08 May 2015
Close the door and there's the stump.
Since we lost our neighborhood field, I've been driving up the mountain to walk the dogs. Since we lost our ranch, we don't go South anymore, those walks have vanished from our lives. Poof. Like a vapor.
Our new life, what little there is of it, revolves around the North. And our usual walk around the field to the bluff, it's as if it was never there, vaporized is a word I am using a lot. For now I've been taking the dogs a little ways up the mountain. I don't know why, but with all the doors slamming lately, I've been heading on to the old logging roads. They're not pretty. They're private property.
The-or-et-ically...illegal. All the trees in there been ground up and spit out at various times since the 1800's. There are stacks of logs in there, maybe not professional cut, that look like last year. I get the sense in there that I could run into someone with a shotgun who prefers that we get out, now.
There's no good reason to walk in there, other than right now, trespassing on a desolate, chewed up forest, snaking around a tangle of steep, rutted old roads and holding my breath to what might be around the next corner, seems like the only solution I can think of.
One door shuts, then another one is supposed to open. The doors this year aren't just shutting with a little click. This is the year there is slamming. Keep your fingers close so you don't lose one.
A thing I have learned, at least. Even if you always think about the part of Reservoir Dogs when the guy cuts off the other guy's ear when you hear "Stuck in the Middle with You," other people might not. Super classic tunes like this, from the time of giant bell bottoms and odd shaped polyester blend tops, can come on the radio at any time now. And cutting off of ears isn't small talk, even if it seems perfectly reasonable to you.
You just dig a way deeper hole when you're all, "You know. Stealer's Wheel. Clowns to the left of you, jokers to the right. And they're slicing off the guy's ear?"
Probably this has happened to you, too. The nice girl you just said this to, in your effort of making banal chit chat during elevator music, to fill a quiet tiny gap in time, now has you marked as potential deranged person who is not who you were supposed to be, disguised as a faded middle aged lady with stains over your wrinkly shorts pockets where you usually keep the dog cookies.
She notes this in your chart.
At least I didn't try to dig out by hunching up my shoulders and growling, "Winter is coming," because I like to talk like Jon Snow sometimes.
I learned already that one doesn't work either.
My knee cap bone rubs on another knee bone, and 3 bones in my other ankle have deteriorated from grinding against each other for so long. Basically tiny little switch blades live in my legs and they are switched on whenever I take a step. This is how it is now. I test drove Gustavo around the agility the other night. Tried out one of the jumpers courses from world team tryouts wearing my bionic leg braces. We ran it twice and he was very happy but my knee and my ankle weren't and I made it around then walked off the field pretty crippled.
The dogs don't really care where we go, as long as we go and as long as we're together. It's not that big of deal to them if I walk really slow, they can go at the pace they need to and I'm always in the back.
"At least I am walking."
This is a thing I mutter to myself a lot. Looking down at the ground, that used to be my friend.
We creep across the meadow together, trying to not look like prey, then once we're in the woods, they can run some. My hope is that one of these days, some kind of good idea is going to hit me in there. How to get a door to open.
So far it hasn't. But I did find a big stump the other day. I thought I knew were all the big trees used to be, the ones that left their mark, but this is the biggest former tree that I've found in a long time. 4 big steps to get around each side, everybody has to walk with me through poison oak to measure it. Another new thing I'm learning. I lost my immunity to poison oak. So far this still doesn't stop me. That tree could have been 300 feet tall, taller than a skyscraper and hundreds and hundreds of years old before now long dead loggers felled it, and pulled it out with now long dead horses.
I have pictures of those guys, same beards as every tattooed checker guy at the market. The loggers have come back to work in grocery stores and ride skateboards down my street.
Just it's feet still left, lots of times those big old stumps didn't get pulled out, so they stayed for their babies to grow up around them, little redwoods ready to get cut again. This time, not by skateboarding retail clerks. Not sure who, now. Maybe loggers are someone you didn't even know that's what they'd be.
I can't take Gary in there to see it, he's on crutches now. At least he's still working. The dogs are the only ones with good legs. Most of them, at least. For now. Things happen to us and we're not usually ready when they do. This is totally a fact I am down with. We're all ready for that new door to open. Many people believe in this as a fact, I know because they tell me this all the time. It's a fact, they say. One door shuts and another one opens. Somehow they have proof of this fact, all the givers of advices, so I'm out there looking for the door.
I can't quite find it, though, this door they're telling me about. Only a really big stump. If I'm supposed to be looking for a stump, wouldn't they have said that? That potential perks me up, because I have mad skilz of stump finding.
One door shuts so then you find a stump? Best I can do. I still got feet, they just don't work so good. I still have a little work. That stump is still there and we know how to get there now. I still got all my dogs. Banksy can do a running a-frame and Ruby can follow me around and Gustavo sits on my lap and I carry Otterpop under my arm most places like a dirty purse dog with ground down teeth.
"Close the door and there's the stump."
Maybe a new thing to remember not to say out loud in public. But you'll know that's what I'm thinking.
by team small dog at 8:20 AM