I promise, I’m happily married

The last post was a disingenuous description of my marriage. Being married to Vlad is fantastic. I am ridiculously and utterly myself to every last morsel of quirk and paranoia my brain can possibly fathom, and for some reason, he eats this stuff up. Really. And it’s amazing because I am a deeply “unique” person. And allow me to expand violently on that for a moment.
I am NOT a “Zooey Deschanel-er”. I don’t think it’s super cute to be as awkward and retarded as a duck who just took a bat to the head and is trying to tight rope walk. I haven’t watched her show, but I’ve seen enough movies with her perpetually-mistified-by common-sense character to know what she’s schilling. And I HATE it. It’s like being a quadriplegic watching a movie about being handicapped where the lead actor clearly isn’t struggling. BECAUSE SOME OF US ARE ACTUALLY THAT WEIRD and it’s never cute. She’s just appropriated the strange white girl version of the word “nigger” and I want it back. Because being as weird as a twelve dollar bill is really, really important.
You see, I painted my nails black once….in 1998, way before it was cool. I suffered a “mental health” talk with my mom as a result, and was made to take it off. My honey-like sister had boys flocking to spend peaceful moments around her all the time. I chose my first boyfriend at 11 because I was impressed by the fact that he knocked me out three times in one fight. I wore tee-shirts inside out and backwards for YEARS as “my thing”, and probably looked just as strange and homeless as you imagine. I am proud of a twisted incisor I have and refused braces. My breasts are two different sizes and I decided, at the age of 15, that I would tell guys they were lucky because they had a “selection” to play it off. I listen to Sting, Enya, Natasha Atlas, any kind of Bluegrass, The Offspring, NIN, Rammstein, William Fitzgerald, Garth Brooks, Metallica, Tool, pretty much anything from the 90’s, Classical, African Tribal music,Throat singing, Orthodox or Gregorian church chanting, Flogging Molly, Sigurd Ros, Regina Spektor, Andrea Boccelli, Ron Pope, Beirut, Cobly Callait, Static X, AFI, Rob Zombie, System of a Down, and a lot more that I won’t write because I’d like to sleep tonight. Most of these are named you recognize, but some you might not, and there are probably somethings which you probably wouldn’t have admitted to (like Bluegrass, which is only hated by the very lame). In a startlingly hipster way, I’m saying I did the awkward thing way before it was cool, and it was an essential part of what got me where I am in life.
Because, a lot of people can say, “I’m soooo weird”. But not many people are comfortable acting on it. And it’s not that I’m trying-it’s that I have no freaking clue something I’m doing is outside normal bounds. I’m pretty good about things like fences (I’m not stupid), and in general I try to respect people’s feelings and not be offensive, but I tend to be a bullhorn like personality and often a bit too honest, at least about myself. Very regularly, I find myself mentioning some video that I thought was awesome at the dinner table, only to realize I’m describing something really graphic. The realization that either I’m being asked to not discuss x topic or that everyone’s just turned green is always humbling and irritating. Or I’ll just share what should be very personal information to commiserate or get a laugh because I don’t have a very well defined sense of privacy. Sometimes, this shocks or overwhelms my unsuspecting, puritanical audience. It’s not even exhilarating for me-it’s just true, so what’s the big deal?
