Archive for October, 2010

October 30th, 2010

» lately

Here I am just three weeks out from Bali, and nothing planned. Well, not quite nothing — I’ve gotten a whole battery of shots (one of them just under the wire time-wise — the Rabies vaccine has to be done in three rounds, at Day 0, Day 7, and Day 21), and bought some things that, if you squint and look sideways, may be construed as necessary for the trip. (If you squint and look the other way they may also look like a little retail therapy. If it feels good it can’t be bad, right?)

I am, out of all usual character, not remotely concerned about it. Not one bit. I just have this weird, unshakable conviction that it will all work itself out. I plan to bring some comfortable things to wear, an armload of books, and hopefully the ability to just breathe deeply. I’ve been doing a lot of holding my breath and biting my tongue lately, and those things I’d like to leave at home.

I haven’t ridden in almost two weeks. I think this is the longest I’ve gone in — three years? Is it? It feels like it. Poe and I had a fantastic end to our season. We spent the last few months doing lots of trail riding, much of it through this glorious private property: hundreds of acres of woods and fields threaded with horse trails. By the end the trees were dressed in their most brilliant yellows and reds, bright enough (I hope) that the memory will carry me through the long coming winter. Several weeks ago we foxhunted (no, we didn’t catch a fox; it’s a drag hunt, where the lines are planned and the scent laid in advance; no animals harmed in the making of this unbelievable morning, etc). I don’t really have the words for it — but imagine being on a 1200 pound animal who is bred to run; imagine letting out your reins, trusting that he’s going to keep you both safe, and careening through fall-bright woods and over cropped alfalfa fields as fast as the hounds care to run. We riders were chatting at one of the checks and someone asked me how old I am. I couldn’t remember, at all. Couldn’t even begin to bring the math to my brain, couldn’t think of anything outside of the ridiculous drunken high of galloping through close trees, over coops, down blurring fencelines. And all of this a Wednesday morning, playing hooky from work.

That Sunday a friend and I rode in the Hunter Pace: teams are sent out in pairs, to ride a hunting pace over hunt country. Whichever team comes closest to the secret optimum time (ridden beforehand by a staff member) is the winner. Last year our team was 12 seconds outside of first place — it was the very last thing I did with Everett before he went to his new home. We vowed then that we’d come back this year and win it.

And we did.

There may have been a little jumping up and down, and a very enthusiastic trophy dance in the truck on the way back to the barn. (The trophy, incidentally, is actually two trophies; the names of each year’s winners are engraved on it, so when the massive silver platter started in the 60s ran out of room, they added a big silver bowl to the mix. My shelf has never been shinier.)

I haven’t ridden since. Mr. Poe was very happy and enthusiastic about both hunt outings — along with the trail riding, hacking in the back field, dressage work, jumping — pretty much everything I did with him — but he was also starting to show some signs of stress, impatience in the cross-ties, pitching fits whose cause I couldn’t calculate. So, I decided to chuck him out in the field for a week or two at least, longer if he needs, let him decompress. I threw myself into a Halloween costume project which has blown through my entire apartment in a whirlwind of fabric bits and old unfiled papers. When I’m not sewing the insurmountable mess makes me want to climb the walls, so mostly I sew.

Except tonight. Tonight I’m exhausted, and should be sleeping — should have been sleeping hours ago — but I can’t quite bring myself to close my eyes. The days all feel like they’re spinning away too quickly. This need to sleep now, here, seems unfair when there is so much to do, so much more pressing in. I want nothing more than to go plug in the glue gun. Instead, I think a cup of tea and then to bed.

October 6th, 2010

» shiver

I know better than to read scary books. I know better — and yet.

Last night I dreamt an old hotel, an elevator with dull silver doors on either side, one opening to the lobby and the other to the basement, dank and dripping. The elevator was broken but the doors could be pried open, and going between them I got turned around, forgot which was which, and found myself in an endless tunnel of elevators, opening each door onto another identical elevator, stepping through, opening another door — thinking if I only opened enough doors I would certainly come out somewhere.

Later, a car ride through dark, rain-slick streets; we are stopped for speeding. The stranger next to me hops out of the car before the police officer can approach; I am dismayed, calling for him not to. The officer steps into view, pistol drawn, and tells me to remove all of the guy’s weapons. I reach into his pockets, his jacket, his boots: a revolver, a long hunting knife, a grenade the size of a plum, a canister of white powder. We are all in custody when the woman with us starts screaming, sobbing, that there is a ghost inside her, that it’s hurting her. I peel back the bandaid on her index finger; beneath it is a deep puncture wound from which a long, shining needle emerges.

Yesterday, on a whim, I bought Let the Right One In (or Let Me In), by John Ajvide Lindqvist. I’ve seen the movies mentioned a lot recently; I had no idea what they were, hadn’t seen any ads for them, but read part of a synopsis from Cleolinda the other day — just enough to spoil myself a bit. Anyway, so far it’s riveting and obviously creeping me out. Twilight fans (and non-fans for that matter), this is a whoooole different take. Check it out.