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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  • Friday, July 20, 2007

    Hail , Gardening - or- My Brain, Migraine

    It's been a piss-poor couple of weeks here in Whoa, Lakebegone. There has been no rain.

    The heat. It has melted the plastic seedling trays in my greenhouse. The tops of my peat pots are scorched black.

    And for the first time, I've failed my garden. I wasn't here for the spring harvest, and in the subsequent heat everything has gone to seed. The garden is a mad ruin of romaine spires, cilantro turned flowering coriander, purple thistles (the devil's own weed) broken down pea plants and radishes and spinach, blooming globes of leeks and garlic, parsnips as tall as sunflowers and wild sunflowers that belong out on the Eastern plains. The garden is a tangled brown mess. It is straw trapped and poking out from a sun-baked brick.

    I look at it and think that I will never, ever do this again.

    And then I check to see which pods are dry and rattle in my fingers, I open white envelopes, drop the pods in and seal them. Across the fronts I write, 'Parsnip '07', 'Grey Dwarf Sweet '07', 'Sage '07', 'Chives '07'. Maybe I'll plant them next year. Maybe I'll mail them to you.

    * * *

    You can learn everything you need to know from gardening. You can learn the nature of God if that's what you're looking for. Though the nature of God isn't really a garden, is it? That's more the nature of man. God's more of a wild thing that steals into a neatly-tended garden and wreaks havoc, then turns around and plants patterns in the wild.

    * * *

    For instance, look at the slug. There's all the proof you need that God is all-powerful and has the sense of humor of a four-year-old boy. I mean, He actually conceived of animating boogers, and then had the power to actually do it. Not only that, but they are thriving out here in the desert like some sort of anachronistic plague, leaving behind skeletal wrecks of the marigolds and pansies.

    There are two ways to get rid of slugs. On involves beer and brings to mind an Irish joke. The other is cruel.

    These grey defilements of slime were eating the only bit of green as far as the eye could see. So I went in and got my salt cellar and sprinkle sprinkle sprinkle, they roiled and seethed and fizzled and foamed. It was horrible and glorious to watch them dissolve.

    * * *

    Ah, but the Karmic wheel turns. The slugs got their revenge. One of their massive brethren pulled me over for speeding today. Actually, there were two of them; one in an unmarked car on my tail pushing me over the speed limit, the other standing beside his parked car and waving me over into a neighborhood.

    I thought it was a detour. Fuckers.

    So he slimes up to my car and I say, “Officer, I'm getting a migraine. I'm trying to get home because in a few minutes I won't be able to see...”

    “License and registration.”

    As he processed my number and the bright halos of another oncoming migraine intensified, I considered asking him if he would care to escort me home, a mere four blocks away, since my vision was now definitely failing. But I thought (as much as I could actually think) that he might refuse, then pull me over again for reckless driving since I had admitted to an impairment.

    He gave me my ticket. Instead of asking him for the escort, I silently cursed him with the worst curse I could think of: I hope your wife hates you.

    Then I went one better: I hope you mother hates you.

    * * *

    Then I went home and cried. I bawled like I've wanted to for months now.

    I cried about the ticket.

    I cried about spending too much on food because I can't grow any. I cried about the drought and the garden.

    I cried about the friend/neighbor who said we needed to discipline the boyos better or they'd never be tolerated in Kindergarten. I cried because nine tenths of my friends live so far away.

    I cried about my broken laptop, my broken body. I cried about another bookseller's wife.

    I cried about my family, about a poem I wrote for my dead brother, about going back to school, about the future and its uncertainties. About death and its certainties.

    But I didn't cry about the slugs. I still draw lines, you see.

    * * *

    We went outside to water and the sky had darkened. Thunder rolled across the ocean floating over our heads. We filled the buckets anyway, hedging bets, doubting nature, predicting hail. Gardening.

    This post is dedicated to Stucco, who sent me a pdf copy of The Book That Must Not Be Named a full 24 hours before its release date, and then cried and moaned on the phone for a new post and didn't believe me when I said I was in the middle of writing one. And I still can't get the damned pdf to work. God's laughing.

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    15 people left me a love letter:

    Blogger meno wrote in a love letter...

    I thought i came from the slug capitol of the world. Who would have thought it was really in Colorado? They even drive cars there.

    Beautifully written, thank you to Stucco, and you.

    10:14 AM, July 20, 2007  
    Blogger Stucco wrote in a love letter...

    I need to blog about how Schmoopie literally called me the Devil and then dove into the PDF of the Book, barely acknowledging me for the rest of the night. Sheesh

    11:37 AM, July 20, 2007  
    Blogger patches wrote in a love letter...

