Everyone I know needs a body cast to get though tonight and all day tomorrow. And that includes me. But let’s change the subject.
…and so on Wednesday in good fall weather they moved all their furniture onto the sidewalk, signed it free, sweep the floors, locked the door, placed the key in the box with a note, a brief note, and then walked, arms free, down to the bus station. Which one, they said, looking up at the possibilities. I know, she said. The one going west. Okay, he said. And so theirs was the bus going west. And now trees slipped by and small goats running, kids painting a door, and later that afternoon a lake, a lake with no boats whatsoever, just blue water, blue water forever. And it seemed a sign, a possibility. It’s where we’re going, she said. Yes, he said. Moving blue water. And they pressed their noses to the window, and their knees touched, and the world was westward and blue. And later into the night now, the bus climbing, working, the two of them neither sure nor unsure, blessed nor unblessed, but bound together with hearts beating and the great unknown. And boughten sandwiches. One each to break together at first light…
Today is my wife’s birthday. She is 53. We met in Virginia when she was 18 and I was 24. One day I asked my roommate’s girlfriend if she knew any beautiful women. “I do,” she said. “My roommate.” And she giggled and walked away.
The next day after classes, I climbed the stairs to my apartment, messed around in the kitchen, and then stepped into the living room. And there on the sofa was a woman: shy, thin, smiling, beautiful. Her name was Serita.
I don’t remember what we first said. But I do remember that I immediately sat down on a chair opposite her, and that we talked and laughed, and that talking and laughing (and looking at her) was kind of otherworldly.
A day or so later I saw her on campus and we talked again, and that evening we went walking on the hill behind the college dorms. We walked up and back, then sat on a bench, and then I walked her to her dorm room.
Serita and I have been married for 35 years.
(If you scroll down, you will come to a post titled “Wherein My Wife Takes a Turn.” It’s a video. Serita shows up in the third feature.)
For me, the foremost attraction of old-school woodcuts (early 20th c.) is their complete absence of car chases, explosions, copulation, dumb-ass mayhem, and post-modern cliches generally.
Sometimes in good weather after I’ve delivered Quetzal to school, I take the long way home. And often on these drives I pass an elderly man out for his morning walk. He’s close to ninety years, I’d say, bent and a bit shaky, but alert and still active.
This morning when I passed the man, he was standing in the grass just down the hill from his house. Continue reading
Last week in the rains, a frog leaped out from a row of yellow beans I was harvesting and landed directly in my bucket about three feet away. As the bucket was almost full, and as I was on my knees, the frog and I were instantly eye-to-eye and intimate, his eyes showing greenish-yellow, mine maybe grayish-blue. I didn’t say anything, the frog didn’t say anything. And so we became studies for each other, two strangers trying on their Taoist way. Continue reading