Monday, March 2, 2009

Ubi panis ibi patria

A wild Monday. February was way too long for a short month and March has come in with snow blowin like bejesus out there and single digits tonight. Shoot, let's see if we can get that propane man out here one more time. Still feeling blah, seein the world through a scrim. Last night I think the fever broke.

About a mile and a half north of here, the Appalachian Trail crosses Barrett Road just above the old homestead on Wawayanda Mountain. You can see all the way out past Warwick and half of Orange County to the Gunks and, beyond, the Catskills. White people have been up here for three hundred years workin that beautiful black soil. Onions, cabbages, lettuces, melons, beets, berries, apples, peaches, dairies. Grapes, eggs, goats, young wine. The city is less than 70 miles away -- a straight shot through the Land of Desire -- but the watershed is protected. Means the land can't all be trashed like most places I know.

The Wallkill flows north, joins the Roundout and enters the Hudson just below Kingston. There's good canoeing down here if you don't get the big spring floods like we had a couple of years ago. I dint see the worst of it but Cholly said, "It was nasty. You know the lot off Prices Switch? Under water. And the boardwalk disappeared. Took three weeks to clear the main branch." Jefferson claimed that the Ohio was the most beautiful river in the world, but I ast myself, ain't all rivers beautiful when they got a little room to maneuver? The natives called the Wallkill the land of plums.

These days I'm flowin north too, instead of south like I used to. Facin away from the dreamscape. Quist would tell me, "A man don't make his own choices. He just adapts to the conditions imposed on him." Some comfort. When you're outta work and watchin The Free Market Boys leavin town on the sly, with full saddlebags and big bellies, you ain't got space in your emotional gas tank for regret.

You just let the anger wash over you like a cold white shower. Suck on your Robitussin, fizz up that Airborne, poot. Neither one gonna do anything about the way you feel.

You can keep drinkin tea all day, but if you wanna go outside, you gotta get your arse outta bed.

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