December 19, 2014

airport dispatch

current contents of my purse, which apparently I borrowed from mary poppins

three magazines (outside magazine and game informer, which I like to think are duking it out in there)
three pens
noise-canceling headphones
water bottle
phone charger, ipad charger
a secret santa gift for a oiselle teammate
a bag of chocolate chips
eyeglasses case
battery operated christmas lights

I'm in the Vegas airport on what was already the world's longest layover, now made longer by a plane delay. many singing bells and jingles from the slot machines. I chanced taking a sleeping pill before I knew about the delay, so it's possible that I'll wake up here sometime tomorrow afternoon.

I keep having flashes of panic that I've forgotten to run, when actually I ran at 5:30 this morning. day 353.

plans in maryland include watching british romantic dramas with my kid sister, sleeping, wearing pajamas, making gingerbread waffles. wrapping presents. drinking coffee. what I've been fantasizing about, though, is running the trails: ground hard from the cold, trees bare, streams low. the quiet. maybe a stray deer. the woods are what I look forward to; even though we have plenty of forest in oregon, there's none I know so well.

December 16, 2014

what I've been doing
listening to seemingly hundreds of episodes of the writer's almanac
braiding my hair
endlessly knitting scarves
quietly reciting poems to myself while lying in bed
obsessively making holiday treats, though surprisingly not obsessively eating holiday treats
wearing tights
thinking about all the cool new things I want to learn

day 350
I have been doing a lot of hippie woo-woo stuff with my lower legs and miraculously have been running more and faster than I have in a long time. still baby steps: by "more" I mean "four miles" and by "faster" I mean still 90 seconds a mile slower than my fastest. but all of this is very okay.

I try to imagine how day 365 will feel and I come up short. emotional? normal? no big deal, or an enormous one? (both.) I haven't figured out whether to run alone -- which is how I've done easily 90% of these runs -- or with cherished running friends. probably the latter, so there's somebody to high five at the end. I love high fives.

I abruptly decided to start online dating, stuck with it for about a day and a half, and then changed my mind. I had gotten a surprising number of messages from dudes. it all seemed like so much trouble. I'm starting to wonder if maybe some of us just aren't cut out to have partners.

"I'm a loner, Dottie. A rebel."
-- pee wee, 'pee wee's big adventure'

I've never been terribly good at sharing, and I never did much like being told what to do. it's perhaps illustrative of the situation that I conflate 'dating' with 'being told what to do.'

of course, just as I was beginning to settle into the notion that I could just keep being single and who cares, I developed what can only be described as a debilitating crush on an acquaintance. so who even knows at this point.

somehow it's 9 days before christmas. I have never before been this unprepared for it. can we get another month, please?

December 15, 2014

fence repair

What’s the matter with you today
sed John you and Jan fighting?
On no I said it’s not that
it’s a letter I got that’s bothering me.
Must be from the govament
or the insurance, I can understand that.
No, John, it’s not them this time
it’s from a friend.
Did he die or summin?
You aint sed a decent word all morning
I might as well be working by myself
and let you set on the nailkeg
unrolling barbwore

Oh dammit, John,
it’s just a letter that pissed me off,
I said. It’s from a writer who saw something I wrote
about coyotes killing sheep
and he wrote saying that never happens.
He sez what? sez John.
He said there’s no documented evidence
that a coyote ever killed a sheep
unless it was rabid, I said.
And he said my story was a lie
and should never have been written.
He’s a writer? sez John.
What does he write about?
Oh, he writes novels, I said.
Books about cowboys and Indians
and the California mountains.

He sez that sed John
did he? You know
most chickens I known of
is layers and most folks
I known is liars
and most of them don’t know the different
but that don’t get in the way
of their opinions.
It was a preacher
got his first call
to come to our town back home
his first sermon that everbody
showed up to hear
was how all people is good
it aint no such of a thing
as a bad person

he wasn’t in town half a year
before Travis Newberry
knocked up his daughter in the eighth grade
and he was twenty-four by then.
He’d started preaching late
after giving up on farming
and owning a grocery store
must of been too late
he run out of words after bout a year
we had to elect him to office
to give him something to do.
First thing he voted no taxes
and no pay raises to schoolteachers
so they all known he’d be a good one
mebbe governor some day
had to move him out
of the parsonage and into a house
where he had to pay rent
like real people
so they found him a place
out on the end of town
where they could be alone
with that pregnant girl
they took out of school.
It was skunks out there
a mama and four babies
and his wife and that girl
sez oh they’re purdy
let them alone we like them
so he did
by the time she had her baby
they’d killed all their chickens
the Easter ducks and the cats
it was mice and skunks
running all over that place
they couldn’t live there no more
so he run for state office

they sent that girl
off to Christian school
we never heard of her again
and tried to raise the baby boy
but couldn’t do that neither.
He got elected
to the campaign of no taxes
and close down the schools
cause he blamed it all
on Travis Newberry hanging around
the jr-high parking lot
and moved to the state capital
to live and before
they could rent that house again
they had to set out traps
for two months and rat poison
sed they got twenty-four skunks
but nobody counted the mice
it was awful
took a year for the smells
to go off and it wasn’t no hippies
back then to rent it to
they had to wait it out

so he run for Warshington office
six years later
and put the boy in the orphanage
up for adoption
he might of been a scandal
but he didn’t get elected
they made him a judge instead
after that and he’s rich
still there and being so famous
he don’t pay no rent
the state gave him a house
and a car and a maid

but that still don’t mean he known one damn thing
about people or skunks or mice
or preaching or farming or
running a grocery store.
I seen it with my own eyes
a coyote running through
a herd of sheep and killed nine lambs
just to do it
and we set up five nights
in our pickups waiting for him
until he come back
and he killed four more
before we shot him
and that’s nothing to what
Allen Dalley out to Summit lost
that one year when they say
coyotes got half his lamb crop
that’s just a bunch of bullshit
because he done one thing
don’t mean he knows nothing
about anothern
and if he doesn’t know
what he’s talking about
you tell him to just keep his mouth closed
or run for office
that’s what it’s there for
so why don’t you forget about it
and you can forget him too for now
let’s get to work
cause all this is real
not something in a book
and has to be got done for sure
not just by thinking about it
and if you don’t get that frown put in a drawer
this is gone be a long day of work

- david lee