Sunday, January 17, 2016
Of Chicken Necks and Sugar Snow
I saw it today. Stark aberration in my periphery. Flaccid and pale it was, like wan chicken fat under plucked skin. It blotted everything in the rear view mirror, jolting my reverie of quit snow dancing across the road, resting on quilted cover lawns and frosting happy trees with dollops of white on spruce. So many distractions in the metal box, the meandered chatter punctuated with hiccup sighs and upended sentences. Now this…my neck in all its grisly middle aged wattling display. Like roadkill on a scenic Sunday drive. I’m mortified.
Wrenched from my tenure of “office know it all” or at least “figure it on the fly” chick in the high desert to this lakeside time warp, this place of gravy and pitched roofs, I’m totally off my jalapeno. Gone are the adobes and red or green breakfast plates to be replaced by the Sunday tradition of one hour with the silvers and breakfast with Bob – Bob Evans that is. Amazing how rote runs a brain. An epistle, the gospel, a homily and polite pew sharing with communion wrap up – it took a full minute for anyone to register that one of our seasoned pieces of lumber was not slumbering but without breath altogether… and still so many went forward for the cup and the wafer in routine obedience.
Margaret asked me later “is he still gurglin’?” as though slumped over parishoners in a diabetic episode are commonplace, and sometimes a body leaves with an EMT escort. (He’s ok. At least that’s what we were told)
I keep looking out the bedroom window, the cascading sugary stuff glazing the scene framed by mauve curtains and punctuated by the few stoic sparrows too resolute or stupid to fly south to green paradise. I’m grooveless unpressed vinyl still waiting for the imprint of music. A rhythm above the chatter both inside my head and outside.
I’m a quiet creature - at least I crave the solitude and peace and I am diametrically opposed therefore to the queen of this house who savors light and movement and the noise of constant conversation. She’s been more than kind to open her home to us and I’m sure it’s difficult to have scuttling creatures in your home who prefer the sunless corners, the basement, the predawn holy places where nothing moves except the snow before the plow to the endless drone of voices. She’s flown solo in this house for nine years. Now it’s full of people who make no noise, no decibel print and it must be irksome to her.
I try to compromise, to curb my urge to run from the meal table and kill the myriad things that wait in my personal life. The bills, the bank issues – who knew our financial institution was unrepresented in this chile-less place? Who knew everything cost twice as much as it does way out west? Who knew unemployment insurance does not ensure a survivable wage? All the tiny things I hold at bay until I can sit no longer. Patience. I lack it. I can learn to compromise, but I cannot quell completely who I am. It has been that attempt over the last decade to stifle what is inside that has made me itchy and twitchy and bitchy now. That and that damnable wattling neck. Yes, I’m stripped of all I was when I was what I was in the middle of the high desert and now the only thing left is the stuff simmering in my head…