The Havarti cheese is sweating and limp in the heat, but here I am writing instead of putting on my shoes and walking out into the sunshine. I don't know if it's this place or just because I feel like it, but I am writing more and more since I moved here. I feel inspired. I am inspired.
I finished Creepers this afternoon. I'm suddenly inspired to look for an abandoned building or ghost town to explore. I think I'll do just that next weekend when I have money again. I'll pick a ghost town on the map, load my backpack with fruit, water and journal and head off into the unknown to see if I can't fall down a mine shaft or through a floor.
I want to explore the past, the forgotten places where people have moved on and left their essence behind like shedding a skin.
It could be something encoded in our DNA that makes us shed the skin of the past and move into the future, a relic of our reptilian heritage buried deep in the reptilian brain that keeps us alive and kicking when all sense of self and humanity are gone and all that remains is vegetable tended by people who would rather be anywhere but mopping up the refuse our bodies keep churning out even though we aren't home. In a sense, the past is a sort of immortality and I wonder what will be left of me when I exit the stage this time. I doubt I'll remember, but what if I did?
What if when I reincarnate I come across a reference to the past me and something sparks a memory along the synapses so that I relive that past life? What would that be like? How many times have I read about a place or a person and felt I knew them but not actually how. I know I've lived many, many lifetimes and I also know that it is doubtful I was anyone famous -- or infamous -- although the latter is more likely. I am drawn to many places, drawn by a yearning for home so that I have seldom felt at home anywhere in this time and place where I have existed. I have always felt like a stranger in my own family and I chalked that up to being adopted, but now I wonder if it goes further than that.
So few times in my life I have been really a part of something or someone. I find it so easy to walk away without looking back, carrying little bits and pieces of my life and my acquaintances with me. In that way I have gained shirts and sweaters, hair dryers and tools, some of which I cannot remember how they came to me. They are the palpable presence of what has become a misty memory that belongs to someone else.
I feel disconnected and separate from the rest of the world. I have moments of sadness for friends who misunderstand or misread my intentions and actions, but it passes. I shrug my shoulders and move on. It's all a part of the past and the present and the future are unstable undiscovered countries that draw me forward. I wonder if I'm the ghost and the rest of the world is real as I move through it, connecting briefly with sensitive souls that are interested in me briefly and then, thinking they have understood my existence at that nexus, cast aside for a new experience, a new ghost.
The only time I have ever felt at home and really connected with someone is with John. He fits me perfectly. We share the same feelings of isolation and ghostly presence, real only to each other, and a little afraid of the connection and the intensity of experience and emotion. We both want to be real, not only to each other but to the rest of the world that tends to forget our existence until we're needed or wanted to provide answers or work. I can and have walked away from everything and everyone in my life, but I cannot walk away from him. In a way it frightens me because it means I am caught, no longer an ethereal being of light and shadow existing for a brief human second, but a permanent fixture somewhere in time.
I read a call for submissions recently that wanted stories about the future changing the past. Immediately Back to the Future sprang to mind. That seems too simplistic, too easy. What if a real future happening echoed down the corridors of the past to change the past and a time traveling car or a time traveling civilization getting rid of its dead were not the motive force. Christopher Reeve went back in time, forcing his mind to carry him where his heart lived already, to find Jane Seymour. He changed both their lives.
So often people say, "If I knew then what I know now...," without knowing if it is possible to carry their knowledge back to the past and change their future. Can the future and the past exist in the same body or the same time? Two identical particles meeting are posited to create an explosion that could end the world, but who I am now is not who I was yesterday or last week, let alone 38 years ago.
Can I do it? Can I change the past by changing things now? Time goes in all directions for eternity and where we are on the timeline is a reality chosen and believed into existence. If that is true, why can't I change the present and affect the past, creating a new reality now?
Anything is possible, even writing in a sunny room on top of a Victorian house in Colorado Springs in the shadow of the mountains while fluffy white clouds build up and turn dark with pregnant possibilities of rain, thunder and lightning. Lightning is the source of all life. Could it be the answer for me, too?
Should I write it or live it?
Maybe I should live it and then write it.
Whatever I choose, writing will be part of it as it is part of me now and...
Saturday, May 21, 2005
I'm basically a night owl -- or I used to be. Now I'm not sure what I am.