I am a bucket of disaster with guys. My most successful flirtatious have occurred in traffic, in a car, so that I could promptly drive away. Dating stories are alwasy gems. Like, trying to play it cool while eating dinner with a cute guy, miss my mouth completely, get fork full of corn in my hair, guy retrieves stray corn sweetly, and I proceed to bolt to the bathroom with a mouth full of vomit because he touched me. Or the time I stood in a guys way to leave a room until he kissed me…literally. I could not think of a smoother way to lock lips so I just stood in painfully stubborn silence until kissing me was his only option for escape. I WAS 19. There’s also the wonderful time I scrunched myself between a guy and his steering wheel and refused to let him out of the car until he’d kissed me. (hmmmm, I’m noticing a trend). There was the time I asked a previous boyfriend to not think about ways we’d fooled around because I wanted to start fresh in every way possible with a new boyfriend. I also spoke for well over 30 minutes straight about absolutely nothing once due to ridiculous nerves on a first date. That was with Vlad, and the bizarreness paid off.
You see, I realize if I could just throttle the jack-in-the-box of psychoness in my head, I’d be a REAL catch. I am one now, and would be even more if I were in shape, but I’m funny, really caring, and I make a hell of a pot pie. I bake nice looking kids in my baby oven, too, and I know how to make then behave. But I just have this intense streak that not everyone can handle. And it takes someone devoted, someone who’s kind and really cares, to deal with the faulty automatic sprinkler system of craziness that goes off in my head. For all the difficulties it’s lent me, my oddities have helped me weed out the riff raff. I’m not a girl who really cares about money (I have standards, but they mostly involve paying bills and decent food), and looks have never been a big deal to me. I have always wanted to know that the person I marry would be equally wonderful to be around when young or wrinkled by time as a naked mole rat (which are animals I can’t stand, actually, so the description is quite poor). I wanted someone I knew was understanding, and so I used myself as a stress test for life. If they cared too much about what other people thought, or if they just couldn’t handle my sometimes tempestuous character, they probably weren’t ready for life.
And, just like everybody else, I want acceptance. True to my character, though, I’ve never thought it was a good idea to seek acceptance by being your best. It may be a backwards idea, but I feel like being yourself full throttle, even in the worst moments, and finding out who’s standing after the storm serves as a good test for the quality of your companions. It does mean that, very often, you’re lonely. But it also means that, the day you’re not, you probably never will be again.
I enjoy Vlad immensely. He’s a wonderful person with a kind heart and a great sense of nobility. In a lot of ways, he’s more refined than I am. He does have a dirty sense of humor, so I can comfortably “let rip” around him, both literally and metaphorically, and know that it will be well received. He loves to laugh and have fun, which is one of my favorite aspects of his nature. Everything can become a game, and even if he’s the only person enjoying it, he’s REALLY gonna enjoy it. He can be brave well beyond my limits, but he’s much saner and more practical than I am. He’s also satisfactorily impressed when I am brave and doesn’t call me out too much when I’m looking for reasons to get out of something that’s making me nervous. He pushes me to be better in only the ways where I’ve set parameters already. He’s not out to change me and he accepts my needling questioning with tremendous grace. He enjoys my out bursts and my tendency to suggest violent reactions to pretty much everything, citing that I make life “exciting”. And I wouldn’t have gotten any of those wonderful things if I hadn’t been unabashedly myself. So, to all those girls out there trying to be Zooey Deschanel-stop. It’s not cute. If you’re looking for happiness or Prince Charming, dive into those things that make you uncomfortable or quit trying to be strange when you aren’t. Either way is fine, but by being her, you’re costuming your character and slowing your steps to Prince(ss) Charming. Beside, I was cooler than you before it was cool! I was weird when it really was WEIRD. You’re not revolutionizing anything and neither was I! Just go with you and get over it!

