Tuesday, May 27, 2003

My life is a Twenty-footer

My father carefully backed up my little Toyota in the driveway, waited for my signal, and then rammed the right front bumper into a tree stump four or five times.

"Is it straight yet?"
"How about now?"
"Two or three more times should do it, Dad. You've got to hit the tree just a little harder."

A lady walking her dog in the street stopped to stare at us. The upper middle class neighborhood in Nashville where mom and dad moved a couple of years ago is unused to my father's type of car repair habits, such as ramming fenders into trees to straighten them, or his wont of staying up until 2 in the morning with a 12-pack and a can of industrial solvent, stripping the paint off another muscle car. He had two teenage boys helping him this last time, and when they would forget his warnings about the strength of the solvent, there would be swearing an a quick run to the water jug to wash the acids off themselves before any scarring could occur. I offered the teens long sleeve shirts, but they declined; they were far too "manly" to worry about chemical burns.

As you may have guessed, I was in Nashville briefly last week. I was also in a wreck, but dad was able to make my car a "20-footer:" again; that is to say, from 20 feet away it looks OK. In the dark. With my glasses off. The right headlight is now mismatched, and held on by an unholy mix of JV weld and duct tape. It works because the wires are spliced together, and the fender is back to something like a straight shape after our session with the tree.

I returned to Georgia with my teen-age sister on hand. She's going to help me move into my new place, and I'm helping her in other small ways. So far all we've managed to figure out about each other is that we're evenly matched in darts, and that I can be rather mean sometimes. This last bit of information was not new to either of us. Neither was the fact that we're both dirt poor. She may come live with me at some point in the future. We both find this a terrifying and thrilling prospect. It would alter both our lives substantially. The next two weeks is sort of a dry run, an exploration of possibilities.

Just before I went to Nashville, I went to the ocean, and fished with my Grandfather. It was all predators and no prey; we caught sharks and stingrays and I learned that we shouldn't catch blue crab at all this year, they were expecting the numbers to be down again. The numbers are down again. That phrase covers a lot in my life right now.

I hung out with Abby. I saw Skeet, and he had the best haircut I've seen on him in years; I missed out on seeing Cairy because there wasn't time. I negotiated future roommate-ness with Ron and Dinan. Christi and I ran around a bit, called on Winn. I dropped in on Kati & Michael for about 20 minutes. And that's all the people I had time to see. I miss my peeps. Soon though, they'll have a comfy and interesting place to visit. I'm working on my house of comfy pillows and good things to eat. Whew. Gonna make my deadline, just barely.

I think when I move I'll start a new title/subject index over on pitas. Yeah. Rock on with new organizational skills!

No comments: