Straw-colored grass, a bed of needles

The grill-roasted beer can chicken technique.

The owl-eyed veterinarian talks too fast, wears her hair in a bun. The bun’s so tight it makes her eyes bulge. It’s always the same, we care about our dog and cat’s health, we start with good intentions. But her words run together like boxcars blurring into one and we glaze over tired and confused, feeling cheated by the bill. I consider the bad timing of our last office visit once the cat Roxy goes missing a day or two later. We heard her shriek in the night outside, Dawn leapt out of bed, then went with the dog searching but turned up no results. I scanned for the body, the collar, the following afternoon. We agreed to go to the Mexican place for dinner and didn’t talk about it, didn’t toast, seemed weird. But when we got home she was there by the back door wanting in, rubbed against us, went for her food. And then we all went outside again and had margaritas.

Mom left today and I’m rising later with the sun, the birdsong tamped down. To the lake for my morning walk it’s glass, worn down. A good ten feet of beach, pebbles and pine cones, logs that make for natural seats, a knobby root shaped like a saddle. A few fishermen on the dock, a far-off crow. The light in the morning, at night, goes that trippy Maxfield Parrish golden pink, greens and blues. The sun settles into itself like the flame on a candle when it’s close to the bottom, but still has a way’s to go.

About pinklightsabre

William Pearse publishes memoir, travel journals, poetry and prose, and lives in the Pacific Northwest.
This entry was posted in musings, prose and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to Straw-colored grass, a bed of needles

  1. Joy Pixley says:

    I love your descriptive, immersive, in the now style. I feel so there. Which is scary when “there” is thinking that your cat is dead, because I’ve been there in real life, and it’s not someplace I want to return to, even fictionally. I’m hugely relieved at how that part ended.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pinklightsabre says:

      Nice, and thanks. Bridging out (making that a verb, “verbing” it) from wherever I was to wherever I’m going, feels good just to be “going.” Had myself in an unusual rut, there.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        I’m glad for you, that you’re going. Ruts are no fun.

        Like

      • pinklightsabre says:

        I’ll let this go (I promise) as people got stuff to do, but man it’s like I’d been on some charm for a very long time, possibly 2 years of inspired daily writing…and it was odd to slip out. But there has to be some lesson in that too. Enjoy the night.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        I’ve never had a streak of inspired writing every day for anywhere near that long, so I envy you having it in order to lose it. (Although I can also sympathize at how frustrating losing it would be.) The closest I’ve had is when I first did NaNoWriMo and had two weeks off work during that month, and just wrote-wrote-wrote from morning to dinner every day. That was AMAZING. And hasn’t happened again in two years, because when do I ever have time to get into that groove….

        Like

      • pinklightsabre says:

        You can make time; at least I learned how to. Even just 30 minutes (more like 60) and you can establish a productive routine. Looks like you’re pretty close to that as is. I can’t write for longer than 2-3 hours/day and if I do, I have to split the time between morning and afternoon.

        Like

      • Joy Pixley says:

        Good for you that you can do that. I can’t get squat written in 30 minutes. It takes half that long just to get my head in the game. So I can do revisions if I only have 30-60 minutes, maybe do critique of someone else’s story. But give me 4 hours and I’ll write up a storm.

        Like

      • pinklightsabre says:

        I’ve been contracting for Microsoft now for almost a year and one thing I’ve learned, and applied to my writing, is this fierce pace of getting stuff done in very short periods of time…like doing what you can with quarter hour increments. Has worked so far for me, but everyone has their thing of course. I get yours, too. A bitch to find the time though or make it, hard. Bet you have your hands full with your work and profession…my unsolicited advice is to ensure you can do what makes you feel full despite that. Perhaps both do, and then you’re doubly lucky! Bill

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        Actually I was just thinking yesterday that I really need to get better at getting something done in 15 minutes. I’m not very good a switching gears — always been more of a “dive in and surge” worker — but that’s not cutting it these days. I need to stop arguing for my limitations and start practicing new strategies until I’m better at them.

        Like

      • pinklightsabre says:

        It was a big change for me, to go for those quarter hours, but the change adds up to bills, yo’!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. ksbeth says:

    like the cat, you came back –

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Moody Blues 1983, Dalis Car 1984, Bobby Womack 1985

    The mid-80s were a prime time for trippy Maxfield Parrish album covers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pinklightsabre says:

      Odd it should be called surreal when I guess it’s more “irreal,” though that word bothers me. Like, “really real,” those colors. And they start around this time of year for me. Maybe something off-gassing from the grass.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Grass can do that. Hyper-real?

        Like

      • pinklightsabre says:

        That irreal word is a bit pretentious for me, but I nicked it from a Sonic Youth song (my favorite album of theirs I think, “Sister”). I’m going to reblog the nice “Fandom” piece you did tomorrow, finally getting back around to that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ah, Sonic Youth, the new Shakespeare.
        Sure, great. Always delighted when a piece gets a bit o’ extra life!

        Liked by 1 person

      • pinklightsabre says:

        The new Shakespeare, that’s funny and not unsardonic. Your piece landed when I was in D.C. On work and I took some time to kind of “unwind” but now feel I’m winding up again, so to speak. Really appreciate you reading all my posts from that project in case I didn’t make that clear.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It was an engrossing and fascinating experience, Bill. The comments thread isn’t ideal for rambling conversations, but I’d love to hear more about your inner experience of the process/journey. Perhaps another post series… 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • pinklightsabre says:

        How cool is that. I just finished drafting my little ditty for your piece tomorrow. It’s odd. I couldn’t be “in the moment” with your piece until just now — which sounds (insert your own deragotriusm here) — but it’s true. And I’m so glad I read it and fully enjoyed it. Means a lot, that level of ‘legitimizing’ I feel from you reacting to my writing the way you did. It’s precisely why I do it, at the core…to connect and inspire others. Feels really, really good. Thanks again Bruce. One day, we meet. But I fucking hate prog rock.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Some of my best friends hate pro– oh, no, they don’t. (laughed out loud. really did)

        This has been one of the more satisfying blog experiences I’ve had Bill. Both your writing – pushing words, ideas, juxtapositions, yourself – then letting that touch me (fuck that sounds wanky, but I guess I mean letting myself actually engage with both words and the entity producing them) then reflex back. Just had this fantasy of a salon where like-souled minds would gather, have a drink and a yarn about writing then disappear back to their lonely keyboards/parchment and scribble away…

        Liked by 1 person

      • pinklightsabre says:

        That’s good. Good, good, good. The horror, the horror, the horror.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Lynn Love says:

    Joy’s right – your descriptions, Bill, so gorgeous, unusual, illogical and yet super real. Where the hell did the cat get to – did you work it out? Loving that slide from morning light to evening, the colours in between.

    Like

    • pinklightsabre says:

      I forgot some stuff about the cat piece I should have put in. We actually saw a juvenile coyote shortly after she went missing and today, a bob cat! Have never seen a bob cat…and one in our back yard, quite big and sleek. In the late morning, back by the chicken coop. Odd times. Spirit creatures!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. That second paragraph is begging for a photo. I know that’s a cheat on my part but remember who you’re dealing with.

    Like

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