White Trash Blues - Reminiscences
Easter. A time of remembrance and renewal.
While they await the resolution of the title to their trailer, DP and Jolene are moved to give thanks for the miraculous recovery of her estranged aunt Goomar after her bass boat chase through the mountains pursued by the FDA agents. They decide to drive Jolene’s pickup to their customary place of worship – although “customary” is stretching the term a bit since Christmas and the opening day of deer season are when they are most likely to be seen there.
Pastor Justan O. Sopfan, however, does not condemn anyone who is called to share in the fellowship and collection plate of his unpretentious ministry.
After the condensed version of the services, they meet Mona and Radish at Maf’s Happy Hour Club. Radish has brought along the scrapbook his mother has kept of their childhood together. This, coupled with a generous application of Maf’s justly famous boilermakers, lubricates the way for an afternoon of lies and stories.
As they leaf through the scrapbook Mona points out that Shvoo, the "Dream Weaver" columnist for Trading Times, appears with them in one of the photos. Although she is no longer a regular part of their social circle – or so DP believes – the photo reminds them that they were once closer than they have been in recent years. Radish seems uncomfortable.
A few rounds later the two men are swapping elementary school yarns that mostly revolve around which of their teachers they each had a crush on. DP claims to have seen Mrs. Wagner, the English teacher, in a semi-nekkid state when he went unannounced into her bathroom to wash up after mowing her lawn. He says she liked it and that the C’s he got from her the rest of the year was proof. Radish disputes that such a thing could have taken place, at least not in the detail and duration that DP says happened. Mona wants details. Jolene snoozes at the bar.
An eighth grade photo of the two as boys in the school’s audio-visual department prompts Radish to assert that their faculty advisor was “a homo”.
He wonders if he can find a lawyer to sue the school district for the repressed memories he heard about while following the Michael Jackson trial. Maf, who has been listening in, reminds him that the school was torn down to make way for a Big-K store years ago, that the teacher disappeared after the incident with Mona’s mother’s Airstream and the trouble between Red and Sonny, and that technically there is no longer a local school district anyway.
Suddenly, with the turn of another page, they are instantly sobered and the debate stops abruptly. There, as a souvenir of a mistake all four of them thought would never again be spoken of, was the grainy and faded picture from the newspaper that each of them had long ago chased from their memories. Proof positive that three of them were once indisputably linked to having been a part of that star-crossed occasion.
Momentarily lost, each one in their own recriminations and reminiscences, the unfinished boilermakers forgotten on the bar, we move in to a close-up of the incriminating photograph as the scene fades to black.