March 29, 2010
Serena: I can spell Melissa. That’s my sister’s name. Only we call her Medusa.
Me: Does your sister have hair like snakes?
Serena (after a stare): She doesn’t have any hair. She’s bald. She just got born.
March 20, 2010
Throughout the desert West, the backcountry hiker finds “sheepherders’ monuments”: cairns or slabs of stone raised by turn-of-the-century herdsmen while their sheep grazed, day after day, in the wide silence.
On a hillside of small-grain, gray, dissolving shale we came upon a slab of white sandstone, set on end like a tombstone and blocked up all around with dark rocks. Prickly pear had grown in among the stones.
We’d hiked there a dozen times and never seen it. The desert is like that: bare and open, yet turn your head and there’ll be something that’s been looking at the sun for a hundred, or a hundred million, years.
March 15, 2010
March 7, 2010
We all have too many books. But I have books and rocks.
I have best rocks; second best rocks; third best rocks; and driveway rocks, which I don’t care if somebody steals. When I move, the best, second best, and third best go with me.
Last time I moved, my brother tried to lift a box before he noticed it had been labeled (neatly) ROCKS AND LEG WEIGHTS.
So why, he asked, nursing his lower back, couldn’t you have packed ROCKS with PILLOWS? ROCKS with UNDERWEAR?
Hey. I could have packed them with The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary.