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According to Proverbial Phrases, “If God could prevent each person from getting sick, then surely Lucifer would not have become satanic”.
The aforementioned poem is called a Proverbial Phrase. Proverbial Phrases are written with three main rules as their guide. The three-rule Proverbial Phrase handbook reads, “Writers of Proverbial Phrases shall use no word more than once; should seldom, if ever, place gender at the forefront; and, each rhyme, summarized, must quickly take ...
According to Proverbial Phrases, “If God could prevent each person from getting sick, then surely Lucifer would not have become satanic”.
The aforementioned poem is called a Proverbial Phrase. Proverbial Phrases are written with three main rules as their guide. The three-rule Proverbial Phrase handbook reads, “Writers of Proverbial Phrases shall use no word more than once; should seldom, if ever, place gender at the forefront; and, each rhyme, summarized, must quickly take readers to an informative point”. Although the bulk of Proverbial Phrases do not begin until halfway through this story, many phrases come thereafter.
Kendall, because of child abuse, became a very frightened child. During his parents’ divorce, Sam, his nemesis, and his mother’s new boyfriend, had beaten him until his buttocks was raw on at least two different occasions. Kendall was very afraid of the violent man and of certain other scary situations, as well. One of Kendall’s favorite Proverbial Phrases reads, “Proverbial Phrases mean more to me than the scariest stories are scary”.
Neither Kendall, nor those closest to him, knew the subtle signs of mental illness. Like many people of color, Kendall’s mental issues began when he was very young. Kendall, however, received no help for his mental condition and he, therefore, became even more subtly ill as he advanced in years. One Proverbial Phrase reads, “Even those that know they are ill still sometimes strongly resist being healed”.
After the commencement of their nuptials, Lorene and Roy immediately began producing children. Matter-of-factly, their first child was already on the way. Between 1955 and 1962 Lorene gave birth to five healthy children. Her body paid sorely for the stressed placed upon it, though. On one particular occasion, while she was washing laundry, she began to cough up blood. This landed her in the hospital with a diagnosis of tuberculosis. While Lorene was in the hospital, two Adventist missionaries paid her a visit. They introduced her to their church's health message and ultimately won a new convert. Although Roy was not a church-going man, he did not prevent his wife and children from attending church services. Besides, he felt that his wife's new church kept her mind busy enough to tame her educational desires and place them further on hold for a while.
By 1964 the couple had moved to Lake Wales, Florida. The stresses of Alabama (and marriage in general) had taken their toll on each of them. In Lake Wales, Lorene gave birth to two more children, Kolby and Kendall. Kendall was special. During her pregnancy with Kendall, Lorene commented, "I've never felt so healthy and strong during any of my pregnancies as I do with this one. I know God is at work with this child inside me." Giving birth to Kendall went as smoothly as the pregnancy.
Now, with seven children to feed, Roy found himself deeper and deeper indebted to the cause of fatherhood. He and his wife had committed themselves to providing their children with the best of everything. But, Roy was failing at his test. Although times were usually rough, financially, Roy was determined to produce at least three more children before calling it quits. With ten children working beside him Roy felt he could harvest his crops of cotton and vegetables without hiring a soul. Lorene kept performing her wifely duties and fulfilling her promises to Roy. But, after seven children, she felt that Roy was slowly forgetting her educational goals. Instead, she felt that he wanted her to focus all her energies on raising their growing clan. In Florida, however, the crop was citrus, and not cotton.
Marital tensions became thick between Lorene and Roy, and in more ways than a few. Money was short. Bills needed to be paid. Children needed their necessities. Lorene's religious views were being questioned on a regular basis. Roy's work ethic was also being questioned. And work for Roy was very lean. The new job he had accepted at Splashy Juice orange company in Orlando needed to hurry up and pay its fee. And it did. Roy now had a well-paying job in Florida, and his wife was near the nursing school that she had longed to attend. In 1968, however, when Lorene was pregnant with her eight child, she and Roy had one of their worst arguments. This argument changed their relationship dramatically.
Earlier, Roy lay silently listening to his favorite Joe Simon album. His eyes were closed shut. A wide smile gleamed across his freshly-shaven face as he lay back in his old recliner. He had a mustache, but no beard. His recliner was named "Sleepy Head". As he sat listening to the music, the pleasure of his memory fed his hungry ego, and he lost himself in the reminiscence of his secret deeds. Soon, Lorene entered the room. She had several letters in her hand. Roy was lost to his surroundings. And, before he knew it, he was suddenly awakened. Still groggy, Roy awoke to find himself deep into his wife's argument. She fussed over the promises he had made to her. Feeling cheated, Lorene said, "First of all, I'm kickin' out babies every year for you, Roy, and I don't have one drop of education to show for it. You promised me, Roy! You promised me! But, until now, none of those promises have been fulfilled."
Her anger, combined with the frustrations of being pregnant, made Lorene act violently. "And, besides," Lorene added. "I've been told by several sources that you are still seeing that Flora Mae. I know one thing—if I ever see that hussy trying to snuggle up with you I'm gonna scratch her eyes out."
