Sunday, February 15, 2004


I am here. My house in Portland. I have a diamond ring on my finger, something I never wanted. Only now, it seems my hands have been empty for so long. I don't know how a ring should fit. It is a small solitaire, set in white gold. I haven't worn one since I sold my sister-in-law's jade and gold ring for a big bag of crank in the early eighties. I finally copped to that small indiscretion. Shit, I sold the farm.

Out to Sauvie's Island yesterday for the day, passive fishing. I had a license for the day so he could have an additional pole in the water. More unspoken rules about beach fishing: There are two kinds of cops... State police, who check licenses; and fish cops, who check the number of fish caught daily. Its not easy to chat it up with cops. I don't know if it ever will be for me, or him. They stop by, and after the formalities of licensure, seems to me they wanna hang out awhile, shoot the shit with the (mostly) boys. But everyone is cautious. Especially with the Staters. But it turns out there is reason to withhold information even from the fish cop. He saunters by in his UPS brown uniform, and I overhear the conversations of the fishermen. They ain't coppin' to shit. He wants to know who's caught fish, who's let 'em go, and they ain't saying nothin'. Turns out he can shut the season down early if a certain percentage of a certain kind of fish are caught. So, in the interest of a longer season, mum's the word. Again, the newbies are out there yapping away about who caught this or that and how big was it, blah blah blah. Embarrassing. Hooked a two foot shaker, a baby sturgeon. Like a pale spiked catfish, bottom dweller, like most of my old friends.

I tore into the front yard today, beds of azalea and calendula, rhodies and camellias. My fiance sprinkled bone meal in my wake. Real bone meal, fresh from the pound. I don't know why it seems better to buy it from walmart in a box. It isn't like I knew the animals, but the occasional chink of metal is disturbing.... On another note: Why do people choose the plant containers they do? It's a mystery to me, as is so much of yard and garden art. Such an enormous trend, and one that I have been sucked into from time to time, more as the recipient of garden-related gifts that my own purchases. I want to plant a hydrangea at the front corner of the house. I don't want to go home. Home... a relative term anymore. Where I am. Where he is. Where we are.

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