And I take creepy pictures of people while they sleep.

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For Valentine’s–a reality check

For all of you folks out there who are too cool for Valentine’s day, shove it. It’s a nice holiday with a happy message of ideals that you will someday want back when reality comes along and paper tigers the crap out of your little two dimensional concept of “love.” And for those of you feeling smug right now because you think I am talking to bitter singles and newbie relationshippers, you can stuff your “living together” b.s., too. When you realize that your lives are so tightly entwined that pretty much nothing would make it worth untwisting them and this is it for you until they put you in a box, you can call me. I love being married. LOVE IT. But it has got to be one of the most insane decisions anyone ever made, and it was clearly created by masochists.
I am speaking from a place of pity for my husband at the moment. I am currently “no, I don’t want to go a club because parts of me dance independently when I get too close to speakers” overweight (another perk of children). My bangs are doing this weird flip thing because the last time I got to take a shower, it was with a screaming two year old and insisted he was freezing immediately after we got out, allocating the precious moments necessary for normal bangs to phantom frostbite protection. The rest of my hair has been pulled up numerous times into a strict bun, which it then rebels from like the most skilled of prep school students, leaving me with a penumbra that electrically exclaims that I must not own any mirrors. It looks like this eventually, no matter what I do. And I am working on my third significant virus (this one, a head cold; the previous two were coxsackie and stomach flu, in that order), which has left me with dazzling jewels of snot dangling gently from my nostrils, and the lipid pools of my eyes overflowing with rheumy tears. I am stretched out on our bed like this, with a roll of toilet paper beside me for booger cleanup duty, and a steadily accumulating avalanche of tissues surrounding me. There is flat out NOTHING about this moment which is hot, sexy, or appealing. Except that we share history now and greatly enjoy each other, and I know that’s why he’ll to listen to me hork and snorfle mucus up like a diseased walrus and possibly still think about me naked (because, let’s be honest that’s how guys show they like you. If you’re a rocket scientist and they’re impressed with a thought you had, they’re just thinking about you being naked a little harder because you’re smart, too).
But no one is going to put this moment on a Hallmark card for Feb. 14. No one called me this morning to quote the exact way Vlad said, “Oh my god, ew, gross,” and dashed away when our also infirm two year old barfed Cheerios and orange juice into my hair so it could be used as a romantic gesture future generations. No one’s asking Vlad if he feels like the luckiest guy on the planet when he tries to kiss me passionately and I choose that frigging moment I turn into Jerry Lewis. When people say, “Marriage is about seeing someone at their worst, and still loving them,” green dorks out there are scoffing and thinking, “We’ve been through terrible fights, and I’ll be totally supportive when their parents die.” No, that’s not “the worst”. None of that involves someone running naked to the toilet because they decided to play Pooping Roulette with the virus they have and chose to forgo underwater and you are going to help them clean it up. That minuscule idea of “the worst” doesn’t encompass some of the disgusting habits people have…that they think are totally normal and expect you to accept, from flatulence, to tooth picking (and eating) and beyond. And then there are the behavioral quirks that just grate on you (you may even find them cute right now!) that will gnaw on your subconscious like a starving zombie hamster until you can’t take it anymore. If you haven’t lived it, you cannot picture the worst.
And it doesn’t have to be as terrible as it sounds. But you have to really love someone deeply. It’s like being sold a puppy you’ve been explicitly told there is almost no chance you will ever housebreak, but you love that little fuzzy monster that grumbles and takes up the whole bed so much, you are willing to let them pee on your favorite rug for the rest of your life. And you are willing to bring home more peeing puppies that you make together as kind of a tribute to how awesome you think their rug soaking abilities are. Your life will be one big pee pool forever.
And they are going to fill your pool while looking like I do right now for a decent part of the time, so there’s no redemption in hotness. It’s fleeting. Either you get sick, or you have kids, or you have a horrific injury involving vengeful ninjas and acid, or you get old (or-yay- all of the above!) and it’s all gone anyway. All that primping you do for dates, or even on a daily basis, is a veneer against reality. And that’s okay, but we all look like disasters pretty regularly. And you, most likely non-existent male reader with a super model girlfriend who feels so amused that he can’t relate, I feel bad for you. Wake up in the middle of the night and tell me that she looks as perfect as new snow while she’s sleeping all the time. If you say yes, you are lying, because everyone gets gasping trout face or crazy starfish pose going on every now and then. And she will become an old woman some day. Not everyone can be Sophia Loren. That woman sold the devil something waaaay more precious than her soul, and I’m still trying to figure out what it was and where I can get one.
The point is, enjoy the ideal. It won’t always be there. One day you’ll love someone because, “remember that one time you farted way too close to a mic at the kid’s piano recital? I diiiiiied!” One day the sexiest thing you’ll do is rub Bengay on each other so you can even think about having sex…then decide to take a nap instead. Life catches up with ideals really quickly, no matter what they are. And even though it’s wonderful (and weird) when it does, cherish it. No one is too cool to celebrate the possibility of love…and of being so completely, blithely disillusioned that they think the babies involved in love are naked cherubs that aren’t pooping everywhere. Get over it and revel in it. Happy Valentine’s day. 🙂

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Giving birth isn’t over

I’m pretty sure I’m still giving birth. Sort of, anyway. I realize, two years and three months later, I haven’t let go of that moment, and not in a good way. And anyone rolling their eyes or bemoaning the fact that this doesn’t sound like its gonna be funny can shove it. Elijah peed on the doctor as soon as they yoinked him out, and you can judge anyone until you’ve been sick for two months and then had something a lot like a vaselined rubber chicken pulled out of your abdomen while you are AWAKE. You’re gonna sit there, you’re gonna read this and you’re gonna like it! And wash behind your ears for God’s sake!
The whole process of becoming a mom was just wildly out of control for me and I just haven’t bounced back very well. Two months after I got engaged, my dad lost his job (which is relevant to me getting pregnant; I’m getting there). My dad has been the unwitting rock of my reality pretty much forever (if you ever tell him that, I will kill you with a rabid hamster). The constancy of his life affected mine. Seeing the fortitude of his existence shaken sent shockwaves through my brain and brought two things violently throbbing through my consciousness: first) no one is impervious to the ills of life, and two) my parents would not always be close. The guilt of fighting with them for so many years, for not having the family I felt I wanted crushed me, but I played pretty pictures of RomCom movie families in my mind, picturing the happy, glistening reunions and vacations, liberally sprinkled with smiles, sunshine and perfection. Since my parents were leaving at an unknown date, my in-laws opened their home to me. They were very warm and open, but I couldn’t have felt more like a parakeet in a fishbowl. I had no way of accurately expressing the fact that their family terrified me, as it felt like I was drowning in kind strangeness, as my own family and the entire life I had know was drying up. Each gift felt like a prosthesis for the amputated limb of my family, and I was terrified. But I steeled myself and devoted myself in my mind to being the best future bride I could be to Vlad. And, in a moment of possible thanks for being so utterly awesome, he gave me Elijah, despite Orthotricyclen. I won’t go into the awfulness that is planning a wedding when you are pregnant, your mother is over an hour away and busy planning the next move in her life, and you get along with your mother-in-law about as well as two bulimics with one toilet after a buffet. It wasn’t great (sometimes it was fun, but it mostly just feels like the longest test prep ever, but you never attended the class and there are going to be over 100 people looking at your grade at the same moment you get it).
After, the wedding, which occurred in conjunction with moving into our own apartment (and my first time away from any parental figures ever) I developed pre-eclampsia. I have heard that this can result from hypertension, but I can’t imagine what on the world could have caused me to have high blood pressure…except for everything in the last few paragraphs. I didn’t think much about it, except that I hoped the baby was okay, because mostly I just wanted to sleep. Then came the Monday morning when the doctors got really worried about my BP and I wasn’t given anymore choices. I was told I wasn’t leaving the hospital without a baby. I hadn’t prepared mentally. I wasn’t ready, really, but I bucked up, and crammed the angry little voice down and walked into the hospital, fucking terrified but determined not to let anyone see me sweat. More than a day later, terrible results from a sedative, and one surgical unzipping to reveal a tiny little boy, I was in a hospital bed, alone (Vlad had gone home to sleep), in the dark, clutching the tiny blue bear because the one thing that had stuck with me for the majority of the previous year was in a completely different part of the hospital and I wasn’t sure if he was okay…or if it was my fault.
After convincing the nurses my bp wasn’t too high (it probably was) I went home…without my boy. During the days in the hospital, I had persistently scuddled down to the NICU to feed him and sit with him, like a zombie interested in just one brain. And he was ridiculously boring, lying there in his tiny blanket, but the power of duty made me not feel the staples pulling across my abdomen as I say down in the low rocking chair to hold him. I fussed and watch, like I would notice a corner of blanket that could be better wrapped around him than these kind and proficient nurses that had only done it a few thousand time. My heart had to start paying off its debt of an eight month pregnancy by forgetting me altogether.
And that’s what I did. In subsequent months, I was consumed by going into “wildlife rehabber” overdrive. I hadn’t been able to breast feed since I’d produced very little milk that had dried up almost immediately, despite a hospital pump and the grinding suggestions from a thousand “helpful” voices, so switching to formula eventually became like giving a baby bird Lafeber or a young racoon KMR. I knew how to do this and was going to run with it. A state nurse came to visit us a few times to check on Elijah, since he was a preemie, and always commented on how the house didn’t look like the house of a mother with a baby. Everything had to be impeccably neat. I didn’t have a washer and dryer, but I used the sink in our closet-sized bathroom to full effect. I fed him meticulously, and constantly worried if I was doing too much or not enough. But more than anything else, I tried to make it look effortless. I didn’t want help. I’d lost enough. I didn’t want anyone coming in and changing my patterns and then going away. Besides, Elijah and my heart were too fragile for trusting people; I had to fail or succeed on my own, since it seemed things would hurt less that way.
Quickly, you realize the animal best prepared for life is an octopus: it can slip easily into any shape, it has excellent camouflage for avoiding nasty moments, it has eight arms for reaching anything, and it dies just after its babies hatch, right when being a parent gets hard. I was trying to keep track of everything, and desperately afraid of the growing voices of caution against the things I couldn’t catch. SIDS. Autism. Leukemia. ADHD. The list of paranoid possibilities never stop, especially on the Internet. Babies aren’t precious, wonderful, unique blessings on the web–they are time bombs of misery and woe, born of sins, carnal and formula-fed. I did not sleep well at night until about Elijah’s second birthday, wondering if he would be awake in the morning. Excessive reflux early in his life exacerbated this fear. Later, I watched for every developmental milestone with the wretched heavy ticking threat in my head. Still, I was trying I hold a brave face.
Then, things just started coming undone inside as I had a little more time to reflect, since life was less a persistent pattern of feeding and sleeping. I was barely at the threshold of what this responsibility encompasses. The weakest link in this challenge was…me. I had to be healthy for at least the next twenty years of my life. I’d barely been alive much longer than that, and already the span seemed wider than any ocean I’d ever seen, and like the possibilities it’s magnitude held were intent on inundating me. Suddenly, the realization that I am dying stuck home like a million atomic bombs. Not because I am sick, but because I inexorably moving towards death, like a tractor beam of mortality. And I have no idea when I will arrive. But there are a million little ways that, once again, I could cut Elijah’s time with me short, completely by accident. And so began the consuming thoughts of illness, and my snowballing hypochondria. But one day, we’ll probably try for baby number two. I must be fucking crazy.