Roy tried to calm his wife, but she was inconsolable. "Your father told me to treat you like God, Lorene," said Roy, reaching out for his wife's hand. "So, that's what I'm trying to do, Baby."
Lorene rejected Roy's stretched-out hand. Nothing Roy said worked to his advantage. His apologies only made Lorene angrier. And, his trying to hug her only made her act out more violently. So, he placed his favorite vinyl record album on and began playing one of their favorite songs, "Message from Maria", and, after that, "Chokin' Kind". Both songs were sung by Joe Simon. Each song had a particular meaning suited to Roy's escapades. But, that particular attempt at calming his wife made Lorene lash out even more violently.
"How dare you!?" barked Lorene, as she pranced back and forth, grumbling. The once comfortable and soothing atmosphere of their bedroom now felt like a steaming sauna.
"I already know you play those same songs for Flora Mae. And I also know that "Chokin' Kind" is another one of her Joe Simon favorites. You told her that the reason you see her on the side is because I choke you with my love. I'm not stupid, Roy. My mama told me that women are usually way ahead of their men, especially on things like this. And, with you, I can see just how true that is."
This fact revoked Roy's excuses. Now he knew that no excuse would work. He was caught, and he knew that presently it was best for him to give in to the truth.
"Baby, it's not you. It's me," Said Roy. "I'm the weak one. I'm the one who cheated. You deserve to be angry, Baby. Please forgive me. It's just almost impossible for a man to be contented with only one woman. And, it doesn't mean I don't love you. It just means that I also have strong feelings for her, too. If I could help it, I would. But, I can't, Baby. Men are strange like that."
Lorene, near the end of her eighth pregnancy, made her way to the kitchen. She grabbed the broom from beside the refrigerator and returned to her bedroom. Roy stood in front of the lighted bathroom smoking a Winston and scratching his head. Despite his desperate condition, Lorene swung the broom handle as hard as she could at her husband. Shocked by the attack, Roy tried to soften the blows with his forearm. Reaching out to protect himself, his arm absorbed the full blunt-force of the broom. In the process, his arm was cracked near his wrist. Roy was now in deep pain.
When Lorene realized how far her anger had led her, she quickly became apologetic.
"Roy, I'm sorry, Baby," reaching out to her husband's injured arm. She added, "I didn't mean to hurt you, Honey."
Roy balked from the pain. Although his pain was excruciating, he said, "Don't worry 'bout it, Baby. It was my fault, too. I'm the one who should be sorry. I only wish I was stronger, but I can't help myself. If I could I would. But it seems that I was destined to love more than one woman."
Lorene, taken in by her husband's admission, accepted his apology. Her mother's words now made sense. The two kissed each other and then made up. They also laid a plan. They decided to leave Lake Wales and move to Saint Petersburg, Florida. But, before they could leave, Roy had something up his sleeve. Instead of seeing a doctor on the night of his injury, Roy waited until he went to work the next day. That day he claimed his broken arm was caused at work while he was working one of the factory levers. He claimed that the lever snapped and that his arm was injured in the process. Soon after, he received a considerable monetary settlement from his job. Not only did he have enough money to move his family from one city to the next, but he also had enough money to buy each of his children nice, new Christmas gifts that year. Roy bought a double-seated bicycle and two regular bicycles. He bought a brand new, floor-model, color television set. He bought his wife new clothes for church. He took his family out to dinner. At least, for a while, the family was set. Everyone was ready to move into the next phase of their life in Saint Petersburg. And, above all, Kendall, their seventh child, was about to reveal the uncanny ability and insatiable desire he had for memorizing and writing, especially when it came to poetry.
By the time 1970 rolled around, Lorene and Roy had nine children. Although Roy made a decent wage at his new job in St. Petersburg, times were still rough. Raising nine children seemed overwhelming for both Lorene and him. Lorene could only prepare meals from the grocery her husband brought home. Lately, however, he brought little money home, and usually he had little money to send her shopping with. Yet, Lorene believed in prayer. And the large amounts of grocery which were placed on her front porch on several different occasions rewarded her faith. Lorene called the mysterious groceries a miracle. Roy, however, believed that it simply came from members of Lorene's new church—people who wanted to remain anonymous. After all, the church had been extraordinarily kind to Lorene's family since she had moved there and became a member. The three-story house, which sat on four acres of land, was owned by the church. Until now there had been no church family large enough to rent the house. Lorene counted the house a blessing from God. Roy, on-the-other-hand, viewed the house as the church's way of assuring his family's membership. Either way, the house was perfectly set to house their family.
