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Tapdancing On the Moon July 10, 2010

Posted by WillardWhyte in Musings, Prose.
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Saw a dog today chasing his tail in the dust spreading around a shack of a food shop along a highway the plainish woman in the blue Beemer doesn’t know. She’s just out there using it; you know, piling in with the coffee and spudnuts, iPod dangling and tangling on those earrings he scarfed just a WalMart short of forgot, and if there’s imagery flowing  it’s of some space under some tree in some lot that’ll maybe keep the leather from bleaching and killing the resale.

All eye of the tiger as she boogies on past that dog right there near the smoker, chasing something back there. Maybe an itch that just cropped up, maybe just because it got in the way somehow, like a notion that snuck in with a smile then set up shop in your brain for a fortnight.

Probably, that tail’s just been bugging that dog a dab a day, not really anywhere near enough to bust up his business. Just creeping up one soft furry paw at a time and today it just went boo and he was fixed to stop panting and barking and jumping and whatever else he otherwise would have been doing as I drove by, had he not opted to get his teeth around it instead.

So away he spun, kicking up a little nutty mutty dirt storm around that poor man’s tub of softening ribs and making me wonder what kind of attitude would result when the man trudged out into the swelter with his dish of sauce and brush and got a eyeful of the afternoon batch all crusty with molasses and parking lot crud.

But I’m not gonna ditch wondering, or go back. Doesn’t work that way, sad to say.

I’m not different really from that dame in the Beemer with the shifter in drive thinking of park, somewhere up ahead where she isn’t. I’ve been piling down that highway too, headed upwind just like her trying to get there. Too hard sometimes, no most of the time because that’s the way the machine is, has been since the day the doc took you by the feet bunched in one hand and smacked your ass to get you to hurry up and suck air and you did because that f***ing hurt and you needed it to scream.

Even when you probably would have figured it out on your own, in your time, maybe even before you went all blue and the flashy in your brain found the hardwire and, well, your first clue. Hello world; meet pain. Not your fault.

From then on it’s been highway and a linger of  the fever from the white line hustling up and under or the hundred board pile up of happy people with things you maybe should want that infiltrates your worldview through a peripheral that’s porous because you can’t shut it down and see. And pretty soon, don’t you know, every room in your mind is papered with want and if you hit a stretch of road that someone missed and left to the trees and the corn and the summertime rye you get that too-many-oranges feel in your bowel and jumpy because, wow, you’re in the middle of frigging Nowhere.

Happened to me a few months back on a Saturday all loaded up with objectives, itsy bitsy ones all with a reason for being, each and every one, and all lined up like beach trippers at a quarter-to-pee. I was staining I think, fighting to fend off the wasps that had seized my deck the summer before in a most unfriendly fashion, at least from the point of view of my son. And since he was the one they stung three times and drove with pain and fear from the joy of a backyard pool, his perspective mattered more to me than logic in WaspLand, where some daddy bee’s world was rocking with each human cavort, taking on water with every other slosh of fun and fearful, for the human shrieks and rumbles maybe a wasp would hear as the trumpets from the legions of doom. So instead of attacking with stain, he chose a stinger and went to his death for the hive and made this deck our Daddy Antietam.

“Daddy-o,” comes the daughter, the first miracle who owns me forever like a kiss from love sorely won. “I got the address for Maria’s skating party.”

The first assault on the to-do list, so knocking at a bad door in a coldwater flat.

“Where?”

“The Center. 18500 South Dupont Highway. When do we need to leave?”

Now I got to back up, which I find happens a lot, at least in my world. Which is only as nuts as yours only different, with a different line of spools spinning thread for the fabric you see. And that’s only as good as the feed, which seems thin right here. I have my son and daughter every other week, which aside from being a formula for manic depression complicates. Your life with them. Your life alone, even when a zillion voices and faces and joys and jolts and skies blue and gray swarm around you. Because it’s still a short highway from the place way before that dog where a cherished set of thready spools spinning a long and wondrous hallway runner jumped the rails, some hopping into one ditch and some into mine. With two sets of tiny tearyeyes peeking over the edge down into love’s ravine. Man.

