Tag Archives: Short Stories

McArthur Street: Episode Eight

Continued from:

McArthur Street: Episode Seven

     My father got a job managing a small, man-made lake south of Tucson on the two lane highway to Mexico.  It was in a tiny town called Kinsley.  The name of the lake was Kinsley Lake.  My father took me and my brother, Daniel, to the lake very early one morning.  When we got there, there was still a little chill in the air in the shady places but already the Arizona sunshine was getting hot.  He taught us how to “police the area” which meant picking up trash.  There was a building that had a long hall inside with pinball machines along the walls.  Near the front entrance was a counter with a cash register where tickets were sold for picnicking, swimming, fishing or to rent a rowboat or kayak.  Behind the counter were shelves and racks with fishing rods, fishing tackle and fishing lures for sale.  My father sat on a stool behind the counter, selling tickets and let us explore the lake.  He gave us each fifty cents for helping him to police the area.

     My father kept taking me and either my little brother or older brother with him to police the area in the morning and enjoy exploring the lake and the surrounding area.  We found a concrete irrigation ditch to jump in and play in the water.  We wore blue jean cut offs in those days because that was the cool thing to do and just let the short pants dry on us.  My father brought all three of us to the lake one day with our fishing poles so we could go fishing.  Sometimes my brothers didn’t want to go to the lake because they wanted to play with their friends in the neighborhood so I would go with my father.  My father taught me how to run the cash register and sell tickets.  He showed me how to count back the change to the customers.  He left me to run the cash register while he went out managing the lake.  He had to make sure that people had paid.  My father would give me a five dollar bill for helping him.  Later he would pay me more.

     I became very proficient at operating the cash register.  When people came and asked about the cost I was able to add the totals very quickly and accurately in my head the way my father had taught me.  I became very good at selling rods, reels and tackle.  When the owner of the lake came in he was so impressed that he would order more rods and reels.  He even brought in live earthworms in round, cardboard containers that I started to sell very quickly.  Eventually he even bought more fishing lures to stock the shelves with because I was starting to sell those.  I always seemed a year younger than my actual age so when adults walked into the office and saw me behind the cash register they started looking around to see if there was an adult around.  When they realized I was the only one there they would start asking questions.  Sometimes they seemed really amazed at how competent I was at what I did.

    When my older brother came to the lake he spent his time playing pinball.  He got so good at playing pinball that he became a pinball wizard.  He could knock the machine on the side without tilting it to keep the ball in play.  Once he walked away from a machine that had 150 games on it just because he was bored with playing.  When he wasn’t playing pinball he would go out and explore the little town of Kinsley with its western style buildings.  There was a restaurant and saloon there.  On the winding road that went up a hill behind the buildings there were the homes of people who lived in this desert area with its surrounding farm fields.

     When my little brother came to the lake he wanted to fish all the time.  He was very good at catching blue gill and bass.  He was so good at fishing that if he forgot to bring bait he could catch fish with the cotton from cigarette butts that he found.

     More often my brothers would not come and it would be me and my father.  When he gave me a break and worked the cash register himself I would go out exploring the lake in one of the kayaks.  Sometimes I would walk out on the wooden wharf and untie one of the rowboats.  I would row out on the lake.  I liked to row out to the middle of the lake and look down at the bottom of the lake.  The water was so clear.  Twice I swam to the middle of the lake and looked down.  I felt like I was floating high up in the air and after a little while it became scary so I swam back.  I felt aware that sometimes when I walked out on the wharf to untie a boat or came back and tied up a boat that the cute, young girls who were swimming and sunbathing in the swimming area must have thought I looked pretty cool.  One of the popular shows on television was Flipper which had two boys who were always walking out on a wharf and untying a boat. 

     My parents had become acquainted with Jimmy’s mother.  My father decided that he wanted to invite Jimmy and his brothers to come with me and my brothers to Kinsley Lake on a Saturday to enjoy the lake and camp out overnight.  When we got to the lake we had races where we raced in the kayaks, then grounded them on shore and ran around the hall to come back to the kayaks to race them around the lake once more.  When I took them out on the wharf I felt that Jimmy noticed the cute girls in the swimming area watching us.  When I looked at Jimmy while we were in the middle of all these fun activities it seemed that he noticed I was looking at him.  It seemed he felt proud of being at the lake and enjoying what it had to offer all for free but he never smiled.  I realized that Jimmy was too overly competitive with others. 

     We camped out that night on the narrow strip of land between the two sections of the lake.  The office with the pinball arcade was on that strip of land.  We roasted hot dogs and had them with pork and beans that we heated in a campfire in one of the fire pits in the picnic area.  The boys talked and laughed.  We all slept well and woke up to the sound of the ducks quacking.

     I was in Jimmy’s house with his mother in the living room one day.  Janet Holly was sitting on the couch and Keith’s sister was there.  Keith’s sister said I should sit next to Janet on the couch.  I looked at Janet.  She looked so beautiful.  She didn’t say anything.  I wanted to sit next to her but I felt embarrassed.  Keith’s sister was insistent.  Jimmy’s mother came and grabbed a hold of me.  She led me over to where Janet was and I sat next to her.  I couldn’t believe I was sitting next to Janet on the couch touching her.  I didn’t want to move.  I didn’t say anything.  I looked at her.  She didn’t do anything but just stayed there looking very calm and serene.  Jimmy’s mother from the dining room area watched us with a smile on her face.  Keith’s sister said, “Mark is sitting next to Janet!” just as my little brother with Ronnie and Donnie emerged from the hallway that led to the bedrooms.  “Mark is sitting with Janet!” they all exclaimed with big smiles on their little faces.  I stayed for as long as I could but I had to get up in embarrassment.  I looked back at Janet before going for the front door to escape.  She still sat there motionless, looking serene.

     I was sitting with Mike in front of his house on another day.  He said we had to keep our voices low because his mother worked at night and slept during the day.  He said she was a very light sleeper.  He wanted me to know that the place where his mother worked was a restaurant, not just a bar, and his mother worked as a cook there.  This made me feel better to know that she was a cook and not a topless waitress.  Mike said the reason she worked there is because it paid so well and that most cook’s jobs didn’t pay very well.  Mike told me that his mother said there were Catholic priests who came into the bar to drink.  I found this hard to believe but I had no reason to think Mike or his mother would lie about something like this.  I didn’t think that the priests from my church would ever do such a thing.

     Keith came walking up to us from across the street asking, “What’s happening!” with his usual grin.  The conversation turned to Jimmy.  Mike said that when Jimmy’s father came home from work all he did was have dinner and then go into his bedroom with a six pack of beer and a Playboy magazine.  Keith said this was true.  They told me that Jimmy would go into his father’s bedroom to look at his Playboy magazines.  I said, “Jimmy said that he wants to be a priest”.  They said that he still does but he still looks at his father’s Playboy magazines.  I was having a hard time dealing with the idea of someone who wanted to be a priest but who looked at Playboy magazines.  My feelings were that he would probably never become a priest.

     One day I was in the living room of Jimmy’s house.  I saw one of the album covers of a Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass albums resting against a shelf on the floor.  Jimmy’s mother loved to listen to Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass and they had several albums by this popular instrumental band in the living room.  I noticed that all the album covers had a picture of a beautiful, young woman looking very sexy on them.  My little brother, Ronnie and Donnie wanted me to come into a bedroom to play board games.  They liked to play Sorry and a card game called, Old Maid.  I played games with them for awhile and then left.  As I walked through the hallway I saw Jimmy lying on the end of his father’s bed looking down at a magazine.  Jimmy got up from the bed when he saw me and came over to me with the magazine.  Jimmy tried to get me to look at the Playboy magazine.  I took a glance from where I was standing and said I had to go.  I let myself out of their front door and went home.

     One day I came to McArthur Street and there was an ambulance in the driveway of Keith’s house.  I stood in front of Jimmy’s house in the gravel and dirt next to the street.  McArthur Street did not have sidewalks like our street did.  The neighborhood kids were out including Robert, Richard and Diana, Jimmy and Mike.  Janet was watching from a lawn chair in front of Jimmy’s house.  Keith’s father had a heart attack I was told.

Life went on for Keith and his family.  His father did not die. They acted as if everything was normal.  I never noticed that Keith or his sister seemed upset. 

To be continued.

McArthur Street: Episode Seven

Photograph by Mark Alberto Yoder Nunez from The Spider Lady and Other Short Stories and Poetry

Continued from:

McArthur Street: Episode Six

Keith had a birthday party at his house.  My younger brother and Jimmy’s younger brothers were there.  My brother, Daniel, and Jimmy were not there.  They often made the long walk to visit with their friend, the older John.  Mike Holly was not there.  Mike had told me that since it was his last year at Wakefield, when his family moved to McArthur street, he had been allowed to remain at Wakefield instead of being transferred to Utterback.  He often went visiting with his friends from Wakefield.  Keith went to Utterback.  It was amazing the rivalry between these two junior high schools.  Janet Holly and Keith’s sister were there.

     Keith wanted to arm wrestle with me.  He always seemed to want to do this when I was at his house.  He would always beat me but this time I had a strategy.  I acted like he was winning and kept letting my arm lower back.  At the same time I was letting him waste his energy by giving just enough resistance to his pressure.  When my arm got rather low to the tabletop I started slowly pushing back until our arms were in the starting position again.  Keith was getting frustrated and started pushing with all his strength.  I just held the position, not trying to push forward.  When I could see that his arm was getting tired I slowly started pushing his arm back.  I kept doing this slowly while resisting his frantic efforts to push my arm back.  A little at a time I was able to push his arm back until I could see that his arm was getting really tired.  Then I pushed down on his arm as hard as I could, slamming his hand down on the table.  “Damn it!” Keith yelled.  “Mark beat Keith!” I kept hearing the other kids saying.  I felt a little shocked that Keith would cuss in front of the little kids.  Keith was mad.  He wanted a rematch.  I didn’t want to but he wouldn’t take no for an answer.  I tried to use the same strategy but Keith got frustrated and lifted his elbow high off the table to push my arm back.  I just said that was cheating and he didn’t really win.  He wanted another rematch but he did the same thing again, lifting his elbow off the table. 

     I said I wasn’t going to arm wrestle with him anymore if he was going to cheat.  I was glad that I said this because I was tired of the way he always wanted to arm wrestle.  I remembered when he wanted me to hit him in the shoulder as hard as I could and I didn’t want to. He kept insisting.  He said it didn’t even hurt.  I said I didn’t hit him as hard as I could have.  He said he wanted me to hit him again as hard as I could.  I must not have had the ability to want to hurt someone so I couldn’t hit him with all my strength.  He just told everyone that it didn’t even hurt.

     Keith’s sister brought Janet Holly to me and said she wanted to see which of us was taller.  Keith’s mother wanted to see, also.  They had us stand back to back.  They told me to stand up as tall as I could.  They had a ruler to put on top of our heads for measure.  Janet’s body felt so warm and soft against my back.  Even the back of her head with her soft hair was against mine.  I marveled at her softness.  Keith’s sister said, “She’s taller than you!”  Keith’s mother said, “She’s taller than you!”  The kids chimed in, “Janet is taller than Mark!”  Keith reappeared to keep shouting at me, “She’s taller than you!  She’s taller than you!”  I didn’t see why that should be such a big deal so I just smiled and shrugged. 

Keith’s mother couldn’t understand why I didn’t want more cake and ice cream.  I actually had a low tolerance for too much sugar.  Ice cream made me feel a little queasy in my stomach.  The cakes that Keith’s mother had made seemed to have double the amount of sugar in them.  They had about an inch of frosting on top and a lot of frosting in the middle.  After she asked me if I wanted more cake and ice cream and I said, “No, thank you”, I just ate some potato chips and drank some punch.  She came back and asked me again if I wanted more cake and ice cream.  She seemed frustrated.  She just couldn’t understand why I didn’t want more cake and ice cream.  I walked back home with my little brother from the party to our house on E. Illinois St.  I couldn’t stop thinking about Janet Holly.

