Monday, June 14, 2010

The Story of Mr. Shitter's Skull (and how GMR lives with a life of weirdness)

While walking the dogs in the cove one day without GMR, I passed a pile of leaves with something white sticking out. I backtracked and kicked at the leaves, and there among them was—A Skull! Wow! Without hesitation (that hesitation is what normal people feel, I guess, in these situations), I picked up a stick and poked it through the eye holes and continued my walk. All the while, humming away, la tee dah. If anyone looked out of their window, they’d see a grinning wild-haired woman (because that woman never brushes her hair unless she has to leave the cove and go into "town") brandishing a skull on a stick, two dogs at her sides, and her pockets bulging with who knows what (rocks, feathers, bark, buckeye seed . . .)

Once at home, I call to GMR, “Come see! Come see! Look what I found!” Now, about this time, GMR is on alert. Oh oh. What has my wife found? Already inside the little log house are rocks, bark, a hornet’s nest, pieces of bark or wood that looked interesting to his wife, a jar filled with buckeye seeds with two big feathers sticking out of it, and various other “natural elements.” The porch has rocks, small stumps, a large piece of bark that looks like a prehistoric fish, and other thingamajigs found on walks in the cove and woods. "Hurry, come see!" I repeat.

GMR walks out the door, and I say, “Mr. Shitter’s Skull! Mr. Shitter’s Skull!” I’m holding the stick with the skull attached, grinning my fool head off.

GMR looks at the skull and says, “Wow!” Of course his “Wow!” isn’t as enthusiastic as mine, but he at least tries to pretend it's exciting. That his wild-haired fool-grinning skull brandishing wife isn't off the deep end, but just how she is.

I say, again, “It’s Mr. Shitter’s Skull!”

GMR says, “Well, okay! Yeah . . .” pause . . . he doesn’t know what I’m talking about. I say, “There’s that scene in the Sweetie book were Sweetie talks about how she buries her cat and later finds the head, the skull, and so she hangs it over the door of her cabin. I just happened to be working on that scene the other day! What a coincidence that I’d find my own Mr. Shitter’s skull! It’s WEIRD! It’s PERFECT! It’s KISMET! It’s a strange coincidence!”

GMR nods, his face in neutral, “Yeah it sure is!” Then I wonder if he means ME being a strange coincidence. Huhn! I say, “We got to hang it up! Like Sweetie did!”

Now GMR still has that neutral look. I say, “Outside, though, since that’s what Sweetie did.” The relief in GMR’s eyes was kind of pitiful, you know? That the skull wouldn't be InSide.

So, he finds a spot, “Here?” I say, “Hmmm,” he tries another, “Here?” “Hmmm,” … “Here?” Yeah, that’ll do. I think that’s a good spot. I thought over the door like Sweetie, but this is okay…yeah.

Hammer hammering, and GMR soon has Mr. Shitter’s skull hung up on the logs of the little log house. I pass it every time I go down the steps, or up the steps, as you would if you were to come visit me in my little cove. You’d head up our stairs, and something white would catch your eye and you’d turn your head to the right and there it’d be—Mr. Shitter’s skull staring at you.

Just now, I paused in my typing, here in my “study” where I write, and in this room I see the eclectic mix of who GMR is, who I am, and then who we both are. There are things from New Orleans, there are lots of cd’s and LP's, there are many books on the shelves (including mine!), and there are rocks and pebbles and pieces of bark, and pictures of family, and leather chairs, and soft throw, gifts I’ve received from readers and friends that made their way in here.

And, looking at these things, and thinking about all the things I’ve “collected,” sometimes I imagine I die and GMR remarries and the woman comes up to the little log house and stares around in horror at all the “Natural” elements I have around, and especially she stares in horror at the hornet’s nest and even more at Mr. Shitter’s skull. And as GMR packs up his Kat’s rocks and bark and hornet’s nest and skull and tree stumps and et cetera, he knows his life will never be the same. There will be order and normal, a little less craziness, a little more boredom and regulardom. Yes, that’s what I think. Of course.

