Saturday, July 25, 2009
I had a magnificently maddening day yesterday. Herein lies the story of my morning. There is a lot more to tell about the day, but I'd simply go into a coma if I had to tell it all at once.
I got out of bed with a neck ache more powerful than usual, and the day went downhill fast. I was late out the door for work, but I only work 2.2 miles from home, so I didn't worry much. I backed out of the drive and tooled the car in first gear out to Nicholasville Road, where I stepped on the brakes.
There were no brakes. Nothing but a hard pedal that would go nowhere. I stood on it.
Funny how your brain slows everything down when you think you're going to run into five lanes of morning traffic without control of your vehicle. I had time to think of shifting gears, and time to reject that notion on the grounds that there is nowhere down to go from first. I had time to realize that all I had to do was pull the emergency brake hard.
Which I did.
I drive a 17-year-old car, so I expect it to malfunction. Actually, the car holds up her end of the bargain better than I do because I forget to check her fluids and provide new supplies until she coughs or spits, but she cheerfully functions as transportation, book storage, canine wagon, and an extra closet for shoes and jackets. She rarely refuses to give me what I ask. And she has a super charger and a low center of gravity that makes her hug curves like a pro.
I don't own this car. I don't even think that the Woodsman knows she's a girl car. I call her Birdie.
So I'm dead at the stop sign with my blinkers on, trying to decide what to do. I carry my bags back home and call the service center just a few blocks away, where I've done business for twelve years or so, to ask if they have a wrecker. They don't, but they recommend one. I grab my little purse out of my bag and leave the rest of my work things in the chair. This is where I really went wrong, but I don't know it them. I walk back down to where the car is still blinking blinking blinking and waiting.
The wrecker comes and hooks her up and drives me and the Thunderbird a few blocks to the service station. But I'm a diabetic and I realize I don't have anything in my tiny purse to eat. I thought I was going to go straight to work and eat something there. I left my big bag of comfort sitting in the chair.
The walking and the stress have lowered my blood sugar, and I need a couple of starlight mints or a Coke. I start to feel like the wrecker seat is swallowing me, but I keep making small talk with the very nice wrecker driver because I want him to take a check from me, when a lot of times they won't. I have experience with wrecker drivers, and this is the way it's done. They have to connect with you to take a check; he'd already said how cozy and nice my neighborhood was, so we were well on the way to striking an understanding.
Oh, Mr. Wreckerman, do you have to write so slowly? He's so conscientious and neat on his invoice, but I start to wonder whether I should tell him I'm about to keel over or just let him find out on his own. Finally we're finished; he took a check.
Thank goodness I know the co-owner of the service station, and she fed me Fritos and let me sit around until I felt better. Boy, a big infusion of carbs when you haven't been having them sure tastes luxurious. I never thought I'd be waxing poetic over a lunch-size bag of Fritos. Lesson learned. A cowgirl never goes on an adventure without some high-protein snacks.
I got a ride home and sat around trembling and thinking of what might have been, which is never productive or calming. I got to where I couldn't tell whether it was blood sugar or shock that had me so disoriented. I finally emailed my boss to say I couldn't come in. I don't know if anyone ever used the excuse of being trembly and unsettled as a reason to take a vacation day.
Maybe I'm a wimp.
Monday, July 20, 2009
"Yes I was," she finally said.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
It's that time again: this week's poetry post. I don't know if I can pull this off every week. I think I hear some of you saying, "Yay!"
A woman on the other side
of the world sleeps when I wake
wakes alone without map or net
and watches each way while I sleep.
A candle burns on both ends.
A harsh note on the other side
of the dark vibrates up my last nerve
and sets me humming in my spine.
Speak now. You will not be allowed
to forever hold your peace.
I must stand with the woman
who stands with me, because
women can do these things: pull
each other up by the boot buckles
carve each other out sin by sin.
I send notes to the other side
of the void to say: yes
I have not only heard of the wolf
I have seen him from the corner
of my eye, that sly worn devil
nearly toothless in the light of cold day
but often so large and so patient.
I hope your weekend has been poetic.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
I may need a stout rod
for the journey but
I can walk it on my own
because of the scent of your skin
because your eyes are the same
sea glass shade as your laugh
because you are here.
I expect certain considerations
a touch on the back
a brief clasping of hands
a kiss that has nothing to do
with a peck. An opening:
your mind into mine, an emptying:
your baggage, the polished suitcase
in which you carry your heart.
And then we fill each other gently
with secrets torn apart and shared
like bread. Spread like a net to keep us
each from falling into wilderness.
Know that I choose
You may expect me
to be more of a trellis
than a blade. More of
a rich dark vein and less—
not at all—of a potion mined
in the crevice where conceit
intersects with air. Forget the old
except for the parts that contain us.
I will keep in my heart for you
a small portrait, a mirror that shows
you standing in your finest pose.
We are too old for games of chance.
Some seeds don’t open
until fire and heat have brazed
the useless outer layers.
May the remainder of your weekend be poetic.
Don't forget that my friend Lydia is taking reservations for her next webinar. In the webinar I took, I learned so much about how to refine the design of my blog and how to use various analytics. And it was a lot of fun too. I blogged about it here.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
I think the first time Taz became really aware of Pixie's existence was when he was gaily galloping through the house, joyous and oblivious, and she shot out of the kneehole of the desk and took him to school.She kept schooling him for six months or more. Every day. He could do nothing right. She bullied him into giving up his food, stole his treats, and tried to scare him into packing his bags and leaving. He was long-suffering. He was humble. He did not put up a fight about anything at first.
Taz loves attention. He wants to camp out on humans as often as possible. This was completely disconcerting to Pixie. The poor little neurotic thing, she would trot in circles with her tongue hanging out, worrying about change and its implications.
Finally, she decided that she could not let the boy get all the human affection. Perhaps she could enjoy a little of that too. She started to jump up in a chair with us and after a year or two even learned to give kisses, although if she stops to think about it, she cannot possibly kiss anyone. Kissing can be frightening.
Pixie's shell grew thinner. Sometimes I would see her looking at something Taz was doing with a look on her face that on a human would mean, Oh, that's how we do it. She did not know how to be a dog, but with Taz's joyous example, she was learning.
You would be amazed at the number of people who torture my dog until I get mad and take the dog and refuse to let people touch her. Strangers, relatives, friends, acquaintances. I say, "She is afraid of people." If you ask me, anyone with a little bit of empathy would not try to scare her further, thereby proving to her that her suspicions are well founded.
Taz is very clever, makes up his own tricks, hates to wear clothes, loves to play hide and seek, and hates dry dog food. The way he plays is a treat to watch. I can't imagine feeling that much abandon. He is a fierce hunter in the small backyard, terror to birds, squirrels, and snakes. One day I saw him on his back legs trying to jump up into the sky and get the traffic helicopter.
So Pixie's shell melted little by little. She began to let Taz into her bed, and they'd lie side by side with their heads resting on rumps. Pixie would groom and groom Taz, cleaning his whole face and inside his ears, until he would make a noise that meant, Alright already.
Taz began to settle down and care about what we think. He's very sensitive and can't stand to be spoken to harshly. He minds well unless he's in the presence of other dogs. We don't know what's up with that. I think he needs good citizen classes. At home he's quite hen-pecked.
Pixie still jumps on him sometimes when he's playing with abandon. He will be chasing a ball or just dashing through the house, and little bitty Pixie launches herself at him. Even though she's starting all the trouble, I still get mad at Taz for squeaking her.
Once a little girl at the dog park looked down at Taz and said, "Oh, hi, little wolf guy." I think that's really cute.
Taz claiming the Woodsman as his own.
He still prefers men, and if he gets loose on the street, he runs up to women and barks. I don't know what's up with that either. God forbid he ever gets loose. He leaps about the streets barking with joy and accosting people with dogs on leashes. I have to keep running after him saying, "He's not vicious, just stupid." He chases bicyclists and children on Big Wheels, barking and trying to herd them. He went into the house of a neighbor who left his front door open and the Woodsman had to track him down.
The funniest thing he does: He runs up to the front door of every house, smells the doormat, and pees on the bushes. He continues down one side of the block and up the other, barking, sniffing, peeing, leaping, ever joyous. He knows where he lives and comes home when he feels like it. I try never to let him run out the front door.
So Pixie is becoming a real dog now. She is still easily scared but she has learned the basic commands - sit, down, stay, come, wait. Taz refuses to lie down on command, although he is often eager to lie down. When he is ready for bed, he unmakes my bed and crawls between the sheets. We took to calling him B(eauregard) Tazwell because he isn't really a tasmanian devil anymore. He's older and smoother now.
When we went to the family reunion a few weeks ago, I asked Exley to babysit for Taz. Two little dogs are a lot to handle with thirty people, a lot of them kids, and Taz has a habit of whining nonstop in the car. Exley's backyard is fenced and overgrown with the sort of things that interest a joyous dog. He thinks it's a canine wonderland and Exley likes him, so I didn't feel bad about leaving him.
Exley took this self-portrait for me so you'd know who I'm talking about.
I never expected this to happen, considering the way she acts, but Pixie was bereft without her partner. She hardly wanted to eat, and she just lay at my feet except when she needed a walk. She seemed so sad, and she wouldn't let me get two inches away from her. I imagined she was thinking, Well, she got rid of that other dog, so she could be planning to leave me here.
She was so happy to see that crazy joyful boy again. She twirled and twirled with joy. Somewhere in the past two years she's learned to love him. Some of his habits still annoy her, and you know how it is when a guy gets on your last nerve... you have to school him.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
I got my little Chihuahua Pixie from a dog rescue in Nicholasville, Kentucky. That's her on the left in the pink linen frock. Nobody knew where she came from; a guy in Nicholasville said he tried for a week to catch her, but she was so fast and scared that he couldn't get close to her. That's all we know, except that she has a tattoo (A-1) in her ear. I swear sometimes I think about contacting that pet psychic from Animal Planet because I can't even guess what the poor little thing went through before I took her home with me.
Monday, July 6, 2009
When I took it from him to put it on the refridgerator, as was our usual practice, I noticed a note stapled to the corner.
I wasn't that thrilled about going to school, but I got a ride into town the next day. I met with the Jaybird's teacher in her miniature room. I'm not going to go into what I said after I sat on a very small chair and listened to the teacher suggesting that I was doing my child a disservice by being less than conventional. She explained how she had been taught to interpret a child's mental state by whether or not he could color items the colors they were in real life.