     On summer nights I and my two brothers often slept outside in the back yard in sleeping bags under the sky since the summer nights were so warm and beautiful in Tucson.  Countless stars were everywhere in the sky.  Even without a moon there were so many bright stars because of the clear, desert sky that there was light.  My father had built a small fire pit on the ground with red, clay bricks and cement that he called a fireplace.  We would build a fire from scrap wood and sit around the fire on large, smooth stones my father had collected. 

     My mother and father said it would be okay to invite Jimmy, Ronnie and Donnie over to sleep outside in the back yard.  Keith was invited, too.  We roasted hot dogs on long twigs from the weeping willow tree.  Then we had fun roasting marshmallows.  We twirled the red burning embers at the end of the twigs in the air to make circles of red orange light in the darkness.  I even got fancy and tried to write longhand words with the glowing embers in the dark.  The boys loved this.

     I had read a book from the Tucson public library of ghost stories for children that was published by Alfred Hitchcock.  Although it took me awhile to finish the book when I did finish on a Saturday I was so impressed that I read all the stories all over again. 

     I gained a reputation with my brothers for telling ghost stories around the campfire.  They wanted me to tell ghost stories.  I started to tell the same stories again.  I told the story about a man who had bad luck because he had been tricked into walking a widdershin.  A widdershin was a counter clockwise circle and this was considered to be bad luck.  Then my brothers asked me to tell the story of Old McDonald.  It was the story of a farmer named Old McDonald who stayed too late in town and had to walk home in the dark.  Along the way he encountered a ghost.  He had a conversation with the ghost.  As I was telling the story I looked at the faces of the boys in the firelight especially the little ones, my brother, Ronnie and Donnie.  They had smiles on their faces and listened intently.  I told a few more stories and they wanted to hear the story of Old McDonald again.  Even my older brother wanted to hear the story again because he said it was one of his favorites.  Story telling was interesting because I found myself embellishing the stories just because of the reactions and sometimes questions from my audience.  It was as if they wanted me to add to the stories.  I had to admit that the telling of the stories was never the same and they seemed to change over time.

     After the fire had turned to glowing embers I walked to another part of the yard and was talking with Jimmy and my older brother.  Soon there was a hissing sound.  I looked to see that Keith was urinating on the embers.  There was steam from the fireplace and a horrible smell.  “Uuhh!” I exclaimed and moaned a little.  What kind of person would do such a thing?  I was in disbelief.  I walked over to Keith and scolded him.  It didn’t seem to phase him any.

     The little boys were still running around the back yard playing when I retired to my sleeping bag.  I couldn’t sleep.  I was lying on my stomach.  I drew in the dirt with a stick, “Mark + Janet” and started singing quietly to myself with the melody of a pop song, “I love Janet Holly”.  The little boys noticed and started to tease me.  I messed up what I wrote in the dirt and turned on my side to go to sleep covering up my face with the top of the sleeping bag.  I still sung very quietly to myself, “I love Janet Holly” a couple of times before going to sleep.

     It wasn’t long before Keith invited us to sleep in his back yard.  His backyard was entirely under all of these trees so there was only dry grass and some patches of dirt underneath.  My brother, Daniel, and Jimmy weren’t there.  My little brother, Ronnie and Donnie were there.  First I had to deal with Keith’s now overly friendly German shepherd trying to lick my hands and slobber on me.  I was starting to feel dirty and grimy.  Then Keith’s mother gave us packages of hot dogs.  When I went to open the packages I noticed there was a white, milky liquid in with the hot dogs.  I pulled one of the hot dogs out to see that the milky liquid was sticky.  I smelled the hot dogs and they had a sickening, sweet smell.  I realized that it would be dangerous to eat these wieners.  I told Keith and the boys that the hot dogs were spoiled.  I had eaten supper at my own home earlier so I wasn’t too hungry. 

