The blog posts have been coming fast and furious lately. The new novel, THE ROCKY ORCHARD, has some good momentum going. I’ve been at this long enough to know that it will not always be thus. There will be lulls. Meantime, enjoy! Let me know what you think.
All I wanted to do was come here. After it all happened.
I stole my parents’ car. Well, would you call it stealing, really? I “borrowed” it without their permission, without them knowing. And, it was two years before I had an actual driver’s license, but that’s kind of a technicality. They had been letting me drive since the summer. Every time we came up here, to the farm, they would take me out driving. Everybody does that out in the country. So yeah, city streets and the high speed of the expressway was a little unfamiliar, but I figured it out well enough. I just had to be here.
Everybody thinks of the woods as being so quiet, but they’re not. Most of the year, they’re noisy. Really noisy. Birds and frogs and toads and crickets and cicadas and branches snapping and leaves blowing. But it’s a good noise, the kind of noise that lets you think. The kind that opens up your brain instead of suffocating it. But it was winter when it all happened, with a fresh snowfall of nearly a foot; the woods had a completely different sound. it’s a kind of silence, but thick, somehow. The sounds are muffled, but you can sense that they’re there, behind a curtain. It’s ominous, and dazzling, all at once.
I parked the car behind the house like we always did. When I got out, I just started running, right for the creek. The water moved fast enough that it rarely froze in the winter. I could hear it after I had barely run a few feet. I stumbled in the snow in my headlong, blind rush to get there. I could tell from the tumult that the creek was high, that the water would be roaring over the rocks. While I was still a distance away, I reached down and took off one boot, and then the other, and pitched them into the snow. I did the same with my socks. And I ran straight into that creek, the water so high that it reached my mid-calves and drenched my pants. Fiery sharp stabs shot all the way from the bottoms of my feet straight into my brain, and I just stood there. I stood there with my feet in the creek until I was sure that in one more second my legs would buckle underneath me; they would no longer be able to hold my weight. In one more second, I would not be able to get out of the creek, would not be able to run back to the house. I sobbed from the pain, my breath coming in great frozen gasps.
I made a dive for the bank of the creek, and lay face down in the snow, my frozen legs and feet waving in the air towards the winter sky.