Literary wizards are fortunate in that they could use sticking spells for their posters, but we had our own chewing gum solution back in the macaroni salad days. You sort of know you're poor in hindsight when you remember concrete wall bedrooms. Honestly, they were cinder blocks, I swear, coated in latex paint. We had that strange, hard tile for floors, I'm not sure if they make anymore, but you can sometimes see it in the kitchens of very old restaurants. These kinds of homes were easily cleaned by removing all the contents and washing out with a regular garden hose. Whenever a politician says that people want to be deadbeats, they've at least got the dead part right.

WE LIVENED IT UP. I do not necessarily like myself as an adult, but I can kind of dig the kid I was, in that desperately poor period between fathers (hic). I was reading a scene from a book where they described putting up posters in bedrooms, and I remember how we did this up. My aunt's room was plastered in Shaun Cassidy and Leif Garrett, but all we had was books vaguely similar to Dr. Seuss. We had this funny little aluminum TV tray with reverse beveled edges so that you could contain your cereal spills.

Not sure how it happened, but a tray full of spilt milk and a torn page from What Whiskers Did later, we were in business. The wall was pasted and unsalvageable and full of such great 70s wisdom as "seeing eye dogs are ok" and "Daniel Boone lived off the land."

Once, we found a shovel in my grandmother's lean-to garage/carport, and to paraphrase an old saying, if your only tool is a shovel, every problem looks like the entire face of the earth. We dug, being careful not to wander too far off, and somehow found out about sewage. It was stringy, tar molasses consistency, and foul, but oh so fascinating. We loved to smell rotten, fetid things back then (we probably still do to an extent), and couldn't help bending over and contorting our faces and giggling and giggling and giggling (so strange, how it seems I see polysyndeton so often).

I am off to Yakima, then. White Pass and the glory of the tamarack. I found a single chanterelle yesterday on my run. Saw a bleeding tooth fungus and restrained myself. I'm in DC the week after and maybe Wisconsin shortly thereafter. I wish I were religious so I could just ask forgiveness and move on, but noooo, I've got to be some stupid atheist and just live with the regret. I tore all the carpet off the stairs and laid down wood.

Next year will be different and better and worse, but in all the right ways. I dreamed I was in love, and woke up in a sweat, the recollection of how all consuming that kind of thing can be.


eclectic said…
The reason being in love is so all-consuming is on account of the 100% of dates which rely on going out to eat. As for forgiveness, I hear the atheist god/s offer/s it if you eat organic, drive a Prius, save the whales, and give to Unicef.
Anonymous said…
The older I get, the less I believe love should be all-consuming. It's just this fun thing we do. Like, I don't know, knitting...knitting forever unraveling, ill-fitting socks. Some comfort is better than none, even if it's feeting. I MEAN FLEETING.

If you find yourself stopped-over in the Lou, do holler at me.

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