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Story: Sherry Aims, Hobo Nurse (Peter T)

Peter T. 25 Jun 99 - 04:37 PM
Peter T. 25 Jun 99 - 04:49 PM
Peter T. 26 Jun 99 - 12:43 PM
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Subject: RE: Sherry Aims, Hobo Nurse
From: Peter T.
Date: 25 Jun 99 - 04:37 PM

SHERRY AIMS, HOBO NURSE

It was all getting too confused and complicated and crazy out there. Sherry Aims, Folk Nurse, closed the door on the Office where the real loons were, and started another thread.

The crumpled dustbusted figure on the table came to subdued life again.
"Are you alright, Sir?" Sherry asked.
"Name's Frisco. Frisco Cisco."
"Is that as in Cisco Systems, sir?" Sherry began to wander back to her concerns over whether her overhang in technology stocks might be excessive.
"Don't know nothing about systems, child, all systems are systems of oppression, compression, depression, su-ppression, and just plain old pression, if you follow me."
"Well, no sir, but it doesn't really matter. Where are you from?"
"I'm from wherever the weak are getting a raw deal, wherever the mothers are up to their raw arms in dirty laundry and watery grief, wherever the armies of the poor are retreating from the complacent Armies of the Bourgeiousie, wherever --"
He was getting agitated again.
"Please calm yourself, sir."
"You know, little lady, you got a sweet voice -- what is your name, anyway?"
"Sherry Aims, Folk Nurse."
"Well, Sherry Aims, Folk Nurse, the grapes of wrath are wiser than the raisins of instruction! Sherry Aims, Folk Nurse , you should get the hell out of here. You been riding on those big tits and that tooth-whitening gum for too long. You need to get some life in you. You need to see the horizon curving away ahead of you, woman. One day you're going to wake up as Sherry Aims, Senior Nurse, and you'll have nothin' but a lifetime of bedpans behind you. You know that Dr. Guthrie guy, the one who makes your patootie tatootie? Well, he's a load of granite faced medical hooey, that's what he is."
She hadn't thought about that. Dr. Guthrie had been somewhat unprofessional already this morning.
"Sherry Aimes, Folk Nurse, what if I was to tell you that out there, just beyond your eyesight and way beyond all hope, there was a tapestry of steel just waiting to take you along for a ride, clickety-clack, clickety clack, and if you put your ear to the ground as the big freights pass, you can sometimes hear the whispers of tomorrow, mingling with the heartbreak of yesterday's men hammering and cursing the line bosses, setting up their powerful song of resistance, the old song, the endless song against the Big Boys, the owners, the Big Rock Candy Barons, eternally selling you dust as if it were dreams!"
"Oh, you mean the Internet."
"Internet, crapola. Where is the Internetionale! Where is the new song of solidarity, striking terror into the flatulent, corpulent, indolent, insolent Craptains of industry!! The air hums with the call for Life against Death --- Goddam!! Where's my Sancho Panza, my Boanerges, my beer, my women, and my song?"
"Are you referring to your guitar, Sir?"
"Hand it over! Sherry Aims, Folk Nurse, are you willing to break all the threads that tie you down? Are you willing to strike out for freedom?"
Sherry pouted briefly, wistfully sighed for a moment about all those parts of Dr. Guthrie she would never see,and then handed him his guitar. Oh well, it might look good on her C.V.
The door opened and closed on them, leaving a trail of '30s dust behind them.
They were free.


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Subject: RE: Sherry Aims, Hobo Nurse
From: Peter T.
Date: 25 Jun 99 - 04:49 PM

[THANKS, JOE!]


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Subject: RE: Sherry Aims, Hobo Nurse
From: Peter T.
Date: 26 Jun 99 - 12:43 PM

[I have received 2 e-mails asking whether this was my ending for the story (I am happy for the other thread to roll on, I just sort of liked these two characters on their own. Funny. I thought about it some more, and reluctantly, here is my real ending....]

(Much, Much, Much later)
When she woke up, he was sitting in a chair, dressed in his beatup clothes, looking out the window, whistling low to himself.
Sherry lay there, the tide of sleep falling away from her. She suddenly thought to herself, that man is conjuring up the lonesome whistle of a train. He is as gone as if he were never here.
He turned and caught her eye. "Awake, beautiful?"
She could not decide in that moment whether she hated herself for being beautiful, or for not being beautiful enough to hang on to him. Why had she fallen in love with this drifting man, like an oarless boat on a river to nowhere?
He knew what she was thinking. "Oh, come on, Sherry. You know me by now. That's just how I am. I have traced tomorrow's journey along the lines of many a sleeping woman's back."
She lifted herself onto one arm. " You know, Frisco, I think you think that there is a bigger and better truth somewhere down the line, and it never occurs to you that if you stay in one place, you might be able to dig down and find it where you stand."
He took her thought, as he always did now, after all they had been through together these many months, the struggles and the music and the long hungry days, and he weighed it seriously.
"You could be right, Sherry, you could be right. I have always thought of it a different way. The Navaho always talk about the people of air, the people of wind, the people of earth, and the people of fire. They all have different ways of working towards the truth. I am an air person, I think, or a wind person: I sniff the breeze, and the breeze moveth where it listeth, I guess."
"Please don't go, please, please."
He sat down on the bed. "Goin' isn't anything, really. Part of me will always be along with you, Sher, you know how it goes, don't think twice, it's all right."
She sat up in the bed, straight and suddenly mad. "Don't give me that folksinger crap. It is all crap. Go if you are going, but for once in your life, shut up about it. "
Frisco took a long look at her, as if he was taking her picture and developing it, and pasting it into his album. She stared back at him, defiant.
"If it is any consolation, Sherry, I do love you a whole lot."
"Don't you say that to me just when you are going out the door. You want me to be hooked on you even though you have moved along, like all the other damn women in your life. I won't give you that satisfaction. Saying you love me doesn't mean the same thing going, as it does staying."
He shrugged his shoulders, and got up off the bed. He took his guitar, and his pack, and went out to wherever it was he was going.
Sherry Ames, Hobo Nurse, sat there for a few moments, hugging herself against the pain. She listened stupidly for any sound that he might have turned around in the hall and was coming back. The sound of the elevator down the hall came and went five, ten times. Then she got up wearily, put on her bathrobe, and went to the bathroom.
When she came back in the room, she moved back automatically towards the bed; then suddenly stopped.
"Hospital corners can go fuck themselves." And she started slowly in on her life again.


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