Sunday, January 16, 2011
My aunt and uncle like to barbeque, and they want to cook burgers for all of us--my son, T. and their kids. I figure they'll bring their Coleman grill and some charcoal, but instead they arrive in their station wagon with the burgers all cooked. They pull them out of a cooler in the back--already on paper plates. It's not what I expected, but it works.
Another time, I go fishing on the river and catch a big orange fish. I bring it back to the house and later when I go to look at it, I see it's not a fish at all. It's a tabby cat with a gash in its side that looks a bit like a gill. It's still alive, and it looks as if I can nurse it back to health. "I didn't know it was a cat," I tell T. I'm worried it might have fleas, and now maybe there are fleas in the house, but T. doesn't seem upset about it at all.
Later she and I go shopping in a big warehouse. There's household stuff there. Cleaning supplies and light bulbs and stuff like that. It's dark in the warehouse. They keep the lights off because of the heat and turn them on section by section when needed. T. and I wander apart, and I befriend a clerk and walk across the parking lot with her to the employee lounge. I have my cart full of stuff with me which feels a bit awkward because I haven't paid yet. The clerk and I talk about travel--how there are so many places she wants to go. She's married and very pretty with long brown hair that swishes across her back when she walks. She's forty. "You're young," I tell her. After her break we walk back to the store together, and I feel a bit guilty that I've gotten separated from T. My son is there to pick us up, and they are looking for me.
Before I can go I have to load the wooden rocking horses into the cart that I've gotten for the kids. Somehow I've managed to carve designs into them, and they're nicely done. One of the designs is a sort of swastika, and I feel obligated to explain to the proprietor of the store that before it was appropriated by the Nazis, the swastika was a Native American symbol. The proprietor likes my work, he tells me. The carving is expertly done, he says, and he likes the piece of iron work that I've designed, too. No one questions how it is that I've come to this store to buy these things that I've made. We load them into the cart and roll to the car.