I think I will be missed.


Next up: when GMR thinks there are TWO people in the room, when there are actually Four or Five people in the room.


Marisa Birns said...

I do believe in all that kismet has to offer!

Of course, after a few weeks of order and normal in his new life, your GMR will be the one walking around collecting eclectic things to hang around the house.

And he would hammer them INSIDE. ;)

Yes, he would miss you.

Anonymous said...

What animal is that? The eye sockets are huge! Sympatico happening here: On the occasion of my d i v o r c e in 81 TX I packed all my stuff and brought it w/ me to OR. I still have the skull of a huntin' dog some degenerate dumped dead on my [then]property in E TX. It was a liver spot hound I called Spot. Over the year the forest creatures 'rearranged'it so I renamed it Spots and took the skull with me when I left. I had some notion how his spirit self must have felt being left like it was. He sits atop a brick I stole from the St. James Cemetery in Plaquemine Parish nearly 40 yrs ago. jla

Anonymous said...

P.S. I know everybody would miss you like crazy!
I'm not really anonymous, just can't remember my acct. hee hee Judith Alef

Michelle H. said...

I was going to ask the same thing like Anonymous/Judith. Is that a bobcat skull? can't imagine it being an ordinary cat.

Rick said...

I absolutely think this post was entrancing. What a wonderful family you have!

Diane said...

Great story. Now I get it. Glad he humors you and hangs up skulls for you! :O)

Eryl Shields said...

That really is an excellent skull and the story behind it is even better. I don't think GMR would be able to remarry should anything befall you, everyone else will seem much too boring.

I currently have a pig's head buried in my garden, my son brought it home for me in a box one evening, hopefully the worms are feasting at the moment and I'll have its skull by the end of the summer.

Clarissa Jo Fleming said...

If your time to fly came and your husband suddenly found himself without you, my heart tells me he would bring the skull inside instead of another woman!

Marguerite said...

Interesting post, but that skull is kinda scary. On the other hand, most women do tend to out-live most men, by 5 to 10 years! lol

Jill of All Trades said...

I so love it and I totally believe in every kind of fate. Love it.

Meghann LittleStudio said...

So, I haven't read about Mr.Shitter, but I laughed out loud anyway. You sound like a kindred spirit of mine - we love anything natural and just plain cooool :)
The skull is one of those cooool things, and the coincidence is too good to miss :)

TC said...

My husband would say what have you drug home now. If it was a skull it couldn't come in the house but he would gradually accept anything else...I think.
My daughter is REALLY bad about this, I've tempered my brining things home a bit....

Debbie said...

And I just think about how sad, lonely and impossibly ordinary poor GMR's life would have been had he not had the wonderful fortune to meet and marry you!

Deb Shucka said...

I love this story! No accidents - you were meant to have the skull.

I can totally relate to your gathering of things. I came home the other day with a couple of owl pellets. There are piles of rocks everywhere here, plus shells and feathers and cool pieces of wood. No skulls, though. I feel like something's missing now. :-)

Karen said...

Now, I know the story. What a "nature" girl you are. :) My son got a cow skull, but he painted it all up in Indian/Western motif. So I know a bit about hangin' skulls. Say, that sounds like a good title, huh?

ficwriter said...

Oh, lawd, that is a big cat skull. But talk about simpatico. As I read your post, I had to backtrack. Was her cat's name Mr. Skitter? Nope, I read it wrong. It's Mr. Shitter. And just as my giggles burst forth, my hubby yelled, "Shit!" Because he was going to take a bath and discovered our feline pooped in the bathtub. Suddenly, your cat's name made perfect sense. Kismit sure has a sense of humor.

Btw, Kat Magendie. You are irreplaceable.

Glynis said...

I adore you and your humour. You make me sound normal, and that ain't easy! LOL LOL LOL

You have made your mark on the world, that is for sure Mrs In The Hills Lady :)

Janna Qualman said...

It IS kismet (or whatever word one might attribute to it)! Love this.