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Location: Midwest, United States

"Power lines, my travlin' partner on this ride. Dripping, pulling - up and down, in this sing song, their lullaby blends with the swaying train. I curl myself into this journey; folding myself up into this pocket of time. Old familiars greet me - that swing set in the back yard, the ruins of an old church covered in new birth and old - mixed with unremembered newness." Journal Entry, October 13, 2005~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~All words are copyrighted by GoGo on a Page/gogoroku.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Just Practicing the Writing

The windows facing the alleyway hang high above the ground. The paved road below, a small utility path called R9, slopes down then rises up again at the next street’s exit. Throughout the day I can see the tops of people’s head as they walk by, the line of my window decapitating everything below the forehead from view. I know everyone in my apartment house not only by face, but by the tops of their heads. My alleyway seems a constant trickle of pedestrians coming to and fro. It’s a popular shortcut to the Convenience Store or its bus stop, but I can still pick out a neighbor. If there was a head picking neighbor contest, I’d win every time.

When I first moved into my apartment, I could hear parlor music from the dance studio that drapes the other side of the alleyway. I still hear it randomly float over to say hello. Behind my home, the alley leads to the back door parking lots of businesses that hug the main street near me. Another alley that moves perpendicular to my alleyway takes up residence behind all the rentals that define my block.

On occasion I can see odd vehicles come down the alleyway, taking their cue from the pedestrians who want a shorter route around. Apparently in the summer the Ice Cream Truck has decided the alleyway is best treaded between 6-7pm daily as its horn blares camp song ditties that get stuck in my head. “Do your ears hang low? Do they wobble to and fro? Can you tie them in a not? Can you tie them in a bow? Can you throw them over my shoulder like a Continental shoulder? Do your ears hang low?” Why was this song written?

From my bed I can see out my Northwest window looking out the alleyway. I had spent the afternoon running errands on the bike, in the funked up heat trying to make a difference like Al Gore wants us to. By the time I was done my body was severely overheated and I needed to take a shower to lower the body temp a few degrees. I decided to take refuge from the rest of the sweltering day in the coolest place in my home – under the fan in my bedroom. While I lay in my bed reading the latest book, In the Shadow of the Ark by Anne Provoost, I saw a bus attempt the narrow way. I just lay there, hands pressing the spine of my time down, while this yellow bus got stuck between my house and the back studio of the Framing Company. I watched a curly yellowed haired head talk to three of my neighbors head tops while they discussed whether it was best to continue forward or back out. I was curious, which would work best too? I figured there was enough help and they didn’t need me to actually come out and watch.

For fifteen minutes, I watched the tops of these heads while voices seem to carry up from somewhere below. The bus a sliver view from where it was stuck. I didn’t even pretend to read, stuck safely out of sight in bed. Like a kid, I wanted to pay close attention so I could tell my Dad about the neighborly gossip. Then, some movement happened. The heads parted ways as I watched one neighbor’s hands greet his head motioning the bus to come this way, come this way. I guess they choose to back it out. The yellow bus slowly moved out of the alleyway and away.

Yep, this was the most exciting thing to happen in my day. And I did call my Dad to tell him about it.


Blogger Jim C. Hines said...

I like the line about the window decapitating your neighbors :)

And yeah, we get that same truck. It plays Happy Birthday sometimes too, which seems odd...

6:41 AM, July 28, 2006  
Blogger Wenda said...

Can you hear me laughing? This is not the first time tonight your wit has had this impact on me. I'm catching up on all the posts I missed while I was "away".

Especially liked the image of "one neighbor’s hands greet[ing] his head motioning the bus to come this way, come this way."

11:48 PM, September 03, 2006  

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