It was a holiday and I was obliged to take a break from the writing.
Upstate had a heavy fog when we landed at the train station. It enveloped the car, so we could barely see the road ahead. And the roads near my mother’s house—a house barely findable, even with directions—are the tiniest of roads. They cut up close to unseen lakes, part seas of trees, bend up the blindest of curves, the lane so narrow only one car can fit at a time. The fog made it all the worse. My life feels like this right now, so it was poetic, really.
This is the barn I say is haunted, but everyone else says no way. I won’t go near it at night by myself though:
But once in the house we began chopping. So. Much. Cheese. And the zucchini. And the sweet potatoes. And photographs of the donors (otherwise known as our fathers) were taken out and looked at and then put away. There was much hilarity—when my family is together, we get like this.
Later I would be told that my father wanted nothing to do with me because I’m not a part of his household—I don’t live in his house, so he has no obligation to me, is his thinking. It’s an issue of taxes, really. Oh, okay, I thought to myself. So it’s nothing personal. Right back atcha, Dad.
I am not so dispassionate in my imagination. Deep in there I have quite a lot to say. But it’s been hard getting in, and, once in, hard to communicate what I’ve seen. I’m talking about the novel. Yes, the novel I am supposed to be writing in 50,000 words in 30 days, which I’ve about given up, but that doesn’t mean I’m not writing it now and on past November in however many months it will take. The story, the characters were covered in a deep fog all week. What are you writing? (Please, let’s not talk about that.) How do you like your new job? Where are you moving? What will you do with the rest of your life? With holidays come questions. I would like to run out into the fog, but when E went out to dump the compost he heard a large animal in the woods. It could have been a bear. Or a Sasquatch.
The food—my mother’s—was divine.
We got lost on the way to the train station and missed our train back, by a single minute. We pulled into the lot just as its doors closed and it crawled away. So we had to wait an hour for the next train, up in the passage hanging over the tracks. E and my sister sat on the floor, gearing up to wait.
I decided to take pictures. While spinning. Jumping. Spazzing. Don’t ask me where all the energy came from. And soon enough, time had passed and the train was due to arrive. We even got seats. Here I am, spinning:
And then there’s this:
The above drawing was found in my Baby Book: a warped white book, half-filled out and stuffed with random tidbits like this drawing I made in nursery school. I remember, probably for some Thanksgiving something-or-other at school, having to dress up as Pilgrims and Indians. I had a construction-paper feather on my head, so guess what I was. That might be the inspiration for this drawing. I’m not sure what to say.
But I ask you: Why are all the people falling over? (A few of my drawings found in the Baby Book were like this; I seemed to be incapable of drawing people straight up and down.) Also, take notice of the boy on the right. Are those chicken pox? Are we leaning away from him because he is contagious or because we are afraid? Or, even though the sun is shining, are those tears?
Interpretations welcome. My memory is as foggy as the rest of me.