After the Jump

Not to brag or anything, but I've never choked in front of a live, national audience. Nor have I involuntarily killed a man through careless guardianship. For that matter, I have survived every single apocalypse in the last 40 years, without really even trying. I have somehow avoided the enmity of my peers by refusing to allow myself to become a teen pop idol. And not to brag, but I haven't experienced a single lapse of judgment in 2011, and with only a month and a half to go, I'm already curious as to what treasure awaits a man who upholds his resolutions.

The books I'm reading lately all contain battle scenes, preceded by literary analyses of the adversaries' armor, followed by intimate details of medieval medicine. What I appreciate most is how the bad guys wind up being just different shades of the good, and since metaphorical
descriptions are used for the bloodshed, you can completely relate because even if you haven't fought a war, you have probably loved violently or lost your country to strangers or bit down hard on a leather journal as you cleaned out a festering wound, sweating your cholera into the straw bedding. And if you haven't, well you can still relate, because you are bastard who just hasn't been claimed by one side or the other, and I know some people lonely like that, and it's just a goddamn shame.

My body was too sore today for anything besides walking quietly in the rain. There were gunshots off in the woods; one, then another, and another. When I was young, I was told that if you were tracking a shot deer and were not sure where to head, find the closest stream. They would sometimes lay their wounds in the running water, but this wound up being untrue. In the absence of wisdom passed down through the generations, I almost wonder what we might do in our hurt. I'd like to think I'd search for signs of petrichor and lie very still.

Not to brag, but I am not lost to ennui, nor am I prone to mild, chronic depression. I hope it doesn't sound like boasting when I say I am slightly optimistic about the future and have no delusions of some great success. Without the slightest hint of immodesty, I believe that things 30 years from now will be proportionately different from how 30 years ago was different from today. And I will still feel regret about the way I've acted, and still look fondly on the remembrances of anticipation and longing. Not to brag, but I think I do this as good as anyone.


Claire said…
Bonus points for using the word "petrichor."
Brandon said…
i'll be both happy and sad the day that word becomes overused.
Dave2 said…
I had to look up "petrichor" in the dictionary.

From the context I had thought it meant "ladies who have sex for money."

Needless to say, I was wrong. Very wrong.

Way to make me feel intellectuallly-inferior on a Sunday night.
eclectic said…
"And not to brag, but I haven't experienced a single lapse of judgment in 2011..."

Lies! You showed an extreme lapse of judgment this summer when you chose to backpack into the Enchantments as the inaugural effort on your newly-healed leg.

(And while it certainly does evidence poor judgment on your part, it nonetheless remains one of the highlights of the year on my calendar.)
Brandon said…
dave, i like your definition better, for what it's worth.

shari, man, that last descent to the parking lot was a breeze, did I ever mention that?
Kerri Anne said…
(Switchbacks of death!)

(That was me commenting on your comments about that easy breezy last stretch to the parking lot. That was where I pretty much ate proverbial shit, managing somehow to keep my ass off the ground, but just barely, my right leg having decided it just wasn't going to be holding me up anymore.)

Also: I'm looking forward to someday sweating my cholera into the straw bedding. Builds character, cholera-sweating. Or so I've heard.
Brandon said…
kerri anne, those switchbacks took three toenails from me. but they also made a cold glass of beer taste like victory.
Cold glasses of beer always taste like victory unless they've been violated by a shot glass full of Jagermeister, in which case they turn into representations of liquid evil and you become the Master of Poor Choices.
matt said…
I think Bumptious appreciated the cold beer most.

I'll forever have regrets about the past, too. I hope I'll forever treasure the days spent walking quietly in the rain, too.

This is lovely, Brandon.

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