     There was a spotlight in Keith’s backyard.  There was the yellow, incandescent light, shadows and darkness under the trees.  It was perfect for making the little kids want to play tag.  I played tag with them as they ran around.  At a certain point I emerged from under some trees to find myself facing Keith who confronted me.  He grinned and punched me in the stomach.  I doubled over with pain.  My little brother ran up and asked me what was wrong.  I told him, “Keith punched me in the stomach”.  “Keith punched you in the stomach?” he exclaimed.  I starting walking to my sleeping bag with my hands over my stomach still doubled over.  My brother, Ronnie and Donnie ran up.  Ronnie and Donnie asked, “What’s wrong with you?”  I said, “Keith punched me in the stomach”.  “Keith punched you in the stomach?” they said and then they ran off.  I was lying in my sleeping bag on my side.  I had never been punched in the stomach before.  I had no idea how painful it was.  The little boys continued to run around the back yard playing tag.

     The next morning I walked home with my little brother.  I knew that the days of sleeping in back yards with the other boys from McArthur Street were over.  My brothers and I still slept in our own back yard with a fire and ghost stories the way we had always done. 

     Why I continued to remain friends with Keith seems like a mystery.  I actually felt a sense of being understanding towards him. As young as I was I read a lot of articles in magazines about all the social problems in America.  I understood that Keith was the product of his background and that he went to a tough public school with a bad reputation.  I still liked his sense of adventure.  I sometimes would see his father coming home from work.  His father was a tall, chubby, burly man.  He looked like a worker, wearing his blue jeans and white, cotton undershirt.  He often came home with a case of beer.

Continued on:

International cult classic: The Spider Lady and Other Short Stories and Poetry

The Spider Lady and Other Short Stories and Poetry is fast becoming an international cult classic. It is sold in countries all over the planet, Earth, reaching into Russia, China and Bahrain. In many countries it is being sold by every major seller including department store chains and online department stores. It is sold in all of the major marketplaces internationally by many sellers including eBay.

Easter Sunday, April 17, 2022: New seller, Dubuy, is selling my book in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and United Arab Emirates. I am adding their link at the top of my links after the International links under Africa. This website has some amazing advertising copy with compliments:

  • This beautifully illustrated book of exciting stories is a must-have as it will make story-time magical.
  • Helps you understand other people’s perspectives.
  • These books makes you smarter and increase creativity and Imagination.

February 21, 2022: After nearly two months major retailers are still out of stock with my book. However there are sellers who have stocked up on my book and have it available for sale. In spite of all this there are more sellers selling my book in more countries.

January 16th, 2022: Some sellers are now back in stock with my book but many major sellers are still out of stock.

December 25th, 2021: Sold Out Internationally with most major book sellers. So much so that I cannot update all links on this page with all the sellers who are out of stock and those who still have my book in stock. Keep in mind that this book is a print on demand book. Students who want my book for school don’t give up. My publisher is busy fulfilling orders to get my book in stock again. Happy Holidays!

September 1, 2021: There are more and more sellers selling The Spider Lady and Other Short Stories and Poetry in more and more countries. I keep adding the links here as I find these new sellers by researching on the Internet.

August 15, 2021: The Spider Lady and Other Short Stories and Poetry is now considered to be an academic book and is used by students for school. Consequently it is available for rental or sale on websites that sell textbooks. Generally at the beginning of each school semester the trend is for my book to start selling out. That should start happening around the beginning of September.

June 21, 2021: There are now so many sellers selling my book that now is the time to get the book at a great price! There could be shortages of my book in the near future. However more books will always be printed and the number of books in print will increase!

June 17, 2021: Fruugo is Back! In most countries.

June 12, 2021: I failed to mention on this post that my book is always available, no matter what, on the website of my self-publishing website, Book Baby. This means a person can custom order a freshly printed copy of my book from the company that prints my books. I put a link to my book on Book Baby on this post under USA.

June 8, 2021: My book is being stocked up again really fast with sellers who have previously sold out. Some are still selling out. There continues to be new sellers selling my book. I am trying to keep all of the links updated!

June 6, 2021: My book is selling out all over the world right now and is on back order on many websites. Still, I keep finding more sellers selling my book internationally and I keep adding the links to this page.