    Acrobitch again? Hopefully you will have it working by the time you read this, if not make sure you have the newest reader. Sometimes you can double distill it and beat it into submission. Sorry my inner geek got the better of me...

    Usually the slugs are assaulting my hostas, by now, but I haven't seen any this year, which mean colorado is the unfortunate domain of the east coast slug. Salt? Nancy, you're so cruel, although I would totally salted the slug who puled you over. Where are all those damn condiment packages in the car when you need them.

    3:36 PM, July 20, 2007  
    Blogger Mother of Invention wrote in a love letter...

    I so enjoyed this. I love your writing style and get right into what you're describing alongside you.

    5:48 PM, July 20, 2007  
    Blogger Mother of Invention wrote in a love letter...

    I wasn't finished! Many COPs really are slugs....cousins to leeches because that is exactly how we get them off us...salt and maybe a match!

    I can relate to you crying for all those things. I don't cry for a long time and then something tips the qhole apple cart over and I cry for everything anyone ever had to cry about.

    5:52 PM, July 20, 2007  
    Blogger amusing wrote in a love letter...

    "I'm melting! Meltingggggggg....!"

    Glad you had the sob. Did it empty, or just pave the way for more?

    6:28 PM, July 20, 2007  
    Anonymous clowncar wrote in a love letter...

    "Though the nature of God isn't really a garden, is it? That's more the nature of man. God's more of a wild thing that steals into a neatly-tended garden and wreaks havoc, then turns around and plants patterns in the wild."


    Screw the cops and the slugs (though not literally). In a week you'll be in the dreamy, splashy, beery, herby, musical nation of Rockygrass.

    4:23 PM, July 21, 2007  
    Blogger Maggie wrote in a love letter...

    God Nancy, even with migraines and tickets and broken things, you're writing makes me jealous and I bow to your command of words.

    Now as for the slugs - I've been battling their cousins the snails. What do I do? The beer didn't work on I really have to resort to night hunting?

    7:45 PM, July 21, 2007  
    Blogger Schmoopie wrote in a love letter...

    Pants- You are deliciously wicked, my friend. I'd love to salt a few slugs myself (the big ones.) Stucco and I agree that you need to be here again. We got a sign. Everyone we've seen lately has their nose pierced. :)

    I am on page 235. You?

    7:46 PM, July 21, 2007  
    Blogger Nancy Dancehall wrote in a love letter...

    Yes, Meno, and they can issue tickets but they can't arrest criminals who rob your house, even with priors. Bitter? Me? Yes.

    Ah, but she loves ya today, right Stucco? :-)

    Ah well, it's moot now, Patches, since I've had the paper version since 12:04 this morning. And, the pdf IS the real version, though I suspect that it might be an earlier draft. THAT would be worth its weight in gold to me -- to see how the plot/writing/book developed.

    Thanks, MOI. I seem to have a talent for writing well about pain. How are you doing?

    It seems to have made me feel better. I think I'm battling stress plus some chemical imbalance stuff. Newish hormone meds. I should follow Mona's lead.

    Thanks, Clowncar. :-) And there's no better cure than sitting on a rock in the middle of a river listening to music. The water should be good and high and cold this year. But I can't stalk Tim O'Brian this year, which sucks! ;-)

    This from Maggie the UberPoet? You rock! I know--the slugs kept climbing out of the beer traps, which is why I resorted to the salt. I think you either need to bury Mason jars (Something nice and deep and slick. Heh.)or resort to the night hunting. Ga.

    Thanks, Schmoop -- you know it! *wink* I DO need to be there, standing on Alki Beach with a Mocha from the best coffeeshop in the world. *sigh* I'll go sit in a river next weekend instead. Quite a fine thing.

    Page 201. I thought you'd have it finished by now!

    9:04 PM, July 21, 2007  
    Blogger amusing wrote in a love letter...

    I'm done. Despite a miserable headache. Heh.

    6:04 PM, July 22, 2007  
    Blogger Nancy Dancehall wrote in a love letter...

    Schmoop's done too. I'm lagging behind, about the point that Hermione's being tortured. But don't tell me what happens. Lalalalalalalala!

    11:30 AM, July 23, 2007  
    Blogger amusing wrote in a love letter...

    The house elf did it.



    12:47 PM, July 23, 2007  
    Blogger Stucco wrote in a love letter...

    So if I got the state legislature to pass a law that on a particular Friday, and following Monday it would be unlawful to sell books, that you could come out again and bring my one-time friend O?

    4:07 PM, July 23, 2007  
    Blogger Nancy Dancehall wrote in a love letter...

    ...Dobby... *sniff, sniff* And SEVERUS! I KNEW it!

    Stucco for Prez.

    6:30 PM, July 23, 2007  

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