Saturday, July 21, 2007

priorities (pt II)

From there, things kinda get predictable, although not necessarily conventional. Thing is, what confounds me more is not that my thoughts and feelings went there, but, that I never took that step. She was freakin' wide open, far as I could tell. No competition. Sure, probably hung out with guys in the neighborhood, but, socially, looked like clear air space. Kinda like when I was in 7th grade and spent a whole semester chatting up little blue-eyed Beth in science class and then not calling her at all that summer between watching old sitcom reruns and fixing up my bike. Priorities…

So, I never made the move. Not sure it was out of complacency, fear of the unknown, or respect for her as a person…I'd like to claim the third one but let's not be hasty. Seems there were a lot of other little questions out on the horizon of my conscience back then; ones that only maturity could articulate and to which nothing save a caring nature would attempt to seek answers…do you know your father? Who do you really need in your life? Are you frightened, threatened…are you lonely…incomplete? God, have mercy.

About a year after high school, another gal I knew was going for a certificate at the local voc school and ended up in the same class as Nellie. She said your name sounds familiar…oh, remember Billy Suchandsuch, used to hang around with Kenny? They're together now…yah, and she's…pregnant. Hmmm. Sounds like someone finally pitched a stake in that fallow ground.

Last time I saw Nellie was about that time, and under rather strange circumstances. My family was having a garage sale. One of many cars pulled into the driveway, parked, and out she came. I think I said hi to her. Then Billy gets out of the car to come up. Wassup, we exchange. Seems he hovers around her for a couple minutes, and they murmur amongst themselves until he alone goes back to the car. Dad and I were in the garage for those awkward moments as she stood over my nephew's table of baseball cards…and seemed to start crying.

At some point, she finally walked toward the car and they drove off. It appeared to us as though some of the cards may be missing, as though, perhaps, she were waiting for us to look away so she could obey her man and get it over with. But, neither my dad nor I are ones to get upset about these kinds of things, so we brushed it off and, well, we never spoke of it again.

Friday, July 13, 2007


In my second year of high school algebra, I can name two female students who were in the room. There was Tracy, the petite blond who at any time of year seemed to have tan legs to show off. Back in the late 1980s just one - any one - of those blue denim skirts you had bopping around simply shrouded a thousand mysteries. Tracy was not what you'd call "popular" but she definitely had the look, bright and noticeable, yet, probably too much grit to be part of a "crowd" per se. She didn't make a big deal about who she was dating, and she didn't hesitate to join in conversations with anyone else. But, she got the dudes' attention in those skirts nonetheless…overall: cool and hot; what's there not to like?

Then the other babe was Nellie. I'm not sure what it was that made me notice her. Most guys naturally go for the little firecracker blonde and that's that, and the side remarks shared among us dudes backed that up. But, Nellie was not Tracy. She's not petite. Actually, Nellie's tall for a girl, with legs from there to you-know-where. You'd never really know whether she's got a tan or not since you usually see her in jeans and t-shirts, or maybe a basic "top" as they say. Not much regard for color; then again, maybe there wasn't much need for it either. The important thing was her jeans fit her like a second skin forming a daily must-see. She's got a simply lovely face, warm smile, happy eyes, perky cheeks with some freckles and long light-brown hair to complete the package. She's a mild, unassuming, subtle – yet beautiful and charming - presence.

Over the course of the school year I pick up on a few things. She lives with her mom in a house trailer with their pit bull whose breed she defends vehemently. Pit bulls get a bad rap in her view, and hers is sweet as plum. Big-time Broncos fan and especially into John Elway (who was still tearing it up yet ten years later, btw). Heh, the way she talked sports almost made her one of the guys. But, there's a lot I never do pick up on. She's kind of, well, a dead zone. She doesn't project much emotion; there's no vibe or force field like with other chicks. And, so many questions… what do you think about as you fall asleep at night? Where do you see yourself in five years? What's your phone number? Of course, I never got around to that third one…

(to be continued)

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Ministry Opportunity

Local congregation comprised mainly of ages 50 and up with traditional values and very sane political outlook.

Requirements for pastor:

Preferably a mature married male but with no young children that would disrupt services. Sermons should comfort congregants in their inherent perfection plus grant assurance that God will smoke everyone else for their sinfulness. Weddings are rare but we average 15-20 memorial services per year. The Church would like to maintain present activities without introducing any new ones whatsoever, and outreach is strongly discouraged as it would only bring smelly communist hippies into the Church. Furthermore, pastor's wife must be willing to patiently listen to concerns of patrons on a 24/7 basis, lead worship from the piano, and dutifully organize all social activities. She will answer to the unofficial Church Ladies' Committee, chaired by Mrs. Helen Earth.

Applicants should send resume and blood type to First Blessed Church of Curmudgeons, 666 Nowhere Road.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

the bowl

The other day as I awoke it seems as though I were standing in a place I knew well as a small child. It's a shinesunny day and there I am at the most notable part of the private campground where we spent many a weekend back in the day. It's a flat clearing of mowed grass with a ridge to one side and the edge of forest around the rest of it. The ground is rather concave and so we call it the bowl. Not only is it surrounded by nature, the campground itself is amidst country homes and farm fields; it doesn't get any more peaceful. In the bowl you are free to chase butterflies or even try to catch a rabbit, or, if you dare, examine your conscience. Right about now as I look toward the ridge there's a nice shady spot that tempts relief from the sun. But, as my eyes examine the underbrush a little closer it seems…well…blending in with the sod and leaf-covered trees…hello there…it's an enormous grasshopper leg. The rear leg; just like when it's attached to a grasshopper except, hmm, there's just the leg. So...well, I don't think I'm gonna get too close to that. This is kinda different. What if that's the only part of grasshopper that I can see? This is so far fetched that by now anything's possible. I mean, if that leg alone is covering 20 feet of ground then…yeesh maneesh. Umm…aren't they vegetarian? Can't remember. Wonder if I should get in a safe place and throw a stick at it. I dunno. Aye…well I could just take a walk in the woods for now…'cept, that would be a just a lil creepy at this point. Howbout if I just get one of the other campers to take a look at it? Shoot, Carl and Bob would probly just haul it to the fire pit for supper. I don't think I would want any cuz it probably smells like, I dunno, moth balls or KMart ladies.