Thursday, August 12, 2010

Smooth Seams.

It's trying to rain here, some little out-of-nowhere storm, not that we need it. We picked up an easy two inches last night in a flooder that left sticks and stones and all else washed all over the morning dogwalk. Eighteen months here and I've about got our rain gauge figured out: if the park floodline (pinestraw, leaves, soil, gravel, the occasional paper cup) is about up to the sidwalk, that's two or three inches. If the debris line runs past the sidewalk, that's three or four or more. We were right at the sidewalk this morning when the dog and I got down into the bottoms. The Bottoms: also the name of the rec fields at my summer camp. Only hot place up in those mountains. I think the heat just collected down in a pool on the ultimate frisbee field. I remember cutting my back on the grass making sliding catches, remember hoping that would be enough to impress the Rebecca Forbses of the world. It wasn't, any more than knowing what the park reads like after a big rain is enough to impress the AMRs of the world. Maybe there are other ways. Finding that last shred of patience to sing 'Sleepytime for Toads' through a few more verses might be one.

The boy king is sacked out upstairs. The boy king's dad, though the boy king had a fine day, is feeling slightly pulverized. The Toad continues, continues, continues. The Toad is always there.

I bought a rain gauge. Finally. An actual one. Plastic. With numbers. I ran out in the downpour and noise and stuck it in a potted plant on the front walk. Inch and a half in there this morning. I'm guessing half an inch or an inch before i remembered I'd bought it, ran out there with it. Maybe the park's a more reliable indicator. It's certainly always out there.

I'm mudding the walls in the shed annex. Myself. Working without a net. My father, up last weekend to bear witness to his namesake, taking a peek at the shed, and then more than a peek, helping me hang the ceilings: You should hire the joints out. You should. You really should. Me: [teenage whining]. Me today: Up on a ladder, joint compound in my hair, determined. Making a half-mess of things. But not a full mess. Not yet. There was some progress. I'll get it. I just want to do it myself. Also, I'm more careful these days. I have a reasonable chance of getting it right.

The novel got shortlisted for a very nice prize. It rained threeish inches. Maybe just two. The Toad spent the day barfing onesie after onesie. Every afternoon it's a trillion degrees. I have first and second coats of mud on most of the seams out back, spent the evening skimming another one on. It's still trying to rain. The Toad toads, and through the magic of radio and electricity and perhaps magic, I can hear him on the downstairs monitor. It's too hot to do much other than list assets and liabilities. I've got them all on the same list, anyway, am struggling to tell the difference between the two—am struggling to convince myself, here in August, that the designation's all that important, that there's all that much space between them.

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