Claudine Jones | Scene4 Magazin

 Claudine Jones

And lest y'all think guns is a D versus R thing, lemme tell you, I was walking a precinct a few years ago, targeting registered Democrats to help elect Jerry McNerney, and this white guy in his yard with a chainsaw (which thankfully he turned off as I approached) proceeded to yell me off his property cause he thought if he voted for Jerry somebody was going to come take his guns away from him. Scared the crap outta me and I hadn't even said anything to him yet--just had my little colorful flyers in my hand. In the middle of the day, in suburbia. Makes me shake just thinking about it.


I should turn off the damn clocks. This stupid wondering what time it is or if it's a minute off. Daylight-saving time toggles twice a year: clock never getting changed just being one hour off.

A piece of toast that's what I was dreaming of.

Or just a lazy slice of bread.

A cup. Who would have thought that'd be the end of me.

Or a mug if that's what you want to call it.


There's an early picture of my godfather in his uniform—I think they call them Blues? Anyway. Short sleeve, lightweight fabric, definitely casual. I can't remember whether he's wearing a cap.

He also has a rifle butt resting on the ground next to him. He's holding the gun firmly by the barrel. This was a couple of months before they decided the combination of his alcoholic tendencies and access to a legal weapon was a mistake. It was also the same year he started molesting me. I was four.  It was a secret.

Our secret.

He spent the next 30 years being a milkman until hauling heavy crates up and down stairs got too much for his heart.


Back from Mexico, one of those trips to just disappear for awhile. Bring back primitive artwork and crafts. After the divorce she got most of the good stuff so had to start over. Spruce up that crappy apartment, I guess.


That late portrait of his mother entranced me. She was still so beautiful in a Hollywood sort of way with a single strand of pearls and perfect eyebrows and marcelled curls. Gazing into the distance toward the photographer of course but her expression made it like a young lover. Right there on the credenza in a big frame where my godmother had to walk past it every day. Apparently, Mom's where he got his genetic predisposition for booze, and the salary of a milkman meant gotta go cheap.


I got it in my head that I wanted to take a trip to Missouri. See my brother one last time I suppose. I was going to drive sleep in the car pack food with me but I didn't have a cooler.

Just the word conjures up beer.

Who do I know?

Well, I haven't seen that new apartment...


That's a stupid idea.

I'll go over to my daughter. She has one.

My daughter offers me a drink of something. She's into tea, so starts the kettle.

I could have left with the cooler.

Should have.

Somebody coming up the walk.

My daughter's got two cups. Her back is to the window.

What the hell's he doing here?

It takes me no time. He's already in the house and I'm up against her.

Four shots: one cracks the patio door, one through my shoulder, another into the back of my neck and the last one ricocheting off the kitchen tile floor.


Cops say what saved me was the angle of the bullet exiting dad's shoulder ended up in the wall instead of me. He didn't have a chance.

But I got the guy square in the temple with that cup.

Or mug if that's what you want to call  it.




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Claudine Jones | Scene4 Magazin

Claudine Jones has had a long, full career as an Actor/Singer/Dancer. She writes a monthly column
and is a Senior Writer and columnist for Scene4.
For more of her commentary and articles, check the Archives.

©2022 Claudine Jones
©2022 Publication Scene4 Magazine




January 2022

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