15 Pages Research suggests that recovery is nurtured by positive relationships. These relationships encapsulate those with friends, family, service providers and connections with their personal community and culture. Such connections support individuals in becoming more than their â€Å"mental illness† identity. Important in fostering these connections are concepts of treating people with dignity, compassion and understanding. However, as highlighted by the Time to Change initiative, media depictions haveRead MoreThe Vampire: What Boundaries Does the Vampire Threaten? Discuss with R9200 Words   |  37 PagesDracula does cross all of those fore-mentioned barriers, as well as crossing a myriad of others. The essay is using the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker and the 1931 film version of Dracula by Tod Browning as the literary base from which the boundaries are derived and analyzed. Other boundaries threatened are; familial boundaries including maternal and paternal roles; pre-oedipal and oedipal, as well as the boundaries between child andRead MoreMetz Film Language a Semiotics of the Cinema PDF100902 Words   |  316 Pages 16 II Problems of Film Semiotics Chapter 3. Chapter 4. Chapter 5. The Cinema: Language or Language System? 31 Some Points in the Semiotics of the Cinema, 92 Problems of Denotation in the Fiction Film, 108 III Syntagmatic Analysis of the Image Track Chapter 6. Outline of the Autonomous Segments in Jacques Rozier s film Adieu Philippine, 149 Chapter 7. Syntagmatic Study of Jacques Rozier s Film Adieu Philippine, 177 vii viii CONTENTS IV The Modern Cinema: Some Theoretical Problems ChapterRead MoreRastafarian79520 Words   |  319 Pagesancestors whose struggles have enabled us to survive and thrive This page intentionally left blank Foreword One of the most useful things about Ennis Edmondss Rastafari: From Outcasts to Culture Bearers is that it correctly traces the connection between the emergence of Rastafarianism and the history of resistance and black consciousness that has been part of the Jamaican experience for years. The truth is that there has always been a committed Jamaican counter- culture that celebratesRead MoreDeveloping Management Skills404131 Words   |  1617 PagesLine 58 Understanding and Appreciating Individual Differences Important Areas of Self-Awareness 61 Emotional Intelligence 62 Values 65 Ethical Decision Making and Values 72 Cognitive Style 74 Attitudes Toward Change 76 Core Self-Evaluation 79 SKILL ANALYSIS 84 Cases Involving Self-Awareness 84 Communist Prison Camp 84 Computerized Exam 85 Decision Dilemmas 86 SKILL PRACTICE 89 Exercises for Improving Self-Awareness Through Self-Disclosure 89 Through the Looking Glass 89 Diagnosing Managerial Characteristics

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Bradbury s `` An Outrageous Social Commentary Of The...

Bradbury’s short story Usher 2 is an outrageous social commentary that is set within the rebuilt House of Usher. The main character, Mr. Stendahl has moved to Mars where he is having a replica of the Usher manor rebuilt. In it, he stores books previously thought to have been burned in the Great Fire of 1975 (Bradbury, pg 347). The plot moves along to where Mr. Garrett, who is a part of the Moral Climate, is sent to investigate the strange house sprouting up, and inevitably the story leads up to the fall of the manor. The entire story reads as outlandish, improbable things are possible with no explanation and time has no real meaning. However, Bradbury remains consistent in how the tone of the story is set and to whom the story is talking about; it’s meant to be mocking people of a certain variety, perhaps even insulting them. Stendahl is very much a fan of particularly horror, but he mentions science fiction as â€Å"tales of the future† (B, 347), and explains t hat his whole reason for building the House of Usher was to escape the restrictions of life on Earth and to take revenge for what had been done to his favorite authors. The whole of the story is read in biting sarcasm and meant not only to address the wrongness of the repression of creativeness as a whole, but to ridicule the rules regarding literature. Usher 2 takes sensible plot and throws it out the proverbial window. While the story does follow along one individual plot, Bradbury showcases that literature may notShow MoreRelatedStephen P. Robbins Timothy A. Judge (2011) Organizational Behaviour 15th Edition New Jersey: Prentice Hall393164 Words   |  1573 PagesCity Sao Paulo Sydney Hong Kong Seoul Singapore Taipei Tokyo Editorial Director: Sally Yagan Director of Editorial Services: Ashley Santora Acquisitions Editor: Brian Mickelson Editorial Project Manager: Sarah Holle Editorial Assistant: Ashlee Bradbury VP Director of Marketing: Patrice Lumumba Jones Senior Marketing Manager: Nikki Ayana Jones Senior Managing Editor: Judy Leale Production Project Manager: Becca Groves Senior Operations Supervisor: Arnold Vila Operations Specialist: Cathleen Petersen

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Globalization Is The Coming Together Of All Cultures From...

