Friday, January 27, 2012


I have been sitting here, laying here, eating here, healing here, for a week. Day eight, my husband's day off, he asks if I'd like to go for a ride up to the waterfalls. The road from Troutdale to Multmomah Falls, is, to date, my favorite place on earth. I don't care the season, the weather, the time of day, I am nourished by the dense green ferns, layers of moss and lichen, light filtering through cedar trees to illuminate -- wait -- we're on the wrong road. Did he say "by the waterfalls?" What he should have said was, "I'm driving up to Cascade Locks to see if anybody's fishing. On the way we can pass Multmomah Falls going eighty mph and not even slow down. Wanna go?"

Am I complaining? I am, to no avail. I did want to get out of the house and this was out. But a trip down the freeway is not luxurious in the same way a winding adventure through fairyland would be. The healing powers just ain't there. Ah, well. I married a fisherman.

So, we get to Cascade Locks, home of the absurdly large, small soft-serv cone. Why do they leave the 'e' off of Serv? Is it clever? Does it contribute to the demise of the English language? I digress.

So, we roll down into the Marine Park (read: the fishing hole) to find two locals hanging out, one fishing, both drinking. Ralph is an Indian, Roy isn't. Duffy wanders over for the meet 'n greet. Next thing I know. Ralph is yelling. Apparently Duffy peed on his rubber boots. Which he was wearing. This was a great little conversation starter, as if the sturgeon pole and brownpaperbag wine sacks weren't.

"Good thing I wasn't goin' to a weddin' eh?" Ralph says.
"Duffy, you're not being very neighborly," I said. "I'm so sorry."
Roy laughs long and loud. We all laugh, start asking them about the wisdom of taking a drive out Hwy. 35 around Mt. Hood, road conditions, dead of winter, all that.
"Long as you do it before shade falls," Roy says.
My husband talks to them about fishing, the weather two weeks ago last time he was out there to fish.
"No electric that day," Ralph says, "all the way to White Salmon it was out. Them gas stations can't even pump us no damn gas. You know the only place you can stay warm?"
I shake my head.
"In the damn car. Good thing I had boat gas left. I had to stick it in the damn Jeep. Stuck there all day with the old lady. But we made it. We always do. That's how you know."
About the woman. You know about a woman if she can sit all day in the car, in the cold, staying warm on recycled boat gas. And wine. Don't forget the wine. High octane.
Duffy wanders overs to piss on Roy's boots this time. I swear he's never done this before.
"Shit," I yell, although not for encouragement or by way of suggestion.
"He who laughs first, laughs last," Ralph says.
Wise old Indian, that Ralph.

So we wander back to our truck, offering weak apologies. Ralph thanks us for making his day. Kurt tells them he'll be back tomorrow to actually fish.

Personally, I would not have told them this. I would come back, but hoped they'd forgotton the whole deal. Because honestly, this situation could have gone very differently. One more bottle of wine, one more forty-ouncer, and the story might have ended with Pictures at Eleven. What seems so silly at noon turns suddenly serious as daylight wanes, as the nice blonde lady with the fluffy little white dog who lets him piss on the locals ought to buy him a new pair of boots. How much? I'd ask, as my husband, who would certainly intervene, says, "we ain't buying this asshole new boots. They're rubber. He can stick them in the river and rinse them off if its such a big deal. Then, together, Roy and Ralph would rinse my husband in the mighty Columbia and use Duffy for sturgeon bait. They'd take Sid because he's a pitbull and guys like that think pitbulls are cool-they don't know Sid is a wussie dog. Then, Ralph's wife would show up and kick my ass. Her name would be Beverly and she'd be pathologically unhappy. Together, they'd tie me to the statue of Sacajawea (We refer to the statue as "Hot Sacajawea.") and before leaving, she would punch me in the shoulder just for pure meanness.

So we got away without a scratch, got an ice cream cone, and drove the long way home. It was good to get out of the house.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

one handed

What is the sound of one hand typing?

i'll dispense with capitalization. now 20 hours post-op, the fun begins. for the curious, i had my left clavicle resected to reduce impingement of the acromium process. (they shortened my collar bone.) my husband made me comfortable all evening and just now made scrambled eggs for breakfast with blackberry jam on my toast without even asking.

duffy is sitting on my shoulder, pulling on my hair. sid is pacing because, heaven forbid, something has shifted in the zen of our home. he worries. duffy could care less. to him, i just can't get out of the way fast enough in case he notices a squirrel on the wires outside my bay window. i am sitting in his spot. in his way.

owwwwwwwwww. time for medication.