Nasty Emails and Pleasant Families

I went out of the bush today at 2pm, having spent the morning letting the fire go out and packing what I needed. Crossing the stream was easier than I thought, with the garbage bags wrapped around my feet and inside my leaky boots from the illegal dump site. I tied them around my knees and mercifully they didn’t slide down enough or leak enough to get me wet as well as cold in the rushing torrent. There is ice forming on the rocks on the bottom of the stream, what Bashful calls anchor ice, but I jammed my feet in crevices and between rocks and ice and went across the stream fairly successfully.

Once over, I went up the hill to the pallet shed where I shook out the bags, upended the boots, and changed to dry ones I’d brought with me. Then I trudged through the snow to the road, and went to see Bashful, leaving my pack in his driveway in case Dennis came.

I chatted with Bashful a bit, about the birds he feeds, and how cold or warm it’s been lately. Once Dennis and Miriam came, just as I was taking my leave of Bashful, I loaded up my pack of dirty clothes for washing, books I had already edited, and we drove home. There I fired up the computer and dealt with the one hundred of messages that had accumulated in the eight days I’ve been out of touch. Many were junk mail, like office memos that specified what was happening at the university, but there were a few from students about their grades, and Tara about where I was, and one portentous one from Biss which said he wasn’t coming.

He rather angrily listed a long series of reasons why I don’t like him anymore and how that prevents him from coming and then he said we have to get together and talk about it. I have no idea what is going on down there, but right now Cin is away in the Turks and Caicos so maybe he is super stressed with that. The last time we spoke it went well, and he was bringing up things from the summer in support of why he couldn’t come now. Strange.

I dealt with the email, and then downloaded the sixty pages of text from the alphasmart onto my computer. I’ve written a lot here. Thirty-seven thousand words, much of it on the latest Blind Fish novel. I then downloaded the pictures and video from my camera and looked at them wondering what I was going to do with the video, and then I became more social and hung out with the family. Biss’ nasty letter hung over me, for after all his salutation was Merry Fucking Christmas, but I tried to put from my mind what I couldn’t change right then, if ever, and enjoy the family around me. It would be unfair to come out of the woods after a week to be mean to the kids when it is not their fault that I’m upset about something else.

We stayed up quite late talking, and it was three when I was finished spell-checking my long alphasmart document and then talking to Darius about the alternator problems with his car. I also answered email from students and from Christiano about a car he may buy. By 3:30 I was asleep only to wake again at eight when Dennis and Kim were stirring.

About Barry Pomeroy

I had an English teacher in high school many years ago who talked about writing as something that people do, rather than something that died with Shakespeare. I began writing soon after, maudlin poetry followed by short prose pieces, but finally, after years of academic training, I learned something about the magic of the manipulated word.
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