My work schedule is all over the place due to the lack of work lately because of the doctors' strike, but I work best in the quiet darkness when the frantic pace of daylight has quieted and deep purple wraps everything closely up to the limits of the computer screen's glow. Lately I've been getting up between 5 and 6 just when the sky is lightening and the birds are twittering songs to wake their lazy young. The all you can eat gutter buffet isn't open for business yet and the air smells fresh and new, untouched by sun or rain or the smells of civilization.
I went to bed late last night, falling asleep with a book in my hands -- as always -- and rousing long enough to turn out the light and shift into a more comfortable position with the cool side of the pillow next to my face. The street was quiet and I dove gratefully into the dream pool only to wake as the air freshened and the sky lightened outside the windows. It was a little past six. Lumbering to my feet, I stumbled quietly to the bathroom for the usual biological call, washed my hands, splashed a little cold water on my face and headed to the kitchen for fruit and a couple boiled eggs. After checking my email (there was a lot of spam and not much else), I dropped back to the floor, grabbed my book and stretched before curling into a comfortable position to read.
Beyond the windows the sky was deep blue above where the sunlight washed the horizon to pale powder. Wispy clouds drifted between the gnarled fingers of the trees, their tips yellow-green in the rising light, and silhouetted birds streaked through the branches in spiraling displays of spring excitement while they dove and soared and cracked the whip. It was a soft morning full of empty canvas waiting to be sketched and painted with scattered lines or a more definite plan, and it was quiet.
As much as I've always disliked mornings, I have come to appreciate the cool tranquility as much as the velvet darkness. Each hour of the day is different and holds a special moment or two. Saturday mornings the buzz and whine of lawn mowers begin early, punctuating the day in bursts of activity as the sun warms and heats the air and the ground. Squirrels peer out of their nests and slowly climb down the tree trunks, scampering a bit and then running headlong toward the buffet to fill their fat furry cheeks with the wind's gift from delicate limbs where they cannot go. Birds join them in the troughs, pecking and picking at scraps too tiny to interest the squirrels. Parents call to their children and the whine of motor scooters and cycles mingle with the whish of tires on asphalt. The day begins.
I still have those cool quiet mornings to myself when the rest of the neighborhood sleeps soundly, reaching for an extra hour or two because it's Saturday. Mornings like these remind me of younger times when I stubbornly refused to answer my mother's call to wangle an extra 15 or 20 minutes of sleep because I was too tired to get up after having watched Chiller Theater until 2 AM.
I finally have what I waited for all those teenaged years, the luxury of sleeping in and ignoring the chores with a good book and a handful of strawberries or getting up and putting away clothes and books and organizing the rest of my unpacked boxes.
Today, I think I'll gear up with some music, put away some clothes, pack my backpack and take a walk to the library and the park.
I've already had my strawberries.
Friday, May 20, 2005
The first night sleeping on a floor on a flattened feather bed was painful the next morning when I staggered to my feet. I ached in more places than I knew I had. I was almost afraid to get back down there and almost opted for the love seat. It's cramped and uncomfortable but it had much more padding. I gritted my teeth and sank to the floor to give it another shot.
I slept like a log. Dead to the world -- until the call of nature woke me halfway through the night and every hour on the hour after that until I decided to give in and get up. I didn't hurt. I wasn't sore. I felt good and rested. I can do this.
I've slept on the floor every night since and I wake up refreshed and relaxed, if a little stiff for 30 seconds until I wake up and make it to the bathroom. There are some mornings I feel like getting back on the floor and sleeping some more, but work and duty call and I must obey -- for now.
I'm not too old to do the camping thing. I can handle a hard uneven floor so I know I can handle sleeping on rocks and roots I can't remove or avoid. Camping, here I come.
Now it's off to the showers to get scrubbed and dressed so I can go get some groceries. I was too lazy and tired last night. Need food. Need conditioner. Need fresh air and a walk in this beautiful and soft spring day. I'll come back and work, but there's no rush. I feel the urge to grab a journal, some fruit and water and head for the park. Maybe later. Shower and food now -- park later.