On Cleverness

Cleverness annoys me. Pithy quips sailing from smiling mouths like mother fucking sunshine so effortlessly can make me want to pound cute baby animals like I’m trying to make kitten wine (and subsequently hate myself, which would be reflected back to the original quipper). When it’s me, well, I have to mourn the fact that I could never date myself and that the moment is so god damned fleeting. I want to go back in time and scream, “Someone get a camera! I’m about to be hilarious!” Unfortunately, I have too little money and an excess of good taste to buy a Delorian. Besides, I’m pretty sure some how seeing things from an angle other than behind my own eyes would change the moment. Like Schroedinger’s giggle, I’d find out it was all polite laughter when I documented it, which would probably not be so bad, except for all the suicide.
Moments of humor importance are horrible, too. You know cleverness should exist here; time has framed this moment for funny. And your dumb brain is about as turgid with hilarity as a fucking dead geoduck (look it up). Slowly, the moment slips away, leaving the scent of failure behind it as the desire to fork yourself in the eye rises.
Even worse are the moments of latent humor. Well after the proper time has past, your gray-matter decides to get with the program and do something funny…about late as über nerd puberty. The desire to tell your joke completely out of context can be disturbingly high and alcohol can be a huge factor in this kind of humor-mergency. Stop yourself. If you have to physically convulse, do so, but don’t tell the joke. You risk the other person realizing you haven’t been realizing that you haven’t been listening and that you are not only a physical spaz (at this point) but a mental one, too. The time has passed. You aren’t funny. And neither am I.

Why being right is the worst thing EVER

In case you had no idea, and don’t want to subject yourself to my other posts to learn more about me, I am a person of occasionally extreme temperament. I can make hyperbole look like understatement. And I got this way by being right.
When I was small, my penchant for the dramatic and overblown was even greater than it is now. If I was encountering a fellow student in a playground showdown over something which was probably either trivial or had come out of a happy meal, I was not opposed to growling, snarling, or punching myself in the heat of anticipation. Most normal people were afraid of catching whatever horrible disease I had and backed out of the fight. If I sensed some social machinations working against me in a classroom, I imagined the worst possibility and the most likely culprit, and reacted to match that most pessimistic scenario. It was generally a baseless assumption, but it seemed confirmed by the fact that kids tended to want to stay on my good side. Life worked for me for the longest time with little effort because I’d act crazy. I can still remember an afternoon when I decided to put on my witch’s wig from Halloween and walk around outside, snarling, just to remind the kids on my street who their psychotic overlord was. It never occurred to me to be milder–this was working. My choices had been correct. I had friends and a well established social standing at the top. I was rights. You can probably imagine the problems I faced when I realized corporal punishment based relationships did not exist without jail in the adult world.
My husband has had similar issues. As a boy, he was stunningly precocious. A favorite family story if his goes something like this: Vlad the first grader firmly corrected an error made by his teacher involving facts about a musical instrument. The teacher, who had not properly prepared for class that day and was sharing this information to pass time, was deeply shaken by this and complained to his mother, who was a fellow teacher at the school. Rapidly steel-trapping facts to his memory would define him, greasing his way through school to an astonishing degree. In fact, it facilitated his time in school so much that effort became alien, which would frustrate him in later scholastic years. It would also harden and calcify his thoughts to some ideas deemed lesser or different from his own. All of us do this somewhat, but I’ve found Vlad’s mind particularly stalwart in the seas of alteration.
I could go on and on with examples of people in my life who have been utterly warped by their own correctness. It’s so unfortunate that so many people have the chance to be right every day. We are so crippled by our reasoning skills that terrible accuracy befalls us regularly. Slowly, out world view narrows, like the water closing over the head of a drowning man, until all we can see as the light are our own ideas and those that agree with us. If being right were truly great, it would teach us to be wrong, so that we could remember to ask questions, learn about the world, and become more balanced.