Globalization is the coming together of all cultures from all over the world and the sharing of knowledge and resources. This sounds like a good thing, and that everyone should benefit from it, but that it not always the case. For as many positive connotations globalization has, it also has just as many, if not more, negative connotations. Better put, globalization â€Å"includes increased human interconnectedness facilitated by new information technologies and huge volumes of trade, capital, people, culture flowing across borders, and an ever more integrated economy† (Powell 2014). It also gave way for countries like China to open the market to sweatshop labor, which will be discussed later in the paper. Due to the advances in medicine and because of the increased attention and knowledge to health, people are living much longer than they used to. 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Friday, December 13, 2019

Introduction to Psychological Testing Free Essays

Introduction to Psychological Testing Psy 475 October 22, 2012 Introduction to Psychological Testing The history of personality and intelligence testing, dates to the beginning World War II. In psychology, clinicians use psychological tests as a tool to help aid in identifying important information in regard to the behaviors of an individual or a group. There is a major difference between regular testing and testing used for psychological purposes. We will write a custom essay sample on Introduction to Psychological Testing or any similar topic only for you Order Now There are various tests that can be administered to determine specific abilities or identify the characteristics of an individual. This paper will define the term â€Å"test†, describe the major categories of tests, and identify the major uses and users of these tests. Also this paper will also discuss the comparison and contrast the concepts of reliability and validity and explain how they affect psychological testing. Test According to Hogan, a test is a standardized process used to provide information about specific behaviors or cognitive process through standardized procedures. Psychological tests are a battery of tests that evaluate and measure functions of emotions and behaviors in human beings. The test batteries are composed of interviews, and assessments that focus on specific areas such as learning, memory, attention, and academic capabilities. Tests can be conducted in various ways such as verbal, visual, oral, and written assessments or evaluation. Information gathered from standardized tests are useful and effective because they categorize specific behaviors with scores and provide results, which are reliable and valid. Psychological testing can be performed by licensed professionals; such as clinical psychologists, counseling, and school psychologist. Major categories of tests, Uses and Users Psychological tests provide a platform for providing information and insight, which helps to gain a better understanding of human behaviors. There different types of tests are used to measure various contexts of specific areas of behavior. According to Chadha, Psychological tests are grouped into several categories, which include personality, mental ability, attitude, achievement, and neuropsychological tests. These test can be administered to an individual alone or to a group of people. According to Hogan intelligence test focuses on various functions of the individual who measures potential and basic ability, such as memory, cognitive functions, thinking skill, and visualization. Two of the most popular intelligence test are the Stanford-Binet and the Wechsler Intelligence Tests. Achievement and aptitude tests are commonly used in educational or employment settings. Educators and employers use these tests to identify how much an individual knows about a certain topic, such as academic subject or employment position. Educators use achievement tests to identify and compare abilities of students, while employers use these tests to identify talents, interests, and special skills (2008). According to Hogan, personality tests are commonly used in research and forensic settings to assist with providing a clinical diagnosis by measuring personality styles. Personality test is set up in two, formats. The first consists of yes or no questions and the second questions are true or false. According to Hogan, interests and attitudes are mainly used for high school and college students to identify interests related to job fields. The most common test used to measure and identify vocational interests is the Strong Interest Inventory (SII) or the Kuder Career Search (Hogan, 2007). The last category of testing is the neuropsychological tests. These types of test focus cognitive abilities as related to brain functions such as thinking, reasoning, memory and motor coordination. According to Hogan, uses and users of psychological tests include clinical, educational, personnel, and research settings. Clinical settings such as counseling and psychology use testing to identify the nature or severity of a specific problem or a behavior. The testing results are used to develop treatment plans used to carry out interventions for therapeutic application. According to Hogan, educators use assessment as a tool for assessing levels of student learning and abilities in efforts to help the student improve. Another major user of psychological testing are businesses. Personnel and employment testing according to Hogan, was developed to identify and select the best candidates for employment positions. Employers also use testing to conduct performance and promotion evaluations. The last use of testing involves research. According to Hogan researchers use testing as a viable part of research studies because they are replicable and provide reliable information that useful and valid. Compare and Contrast Reliability and Validity Test reliability and validity are very important concept of testing. These tools used to measure the data that has been collected for the test to determine if the results are sustainable and effective. According to Hogan reliability is meant to be consistent and dependable. A reliable test provides the same scores continuously for an individual. Test reliability relies on specific criteria to determine the quality and accuracy of psychological measurements (Chadha, 2009). To determine reliability there are five methods that can be used to estimate test scores. These methods identify the proportion of the score, which may include error variances. Although these methods are used to determine reliability and identify errors there various factors, which can affect the results of the reliability of a test. Test validity is an important aspect of test evaluations. The validity of the tests focuses on specific criteria used to ensure that testing concept meets requirements and professional standards of scientific research methods. There are two common methods used to test validity, the first is criterion validity and content validity. According to Chadha, content validity focuses on the selection of items for ability and achievement test; judgments are used to identify the usefulness or application of the test. Criterion validity according to Chadha, focuses on the ability of test score used to observe behaviors or other information gathered from the test. Reliability and validity test the same aspects of a test but in a different manner. Reliability is more focused on the stability of a test score and validity evaluates this information based on specific criteria (Chadha, 2009). Conclusion In conclusion psychological testing is used to provide, identify, and measure characteristics, abilities and the behaviors of an individual or a group. There various types of testing be used in several contexts, which provide valuable information to the test examine. Several fields or professions rely on testing to provide information that can be used for purposes of assessments, treatment, learning, and identifying needs. Reliability and alidity methods are used to ensure that the information received from testing is effective and properly used for the purpose intended. References Chadha, N. K. (2009). Introduction to psychological testing. In Applied psychometry. (pp. 71-87). New Delhi: SAGE Publications India Pvt Ltd. doi: 10. 4135/9788132108221. n5 Hogan, T. P. (2007). Psychological testing: A practical introduction (2nd ed. ). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. psychological test. (2008). In The Columbia Encyclopedia. Retrieved from http://www. credoreference. com. ezproxy. apollolibrary. com/entry/columency/psychological_test How to cite Introduction to Psychological Testing, Essay examples