Life Among the Never-Winged

Once upon a time I was writing a book called, "Just Another Love Letter", about angels behaving badly. Now I just quietly ask myself each day, "What the hell am I doing?"

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Location: The Rocky Mountain Empire, United States

My friends always knew I was going to hell. My only hope is that God likes good jokes and bad redheads.

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  • Tuesday, August 08, 2006

    Arrival (The Cello)

    We follow Clowncar and PeeWee down the mountain toward Lyons, the road twisting through the Big Thompson Canyon, which O tells me flooded thirty years ago to the day, when the roaring water of the St. Vrain River killed over 200 people.
    It’s so beautiful, I can hardly believe him. Not today, when the water is low and swift and so far down from the road. We are passing scads of mountain bikers bent in half to resist the wind, their legs nothing but muscle and sinew. They pack and ride, and one is stupid and daring, passing cars who are trying not to kill him on this treacherous grade. O envies him.
    And motorcycles everywhere. I’ve never seen so many.
    “Perfect day for riding,” O says, and I nod. We’ve got the windows down. It’s a perfect day for anything. Everything.

    Clowncar pulls over to a small rest stop and we pour out. O notices a vine growing over a boulder.
    “Is that a grape vine?” he asks.
    Sure enough it is; to prove it, I find a small clutch of grapes drying on their stems. We are right next to the river; I can hear it just through the brush and boulders and tangled vines. I look toward the rushing river sound and spot an apple tree. Declan is standing next to me, so I take his hand and find a way between two boulders; we’re just small enough to pass between them. Down a dusty path we go, to find the tree. And we do, right at water’s edge, the apples hanging just out of reach. Declan still wants one, and so do I, desperately. They are small and delicate and green, with the barest pink blush. I know how they’ll taste when my teeth break the skin. Forbidden.
    A little climbing (I’ve never been a stranger to tree-climbing) and we have one each.
    Sweet and divine.
    “Eat it now,” I tell Declan. “Quickly.”
    I can’t reach any more apples and I don’t want Cain and Abel on my hands. Or perhaps Esau and Jacob would be more accurate.

    Back at the cars, O and Clowncar are talking, and I snap two of my favorite photos:

    I’ll let you guess who is who.

    Lyons is already hot, despite the altitude. We’re in for a long day, and I can’t wait to get to the river. PeeWee and I pull the kiddos and gear in two wagons while the guys are off finding parking places. We cross a bridge over the St. Vrain, and stop to look at it for a minute. There are several people floating along in black inner tubes, bumping over the little rapids. The water is dark under the trees, so cool and inviting. To me, rivers are where the rain congregates, waiting to be lifted into the next storm.

    We pull the wagons up to the spot we held last year among the tents at the back of the crowd. RockyGrass is populated by a kind tribe, but a tribe nonetheless. Territorial.

    The first group, Crooked Still, is already playing on stage, and a sound passes through my abdomen, setting off a flight of butterflies. It is deep and low and feels like an unborn moan.
    A cello.
    So unexpected, it takes my breath, makes me bite my lip. Rushad Eggleston plays it almost like a fiddle, but still lets the instrument do what it was born to; cry like a forlorn woman.

    We left both tents up back at the campsite, and the sun is too eager for our skin. PeeWee and I spread out one of the blankets, then leave the wagons and take the rest of the gear and the kiddos to the bank above the St. Vrain between two tents – the smoking tent and the granola-bar-sample tent (I LOVE hippies!). There is a cool, shady space there, above a sandy slope leading down to smooth, flat sitting stones along the water.

    The guys appear, with beer. Hear hear.

    And here we have a Commie Pinko Fag Dancehall, slightly inebriated with her first beer.
    Special appearance by Random Hairy Guy in the background. Actually, he was very nice to the boyos.

    Things went temporarily South after this. Scary bits coming up.

    15 people left me a love letter:

    Blogger Dantares wrote in a love letter...


    1:55 AM, August 09, 2006  
    Blogger amusing wrote in a love letter...

    Randomly hairy guy. Working on a sunburn. And is that a rat tail on his neck?

    8:36 AM, August 09, 2006  
    Blogger Schmoopie wrote in a love letter...

    I love your hat, Nancy!

    11:29 AM, August 09, 2006  
    Anonymous clowncar wrote in a love letter...

    Wow, 2 blog entires and you've only gotten to noon on the first full day. This is turning into a rather epic narrative, like Beowulf without the scary monsters. I can't wait for the next installment.

    My perceptions were more along the line of O's: Lotsa fun. Good music. There was beer, and it was cold.

    Maybe that's why I don't have a blog.

    12:50 PM, August 09, 2006  
    Blogger Nancy Dancehall wrote in a love letter...

    Dantares: Sigh? Because you aren't on holiday?

    Amusing: No, I'm afraid that's just more back hair.

    Schmoopie: Thanks! I'm pretty attached to it myself. Hard to find a good hat.

    Clowncar: Scary monsters coming up. And an elf, and a unicorn... ;-)

    5:26 PM, August 09, 2006  
    Blogger Irrelephant wrote in a love letter...

    Yay, monsters!

    I love the T, Nancy, where did you find that? Looks like he's riding a Ural.

    Yay, Russian POS bikes!

    So O. has to be the grinning cuss in the goatee, right?

    6:37 PM, August 09, 2006  
    Blogger amusing wrote in a love letter...

    Scary monsters?


    Did you guys SEE Hairy Guy?

    7:13 PM, August 09, 2006  
    Blogger The Laughing Frog wrote in a love letter...

    Sounds like you're having a great time. Love the pics. Thanks for sharing.

    7:19 PM, August 09, 2006  
    Blogger Des_Moines_Girl wrote in a love letter...

    I remember that shirt!!!

    Nice pic of O.

    7:56 PM, August 09, 2006  
    Blogger D_Man wrote in a love letter...

    You had me at "mountainbike". And "motorbike". And "smoking tent".

    6:09 AM, August 10, 2006  
    Blogger Bud wrote in a love letter...

    But it sounds and looks so perfect. What could go wrong?

    9:13 AM, August 10, 2006  
    Blogger Lisa wrote in a love letter...

    Sounds magical...

    And, NO, I can't guess which man is which!! I would lean toward one as being O. but then I reconsider and lean toward the other. I'm growing dizzy. Help!

    In other news, I love me a well-spoken Commie Pinnko Fag!!

    11:00 AM, August 10, 2006  
    Blogger Nancy Dancehall wrote in a love letter...

    Ir: Thanks! Good eye, sir. I've had my Commie Propaganda shirt since I was seventeen. My dad got it for me from the Army-Navy Surplus Store for Valentine's day. Because it's Red -- get it? Har.
    And dinig ding ding! Give the man a cigar. Or rather, pipe.

    Amusing: Hee. A nice monster, all the same.

    LF: It was a GREAT time overall. Loved it.

    DMG: You should remember it; I wore it enough in college.

    D-Man: Hee.
    The fun stuff was smoked AWAY from the smoking tent...

    Bud: I went wrong.

    Lisa: Check our Irrelephant's comment for yer answer.
    And I love me a well-spoken ex-Mormon. :-)

    1:08 PM, August 10, 2006  
    Anonymous O wrote in a love letter...

    Grimming cuss in goatee. That's one of the nicer descriptions I've had recently....

    11:19 PM, August 19, 2006  
    Anonymous O wrote in a love letter...

    Meant grinning.

    11:20 PM, August 19, 2006  

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