Sunday, August 19, 2012

Waking to Hummingbirds

August, 6:30 in the evening in Colorado. The desert is drowsy, the light through the window is sepia rose. I can hear cheerful birds outside over the sound of cars on the street. I wish I had my own yard, I'd have birdfeeders everywhere. I want to experience what Doug Fine is talking about, a man in tune enough with his ecosystem that his neighborhood's hummingbirds are his alarm clock. I went to his book signing at The Tattered Cover a couple of nights ago and just started reading his latest, Too High to Fail. And now I have a bit of a crush.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Corner of the 2nd Floor

I write this from a four windowed room, on the second story corner of a building in Thornton, Colorado. The view is both stifling and thrilling at once, because I look out on a K-mart parking lot, but I have a decent view of the mountains. The Rockies have been my steady friends, since moving away from the woods of Ohio two years ago. What is it about deciduous trees that makes you feel protected when your back is against them? Mountains make a decent substitute, but even the best sub is not a starting player. There's nothing like the sights, smells and sounds of a maple grove on a brisk October day in Ohio.

Insomnia has taught me how to float around silently through the night on naked feet. I pad about, I use the opportunity to pick up dog toys and fluff the pillows. My limbs are heavy and it feels fantastic when I stretch like a bipedal cat. I can stare off into space and think, and maybe write down a few thoughts if I feel like it, maybe get some reading done during the witching hour. This is the only time that the tenants above us are truly quiet. The silence is almost edible and the part of me that is hungry for it and keeps me awake growls, feral.

I'm reading Kerouac's On the Road, a random loan from a friend. I love to read, but I've had to take in this story in small doses. I think this is because of how sharp the edges of the story are, how real and raw. And the descriptions of Denver make me restless, which is exactly what the author wants, but make me feel too domesticated. Like the protagonist Sal, I've also reconnected with old friends before who weren't strictly speaking good or good to be around, whose self involvement has kept them from moving forward. But the temptation to do's hard not to when a song you hear or a place you see reminds you of them and of your shared past, which once upon a time was the future and sparkled like a skyline with all its possibilities.