Sunday, August 21, 2016

I am really not

Okay -- I find this strange -- or at least remarkable.  I had an "aha!" moment last year, when I realized -- for the first time -- that something which  had happened to me in the past put me in a well-known statistic.   

Okay. That was strange enough.  That I, who sort of pride myself on my ability to look at things and see how they are, could have skipped lightly over this event, even though I thought about it every so often, just never called it by its name.  And in fact had said aloud, several times, and to myself, several more times, that I was very lucky that I did not, in fact, belong to this statistic.  I feel weirdly ashamed, as though I did it on purpose, although I assure you I did not.

But here's the part that seems freaky to me now.  When I read articles online or in the news about these statistics, and other sufferers from it, I get very anxious and start shifting in my chair and breathing in little gasps, and want to leave the room.  That's the way that "trigger" stories make people feel who know that this happened to them.  And I didn't know, until just recently.  So I feel as though I must be making these reactions up.  But I am not.  I am really not.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Hot Times, Summer in the City

Merciful Heavens, 84 degrees at 8 in the morning!  How is this possible?  How?  How, how, how?  You see, it's turned me into Rowsby Woof!

I am pretty much living in my bedroom these days, since I have a window unit air conditioner in there.  This is nice, and means I sleep through the night pretty well, but it would be better if I had a chair to sit in.  Reading in bed, or watching  a movie on one's laptop in bed is not as comfy as one might think.  And yes, there is a chair in my bedroom, but it is invisible under the pile of clean but un-put-away clothes. 

I do love the open, beckoning emptiness of the Banfield freeway on these early weekend mornings!  It is all swooping curves, and I am always called to speed.  The few cars that there are are all speeding as well, so there isn't any risk of suddenly coming upon a fifty-five-mile-an-hour-good-little-driver.  There are other risks, of course -- as witness:

This morning I was in the far left lane, doing about 75, and had no one in front of me, so I was getting ready to move back into the center lane.  There were about five cars in my current sight, before and behind, all well-spaced.  I turned on my signal, waited a few moments, and started moving right.  As I did so, I was aware of a flash of movement behind me, and then a long, loud, I'm-extremely-pissed-off car horn.  A small, shabby little sports-type car shot into the far right lane, at an angle that showed he had come from behind me in the far left, all the way across three lanes, and then without a pause, shot left again, across the middle lane and into the far right.  No signalling, or anything, since that requires a hand off the wheel.

A young girl, maybe 23-24, with floods of wild blonde hair whipping around her face, projected herself out of the open window of this car up to her waist, to turn back toward me and give me the deluxe double finger.  She held this position, shaking her hands toward me and screaming something (much too loud out there to hear, and anyway, my windows were closed) and then retracted herself, and the car shot away at a minimum of eighty-five miles an hour -- we were all doing seventy, seventy-five, and he passed us like we were going backward -- in big triangular swoops across and back across, all without benefit of signal.

I burst out laughing, it was just so ludicrous.  It also made me feel oddly nostalgic about being that young -- that moment-oriented -- that the interruption of your wildly illegal and tremendously dangerous freeway shenanigans would have been enough to infuriate you to that extent.  I was never that young, thank goodness.

Last weekend I took a day off and spent three days in Rogue River with my aunt and uncle at their gorgeous, opulent and extremely clean house on the river.  It is a large and very plush dwelling and there was not a scrap of dust anywhere in it.  The upstairs, where my cousin and I always sleep, was completely unused by the family, and still, perfectly clean.  It was a lovely visit, extremely relaxing and very enjoyable.  Spent most of our time just sitting in their luxurious living room with glasses of iced tea and talking about our lives and our shared memories and our jobs and our families.  My aunt is a very careful and excellent cook, and she and my uncle both refused any offers of help, so my cousin and I just lay back and luxuriated.  I didn't want to come home!

We took a trip up to Crater Lake, so I have now seen this Oregon landmark -- hadn't until then!  It is extremely beautiful.  Very serene, with no background noise of rivers, since it has no input and no outgo.  The water is an even, full, blue and very calm.  And it's huge.  Lots of tiny, rapidly-darting chipmunks with very bright eyes, who all flash across the paths and up over the rocks at a ridiculous rate of speed.  Very relaxing to stand and look.  And all the walls and buildings are made of stone, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps back in the thirties, and very beautiful.  Plus, since this lake is in the top of a volcano, exploded off and crumpled in, about seven thousand (!) years ago, you have to wind your way up and up into the mountains to get a look at it, so we were high among the pine forests.  It was a gorgeous day, in spite of the heat -- 102 degrees, I believe -- and anyway, their car is very well air-conditioned.