A Touch More Honeysuckle Road, With Thanks To You All

This qualifies as one of the book’s less outrageous little pieces.  I’m eager to hear how it makes you feel. 

For The Love of Honeysuckle Road is a Vietnam War-era work of young people coming of age in a time of free love and costly inhumanity.  It is, at its heart, a love story, reminding us our lives are made of relationships that often stun us with their force and beauty.  The narrator is Graham Black, a coastal North Carolina trailer park kid whose path crosses with the monied, the depraved, and a beautiful mystery in the midst of crunching heartbreak.  But broken hearts can cut us a trail to the best of our times.   That truth is one of the reasons I’m having a blast writing this thing.

 Enjoy this excerpt, letting me hear from you all!  Too many writers hide from their readers.  Not this one!

The cloudless day felt like it came on wetter and thicker than any summer afternoon our soft coast had ever known.  I had earned enough mowing yards and cleaning bathrooms of the Methodist Church to buy a 1957 Willys Jeep station wagon.  She looked as if she’d spent at least a year on the ocean floor, so I gave her what felt like a fitting name — Petunia of Queen Ann’s Lace — owing to the rust lacing across her sides and bottom.  Noon had just past as I steered her big silver eyes through the heat of beach traffic, off onto what Doc Turner called the aorta to his soul.

To him Honeysuckle Road lay as much more than a forested shortcut.  He deemed it a sacred little pathway to finest of views and ways of living.  An oasis destination of its own.  Nearly his private drive.   About fifty yards after I turned onto it from the main beach road everyone knew, the furnace of the high summer day began to blow air harbored well out of the sun.  Under the tree cover a liquid but cooler wind gusted through Petunia’s every open window and a rust hole in her rear floor.   I wound through her gears and plunged us both deep into the feel of ancient forest that had long formed a near tunnel toward the Turner place.  It had become my two-lane hideout from the world.

I knew the Doc longed far more for conversation than for any Kotex or lawn care.  Lately he and I had talked, long and well, about Tess.  He said he adored hearing of her, seeing the effect of her on me, and he celebrated how the stories of our courtship could “raise the sails of remembering some good little time with Janie.”  But this time, the tale I had for him held seeds of a scandal.  I knew it, and knew what could happen if the word of it spread.  I trusted Doc the way teenage boys trust in their own legs.  But this would become a hard one to say out loud, even to him.  The guilt was fresh,  had not been dealt with, and I was no match for it.  It came on so strong and torrid I confess to the bizarre fear that the little road’s lining of hardwood and long-leaf pine might sweep down onto Petunia and me.  Thrown onto us in great sheets of fire by the ruling hand of whoever is in charge of raining hell’s reprimands out of the heavens.  I was sure what I had to tell Doc that day would send even him into imagining the devil held a t-shirt with my name on it, atop the words, “Fry Me To The Moon” 

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2 Responses to “A Touch More Honeysuckle Road, With Thanks To You All”

  1. Dianne Peeler Says:

    I just have to love it !!!!!!!’Fry Me to the Moon is hilarious!!!!

  2. Gina Robinson Says:

    I love the story line.

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