Thursday, May 19, 2005
Yesterday the EVIL ONE was talking about pizza and not being able to get it from his favorite place because they closed down. The mail had a coupon for Papa John's pizza. The combination was too much for me. I didn't feel like going to the grocery store to buy healthy food, so I caved in and ordered pizza and wings over the net. Couldn't do that back at the cabin. The only place that delivered would deliver to the Snooty Coyote in Tabernash and you had to go get it from there. Sort of screws up the whole idea of delivery.
I saw the pizza guy drive up and went to get my wallet for ID. I couldn't find it. Figures. Meanwhile, someone knocked on the door. As I searched for my wallet I wondered how the driver got upstairs with the downstairs door locked and bolted, but I went to the door. It was the landlady. She saw the pizza guy, too, and opened the door for him. Her eyes sparkled with that look that goes with forbidden food -- YEAH! I signed the receipt, took my order and asked the landlady if she'd like to share my dinner. "I'm making salmon tonight."
"Oh, come on. You can put the salmon in the fridge and have it tomorrow," I coaxed.
The salmon -- big, pink and beautiful -- went into the fridge and she offered a nice floral cabernet sauvignon. We shared a couple of wings and then dug into the pizza. She really likes pizza. We drank and talked and enjoyed the evening.
Later, out on the deck as the sun sank in a blaze of fiery colors and the moon rose in a cool blue sky, she told me the house likes my singing while I played fetch the squeaky squirrel with Pastor. It was a beautiful night and flew by too fast.
I took the last piece of pizza and most of the wings upstairs and went to bed.
This morning, after a restful sleep, I got up and fired up the computers, checked for updates and downloaded lots of work. The sun brightened the horizon. The sky is heart breaking blue; there isn't a cloud in the sky. Everything is bright and clear and smells of spring. It's a pleasure to work up here in the sun porch with such beautiful vistas. But I didn't expect a floor show in the crook of the tree outside my window.
My favorite squirrel was lounging in the crotch of the tree and a younger fella came up to lounge on top of him. The look in his beady little eyes said he had mischief on his mind.
And he did.
Up on his furry haunches he aimed his pelvis at the back end of my lounging friend and gave a few peremptory thrusts. His eyes lit up and he grabbed two paws full of plump furred hips and bent to his task. At first my furry buddy continued nibbling on his morning snack and ignored the activity. Then he reared up and turned on lustful Lothario. Clutching, biting, scratching, clawing and lots more thrusting ensued. Right in front of me while I'm working. How crude and ill-timed! They fought and tumbled and took turns climbing onto each other's back, thrusting and penetrating (from the surprised and shocked look in their eyes). Then they scrambled up the tree, my furry buddy close behind with blood in his eyes.
Who would have guessed? Gay squirrels. Either that or the younger fella doesn't realize that any hole is not going to get him the procreation prize.
I know it's spring, but I think they should at least take their pornographic tree-floor show into another tree, especially when I'm working and can't have my own floor show (still no bed). Don't you agree?
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
...and nightmares do happen.
Not much work today and a blackout. Fire trucks and EMS vehicles screaming down the street past my window, startling me. The squirrels weren't surprised and they didn't run and hide. I wonder if that's a sign. I have to remember that when the lights go out I have just enough power in the UPS to shut everything down so I don't lose all the data and everything I worked on. A friend asked me if I was really a blonde. Okay, so the UPS was beeping but everything was still working and lit up. Of course they were; they were on the uninterrupted power source. I'll remember next time.
My smart buddy reminded me that sleeping on the ground is worse. I disagree. All that pine duff and fallen leaves cushion the hard and soft parts of you. Wouldn't you know he'd bring up rocks and roots and twigs? I had an answer for that, too -- move them. "Not if they're still attached to the trees," he said. Okay, I'll give him that. However, I don't remember the ground being so difficult to sleep on and it has a little more give than a hard floor with a flattened out feather bed. We'll see. He sent me a web site for a campground where hams and their families go the end of August for QRP to the field (low power). I'm ready. He suggested it as a shakedown trip. I can handle that. We're making plans and that's a good sign.
I also got my first two wrong number calls looking for whoever had my number before I got it. I assured both callers I did not know a forwarding number for their prey but they didn't believe me because they asked again. Not a good sign. I can feel it in my bones (and it's not just sleeping on the hard floor) that they will call back again and try to trick me into admitting I'm their prey. I'm not that blonde.
Last night proved fruitful. I talked to the cheesecake man and he's giving me his best for the cost of ingredients. My best friend thinks the guy has ulterior motives. If it's what I think cheesecake guy wants, I'll give it to him -- time working on his plane. He not only bakes incredible cheesecakes, he is a pilot and has a wicked sense of humor and an Irish Setter. That's the sign of a nice guy but one who has never been married. His dog has lots of toys. Need I say more? He does have an interesting voice and he was born the same year my buddy and I were born, and his birthday is coming up soon. Another air sign. I'll see what comes with the voice and positive signs on Tuesday when he delivers the cheesecake -- the one with chocolate and Grand Marnier.
First thing this morning Beanie emailed and said she needed my new address. Another sign. I gave it to her but asked why. She said my nephew is graduating in a couple weeks and she wants to send me an announcement even though I can't be there. The blinking sign says time is passing quickly and another chick is leaving the nest. My brother's oldest will graduate next month, too, but he hasn't asked me for my address. Guess I won't get one of those announcements. But that could just be me making more of a simple situation -- he hasn't asked yet.
It's funny sometimes how we can make something of nothing and take a general statement and make it very personal and equally painful. I wonder if the sign shouldn't say drama created at all hours. No waiting.
Oh, well, the sign tonight said be spontaneous and I was. Ordered a pizza and some wings and shared them with the landlady. It's nice being in such a friendly atmosphere and knowing you're welcome. She doesn't mind my singing and said the house likes it when I sing -- she and Pastor do, too. It's such an unconscious thing for me -- singing -- and it's nice to know the sign here says I can sing all I want.
As signs go, it's all good.
One more thing, the sign above my door will soon read VE -- volunteer examiner for amateur radio. That's a real good sign.
My heart's wishes are coming true.
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
I got up at four this morning and started working. Two walls of windows looking out on the trees and the mountains, and this morning I watched the sky lighten and the mountains take shape from the shadows. I used to think windows were a distraction that kept me from working and focusing, but I was wrong. The windows are comforting and relaxing as I work and feel the street wake up around me. The sky lightens, trees and houses emerging from the shadows as lights turn on one by one up and down the street. People slip outside in robes and pajamas to get the newspaper, let out the dogs and cats and slip back inside to find coffee and breakfast, wake up kids and stretch to get ready for the day. The squirrels yawn and creep out of their nests and along the branches, eventually playing tag and roll.
This morning with the windows open it was chilly but the air was fresh and clean and scented with dew and mountains. Lightning forked the sky and thunder grumbled as the sun rose but it didn't rain, not here. The air was pregnant with ozone and rain; it passed over. Cold breezes slipped through the screens and tickled my hair. I was still productive, getting back into the rhythm of working.
Of course I have had to change my working attire and actually wear clothes for a change. A T-shirt and socks keep me from shocking the neighbors or giving their children sex education a little early. Once the sun came up I remembered the phone guy was coming to install the new jack in the sun porch. That meant I needed lots more clothes and a closer acquaintance with some soap and water. I gave in.
He came, fixed the line and went and he only knocked me offline twice. Pretty good. Then my landlady came upstairs, knocking on my door. I thought someone was knocking on her door downstairs and went to tell them she had a client. We opened the door at the same time. After she checked the work she asked me if I sang. I wasn't sure how to answer her. Yes, I sing but... Then I remembered. Last night I had queued up a radio station on the net and I have this little habit of singing when I'm surfing or just listening to music. Evidently she and Pastor were downstairs on the deck last night when I was singing with the windows open. Oops! I was in trouble.
I wasn't in trouble. Pastor likes my singing and she told me he laid down on the deck, stretched out and looked up at my window while I sang. At least he wasn't howling. The landlady liked my singing, too. I haven't sung in public for so long I don't know how I sound to anyone else. I sing for sheer joy. What's not to sing about? I have a new home and a familiar neighborhood. I am close to people who matter so much to me and I have a catbird seat full of views of trees, nature and mountains.
After a shower, I met the birthday boy for lunch. We picnicked in the park again but I took a light lunch: turkey rolled up in Swiss cheese with fresh strawberries for dessert. He brought the water. He really irritates me sometimes. He's so nonchalant about the very obvious and bright yellow gift bag and he wanted to eat first. Ruins my fun every time. I let him eat one turkey roll and a couple of strawberries and broke down. He opened the bag and liked what I got him -- even though he'd already ruined one of the gifts by telling me he was going to buy it himself. He wasn't expecting the other two. One was specially made for him and made good on a plan we had back in March and the other was whimsical.
Since I moved here he smiles all the time whenever we are together. His eyes light up and he grins. It's good to see him so happy for a change. Things have been difficult for both of us these past three months, but it's like none of it ever happened. This move is good for both of us and worth every single ache, pain and bruise. There is still so much before me learning my way around, meeting new people and finding my niche. A friend at Celebration -- just four blocks away -- wants to introduce me to some restaurants around the area and like-minded friends. I doubt I'll be lonely or without something to do.
And the landlady wants to pull weeds in the yard this weekend. That means I need to find my gardening tools and seeds. Sunshine, earth, water, plants and pulling weeds. It doesn't get much better than this.
I'll shut up now.
Well, one more thing. There is a movie in the near future with a tall fella with a crooked smile. It really doesn't get better than this.
Monday, May 16, 2005
This is my first day back to work since before the move last week. Did I mention I absolutely adore DSL? Updates are faster. Work downloads and uploads faster. And the sound is much clearer than on dial-up, which really messed with the sound on the voice files. Guess I have no excuse for not getting lots of work done and making lots of money.
The sky is laced with high soft clouds and the mountains are hazy bluish purple beneath a band of clear soft blue. The squirrels are dining at the all-you-can-eat gutters next door and working off the calories by chasing each other through the trees. My squirrel was back for a little people watching earlier, but answered the stronger call of gutter dining and tag. He'll be back.
Birds arrow between the branches unable to sit still for longer than a minute or two. The siren call of a beautiful day beckons them skyward. A few busy bees buzz outside the window and across the street a beautiful white cat pounces on a tabby cat, sending them both rolling in the grass. Here and there people step briefly outside to water plants and walk their dogs. To quote the late Mr. Rogers, "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood."
Today is a special day. It's the 50th anniversary of a dear friend's birth, one he would prefer to ignore like the last 25+ birthdays. I think he's edging into curmudgeon territory without a license, but that's just my opinion. I have my fingers crossed that he'll be able to get away for a half day to see a movie with me, talk and let me grin idiotically while he opens my gifts to him. One of them I have had for a while but the other I have to pick up in a little while before they close. They're making it up special for him -- counter to their usual working protocol. I'm so tickled.
Anyway, I probably should get back to work, but I think I'll put on some clothes (the bottom half of my clothes anyway since I'm back in civilization and there are no blinds or curtains on the sun porch cum office windows), go down to the car and unpack a few essentials (like bath soap, puff, hair brush, etc.) and take a long hot shower so I can find the place and pick up the gift. I need to get a card, too. I sent him two e-cards, but I need something for the gift to fit inside and a card will do nicely. Curious? You'll have to stay that way until the gifting is out of the way. Sorry about that. NOT!
Wherever you are, whatever you're doing, look out a window (find one if you have to) and enjoy whatever weather the gods are sending your way. Even snow and ice can be beautiful. Thunderstorms are awesome and during the day provide free fireworks. What more can you ask?
That is all. Disperse.
Sunday, May 15, 2005
...and the one night I slept here is no exception.
Friday night I didn't sleep particularly well, but I felt relaxed (despite my cramped position on the love seat -- I'm just too tall for it). Light spilled in through the windows in the living room and I didn't need a light to see to go to the bathroom (every hour on the hour). I saw the faint dark outline of the mountains in the distance and the sharp sparkle of the stars in the sky. I had been worried I wouldn't see the stars so clearly since I moved to the city, but here on the west side of town there are no bright street lights or excessive light pollution.
I just noticed there is one street light on the corner glowing orange and lighting up the street below. The bushes and trees are dark silhouettes retreating from the light and into the shadows. The light from my computers makes everything look a little darker outside, but the computer lights are familiar.
Squares of light from the houses up and down the street glow softly in the darkness between the leafing branches of the trees and in the distance coming closer the sound of teenagers on their way home from the park or from friends' houses drift up through the windows. The front door downstairs is locked and bolted, but my apartment door is not locked. There is such a sense of safety and peace here, a feeling of welcome. I guess George has decided I'm all right after all because I sensed his presence when I moved in and I feel it now just out of range, going about his ghostly business without need to watch me or worry about me treading on his ghostly toes.
Isolation is behind me and a new vista is before me. I am content. I could use some furniture -- and certainly a bed -- but I can make do with what I have. I don't need a lot and I have most of what I need.
Living in isolation sharpened my senses but I don't feel overwhelmed or stressed by the added sensations or the closeness of other people. Darkness softens the glaring light of day and wraps around me like a warm blanket on a cold night. The dense black of darkness at the cabin, that palpable presence, is gone, but in its place is the heartbeat of humanity and life. Squirrels chase each other through the trees and up and down the streets, sticking quivering noses into everything, eternally curious and avidly watching the new kid on the block. Dogs sniff and stiffen in challenge at other dogs trespassing, but it is an almost friendly challenge. Humans, with their hands wrapped in plastic bags, follow their dogs scooping up poop (you'll never catch a dog scooping human poop) and briskly pacing up and down the streets to the parks that ring this little neighborhood. The siren call of Old Colorado City and its eclectic and artistic shops and streets will not be denied for long.
Tomorrow I begin working on my high speed line and hopefully making up for lost time. I have a new schedule to figure out and fit into and the possibility of lunches out at the park and with friends -- picnics in the sunshine and even in the rain with lightning and thunder for fireworks in the middle of the day. So much to do and see and enjoy and I won't let the grass grow under my feet for long.
Most of all I look forward to spending time with a very close friend who can't stop smiling whenever we talk or when they're here. The smile is such an unconscious and open expression of happy contentment that it will be hard to keep from smiling back and reminding them that I am here to stay no matter what else happens. We have shared so much and now we share proximity; that should make many things easier. Neither of us is ever going to be alone without companionship again. We may not have a lot, but we have friendship.
I'll shut up now. Time to get some rest before I begin the new work day.
After a half week of back and forth between Colorado Springs and the cabin, I am done -- completely, utterly, irrevocably done. I didn't feel all that sad about leaving. After all the back and forth since Thursday, I'm relieved I don't have to go back there any time soon. I was anxious to get home.
I have been home for nearly an hour now and decided to relax by checking email and reading LJ. Outside my window is a big old tree just beginning to leaf with that soft yellow-green of spring and in the crotch of the tree is a little red squirrel. He and I have been peering at each other, taking each other's measure, and for a little while he was comfortably laid out in the crook of the tree fast asleep. He's awake again, sniffing the air, checking his brushy tail for fleas and staring at me again. I'm not sure he knows what to make of me, but he doesn't look too eager to go away. The tree is less than a yard from the south end of the sun porch where the mountains are purple and deep blue and brown with unleafed bushes. Puffy white clouds lazily drift across my horizon and every where I look are trees rustling and whispering in the wind. There are a couple pine trees, but most of the trees here are oak and maple and others I've yet to identify. The laws here are clumpy and bald in spots, some just dirt with clumps of green and flowers. The sky is impossibly blue around the clouds and over the peaks in front of me there is a soft bluish haze. One of the windows is open and the sounds of children play, cars zipping past every once in a while, and birds twittering and scolding fill the air with music.
A friend came over yesterday to help me network my computers for the new DSL. It took a lot less time than he anticipated and we finished with a gourmet and healthy lunch from Mountain Mama's. There is still a piece of carrot bread in the barren kitchen just waiting for me, but the fruit plate I had on the way home still hasn't settled yet.
For the first time in days I feel full of anticipation and possibility. My friend and I marveled at the way this neighborhood feels so much like where we grew up. The sun porch (now my office and ham shack) is just like the room where he had his work bench and ham shack growing up. We stood at the windows yesterday looking out along the street smiling because it felt so much like home. The apartment is much smaller than what I had, but I don't mind giving up the space. It makes my few pieces of furniture (love seat, desk, and office chair) look less lonely and lost. I unpacked a lot of my things yesterday before I went back to the cabin (books first, of course), and the floor is almost bare now the computers have been set up. There is still a lot of boxes and papers and junk to clear up and throw out, but right now it doesn't matter. I'll get to it in time. I need to get the rest of my things from the car but I feel rather unmotivated right now because I'm enjoying just sitting here and knowing I don't have to go back to Tabernash unless I want to visit friends. I'm here. I'm home.