Tuesday, November 02, 2010

deep in the middle of holiday season, i've enjoyed hallowe'en, all saints day, all souls day or day of the dead, and election day, all in a three-day period, of the most stunning colors, days in which glorious bright oranges turn to more subtle browns and beautiful arrays of reddish rusty colors; the deer scamper around trying to decide if the highway shoulders are any safer than the middle of the woods. on all souls' day, apparently, you meditate hard on the poor dead folks who are caught in purgatory, between heaven and hell, and you hope they make it; you pray for it. you try to avoid letting them be stuck in this in-between land forever. i find myself wondering if my intervention could possibly make any difference.

a major novel goes unwritten; i could have given it a shot tonight, but i still have no plan, no motivation, a phone book of characters to draw from, but no driving engine to keep my spirit going once i've started. so, nothing; silence. instead i bring you reports straight from the world of reality. my son says he clipped a deer out on giant city road, but it just barely hit him; my wife saw two kitties out in the middle of the road; one was hit but just barely; the other she scooped up, but only after it had crawled up into her engine block and behind the dash, hiding; it was tiny. we now have to find a home for it; we didn't really need another kitty.

there were a lot of trick-or-treaters on sunday night; the habit is alive and well in the ornament valley, where suburban houses are close enough that the neighborhood imports kids by the carload and people are parked in places where generally there are no cars. people drive very slowly, following along as their kids go door-to-door; we use buckets of candy, but fortunately, we have young lads that go out and collect almost as much from the neighbors; it's an exercise in neighbors slowly finding out who their neighbors are, and what their neighbors might give away on a night like this. one older lady told me that brett favre had been hauled off the field on a stretcher; another threw me a bag of popcorn even though i was clearly just accompanying the young lad who was dunning them. scores of kids ran up and down lawns and through bushes. young lady gangsters were big; a certain harry potter in the family had a bit of magic about him. i was a muggle.

an enormous amount of effort went into dressing up over the weekend; people went to all lengths to disguise themselves. at one point i was at the park with a young son in the middle of the day, well before trick-or-treating, when along came the gorilla that scared the bejeezus out of my little lad a couple of years back. at the time the gorilla had stolen some candy and ran behind the birds at the pet store; the lad had broken out crying and remembered the moment clearly and sharply for months if not years afterward. now, along he comes, right through the park, just as realistic as he was that day a few years ago. but this time, he removes is mask, pulls his outfit loose a little, and lights a cigarette. my son peeks out from behind my leg and sneaks a little closer. he now, finally, believes me that it was just a costume all along. he wants to go touch the costume. leave the guy alone, i tell him; he needs a break.

saints day, and a good train comes by right through quaker meeting; a good train is like a beach with tiny stones massaging your feet and reminding you that a thorough foot massage affects your whole body. in the same way a train goes in through your ears, and a good thunderstorm, well, it's kind of similar. the place had some qurans hanging around so i picked one up and started reading randomly; i found myself on a page addressing the namesake of my own son; this was quite a coincidence, but then again, maybe not. the unwritten novel; the story of the kitten; the deer jumping, randomly; a razor-thin election, where the simplest denied vote, or failure to vote, might make a difference. in our family we had one of each, but we're not giving up: it's heaven or hell, baby, and there ain't no in between, there ain't no hanging around in the middle of the road; the deer in the headlight has to, eventually, hear a good horn, and jump, one way or the other.


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