Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Means of My Own Creation

The hard part is keeping my eyes on the road. Training my eyes on the yellow staccato that breaks up the road while focusing out of the corner, always aware of what might be on the other side of the window. It's like Russian roulette every time. I've ended up in the ditch running the length of the highway three times. Twice because of deer I was staring at but somehow didn't notice, and once startled by a rare passing car.

It's not that I'm a bad driver, I swear, it's this particular stretch of highway. Sort of. This jagged black tear through the silent hills outside of town. I've driven it a million times as a part of the ever present duty of a child to her parent. The first time it happened, I thought I must have been exhausted, hallucinating. One of the pipes under mom's place had burst sometime in the middle of the night, and she had called me panicking. I'm not a prissy thing, but I'm not exactly a plumber either. Still, I drove out there to see what I could do.

Silent, peaceful hills rolled by like midnight green sea as I drifted down the narrow road half-asleep, until an unlikely glimmer caught my eye. I'm not sure how, but it's instantly recognizable. The shifting gleam of moonlight on a roiling mane, the sheen of his coat down the arch of his neck, the glinting light reflecting in his eye. I stopped breathing in that moment. I was completely bewitched for those few, brief seconds as I took my foot of the gas and turned to look. As soon as I shifted my eyes he was gone.

Sure, I laughed at myself. I even spent the night out at the old farm, telling mom I wanted to be there when the real plumber got there in the morning to fix what I'd manged with duct tape, but really I was afraid of what I might, or might not see on my drive back.

After that first night my relationship with my mother changed, or at least the frequency of my visits did. I found reasons to go out there in the evenings, to take the chance to see him again. Sometimes I think I see something, but every time I turn he's gone.

Tonight, I'm careful. It's a cautious meander through the hills. I breathe deep and slow and try not to think about the hallucination I'm desperately seeking. It's warm out, so I've rolled down the window and my hair whips around my face. I'm only a couple of miles from the farm and my heart is breaking. I haven't even almost seen him. Nothing. And then I hear it, a steady rolling beat. I turn down the radio, worried I've gotten a flat, but the truck is gliding over the road. In the new quiet I can hear it better; the pinch of metal on asphalt, the rhythm, the deep harrumphing breaths. I chuckle quietly to myself. Of course my hallucination is shod, clinking metal shoes on the road. My eyes are watering as I force myself to look straight ahead. I force a deep breath as I take my foot off the gas and let the truck coast to a stop.

The rhythm breaks into the clip-clop of a trot, but I won't turn to the glinting reflections to my left even as the tears stream down my face. As the truck finally stills, I carefully shift into park, never breaking my staring contest with the road ahead.

My hand trembles as I slowly reach out the window, and my own breath catches when his warm, moist breath cascades over my palm. Suddenly my hallucination is very, very real. He nickers softly and rubs his silken, whiskery muzzle in my palm. I lose my staring contest with the road, closing my eyes in the exultation of this new reality. He nickers again and tosses his head, stepping back from my hand. I open my eyes and look at him for the first time.

He stands facing the truck door, ears forward, expression expectant. He's not black, which makes me pleased with my imagination, but he would be perfectly ordinary if he wasn't a figment of my own creation. He's perhaps bay, by what I can make out in the dim light, not more than sixteen hands, with a mane and tail not overly long, but not rigorously clipped either.

He nickers, tosses his head again, and pricks his ears forward once more, beckoning me. I didn't really think this would ever happen, but I move like my actions were long ago decided. I unclip my safety belt, turn off the truck, and slip out of the cab to meet him. He almost purrs as he rubs his face into my hands. I don't know how, but I know my truck will be found in the morning and I won't be here to explain it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Please stop throwing grenades at my sun umbrella

Gentle moving water


dead fish float up like bubbles in the aftermath.

Life seems to tumble along and then suddenly explode every once in a while. I'm not into that whole "things happen in threes" nonsense, but a whole lot does seem to happen at the same time. I would really like life to present me with only one disaster at a time, but for some reason that seems like too much to ask for.

It's not really like grenade fishing, it's more like powerful rapids and swirling eddies, but my skills for navigating such treacherous waters are so poor that lobbing grenades in my general direction probably wouldn't hurt my chances.

Next weekend my brother is moving to Wisconsin, which for some reason he never bothered to tell me. He did have me edit and correct his resume, but why let me know that he got the job and is moving across the country? Sure, my feelings are a little hurt, but it's really great that he got the job. He'll be with his super-awesome girlfriend who just finished law school, and he'll be able to provide her with some support while she tries to get her feet under her. It's all well and good...except that our mom is having half of her colon removed the following Wednesday.

My father is not a great, or even good nurse. His worry makes him restless and short-tempered. I need to go up to Dallas that weekend to help get mom settled in to recover. It would be easier if Colin still lived near them, but we'll all make do. I'm worried that I may have to take extra time off depending on how the surgery goes (I am telling myself that everything will go swimmingly), but I don't really have extra time to take.

And it's Edmund's birthday that weekend. If there is any man who deserves a great birthday, it's him. A great birthday would not involve a trip to the great vacuous metropolis. It would involve Schlitterbahn, a nice dinner, presents and fun. I am not exactly sure how we will fit all of these things into the same weekend.

Oh yeah, and my truck still hates me. She may or may not want to make the trip.

So that's the bitch part of this ramble. Bitching about it won't change anything, so we will try our best, and do what we can. Either Edmund will come with me to Dallas or the universe will align in my favor and I will finally beat him at Rock Paper Scissors, winning the right to take his car to Dallas.

If I have to take extra time off, so be it. I'm looking at going up every weekend or every other weekend for the first couple of weeks, but if things don't go as well as possible in surgery I will stay with my parents. Perhaps I can tug on my boss's heartstrings. Doesn't she hope that when her daughters are grown they will come home to take care of her if she needs major surgery? I feel like it's a legitimate line of reasoning.

We can go out to dinner in Dallas for Edmund's birthday, and hopefully we can go to Schlitterbahn the next weekend. It's not perfect, but what is?

With all of this awesomeness going around, I keep coming back to a video Edmund shot while we were moving him into the apartment. We were tired and sweaty and almost finished when Pudgy decided to help. It still makes me laugh, so I'm going to probably be watching it a lot over the next few weeks.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Fight me

I'm not a bitch because your girlfriend is right. I am not evil because we want you to be better. I am not the asshole in this situation.

Lets all take a step back and breathe. I will swallow your lies for this particular moment. If only because I know a better you is possible right now.

I will not give up.

It's time to grow up and be that person.

We are all waiting.