Someone needs to make a bumper sticker about this. Like, “Being right is sooooo wrong.” Nah, people will just take that as a slam on conservatives…which brings me back to my point.

The Last Piece of Toilet Paper

Whenever I encounter the last square of toilet paper desperately clinging to usefulness and the cardboard roll, I become infuriated. In fact, to give you an idea of how ridiculously unbalanced I am, to me it feels like a challenge and an insult. “Here,” the previous, anonymous occupant seems to be taunting,”Are you good enough to wipe with this? Clearly, I am, or I wouldn’t have left this. Either that, or I’m such an incredibly inconsiderate douche bag that you should probably swab the door handle for DNA, figure out who I am, and empty my mouth of teeth, because I was cool with leaving you stranded.” this becomes a serious issue when the only possible culprits are the same people using your bathroom, i.e. your family. Guests are always forgiven, as they may not know where new rolls are, and by the time they realize they’ve left you with a dilemma, it might be too late. But when I walk into the bathroom and see that anemic looking roll hanging there, limply waiting to expire as it should have with the last user, I feel like getting all Italian and start quoting mafia-sounding, pained betrayal phrases while plotting revenge. Oh, and I do get revenge. I wait. As long as it takes, I wait. Then eventually, my day comes. Slowly, I unroll the toilet paper right down to the last square, and leave it dangling like a man on a noose. A slow smile creeps across my face and I leave, exhilarated, vindicated. And I learn something…every time. Unless you live in a house with one bathroom and lots of girls, you are just as likely to be the next one back in that room. And karma’s a bitch that left you one TP square. And I’m mad all over again.

Coincidentally, I’ve been a one square victim twice today. The rage is palpable. Gargh.

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The Secrets of Snow

Snow is like paper in more than color alone. It prints and keeps the passage of everything around it in it’s drifts, and I adore that I can tell myself stories as I walk.
Most stories are simple. A squirrel arcing lazily over the snow in search of all it’s hidden caches leaves relaxed and winding paths that tie together all the trees nearby. Rabbits tend to cut tense looking line from pine tree to pine tree. Deer strike sharp little hearts into the soft snow as they forage. But sometimes trails say more than it’s author was hungry. Recently, I saw a coyote’s tracks following the edge of a large pond. From clear across the pond, another set of coyote prints appeared, racing towards the first set. For a short stretch, the coyote hit slush on the top of the water, slowing it down, then beginning it’s sprint again. The first coyote had paused on the bank during all this and then, as it’s friend approached, it had leaped a few feet onto the ice in an excited donut motion. They met up in a flurry of foot falls, and the loped off together, once again on the pond’s bank.
Some tales are not so gleeful, though. There have been many times that I have seen abandoned bird feeders and found, on closer inspection, a corona of large feather prints surrounding a tuft of lost plumes, nestles in the mark of lethal talons. It takes a while before enough courage, or hunger brings the little mourners back to eat. It’s even stranger to see them standing in the impression of those deadly claws, just as their comrade had for only a moment, with all the tiny feet working unknowingly to stamp out the memory as they work to survive.
My favorite stories, however, are those of mystery. I always wonder about the trail of footprints which lead up to an abandoned building. Or seeing tire tracks that pull off the main
Road and drive off between tree, down a path I wouldn’t have noticed in all the whiteness. The belly slide of a dog under a chain-link fence, and it’s subsequent mad dash for freedom, always makes me smiles and I remember that hollow frustration when it was our family dog. At least, in snow, you have a direction to follow.
Summer fattens us and leads us to a false sense of security. ‘There’s nothing to see but lush life,’ it whispers, ‘All is well.’ But we know better. Those of us who remember winters telling white, anyway.

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