Life in Kickapoo Center at the Turn of the Century
November. The week before the Great American Manhood Spectacle. Six hundred thousand people descend upon the woods and fields of the state to try their hand at fetching one of the King's Deer. I hunt for the meat, as do many of my neighbors. I've learned that I can save hours of cold fingers and toes by trading vegetables for venison. I'm happy for the hunters. With the new snow, tracking is easier. It also means fewer deer that are killed and wasted when the hunter can't find his quarry.
For a few weeks The Pooch and I will be confined to walking the perimeter of our land. I briefly considered getting the Pooch an orange vest. It would end up in the same place as the $8 engraved collar I purchased in Minneapolis. I've seen the Pooch drag various kills under his porch hideout. I imagine a pile of fur, bones, small objects like the collar and an orange vest.
What a contrast between seasons. November seems to go on forever. Rain, gray skies, leafless trees, cold and more gray. Gris, in French. For the most part, I tolerate the dreary by keeping busy and planning for the spring and summer. When I lived in Arizona, people had all sorts of rationalizations for the extreme heat and sucking dry air. I rationalize crappy weather with , "We had an extended, beautiful fall, " or ; " One can always add more layers to combat the cold." In Arizona you wouldn't want to walk around naked to combat the heat. Actually a layer of white cotton helped dissipate the sweat and fire. Life for folk below the Arctic Circle revolves around holidays and family. The distance between our family members and responsibilities of work don't allow much time for celebration of holidays. In the past, both my wife and I would be scheduled to work on a holiday. There was a time as a businessman when I worked 7 days a week for two years. Now that I am semi- retired, I have more time, however the work load hasn't decreased. Oh woe is me! I grab an old journal-the one with a black cover and the image of a cat in embossed silver on the front. I'm good at titles. I named this journal segment Pushy and subtitled it "Summer of 1996. Here's an example. Unfortunately, there are parts of the entry I can't read because of illegible handwriting. It's unusual because the first entry is dated 6/26'96 . A few I Ching readings about potential real estate deals intervene. Then, there's a gap for a entire year. This is the last entry before abandoning the journal.
Summer of 1997
sweat falls off you like apples from a tree
stuck inside of Memphis again
with the (here's where illegible possibilities come in)
with the yellow cat vomit
at the back door
and the witch who runs the Hand of Glory
cleans her windows
with a bleached and cropped smile.
Been to better places.
The blonde with the better offer
calls from the high desert.
The twisted woman calls in her husky voice
to confirm your leaving
you don't give her a window-
you give her a crack and
wonder what she'll do.
Words at high noon
with your broker
pushing the river
in less than 10 minutes
while learning how to spot counterfeits
and change the course of lives
( I first misread this to be "the curse of eves")
with a T-shirt
and an unlucky number