Thursday, August 11, 2011

1. A Day

At work, I have a bias for candidates who tell me about what it was like to love a job. In friends, I have a bias for people who make me mix tapes, CD's, whatever. We've talked about this before. There's something else to say about it though, the way it signifies, to me, someone's ability to think about, oh, say, you driving your car to work in the morning, or, even better, about the more unpleasant drive home, that time of day when everything gets all gummed up and NPR drones and the Cedar Grove composting site in Everett goes all foul-smelling in the sun and you are so ready to be home and over it all. If there is a mix CD, or the first draft of the Daffodils new album, none of that is so bad. It's just what lies between you and avocado crab enchiladas from the co-op, and the blooming potato fields that surround the house, and everything the evening holds.

The accident on the way home today was two cars all the way over the guard rail, both right side up, surprisingly, one facing south instead of north. These things happen, maybe an accident this bad about once every three months, and they stick with me. Traumatic to me in some small, corner of the eye way, traumatic to someone else on a much bigger scale. I've been thinking about trauma a lot these days, both the big sudden kind, and the long sustained conditioning that tends to resonate through the years, surprising you with your own reactions to things. Surprising me with my own reaction to things.

Most days, I notice what happens when I walk in the door in one of the places where I am supposed to belong. At work there are two ways to go in, and I alternate depending on my mood. Walk past the exec offices, or stop in the lunchroom for hot water for tea? Those choices start the world in two different ways. In Bow, Emmy predictably barks, but sometimes she also gently nips at my hand as I reach down to pet her on the walk back to the front gate to close it for the night. Sometimes Tom is in the house, doing dishes, but most often he's out in the back these days, watering or piling dirt up around the potato mounds, and sometimes he leaves what he's doing to say hello, and sometimes he doesn't, sometimes he just waves. At the Ballard house, it was the same way, sometimes Kate and Jason on the couch, watching a movie, Kate knitting or playing words with friends or something like that on her iPhone. Sometimes they would stop the movie to talk, sometimes not. Sometimes I was Special Guest Star, and sometimes it was Tuesday. Sometimes it was a house full of guys with beards and stringed instruments, apologizing for being in the way of the door up to my space. Yesterday Jason saw me coming from where he sat on the couch, and got up to open the door and let me in. That was the first time he had ever done that, and probably the last. Moving day is any week night for the next few weeks, and then it's mini-farm forever after. 


Barb said...

Beautiful. Man you can write!

Allison said...

Mini farm forever! Wow! Maybe by the time we get the boys out there again, they'll have figured out how to NOT slam the glass doors.

Unlikely, but a Mommy can dream.