Ryan B. Richey

from Hosey

Hi Ryan,
Hope you had a good day at school. I got out and sat on Grandma's shelf to see what time it was.

Little Westclox

I do not kill my animals
Dumb as a box of rocks Ginger never has a sense of home or direction. She wanders off daily into the cornfields across the road, hanging with the runaways from the Home. Either we find her by driving around hollering, “Ginger, ginger, tweet, tweet”, or the Animal Shelter hauls her away in their Paddy wagon packed full of strays and Sale Barn farm animals nobody bid on. In the end we believe Eli Lilly’s kidnapped her. Susie lost a few to them too when she was a kid. A suited man in a pea green four-door sedan snatched a whole batch of kittens at the end of Susie’s long and winding driveway. She could do nothing but silently whimper from where she hid underneath the baby footbridge while the Blue River runoff slicked her toes. The word around town is animals are being lifted by Lilly’s for experimental testing in order to better the human race.

Bernadine’s double wide Cadillac, bejeweled with excessive electronic gadgets and displays, picks us up outside of Lincoln Apartments on Saturday. She leers back, places gum in her ears, and tells us, “Be quiet and keep your hands to yourselves, kitties”.

Hee and I immediately proceed to fight tooth and nail. Caddy rocking front, back, and side to side all the way to Overman’s Plumbing and Heating. There they disperse our powdered milk and cheese brick. Bernadine takes her cheese and cradles it across the street to L&W’s deli counter for slicing. Somehow she never raises an eyebrow, despite her Harry Caray spectacles with a diamond encrusted B and the auto show Cadillac taking up two spaces. I just gnaw cheese. The hunk of cheddar tastes delicious.

Uncle Harland’s
He held me one time in his musty white suit while I ran my chubby fingers through his rooster patch. He owned a chicken empire but only brought one bucket.

Jellystone Park
The Hutsons haul us past a giant Yogi Bear in the back of their Ford something or another. We’re dodging cigarette butts and an unrelenting gravel dust storm. We’ve come to fish the creek by the drainage ditch. To swim the watering hole where snakes tread water and turtles nibble toes. Uncle Chuck tosses me his rod. I hold down the trigger, jerk back and then forward. The lure quickly wraps the pole. I never make it to the water. On the next cast my line gets tangled in the trees. I give up and leave it hanging there to go get an ice cream sandwich from Boo Boo’s trailer.

Not listening to Ranger Smith’s warnings about avoiding the weeds results in having to sprawl out naked on the picnic table furiously itching my crotch and armpits. Fingernail polish is generously applied to the mini red dots embedded in cracks and crevices. When dry the polish peels off like dead skin, chiggers trapped there in that skin flake.

For fear of the Rocky Mountain spotted fever Susie pokes the tick’s ballooned rear with a fiery needle. The tick pulls out screeching. We give chase as it scurries away.

Yank off leeches. Avoid Hutsons at all cost.

Insert stick after stick puffing cheeks out. Saliva, gum juice, and a big wad squish around blocking my air hole. Pinch it with two fingers. Stretch the gum as far as my arm will extend. Wrap it around and around my head until I can barely see. It’s stuck pretty good. So Susie rubs in peanut butter to soften removal. I still have to cut my hair short though.

Today I’m Ted. Pauline brought over a box of mechanic shirts the other day. They know me all around town, but go along with calling me Chuck, Phil, or Jimmy. I wear Ted the most. I’ve always felt like a Ted.

Your spider friend in my windowsill says hello. He’s built himself quite a home. I thought I might have lost him. I guess he likes to wander. I took a notion to take the old Dodge into town on Saturday. My seeing’s not what it used to be. Couldn’t make out the stoplights so I moved when the cars next to me did. A boy helped me out at the store, cause I can’t read labels. When I got home I opened up a can and it was dog food! You know, it’s not that bad heated. That's enough about me, why don’t you come down soon?


Uncle Paul

Ryan B. Richey is a Knightstown, IN native who has made a career of straying. From one medium to another. From jobs as wide-ranging as grave marker salesman to room service. He went to Purdue for accounting and ended up with a degree in painting. He currently resides in Chicago as a recent SAIC grad student in painting & has been encouraged by the writing department faculty (Michael K. Myers and Janet Desaulniers) to send his writing to people and places he finds interesting. "This is the first time I have submitted anything."

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