The morning has started bitterly cold. For some ungodly reason, I woke up first at five-thirty. My guess is one of these recent arrival citiots set off their alarm or slammed their doors or turned on their headlights and woke me up.
It is bitterly cold, as I said, seven degrees, but not for long. We are to climb rapidly and peak around give o’clock at twenty-nine degrees. It will be fast too, so I may suffer with shorts around a nice fire. Two more nights til I leave, I should buy another bundle of wood or two.
I had a weird dream. I woke, saw the time. I leaned through a window sill into another room. I saw a television, clothes and a bed. There was a body buried under the covers, head at the far end. I asked if they were up, a woman’s voice said “yes” and I told them they had to get up for work and had about one minute to get there. She jumped up and left the room.
Then I turned back into my room and a figure across the room spoke. It was also someone I knew and she motioned if she could sit on the foot end of my bed. “Sure, no problem” I said and she sat down. “If you come closer I will have to do more to you than talk” the words poured out like sand from my brain to the darkness then light as I was yanked back to reality again.
It is time to get my lazy butt up as the sun just broke over the hills. I need to dress, shave, and find coffee. I was just thinking about the dream last night and the rules I have written in my life regarding relationships. I do not and will not have such relations with a co-worker, not that that is what the dream was about but just one of my top rules. The mistakes made with my ex- prove quite clearly that relationships with co-workers is an unwise affair. It is a rule I have kept since 1996 and the reason I never hire women I could see sleeping with. Another rule is age, I happen to like the formula of half my age plus seven as the woman’s minimum age [that would be 30 years old] that I would have a sexual relationship with. I have kept that rule of minimum age requirement since about 2003 when I returned to Canada. A third rule is they must be clean, no health issues at all. In addition to not wanting to “catch” something I also wouldn’t want to be stuck in a relationship because we both had it and my options were severely limited for a life beyond her. I would expect them to, of course, have the same standards for me.
A helicopter just flew past, far too low to be legal, below the treeline. It was black with writing on it and a couple squiggly coloured lines on the side, not police or rescue. So low, must be with BC Hydro checking out camps and the reservoir. I can hear it out over the water out of my view. They love their helicopters here, helicopters and one lane bridges.
What a rip off, I paid almost nine dollars for a bundle, bundles, of wood at the gas station when all along I could have bought them at the grocery store for six. My loss of about twenty-four dollars for three cheaper bundles. I was not impressed, but sympathetic as I know who their distributor is.
Midday – Have I grown bitter and cynical or aware and realistic? I believe if the former then I would be beyond hope. I would not see the beauty in the world, or appreciate music or desire to love or to be loved. I am just tired of the hype, tired of fakery, tired of the need of the masses for little more than will the handsome, rich and lonely bachelor fall madly in love with ‘the one chosen by you our viewing audience, cast you votes now’.
The news, the pathetic drivel that one refers to as “news” only bores and disgusts me – another day of ‘who is killing who’ and ‘what can you buy with your slave dollars?’. I glance at the headlines, more to see that the rest of the world is still out there and some exotic new disease has not killed us all – and if it did, if millions died, would it even get five minutes’ mention between the Hollywood scandals and Sports scandals and ads for laundry detergent – seconds of which cut short by the message ‘Keep out of reach of children’ and ‘Do not eat’. I remember my mother saying, “Do not touch that” and I did not touch it, the laundry soap, the hot iron, whatever household item it was. I think she knew as her mother knew and as I would come to know that laundry soap is not good to eat. There was no need for bright clearly written warnings in the days when common sense prevailed. Now the parents have more common than sense and their children eat the soap and they try to sue “It was not our fault” says Miranda Homemaker “there was no label to tell me to keep the soap away from little Mirabelle. And how am I to know my child would want to eat it. There should have been a label!!”
‘Next up’ the computer news blares ‘dozens of children sickened after eating laundry soap shaped like candy’ but first Sports scandal rocks the blah de blah. Nods to sexy female sports anchor hired not for her knowledge of football growing up with six Wisconsin brothers but rather for how her voluptuous breasts protrude beneath her blouse and drive the ratings up faster than the middle aged dicks watching her lustfully.
I remember the day I ran ahead of the class, up in league with a few athletes our school churned out each term. We ran up the hill, well down and then up, and I was tied for top place. It was around my house a thought occurred to me “If I win I will be expected to run like this all the time” and I loathed sports and running. And so, I slowed, first, second, fourth, just enough to not make the cut, just enough my gym teacher would consider it just a fluke and leave me be. “He heard his mom washing and slowed down” the other boys taunted me, their explanation for my fall from first to fifth or eighth or whatever. The truth never told. [until now]
I hated sports and I hated running, I could run, I could pace, and I could have done the CWOSSA or OFFSA or Track and Field – is not the track on the field? But I did not see the point of it. I was the tech, the scorekeeper, the one who gave out the medals to the ones who loved sports and loved running. They forced you to compete, ah the irony, to run or jump or throw or kick. It was not an option to just sit and watch and pretend to cheer. “No, we make them run or jump or throw or kick the other two hundred and sixty-four days a year so they must on this one hot spring day as well”. “Music, art, literature, all crap if you can not block a shot into the net at least twice per game”. There was no room for intellectuals in nine and ten unless they subscribed to at least one athletic embarrassment. “We are raising champions” they belched above the drone of bleating sheep.
