07 September 2013

Wearing your nerves up in front where everybody can see.

September starts a new season here, the part where it gets really hot but cool breezes at night and the light changes and there's a warning that winter is near.

Everybody here loves this weather but me. I am waiting for rain, when the forest is more empty and I can wear my big green boots and it is why god invented big fluffy towels. Just get us through this indian summer, make it be done and get to the water.

A new season means I am shifting my mapping quadrant slightly to the east. There are more paths to map in there, and I have to leave some of my familiar western ones, that run along the gulch, behind for now. It's important to walk very early, or very late in the eastern quadrant. Since I have to walk a different route every time I walk there, I need to be back before dark since I tend to sometimes be a little bit lost. There's a lot of forks in the road. There's new stuff in there to find, if you look hard enough.

Walking in the forest is what we all do together. Gustavo is always a tiny bit freaked out. I don't think it's abusive that he walks in here, he's done it his whole life. He spent years on a long line because of his tendency to bolt. Now he stays exactly in eyesight and leads us, waiting at each fork for either me or Otterpop to decide which way to go. But he wears his nerves on the outside, every rock or stump or tree branch is potentially the one that might kill us. It took him a long time to be the leader, and he does it well, but it's weird to have a leader that thinks we all might die.

I think our walks make him happy, just happy the same way that I enjoy rotten taxidermy. It is his lot in life to be scaredy. Otterpop, she is a little mad always. Not at anyone in particular, she's just like that guy who might walk up behind you on the street and start screaming at you because he has a big black beard and just because. She only isn't mad when she looks up at me and we do the secret psychic handshake with our smiles. A-ok. And Ruby, she's just trying to keep up, make sure that she is exactly right behind me at every twist and turn. The only sound we make is the sound of her loud breathing, huffing and wheezing up the hills, while I try not to crack any twigs under my sneakers, so nobody notices us in there, looking for the right path that will head us back towards west.

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