We’re almost there… wherever there is.

Somewhere between lost and exploring.

Life is very different here than what I have known previously, but most likely that is predominantly in my head. Like many other things, or at least my perception of them. In the past six months, I have had a lot of time on my hands, much of which I initially spent exploring the hills and forests and canyons hereabouts. Often, when out on such adventures I would converse with the littledog, my trusty companion (the twirp, as I have taken to calling the second dog, is now a party to many of these explorations as well, though being a puppy, we have very different conversations). Anyway, on more than one occasion I would comment to her, “We’re almost there Little… wherever there is.”; not trying to be clever, for most of the time those efforts are lost on her, but… well, for no real reason I guess.

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Are we where yet?

Sometimes, I would have a general sense of where we were headed, at least as far as a map could tell, but really, when exploring a brand new landscape, you never really know quite where you are, except perhaps in relation to where you have just been, but most of the time we were not going that way. Rather, we were headed into the unknown, into that place full of exploration and always on the edge of possibly being lost. Well, I guess lost is not quite right; those who wander and all that. Either way, to proclaim that we were almost there, when I really had no good idea of where there was, is a fair bit short of prophetic; nor really quite hopeful, for that is not what I meant. I think, that what I was trying to impart, to myself, or to the universe, or possibly to Little, though I think most of the time she could have cared less, was that I would know we were there when we had arrived.

Of course, I would undertake similar wanderings back there away up north, but even though I probably could more easily have gotten lost in that much more wild landscape, I felt I knew the place better. Everything here is new, even when I walk the same trail over and over again. It is not a part of me yet, nor I a part of it.

Nights are warm and dark here. The land is dry and rocky, the air is thin, the grass is tall and waves on for miles. The trees are huge and towering or gnarled and foreign. The sun sets very fast and without hesitation. Life is very different here

 ~                  ~                  ~

A few nights ago, as has become my habit, I stepped out into the back yard to consider the evening before turning in. The moon, just past full, was rising. As it came up above the distant horizon, it ascended behind a low bank of clouds. It was as if it was the sun, setting upside down. It was bloated and orange and illuminating the sky and the tattered clouds around it and then it disappeared and the night fell to dusk and then to dark.

Life is very different here. But the more I realize that, the more I think that, wherever here is, I am almost there.

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The twirp contemplates the setting of the sun

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Temporary modification.

Way back in my high school days I was subjected to (as a result of my own actions, but we will get to that in a bit) a curious form of punishment. Now that I re-read that I realize the redundancy, but anyway. The school that I attended, during the first three of four years which most of us are sentenced to serve, was a three story, winged affair. That is there was a central portion, where the main entrance was and off of which, at an angle, ran two separate wings. Each of these wings had rooms on either side with hallways running down the center, thus all the rooms had windows. Except one.

Well, I suppose that is not quite true. The gymnasium and adjoining locker rooms did not likely have windows and as I recall the shop classes may have similarly been devoid of immediate access to the outside world, but that is sort of beside the point. Tried to avoid both of those places anyway.

No, there was this one room wherein was carried out a special sort of “program”. It was on the bottom floor and I believe it must have had two doors (legal egress and all that), but it most certainly had no windows. It was a cinderblock room that was, as it happens, painted pink. Like Pepto-Bismol pink. Pause for a moment and picture that for yourself…

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It was full of desks and nothing else. The primary function of this room was to serve the Temporary Modification Program, or “TM” as it was so lovingly referred to. The idea being, as I recall, should one be assigned to a day – yes a whole school day – in said “program”, the pink walls would serve to soothe one’s troubled soul. Being really just an in school suspension, one was not allowed to sleep, nor read, nor even do school work… oddly enough. One was rather meant to sit and ponder, I guess, the nature and ramifications of one’s particular sin… er, crime… er, whatever.

I had the privilege of undertaking this fascinating experiment in behavioral manipulation on three different occasions… given that I was such an incurable miscreant.

I may have mentioned in previous iterations of this blogthing that I was not the biggest fan of that torturous experience called high school. Or, you may have picked that up from reading this so far. Anyway, despite that, I was not an outspoken rebel… most of the time. And for the most part I toed the line, but there was one thing that continually got me in trouble. Tardiness.

You see, given the layout of the building, it would often be necessary for one to quit a classroom on one end of one wing and have to arrive forthwith at another on the far end of the opposite wing, and often on a different floor. Which was mostly reasonable except that I refused to carry the needed materials for more than one class at a time and so I would necessarily have to stop at my locker between every class. More often than not I did not “make the bell’ as it were. After certain numbers of warnings, detentions would be doled out; after certain numbers of detentions, well off to the pink room I went.

I don’t generally have trouble with authority, as a rule. I certainly have trouble with misuse of authority, misplaced authority, mismanaged authority, misinterpreted authority… ok, maybe I do have trouble with authority. I guess I wish we could all just learn to play along, and more importantly, take responsibility for our own actions. But, given that that is not generally the case, despite that we are trying to live in a society here, authority exists, and sadly, is too often needed. Anyway, not really the point.

Not really sure what the point is here. For some reason the “TM” program has been on my mind lately. Perhaps it has something to do with haste, and my general lack thereof most of the time. Hell these days, I barely leave the house, so where the hell would I have to rush off to? Perhaps it is that perspective that causes me to be so irrationally infuriated by the rampant, rabid tailgating that is so damn prevalent here. Everyone seems to be in such a damn rush all the time, and as god is my witness, I haven’t the faintest idea where they could possibly be going that is so important…all the damn time… here in Round Valley.

Anyways. Life moves on; slowly for me. Most days, as noted, I mill about the house and yard with the dogs and try to take care of random chores/projects. It is getting hotter and, I must begrudgingly admit, the winds are generally decreasing, in severity if not in frequency. I try to maintain an even keel, though some days are better than others. I try to abide, and interestingly, that is easier in a bath robe. Hence the frequent inclination to stay home.

Also, I have traded the mantle of “house husband” for “trophy husband”… sounds more impressive dontcha think?

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