Someone Standing in the Yard
If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles.
- Walt Whitman
There is this unfinished stone patio behind our house. It’s nothing much. There used to be dirt there/ mud when it rained. Now it’s all mountain rocks, hefty ones, that I collected a few years ago. I’d drive me and Arle in my Honda. Up into the forests we’d go, out onto the ridges and we would just roll slow, churning up the silky dust from the dry road, slowly trolling for monster rocks laying right along the old road.
When we’d spot a possible rock, I’d slip the car in park and just leave the car right there in the road as I went to check it out. If it had flat sides and was thick enough (but not too much), I’d begin to try to picture how we could grab it. Then we would act out my visions, her over there grabbing that jagged point and me over here lifting this fat gut and before long we would be heaving a part of the mountain into the back of our ride.
We’d be taking the nature.
Stealing the wild, I guess.
Sometimes on the way back home, I could sense that the car’s front was lifted towards the sky from the crushing weight in the back. It filled me with strange pride/ sent me beaming towards places I had never really been before. There are all sorts of echoey rooms for a person to stumble into unexpectedly in this life. But I still recall, with great detail, this odd, good feeling I got when I was hauling ancient stones down from the hills so I could make a little patio for my people.
At times, I felt certain that the car’s undercarriage was going to rip apart from the stress of the load. It never did, of course. I went slow and navigated the exercise kind of like I would have done if I was managing a horse and carriage instead of a motor vehicle. You get tender when you detect your traveling bones are in jeopardy. You can push a thing to the brink, and I did, but when all is said and done, a dead mule or a dead ox or whatever, just laying there stiller than a cloudless sky, it’s an earth-shattering moment. People on the trail, people trying to stay alive and all, they pushed too hard and the beast just imploded.
Then you have a problem you did not want to have.
The idea of me pushing the stupid Honda to some brink of destruction was thrilling, I suppose. Even when we are all supposed to use common sense and not overdo things, even when I know better, I think maybe sometimes I try to test the limits of a natural thing to see if I can pull it off. To find out what I’m made of/ what we are made of.
Luck be a lady tonight.