So I owe. Forever I owe. That’s what WaspWar is all about. That’s what most of the silly things on my list are all about. Oh – and this week’s list did have a small stack of copper coins for me, way down under the if-there’s-time quickjots. I kick myself for that, too, don’t you know, for I matter and this is my alone week and that list is not a healthy thing all upside down and all. Because my soul is Alice vending exquisite advice quickly tossed. Sigh.

But wait. Back up more. Why’s Miracle One thumbing a ride out on the Deck Where Fathers Collide when her schizo childhood was booked for the other ditch today? Well, sometimes when you go to split the Hershey the halves don’t match, not the first time and probably never if you have at it a kikkletrillion times. You just have to shrug and guess at who really needs the itsy bitsy bigger piece for some damned reason, ponder if you can at the fork that is fight-for-big or flee-with-small and then stick your own hand out in traffic.

Just don’t look back too hard at the split. Don’t use the tongue’s bitter back to melt the half-bar in your mouth. Or whine as Miracle Two is prone to when Miracle One gets a bigger half of me.

“Equal is not always fair,” my Mama says with my lips. “And fair is not always equal.”

A longer, less cryptic Chautauqua may ensue, depending on how much guilt he plans to ladle, or how much payback he plans to extort for he knows that I know that he is right and I am reaching for platitudes to dodge this: “Life is not fair, dude.”

He’s too young for that and I’m still working to soak his hide in the pickle juice of try-try-again so he doesn’t blister on life. I fear I’m to blame for way too many of the shakier steps along his corkscrew.

So it’s Saturday noon and I agreed to today and all about it without much of a bill of sale. So that means transport to the ice rink Happy 14th party I know she half-wants to go to because it’s not a name with more than a walk-on in those backseat episodes of As the Middle School Turns I miss so much when Apollo 2 swings behind the Moon of Mom.

She’s going (not thrilled I know because she’s dragging along the BFF from the old neighborhood for cover) because this is a friend-of-a-friend and she knows a lot of the kids that got invites aren’t going to make it. And her sweet precious giving heart says go so the party’s not a bust and she listens. One always listens to her heart. That’s why I am a slave (and why I worry for her so much) and why Two needs to learn that the name on the deed of Dad’s house means nothing when there’s a woman in it. That’s just how that one is son.

So that’s the highway I was talking about in the beginning – a double wide from the top of Delaware in the apron of Pennsylvania piedmont all the way south to the corner where it drains away with the nasty Nanticoke into the Chesapeake. Well, not quite all the way to the bay and that’s looking at the whole thing from the top down because you need to see this road the way the builders did – kind of a path from the place on the top of the hill all gardeny and golden and clean way way down to the flat scrapply sediment where the laundry got done and it was cool if the water got murky.

DuPont’s Highway.

But me, I’m tossing the fat stinking Einstein hairy brush into the gooey pan and kissing the whole damned list goodbye as the numbers sneak past the sealant to clang the bell at the cells adrift in the dreams of mindless tasks or hiding from the fumes. The taxi stuff’s a daddydebt from the night before, of course, mentally, reflexively comfort zoney welcome after a week of miss.

So no, your honor, the defense has no questions for the witness. Til now, when the hired help stands at 500 and is hearing 18,500 and the brain is working on the math but the stomach already has that sausagy sense from the chair when the dentist turns from the x-ray and you just know.

You google and confirm. Fairgrounds. The why is just silly so you skip past it. 4 p.m. party + 8 p.m. collection + 90 minute drive means a leap into the children’s book where there’s no way over it, no way under it, no way around it. Gotta go through it.

Daytrip. No plan. Four hours to kill as Stranger in a Strange Land. Just pull them all, doc.

And that’s so so wrong for the highway captain. Highballing with a made-up mind. I’ll get there.

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