Friday, September 09, 2005

All the sounds in my life

I stand against the house on the kitchen porch, standing really still as before me finches, nuthatches, woodpeckers and hummingbirds buzz back and forth. Buzzing in my ears and a breeze on my cheek as the chickadees ignore me in their flight path, as if I were a statue and for the moment I am. The flitting and buzzing and the hum of the bees nearby occupy my ALL for a brief eternity. That's what an epiphany is: a brief eternity. What you bring back from the trip is more or less up to you.

And all this noise as I crunch across the sand in the kitchen on the floor near the boots and it crunches all over the damn floor. Why don't I stop getting distracted and vacuum the floor and damp mop it? oh sigh. The distant drone of commercial TVland like when I was sleeping on Mom and Dad's couch. Dad listening to another rerun of Leave it to Beaver and me listening to him breathe. No oxygen again, he says it makes him weak or sick or something. I think it's just him dying but it's not going to hurt him that much, I'm thinking, while he's just sleeping. The cucuclocks start going off one by one, you program the room that way so you can hear each one, but by now you don't hear them, they're just background noise, like your breathing.

The sound of water splashing often takes me back to when you tossed me into the Colorado to teach me to swim. You figuring that since I liked to walk along the water's edge I should swim. You were a great swimmer, you used to give me rides in the public pool down in Yuma. I loved those rides, because I couldn't float and this was the only way I could move fast in the water. Otherwise I'd spend so much energy trying to stay afloat that I'd give myself an asthma attack and start in sinking. I knew from cartoons that if you went under 3 times, you'd die. It was like a watery curse. I counted 2 many a time. As it turned out, Dad got in to hold me up and try to teach me how to do various strokes. Kinda nice, no doubt, but also kinda wasted time because all the strokes assumed you were floating, or capable of floating. I tried them all and it was like a thin, pinkish-white torpedo lurching thru the water as the power in the props gave out and it settles down to the ocean depths, an arch of frustration. I knew where I had to start out to try these strokes so that I wasn't so far under the water that I couldn't still reach up and grab the edge and pull myself up.
The sound of Dad in the water, laughing, Dad by the ocean, digging for clams, laughing.

Me on the phone telling you about all the birds, all the colors and sounds. Dad tells me again that he had brought home a roadrunner once and that was why he called his business "Roadrunner Land Surveying". I always thought it was because a roadrunner once killed a rattler that I was about to pet because I was 3 and it was wagging it's tail at me. The roadrunner rushed in like a whisper, grabbed the snake and beat it on a rock and then ran off why it. Mom came out in time to see the roadrunner but I'm not sure I could have made her understand what had just happened, so probably Dad's story is the right one. He liked mine, though, made him laugh.

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