Over coffee this morning -- a slightly gray, much warmer, soon everything'll turn to mud kind of morning -- as I listened to the sound of wood chippers across the lake, where the power company is still clearin debris been sittin along Canistear Road since December, I idled through the Sussex County Herald Shoppers Guide. It's a pennysaver type deal that shows up in the mailbox once a week.
High school seniors stage fashion show. How to handle garden pests. Tough clothes for tough times. This week there's even a recipe for Spam Sushi, I guess because President Obama ate some when he was in Hawaii. "If you can get your mind around eating sea urchin, some canned meat should be easy. Right?" Shoot, I like urchin and Spam. But these days, I can only afford one, and it ain't urchin.
I like the human interest and gardening stories and always cuss the ink that smears all over my mitts. But that's not why I read it so closely. It's the classifieds that make me cry.
"MEN'S silk neckties. Like new - 25 ties - $25."
"SHOES Wedding, new, satin, never worn. Org. $50 - $25"
"SIGNED Robert Bateman Wolf print. Small tear on bottom. $50"
"TYPEWRITER - Brothers, like new, $50"
"SLOT Machine. Full Sized, token, lots of fun, works fine. $99 firm."
By the time I got to this one --
"GIRLS Communion outfit. Size 10 dress, veil and gloves $50"
I was a mess. I mean, the dashed hopes take your breath away. And such a great and poignant need. People got to move on with their lives and still they got to eat. It's not rational, but it's human. You go into the cottages around here and almost everybody's got an animal print hangin in the living room - usually a wolf, sometimes an eagle or another raptor, or occasionally a bear. A free spirit, the local god of the hearth. Unless you see a velvet Jesus hangin there instead.
What about you, poot, what spirit you gonna let animate your dreams of escape? Coyote? Raven? Snake? Pig? I've seen 'em all at work in people's lives and lemme tell you something. Wolf ain't the worst of 'em. Not in a world where we humans been cullin the herds.