Thursday, June 5, 2008

A Whimper and a Bang*

As predicted the day started off with a whimper, from both the wet, dreary, truly March-like weather pouting around on the other side of my window, and from me when the alarm when off and I was made aware, once again, of my rotten sinuses. I knew it was cold because all three cats and Duncan had resumed their usual positions on the bed, a luxury they forgo during the warmer months when snuggling gets too hot and unbearable. Nights tend to cool off remarkably up here at 5280 feet until the end of June, but we've kept the windows open the last few nights because it's stayed warmer later. Last night, however, it turned cold and even with the windows closed I expected to discover a fine white crust covering everything from poor Ken, whose head barely peeked out from under the comforter, to the carpets. Duncan groaned and stayed put until after both Ken and I had showered and decided to put off the morning routine until the very last minute. The apartment stayed dark even after the curtains were drawn, and once they were flung open I thought it a perfect day to stay home again, curl up on the couch and watch a Bette Davis or even a Great Garbo film. But alas, work was calling and although still not fully recovered, I felt well enough to make a go of it.

It stayed gloomy all day and only when I returned home did the rain give up as the sun crept out from behind her gauzy blanket of clouds. Duncan was practically beside himself with joy to see me, grabbing my wrist in his mouth and guiding me around the apartment as if showing it to me for the first time. His tail wagged furiously, rocking his entire southern half from side to side and the bird-chirp had returned to his voice. He waited patiently while I changed clothes, donned a sweatshirt and grabbed a bag of pumpkin treats for our first walk in the park in nearly a week.

Since school ended, the soccer hoards have been absent, which suits me just fine. Only one team was practicing––a nearly grown-up one at that so there were no milling parents clogging the sidewalks, buzzing on their cell phones like annoying little gnats–– and not even the baseball diamonds had filled up with the after-work leagues. With the exception of the teenage couple having sex among the willows (my willows!) we had the park almost entirely to ourselves. It was not a long walk but we were out for quite a while as Duncan had a great deal of catching up to do. He'd been away for six days and apparently all sorts of messages and memos had been posted on every tree trunk, on the sides of all the big rocks, the posts of the fences, several tall clumps of grass and a single tire of the UPS truck which parks in the lot late in the afternoon while its driver catches some shut-eye. I simply stood for most of our walk, watching him sniff and peruse the news, scroll through the gossip section and catch up on all the current events. Normally I don't tolerate too much of this and urge him along but today I simply let him do as he pleased. I do owe him that much for his patience.

It felt good to stretch my legs again, even if I couldn't breath and my head still pounded from the gridlock still stuck in my sinuses. Nothing seems more miserable than a walk when I'm ill, and although I still feel wretched, it was a wonderful way to end the afternoon, with something familiar and relaxing, the sun warm in the cool air, Duncan marching along beside me. And as we were coming back, waiting on the sidewalk to cross Bowles, I think I may have caught a hint of the Russian Olives I've fretted over the past week. It was fleeting and not very strong, but my spine stiffened and I felt my joy receptors sit up, do a little dance and proclaim a loud, "How-dee-doo!" I'm not there yet, but very soon I'll be back. With a bang!

*Actually, there were two bangs if you count the incident in the willows. My willows!


Greg said...

You really write such wonderful posts, Curt--they're always a pleasure to read!

Glad you are feeling a bit better and hope the russian olives will spur to you a full recovery ere long! Duncan will surely pull you along toward recovery, as well!

I wonder what Mr. Toad and Mole thought about that business in the willows! Eew, ick!

NodakJack said...

Did you know Russian Olives are considered a "noxious plant" in many states? It's due to their propensity to multiply like...uh...math teachers. Cleaning up the seeds is a mess. They have thorns which are quite sharp.
Let's see...
Oh..and, they're very pretty.

caboval said...

Once again I almost felt like I was on the walk with you! Ilove the way you write! Sounds like you are getting better! Love Val and Joey

Murphy's Mom said...

So glad you are on the road to recovery. I adore your writing and I adore that you are such a fantastic Dog Daddy and can translate and describe it all to us. and....sorry to ask, but what is a Russian Olive?...Anything that makes your joy receptors stand up, I want to know about!