My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.



Poor Dusty woke up sick this morning so no dogs were read to. Instead, I took Red to the grocery store where she sang her own tunes and said “hi” to all the scary old ladies hobbling down the aisles buying generic cat food and hot dog buns. She was thrilled to death when I put four half-gallons of soy milk in the cart. “Milk! Milk! Miiiilk!” she shrieked. When we went down the cracker aisle, “Cack-cuh! Cack-CUH!”

Then I spent the rest of the day splitting my time between tending to the sick and amusing the little monkey who danced and frolicked and threw things and ate four helpings of corn with her pizza at dinner. And poor Dusty told me she wanted three things for dinner tomorrow night, not coincidentally things I’d bought at the store: pizza, macaroni and cheese (organic) and fishsticks (not organic – have you seen what they charge for that stuff?). She likes to dream big.

I read half of “Little Town on the Prairie” to her and the chapters that related their problems with blackbirds and gophers decimating the oat and corn crops made me feel a bit better about my own garden woes this year – which I will relate in a harvest entry later on.

It was bath night, but Dusty was exempt. Red got to be bathed in the stupid enormous jetted tub in my bathroom. Have I mentioned how much I hate this tub? It’s impossible to bathe a very small child in it. The jetted feature is dumb – they hit you right in the kidneys. But, then, I’m not really into tubs. Perhaps because I did not grow up with a shower. I like a shower – you’re in, you’re out. Tubs hurt my butt bones. The water grows cold too fast. I always drop my book into them. It’s just not the relaxing experience it’s supposed to be. Red was not thrilled with idea so I stripped down and took a bath with her. In about 10 inches of water. I soaped her up, washed her hair, dried myself off and then pulled her out and dried her off. Done.

After the patient and the monkey had gone to bed I got in the car and drove down to the convenience store next door to where the F00d Li0n’s being built. I’d promised Dusty I’d pick up some gat0rade because she really doesn’t like the pedial1te. Plus, I just needed a quiet drive down the road while the sun went down and the traffic was light and the corn on the sides of the road swayed in the breeze. Finally it was no longer 100 degrees though we haven’t gotten any of the promised rain.

In the car, I suddenly had a flash of that feeling I used to get as a teenager when a friend would pick me up in her car and we’d head off, all duded up in our 1980’s-era mini skirts and ankle boots, to a party followed by a club followed by the dance club that didn’t open until midnight. There was a feeling of being free, of leaving behind the same-old, of venturing out into the unknown – anything could happen! Free drinks, free pot (which I really didn’t care about, it never did much for me, but I wasn’t going to it turn down), free cigarettes from guys who thought they’d get something for their gifts. They usually got a kiss and a feel in a back alley or the dim hallway that led to the bathrooms. Not much else but that was plenty. Maybe we’d hear some good, loud music, ogle some cute guys, BE SEEN – which was much more important, and then head home around two or three in the morning.

Or maybe we’d head to the building downtown that housed Color Radio, an indie (I think) radio station that played over a cable channel – one with the color bars. I had an hour long show once a week back then – I mainly played Bowie as we were pretty much relegated to our own record collections and mine was sadly lacking much else – all my friends had shows. We’d hang out in the second floor of the building in the partitioned-off room where the shows were broadcast. Down the short hallway was the room where an independent newspaper, Throttle, was produced. I think I may have had some small piece of fiction published in it at one time. My memory’s pretty lame these days so I’d have to go through all my memento boxes to be sure. And, there’s no guarantee something like that would have survived, what with the zillions of moves I’ve made since I was 16.

Those were pretty okay times, really. Not perfect, but certainly I had interesting friends who knew interesting people so I was always along for wherever the ride was taking us.

It was a nice little moment. Silly, but strange how those feelings come back to you out of nowhere. When I walked into the convenience store, the radio was playing “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell. Man. I actually own that EP. It’s in the milk crate with all my other albums in the closet right on the other side of the wall. And that was exactly the thing I listened to back then. It was a little stunning really, to have my thoughts exactly match the music playing because that’s not a song you hear anymore. At least you didn’t until now. I suppose, like everything, the ‘80’s music is on heavy rotation these days on those radio stations marketed to retailers. Weird.

And while it should have made me feel old, to hear a twenty-year old song like that, it didn’t. It stuck a pushpin into that moment, held it fast to the cork board, kept that memory alive for a few more minutes. Long enough to put the words on this screen so I’d continue to remember after the feeling faded away.


8:41 p.m. ::
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