Soon, Lorene and Roy came to the conclusion that they both wanted something that neither of them could give the other. Lorene cried for more money to buy food and pay the bills. Roy complained that she usually overspent. Their arguments became more frequent and severe. By the summer of 1970 the two of them decided to separate. Lorene's youngest child, Anthony, was only several months old. And he gave them the scare of their lives one day when he climbed from his crib onto the second-story roof. When neighbors saw the infant boy on the roof of the house, they immediately called the authorities. By the time firemen came to rescue the child, neighbors from all around the neighborhood were outside observing the scary scene from where they stood. Some were in their front yards looking up. Others were in their back yards hoping for the best. This incident, along with seemingly any incident, led to more arguing between Lorene and Roy. Being the usually calm man that he was, Roy found himself noticeably tenser than he had ever been before. Yet, Lorene was in no mood to comfort him. Instead, according to Roy, Lorene used most of her energy to argue at him. And, before long, Roy was staying out later and later at night. Lorene used every one of those opportunities to remind him of his infidelity and weaknesses.
"I'm not the only one who's been unfaithful, Lorene," said Roy late one night. There was no doubt he had been drinking. Upon hearing that statement, Lorene gasped, as though she was at a loss for words. "You're unfaithful, too." He added, in the same calm, whispering tone he was known for. Whenever Roy spoke, his children knew well the importance of listening closely to his soft-spoken words.
Lorene recanted, "How dare you call me unfaithful, Roy?! I've been faithful to you for nearly twenty years, while you've run around on me time and time again, sniffing after that darn Flora Mae, and God knows who else!"
Roy felt for his mustache and then squeezed it. After that he squeezed his brow and then wiped his stressful face with the palm of his hand. "It's called financial infidelity, Lorene. When I say you've been unfaithful to me I'm talking about financially. Sweetheart, if you would just spend the money I bring home in the right way then we wouldn't be in such a bind so often. But, you spend entirely too much."
As though it pained her, Lorene quickly reached for her stomach. "I can't believe you even let those words come out of your mouth, Roy. Every dime that I spend is on this household!"
Again, Roy squeezed his mustache. Lorene stood with one hand cradling her stomach and the back of her other hand wiping her forehead. She appeared about to faint. "That's the problem, Lorene," Roy chimed in, though reluctantly. "If you wouldn't spend every dime of what I give you our finances would be in a much better condition."
Although arguments like this usually led to Lorene raising her voice high, Roy usually remained calm. During the famous, non-violent march from Selma to Montgomery (which he participated in), Roy vowed that he would never argue with his wife again. During that march Roy realized the importance of not being provoked into a fight. And his nonchalant attitude during, what Lorene called, "serious arguments", only drove her more insane.
On numerous occasions Lorene made the comment that, "Quiet people often do the loudest things; they even fly using others' wings." Nothing stopped Lorene from learning about her husband and then telling him what she knew. Although she had learned much about him, and men in general, he had learned certain things about non-violence, and he had long wanted to put them into practice before his wife.
Now, at a loss for words, Lorene decided to use her trump card on Roy. She confronted him with strong evidence that he and Flora Mae were more serious than he let on.
"Let me ask you, something, Roy," said Lorene, as she casually paced back and forth in front of her bedroom dresser. "Did you bring that Flora Mae from Lake Wales here to St. Pete?"
Roy eyed his wife with questions written in his stare. His pupils moved quickly from side-to-side, like an eye patient with aniridia or chronic nystagmus. He wondered about her question and where she was going with it. Lorene ignored his silence and continued.
"Well, while I was cooking today, your oldest daughter, Kerry, came home from school and told me that another girl with her same last name came to her school today. Kerry said it was the same girl she knew from Lake Wales. Both you and I know that's Flora Mae's daughter. We both know that she's your daughter. Now, am I right or wrong?"
Roy was speechless. His facial expression told everything. Indeed he and Flora Mae had still been involved in a long-distance affair. Indeed he had brought Flora Mae to St. Petersburg. And, indeed, the young girl that Kerry had met at school was Roy's daughter—Kerry and her siblings' own half sister. Roy stood wondering what he could say to avert his wife's truth. For now, however, he accepted that words usually work less than action. So, he gave in.
"Well, I guess nothing I say is going to help ease your pain, Lorene. They say that, 'When all is said and done, more is usually said than done.' So, I'll just be quiet and get my things and leave. Maybe my being away for a few days will help."
Instead of showing sympathy for her embarrassed, pitiful-looking husband, Lorene twisted the knife that was already stabbed into his heart. And his usual request for mercy went unheard. Anger had led Lorene to her boiling point. So, regarding Roy's suggestion that he leave, Lorene said sternly, "No! I think it's best if I leave. You can take care of the children while I am gone, so you can see what I go through. As a matter of fact, I've already packed my things. After dinner tonight, I will be leaving."
Excerpted from Proverbial Phrases by Glen El Writer Copyright © 2012 by Glen El Writer. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Posted August 31, 2012
Proverbial Phrases is an awesome story. It is refreshing that the stories contained in this book have the potential to inspire the world. Every race has mental problems that affect them. The phrase "Mental is as important as dental" blew me away. I wish the world would catch the fire of this story and not let it slip through the cracks.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.