Where to start?

International

BetterWorldBooks Out of Stock!

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USA

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Target Sold Out!

Book Shop $18,624,712.07 raised for local bookstores Out of Stock!

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The Spider Lady and Other Short Stories and Poetry by Mark Alberto Yoder Nunez | BookShop (bookbaby.com) Print On Demand!

Romania

Alma Decor

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Book Shop UK £1,223,362.03 generated for local bookshops

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Rakuten ご注文できない商品





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Always More Links being added!

DIY Book: The Spider Lady and Other Short Stories and Poetry: Message from the Author

The Spider Lady and Other Short Stories and Poetry by Mark Alberto Yoder Nunez

After the fact that now my book has become quite successful internationally and has gained a lot of attention I am willing to admit to not only being a self-published author but, also, a DIY author. Far more than most. For those who don’t know DIY means “do it yourself”. I, also, can rightfully claim to have published an indie book. For those who don’t know indie means “independent”.

What does all this mean anyway? Indie means either a book published by a small independent press as opposed to a major publishing company or, as in my case, a self-publishing company. This is basically a jab at the mainstream publishing and literary world that have become more and more monopolized. Although one could argue that the mainstream pays attention to the independents to look for new talent who have potential.

As far as DIY is concerned in fact I studied Graphic Design but never got a degree in it. However I learned enough to design my own cover for my book, do the page layout myself and send a PDF file, print ready, to the publisher without paying for “professional graphic design services”. My book includes my own artwork and photography going back to even my high school art portfolio. In essence I made my book as personal a statement of myself as possible. Although one could say that my book is not a handmade book printed on an old fashioned printing press and is mass produced on modern high speed offset lithography printing presses it is still a “do it yourself book”.

In addition my book is a “print on demand” book. This means that there is no first printing of so many hundreds or thousands of copies with the hope of a second printing if the book sells. The book is not even printed until a retailer, wholesaler or distributor orders copies printed and shipped. In other words it is unlimited how many copies I can sell. In fact anyone can go to my self-publishing company, Book Baby, and order a copy personally printed for $20. This is a price that I have set that cannot be changed unless I change it.

Sincerely,

Mark Alberto Yoder Nunez

No. 2 on Meistgefundene Bücher im Februar 2020

No. 13 Printed Book; No. 62 eBook on Meistbestellte Bücher im Februar 2020

Back In Stock: The Spider Lady and Other Short Stories and Poetry

After more than a month since selling out worldwide The Spider Lady is now starting to be back in stock!

At long last back in stock on Amazon Brazil! R$93,29 Estimativa de envio de 1 a 2 meses.

Back in stock on Target!

Back in stock on Walmart!

Back in stock on Amazon Canada!

Back in stock on Blackwell’s UK!

Good Books Make Great Gifts: The Spider Lady and Other Short Stories And Poetry: Worldwide Market Places

Sold out in some marketplaces and with many retailers over the holidays! Some sellers are restocked, some are on back order, some have special order available. There are, also, new sellers.

Back in Stock on Saxo Denmark! Leveringstid 2-3 uger

Back in Stock on Barnes and Noble! Usually ships within 1 week

Now in a marketplace for Switzerland!

Back in Stock on Super Book Deals!

New Retailer in The Netherlands!

Promotion and Publicity: Quotes, Website Referrers and Affiliates

-Truly, freeing oneself in one’s own mind is only the first step on a path of freedom.-

“All evil seems to arise from the desire to dominate others. Most men in our society are taught from a very early age to try to dominate. It isn’t something that they think about consciously. It operates at a subconscious level. They are taught by the adults around them and their peers. Someone dominates them and they in turn try to dominate others. They do it without even realizing it and they do it without even thinking about why. It is without question. In their conscious awareness they may aspire to grandiose ideals but their actions speak for what really motivates them from a subconscious level.”
― Mark Alberto Yoder Nunez, The Spider Lady and Other Short Stories and Poetry

Publicity

Most sold book January 2020 #78 Meistbestellte Bücher im Januar 2020 #78 The Spider Lady and Other Short Stories and Poetry https://diebuchsuche.at/mb.php

