Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Aspen Dust, Fat Snakes, and the Persistence of Memory

Well, that's done. I moved the lizard (Little Weeds) to a new location downstairs. Damn, that's a heavy aquarium. I'm gonna feel it in my fingers tomorrow. But now that's he's down here, the dresser he was sitting on is free to be removed and clear up a lot of space. I changed his bedding as part of the move, and the cloud of dust as I dumped the fresh aspen shavings in there about asphyxiated me. He seemed happy though. Or she. Probably a she, but I'm not entirely sure. There's a way to tell, but I've never been curious enough to go poking around in his cloaca.

I also finished cleaning the carport up.. moved the old cabinets and cleaned up all the dead leaves and junk that accumulated behind and between them. Much tidier now. I just need to get rid of a bin of about 200 golf balls that have been there for years. I don't play golf. It's all coming together, little by little. But with that aspen dust and the pollen from sweeping the carport, my respiratory passages are thoroughly coated. I think I'll have a cigarette.. that'll clear it up. :o

I found some audio tapes from long ago that my dad made of family stuff. Most are of my dad trying to have conversations with my sister when she was a baby, trying to keep her attention long enough for her to sing a song. One was a recorded thanksgiving dinner ('76) at my grandparents' when I was small, squalling thing crawling around under the table with the dog. Strange to hear people talking about things when I was 1. But the tape broke as I was listening to it.

There was also a short recording of my dad talking to me when I was 3. He asked me what I did the other day, and I said I was in the woods and killed a snake with rocks. I heard that and started laughing.. I have a memory of when I was young. I was very small, but I couldn't remember just how young. I had wandered off down a drainage ditch when there used to be undeveloped woods across the street. Very bad of me. I recall seeing a little snake crawling across the ditch- like a little foot-long grass snake- and I got scared and threw rocks at it until it was dead. Not very nice, I know, but I was only three. I remember picking it up by the tail and heading home.. I guess as a trophy or something, I don't know. I remember getting stuck in a short thorn bush that had cobwebs on it and I started crying. My mother was calling for me and looking, and finally heard me and took me home.. sans snake. That must be one of my earliest memories. Funny to hear myself talking about the incident with barely legible speech, and yet still have such a clear memory of it. And nowadays, I'd go out of my way to make a small snake safe.. or stop to pick a box turtle off the road and take it into the woods.. or just earlier today, wander around for several minutes trying to find a good home for a chunky black scarab beetle whose leg I injured while sweeping the carport clean. Funny how things evolve. I'm a different person several times over from the one wandering in the woods that day.. all of my cells have been replaced many times, probably not many of the same atoms left, either.. that three year old technically no longer exists. But the memories remain.

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