Thursday, July 19, 2012

these days i pack full time, getting ready to move to texas, and have off from teaching; in fact, having retired around the first of the month, finally handed in my keys two days ago after a long and grueling process of cleaning the office and its computer. now i'm on the shed and the garage; the garage is the last and most stubborn of them, since at the same time i'm cleaning it, i'm also storing stuff to move, and tons of stuff to sell at one final garage sale on saturday. meanwhile the heat has returned; today was a heat advisory, so they said, and it hit you like a brick when you went out there.

i was brave and intrepid, and went out there many times, particularly to the shed, because i wanted that stuff out of there; some of it has been sitting there for years. i found a baseball glove, inline skates, balls and bats. one basketball, ancient i'm sure, had turned completely solid in its bent-in form; it was a piece of solid, unbendable rubber. i couldn't figure out if it had frozen that way, or melted that way, but it wouldn't budge. it went out on the curb; tomorrow is garbage day. at work, two good things happened; one, upon asking for a dolly to move, i was told by the boss, "anything for you" - treated with the greatest respect, and this made me feel good, because they could have laid in to me for any number of failings. also, i went to hand in my keys, and the woman in charge wouldn't let me...until i insisted. this also was a nice touch.

in fact i have a number of keys that i don't know what they go to, this is one of my failings, some things might get lost in the shuffle here. maybe half-dozen, ten or more, keys of indeterminate function. and some could be, or surely are, at work or belong there. at home, i did reunite one bicycle lock with its key, this makes it functional, so we could conceivably ride off on another bicycle, and lock it. but there are more than a few locks and keys hanging around that don't fit anything...what do you do about that? stomp around for a while. feel that 104 degree sweat making me almost faint. let it go for another day.

a couple of months ago, my bandmate broke her wrist thus curtailing her guitar playing. slowly it came back until tonight finally she was able to play some of our favorite songs. just in time, because, as i've said, i'm leaving for texas, and we won't be a band much longer. we sounded good, actually. next week i want to record it, and will, in some form or another. our last gig, one hot day at the end of june, we played out on the pavilion downtown, and a train disrupted our last, best song. i almost called out, speaking, ladies and gentlemen, this is my last performance in downtown carbondale, i'm moving to texas, i bid you farewell, i have written a song about this very train etc. etc. but i didn't because i knew i would probably cry. and that's the way it's been, the people closest to me, namely, the quakers, my co-workers at cesl, and anyone related to the music scene in any way, these are the hardest to leave.. it's mostly because, what i've done here, has been out of love, ultimately, and it's love that developed long and slow over the years, and won't be easy to replace. it's one thing to say, i know how to play the fiddle, i can go down west texas and find someone else to play with, which is probably true, but it won't quite be the same and we both know it. i can never replicate what i had here, and she probably can't either, she's had trouble even getting her playing wrist back, but she'll miss me a lot musically too. there's a way we can still get together: kerrville, an annual festival down there in hill country, probably two days from lubbock but still just a stone's throw in texas miles. i'm sure there will be a future, it'll just look different.

i've been strangely cut off from the internet, because a wireless card in my laptop burned up or something, all i have to do is go to the back and use a modem, yet this is hard so i've turned to reading hunger games (at a son's suggestion) and writing stories (see below). a new story is kind of wild but bogged down a little, due to the fact that i'm tired, i've been coming and going from 105 degree heat to this cool easy chair in what's left of the family room. couldn't sleep tonight though. this stuff that's happening all around us, it's hard to process it all, it comes rushing back at night, when i want the fan to blow it all away, and i want to rest a bit and get some shut-eye. so now, i get on facebook and there's what, hundreds of posts, going way back. i begin to let go of needing to even see them. hunger games is quite bizarre, i can't stop really until i finish it; people in texas are waiting for our arrival, and we try to figure out what to do with the dogs and cats. i'm starting to focus on fall schedule. i watch the good, the bad and the ugly with an older son. i avoid the dixie chicks because, though i'm sure they're right, i don't want to deal with that side of lubbock just yet. i'm in some denial i'm sure. i've taken to saying, i want to just go down there with a blank slate, not make judgments before i even get there, about what i'll find. who knows? a friend of mine, a teacher, says, to talk that way, get your teeth out and clench them, then say what you were going to say. this may, for all i know, be true. i'll just have to find out.

finally, i've written myself to tiredness, and i'll turn in, though you won't see it until i get myself back there to plug in the phone jack. there will be delays. i will miss some news and some facebook posts. pretty soon that highway will be ground up between our wheels, the long river road, texarkana, the whole works. i hope to give you a report, and can only hope that it all works out, that somehow the whole lot of us, dogs, cats, grownups and kids, will become texans with a minimum of personal anguish. it can be done, i'm sure. chou.


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