Most found books in December 2019

Meistgefundene Bücher im Dezember 2019 #14Mark Alberto Yoder Nunez: The Spider Lady and Other Short Stories and Poetry, EAN bzw. ISBN: 9781543957082, 3120 mal gefunden, 4 mal bestellt, neu um € 7,97 … 30,10, gebraucht um € 11,58 … 86,75 https://diebuchsuche.de/mg.php

Most ordered books in December 2019

Meistbestellte Bücher im Dezember 2019 #98 Mark Alberto Yoder Nunez: The Spider Lady and Other Short Stories and Poetry, EAN bzw. ISBN: 9781543957082, 3120 mal gefunden, 4 klicks auf “Bestellen”, neu um € 7,97 … 30,10, gebraucht um € 11,58 … 86,75 https://diebuchsuche.ch/mb.php?l=0

Conversation on Social Media in Russia about The Spider Lady and Other Short Stories and Poetry

Promotion

Affiliates

Website Referrers

Referrals From Websites: The Spider Lady and Other Short Stories and Poetry

Thank you to all the websites that have been sending visitors to my blog!

McArthur Street: Episode Three

Photograph by Mark Alberto Yoder Nunez
From McArthur Street
From The Spider Lady and Other Short Stories and Poetry

Continued from:

https://markalbertoyodernunez.blog/2019/08/03/mcarthur-street-episode-two/

It wasn’t long before my younger brother, Samuel, became friends with Jimmy’s two younger brothers, Donnie and Ronnie.  My younger brother, Samuel, is about three years younger than I.  Jimmy’s two younger brothers were two years apart.  They were close to the same age as Samuel and considerably smaller in stature than Jimmy.

One day I remember going along with Jimmy and his mom and little brothers to shop in the morning during the three month summer vacation time that we had from school.  In Tucson in the sixties during the hot days of summer we, boys, wore cut-off jeans to look cool.  It was at the beginning of summer vacation and before nine in the morning there was still a little coolness in the air.  We were going to a large, discount department store in a new complex recently built in the desert.  The modern four lane, divided road had an exit that looked like a freeway exit but this was Tucson so this was not a freeway at all.

We arrived in the old, station wagon that Jimmy’s mother drove.  We were there at the doors of the new, modern looking department store in the desert where no greenery of landscaping had started to grow yet.  It was before the store was open.  The day was growing hotter in the Arizona sun as I noticed all the other housewives, most of them middle aged, who were waiting for the doors to open.  It was the day of a sale that had been advertised.  I had no previous experience or knowledge of these types of events at all.

I remember a tall, young man in a light grey suit unlocking the glass doors and then I was witnessing a site that I had never heard of.  Everyone was pushing up toward the doors as they opened and then there was an insane, mad rush of women running to a certain department.  I found myself caught up in the ebullience of the moment and rushing with all of the others to see what the excitement was all about.

Soon I came to a scene in which there was already a crowd of women gathered in a certain area and others were fighting their way to get in.  I decided to become one of them to see what was going on.  When I was able to push through the women and get close enough to the front I was amazed by what I saw.  There were tables piled with women’s clothing that had been neatly folded and women were practically fighting over the clothing! It was a garish spectacle!  After watching for awhile I turned and walked away.

One thing that really stands out in my mind is the way Jimmy’s mom placated her two youngest children by giving them candy.  At a certain point in this shopping experience Jimmy and his mom left me alone in the old station wagon with Donnie and Ronnie.  I sat in the back seat and Ronnie and Donnie turned to face me from the middle seat of the station wagon.  I tried to talk to them as I would with my own younger brother and sisters but they seemed more keen on trying to impress me with the fact that they had candy.  I found myself in a state of disgust looking at their dirty, little faces with candy coating around their mouths.  Already their teeth were small and brown with gaps between them.  They smiled at me triumphantly as if the mere state of constantly having candy showed superiority.

I sat in the back seat of the station wagon looking at the dirty, little faces smiling at me.  Inside the station wagon was a feeling of dirtiness and smelliness.  There was a gritty feeling.  I just felt a sense of disgust.  Needless to say I never went along with Jimmy and his mother when they went shopping again.  When he asked me if I wanted to go along he seemed not to understand why I would say no.

I actually liked Jimmy’s mom.  She was younger than my own mother.  She had bouncy, blonde hair down to her shoulders.  Often she wore shorts.  She seemed pretty.  She always acted nice.  She seemed rather child like herself.  She often talked to me as if I were an equal.  There was an air of excitement about being in their home.  It was something different, something new.

Jimmy’s father was a dark, shadowy figure who made his appearance rarely.  It was a long time before I ever saw him.  He was a burly, Mexican man with black hair, a dark complexion and a small moustache.  He seemed unpleasant and never smiled.  He was not like my own Mexican-American father.  My father was known for smiling and joking.  Jimmy’s father was a glazier and apparently made good money.  His glass truck would sometimes be parked in the driveway of their home.  Jimmy said that he often worked on Saturdays which was why he was rarely at home.

It seemed as if marriage for him was his wife only and not his children.  He seemed to leave the raising of his sons to his wife.  This may have had to do with the fact that all three of his boys turned out to have blonde hair like their mother and fair complexions.  When he was at home he usually retreated to the bedroom.

I remember on a few occasions during this time in my life I found myself alone in the living room of my family home on a hot, Tucson afternoon.  It was cool in the living room from the air of the cooler as I looked peacefully at the drapery.  I became impressed with the sense of order and calmness in my mother’s neat and nice living room.  There was the couch decorated with the Mexican zarape, the fireplace mantel with the clock ticking and the family photos.  There were the paintings and old fashioned carpet with its oval shape, the coffee table, end tables and lamps.  I was sitting in my mother’s comfortable upholstered rocking chair.  There were the drapes gently swaying because of the one window that was slightly ajar from which the heat of the Sonoran desert and fresh air from outside radiated.  From the front porch would be the sound of the wind chimes that were barely moving.

The peace and tranquility impressed me with the orderliness of the living room in its own afternoon twilight.  Everything neat and simple.  Everything dusted by my little sisters or my mother.  When my sisters were babies I had helped my mother with the dusting.  I had a feeling of transcendence and peace of mind.  This was my pristine world, so different, I thought in contrast to Jimmy’s world.

Although there was an air of excitement in Jimmy’s home with his young, energetic mother I always felt a sense of uncleanness and lack of order and peace.  There was never the clean, pristine smell of my family home.  Often the living room was in need of picking up with loose articles here and there.  Both of Jimmy’s parents smoked cigarettes which contributed to the general feeling of dirtiness.  Often Jimmy’s mother would be sitting on the couch, laundry to fold at her side, with a cigarette in her hand, smoke going up to the ceiling.  The ceiling was stained yellow and brown from the cigarette smoke.

Continued on:

https://markalbertoyodernunez.blog/2019/09/25/mcarthur-street-episode-four/

Aphorisms on active rain.com including a quote from the spider lady

“-Truly, freeing oneself in one’s own mind is only the first step on a path of freedom.-” 
― Mark Alberto Yoder Nunez, The Spider Lady and Other Short Stories and Poetry

For sale at these fine bookstores:

Denna samling noveller, dikter, aforismer och humor av Mark Alberto Yoder Nunez är tänkt att vara underhållande och inspirerande för alla som älskar god läsning.

Mark Alberto Yoder Nunez의 단편 소설,시, 경구, 유머의 모음집은 좋은 독서를 좋아하는 사람들에게 즐거움과 고무감을주기위한 것입니다.

Spindeldamen handlar om en ung taxichaufför som möter en mycket konstig äldre kvinna. Det är en mörk memoar. McArthur Street berör en pojke som växte upp i Tucson på sextiotalet och hans kämpar med gott och ont.

スパイダーレディは、非常に奇妙な年上の女性に出会う若いタクシー運転手に関するものです。それは暗い回顧録です。マッカーサーストリートは、60年代にツーソンで育った少年と、善と悪との闘いに関するものです。