Archive for March, 2002

March 26th, 2002

» wahooten burwhaty

My dad says I won’t be subpoenaed because I’m from out of state. On one hand that saves me sixteen plus hours of driving. On the other it means I won’t see my family until mid-May. Oh well. Silver lining wah-wah-wah.

You know, now that I have this open I don’t feel like talking at all. I’m going to go read for women and gender, which is what I was supposed to be doing anyway. To everyone far away: I’m missing you. Melanie, I hope you had a good birthday. I’ll call you soon, I promise.

March 25th, 2002

» time

Daily observations: snow sprayed violently up against railing posts, thick and mottled like you’d see on a bad fake tree. Vulnerable teacher tummy.

I had others but they’re gone now. Today I also thought of time, and how little of it I have. There are 120 hours in a five-day school week. I spend 21 of them in class, 4 working, 6 in various club activities, 2 in practice. We’ll round and say I get 7 hours of sleep a night: that’s 35 hours sleeping. Maybe 8 hours eating during the week. After my alarm goes off it takes me 45 minutes, sometimes a bit longer, to get out the door in the morning; we’ll say that’s 4 hours. That brings me up to 80 hours of stuff blocked definitely into every week. Professors generally give two to three hours of homework per hour spent in class; 17 of my classroom hours I’m taking for credit, so being conservative I need 34 hours for homework each week. That’s 114. That leaves 6 hours (SIX HOURS) of spare time. In which to write, to practice guitar, to breathe. Of course I have slightly more cushion: sometimes homework isn’t that long, sometimes it’s longer. I can do homework during my work hours sometimes, and I do it while I eat lunch. There’s the weekend, of course. Nevertheless I’m feeling really awful about my schedule right now.

March 21st, 2002

» whee

::groan:: I think I’m going to be subpoenaed. My sister was today, and it only stands to reason.

That is all.

(Except: it’s tiny entries like these that make me think perhaps I should have given more thought to blog instead of journaly oriented programs. Too bad, Jethro. Gonna have to learn to live with this one.)

March 19th, 2002

» counting potholes

“So the tires hiss and the highway it winds
And the hours feel like forever in time”

Sometimes it is a matter of setting your teeth in and holding on, and that’s what this week is like.

Driving through Iowa is like passing between worlds. I could almost stand at the prow of my car with my arms raised, murmur the words of power (they would, I think, be numbers: sixty-three, one-sixty-three, sixty-five, eighty, thirty-five), and then draw the sharp edges of my hands down through the mist, cutting it away. Avalon.

Driving home, after quite literally coming through the mists of Iowa and then the slick rain they dropped over the Cities, I wondered at what living in Minnesota has done for me. (I almost said to me, but it’s not that at all.) Do you know how thin the bottom of your car is? Thin enough that you can feel slush spraying up against it through your foot. Your non-driving foot, one would hope. It is a curious trembling, and sounds a little like the harsh buzz of water against a plastic tarp. That same frantic, strong insistence, that same turning away. How unnerving it is after being long away from snow, the sudden animal thrum of it.

There are supposedly seven signs which herald the Apocalypse, and I think at least five of them are in Iowa. There is, of course, the infamous “Daddy Mommy”. This last time we found four nearly as unsettling. They rose out of the fog completely blank, one smooth blue face after another. Dar Williams said “there is no future here,” and in Iowa it is easy to believe. Time does not operate in the mists, in the vague uncertain miles between one reality and the next. So it was coming through the later snow, through the absolute blank just before home. My wipers, too, had forgotten winter. (Realize time also does not operate in this entry, and please accept my apologies.)

Because I am too lazy to rethink this story, I’m going to paste it exactly as I told Stephie (she helpfully emailed it to me, since I couldn’t send mail while I was home). Ahem. Here goes. Mel, her boyfriend Travis, and I had gone to Olive Garden with Jo and Christoph. We were going to stop at PetCo on the way back so Mel and Travis could get rocks for their fish — Jo and Christoph had gone back to his apartment, I think. So we’re in the middle lane of a three-lane road and this big SUV was right ahead of us in the right lane, but was swerving a little over the line. So I honked to let them know that we were there, and he sort of dropped back and we sped up. Then he got behind us, and after that we got in the right lane so we could exit. He kept following us. To make a long story short — we got off the highway and went back along a frontage road and he was still following us, so we didn’t want to stop and get out of the car. So we kept going and called the police nonemergency number. Then we got back on the highway going the same direction, and he was still following extremely closely, and so the dispatch officer told us to get onto this other highway, which we did, then exit on this other road. Then they had a squad pull the guy over. So we went up to a gas station down the road a little and an officer eventually came up to take our statements, and said the guy had been taken under arrest for drunk driving and he had another DWI offense on his record, yadda yadda. So that’s the promised stalking story. And I think that’s all I have for the moment. I’m sleepy and it’s nearly dinnertime.

March 2nd, 2002

» crazy ’bout Elvis

She once sold me a nickel for two dollars. It has a picture of a beaver on it, and I still keep it in a small box on my desk. When she played school with her friends she let me fetch them what they needed: tape, scissors, paper. She let me color one of her Fluppy Dog pictures — one with the striped-shirt boy. I colored his stripes like a rainbow. When she cut her head open I was the first to cry. When our bunny died we watched clouds out of our bedroom window and found the shapes in them.

She’s country and hard rock. She’ll try anything once, and she’ll eat anything on her plate, but you have to watch her around the raspberries. She’s a thousand times smarter than she’d ever let on to anyone, even herself.

She reads me like a book. If I want something at the dinner table all it takes is a glance. If I need to get something off my chest. If I need to laugh or cry. She is never just waiting for her turn to speak.

Sometimes Morris is very far away.