Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Day.

Nine hours yesterday across the mountains and up onto the Cumberland Plateau and Nashville, TN for Thanksgiving with the family for what's probably the last time— new babies and aging patriarchs will probably get you every time, no? Last night, a real and honest thunderstorm. Close-striking lightning, the dog at full alarm, and then a free-fall down out of the seventies overnight and this morning we're gray, fog, and 43. Here's hoping that front and that rain make it fully through to Greensboro. PTI only shows two tenths so far.

Part of me hates that drive— the eighteen-wheelers banging by, the families all packed into their minivans headed through Hickory and Newport and Sevierville, the way when we hit the power plant steaming away west of Knoxville we've still got two hours to go, still haven't even made it to Cookeville. Part of me's the kid again, though, headed back to the house on Foxhall they don't own any more, the island in the center of that cul-de-sac with the Bradford pears as touchdown markers, the street Adam whatever-his-name-was' mom taught me to ride a bicycle on, the creek and woods down the back of that neighborhood. All of it's too easy and too homespun. But part of me might be too easy and too homespun.

I'm caught squarely between hating whatever all this has become and is becoming, and loving what I thought it used to be so fiercely that I might be able to wink it back into being. Like if I just squeezed hard enough, this shit would somehow snap back into focus. Like I'm sitting in the optometrist's chair, and that grassy hill with the goddamn red barn floating a half-inch off the ground is there, and everybody wants to know is it clearer like this, or like this? This, or this?

Is there no more scientific way for those people to go about their business? If I knew what was wrong with my eyes, I'd fix them myself. The orthopedic surgeon doesn't ask you if you like your broken wrist set better this way, or this way. That whole thing at the eye doctor has always bothered me. It's an outrage. It all is.

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