No, I hate sports and I hated running. I hated to run or jump or throw or kick. What I desired I could not be allowed to achieve. I loved books and writing and reading and all the things a C minus student ought not to worry their simple minds with.
It is Wednesday and in two days I will be back on the road to Alberta. It is different this time than last as “home” is only nine hours away and not three days. Do I regret not going back to Ontario this year? No, not at all. I have but one regret and it is not something so materialistically achievable. This vacation is, and rightly should be, about me, not my friends or family.
What is so fascinating about these foothills that people stop to photograph them and spy on them and tell their friends about them? Perhaps living next to the Rocky Mountains, I have become spoiled? Perhaps I am cynical and the grandeur of the rocks and trees and millions of years in the making, are just piles of rocks and trees to me? No, I appreciate their existence, I think it is just their smallness that ceases to impress me after a moment or three.
The people interest me more than the foothills, oh not their stories or their culture or their origins. It is their interaction with each other and with their environment and with each other in their environment that interests me. It is their shape and form, their rhythm and their unyielding conformity. They pay thousands and travel great distances to experience the world unique from others – only to rent the same monstrosities and travel the same roads to see the same sites as everyone else. “Oh, you must visit Seton lake, or Banff, or Jasper or Vancouver. It is so unique and so grand you will love it” the call to “do as I did, to see as I have and to be where I have been and still it will be unique”.
Two are watching birds, one reads a sign that four did already, two, three buckle in for the ride and turn the ignition in automated harmony. A beautiful blond girl munches on an apple and reads the sign, but she’s barefoot, a non-conformist in her youth. For a moment, til she grabs a body wipe and in unison cleans her hands and arms, along with two others seated in the sedan, of any ‘nature’ that might be inadvertently dribbled on their pale pink flesh. Conformists all.
And me, sitting in solitude, writing, careful not to stare at the beautiful blond girl for fear it might be staring to long. Why be beautiful if not to be observed and admired? It is only in our puritanism society to stare at beauty and ever consider it to be for too long.
How can one limit their appreciation of the beauty of a young or old woman? True, youth begets more admiration – curves, mounds, folds, smooth, silky, sensuous, longing to be touched, to be desired, to be wanted by not to be had. I think back to my youth and recall the ones I considered beautiful at the time. Their soft, virginal skin and doe-ful smiles, innocent and yet in the back of their minds deceitfully aware of the power they have over men. I’m sure several of them ended up pregnant, planned or not, and married to some rough neck who drinks too much and has more fun after the bar than the woman does.
A mountain goat with his scruffy white beard and devilish horns is grazing several hundred metres up on the side of the cliffs. I captured it on my camera and zoomed right up to its face. It reminds me of the goats in the satanic rituals and horror films with no historical accuracy at all.
So, what did a C minus student like to do? I liked to write. I wrote poetry and prose for Creative Writing class and my teacher submitted my works to the local paper many times. I would have kept it up but one time the paper took a particularly long piece of mine and butchered it into a dozen space stuffers. After that I refused to submit another thing – my teacher understood she said.
The thick green grass beneath my tired feet lush with clover and stiff brown pine needles and tiny drops of dew that refuse to submit to the hot sunlight. Hot in the sun and cold in the shade, so different from Alberta that seems to be warm regardless of how dense the shade.
My feet are a most graven white, almost dead looking, clearly, I am in desperate need of far more sun before the sun is gone. This is the first time perhaps that I have gone barefoot, in the grass this year, and aside from the glaring discovery that I need to clip my toenails, the grass felt nice and cool under my feet.
Evening – the first of just two more evenings left in British Columbia then its back to Snordegg. When I return, I am going to do some work around the house to improve the safety and security of it. I need to bring more light into my house so I will use privacy sticky tack on the windows and then I can leave the curtains open more often.
I just got off a long messenger chat with my soul-brother, most of our chat recalled what we already knew but it was nice to reconnect with him just the same. I threw another log onto the fire and it began to smoke out. I grabbed two Firestarter sticks and jammed them in – instant hot flames are now broiling the new log. The blackened mass that went before it too is dancing in blue and yellow auras. It is as if someone stuck a propane gas jet beneath them, all this fire from two innocent little sticks. A cyclone of smoke rises, sucks downward then swirls up to the starry heavens. It is somewhere around ten o’clock, the moon seems to move slower with each crossing of the night sky. It is almost full now, just a tiny sliver on the left is missing.
I did not go later to buy alcohol, I forgot, oh well. I will not bother tomorrow night since I leave for home on Friday morning.
The Big Dipper is sitting low in the northern sky high above Lower Lillooet. I saw Cassiopeia directly above me as I set down for the night. I have not lost weight but this week I did not notice my hernia. I guess my body liked most of the MRE’s.
Am I a “positive cynic”? I guess the question is more why do I need to be labelled at all? I am who I am who I am need I be someone else?
The moon is almost bright enough to read and write with. I can see the grass, the detail of my truck wheel, and shrubs on the hillside behind me. Every so often a couple Canada geese go honking overhead. I have not seen any around so these might actually be migrating toward Vancouver.
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