I learned to be covert at a very young age as a necessary survival mechanism. I am hideously ill-coordinated, and I was a weak and sickly child to boot, so physical fighting was almost always a losing proposition for me. Avoidance was always the best strategy to prevent as many beatings as possible. I found lots of interesting places to hide- closets, high up in trees, behind furniture, etc. There were many places I could go to see but remain unseen. Keeping under the radar- or above the situation- kept me from beatings more than once, and as I got older, guaranteed me much juicy fodder for blackmail opportunities. I caught my sisters engaging in all sorts of illicit activities that would have gotten them in loads of trouble had I chose to nark on them. Usually I didn’t nark if they spared me a beating -or at least stayed out of my stuff. Knowledge is power in more ways than one.
Even though I am not living under the threat of continual physical beatings, I still enjoy making detached ivory tower observations. In some ways this is a bittersweet pursuit because I am haunted by a number of old ghosts who live in my dreams, ghosts who I can’t help but to come face to face with when I am confronted with places from my past. When I’ve been out of a particular sphere for a long time viewing the residuals as they appear today can be disquieting.
Last night I had a rather noteworthy dream in that it was a new scene- nothing remotely connected with past places or events which alone was refreshing. I enjoyed the old metal bridges (late 19th/early 20th century) that one seldom sees anymore even out in the hinterlands. Better than that there was a lovely waterfall that had been created that flowed over an embankment paved with red bricks into a free flowing river where people were swimming (nobody in their right mind would actually do that in most Ohio rivers these days.) I don’t know why the bridges and the river stuck in my mind. The scenery itself was new but it’s an old theme. One of my favorite places to hide out and smoke when I was in high school was by the Scioto River just outside of Green Camp. Back then there was an abandoned railroad trestle (since demolished for the scrap metal) one could walk out and sit on, comfortably out of view. In summer no one would find you if you parked behind the trees. It was a lovely hideout.
Both of these bridges are long gone which is sad in a way but even I must admit they were dangerous to go wandering out on. I remember driving over the first one, and it scared the hell out of me even in my little Subaru DL, the way it would creak and moan under its slight weight. That old iron bridge once spanned the Olentangy River. Though I found its design and its dedication plaque intriguing, I generally tried to avoid actually driving over it. The second is the railroad trestle where we used to sit and watch the river flow by. One would not dare swim or wade in the Scioto River up in Marion County even today as it is polluted with creosote and Lord only knows what else, but it was peaceful to simply sit and observe the world going by- as long as there was enough of a breeze to keep the bugs off. I wonder how many others wandered on those bridges- were they secluded places for lovers’ trysts or set aside for drunken toasts and late night rages against the dark? How many trains passed over that majestic iron trestle carrying their loads of coal or grain or armaments- or bodies of the fallen dead? If only the bridges could speak their secrets what stories they might have, yet they stood in somber silence until need or greed came to take their obsolescence away.
I can really get into a bit of a dark mood when my mind goes wandering in such directions. I believe that we humans very seldom choose the best course we should take. It does disturb me that the past holds echoes of a future that could have been much brighter than today- a future that never was- either as a result of our insolence or ignorance or a combination of both.
On a lighter note, I have been contemplating the great oxymoron that is man logic. Last night I watched a show obviously geared toward twenty-something men called “Manswers,” in which puerile young men try to explain the secrets of the universe. Yes, enlighten me on all the things I really need to know- such as the logistics of having sex while sky-diving. Then it occurred to me that the probability of me enjoying either of those activities, together or separately is approximately the same as the probability of snow storms in hell. Sky-diving is an activity that I highly doubt I could muster the courage to engage in. Sex is an activity I would like to engage in but that nobody else (who qualifies and meets my standards) wants to muster up the courage to engage in with me. I don’t think I’ll watch that show again. It was too depressing the more I started thinking about it.
When Jerry loses something he expects me to find it. If I lose something it is my own tough luck and my business to find it as it should be. I just hate the double standard. It also seems that Jerry needs to find whatever object he lost when I am sleeping, eating, “taking the Obamas to the pool,” or bathing, and he expects me to drop the activity at hand to find the item he lost. Few things can bring me to a seething head of anger faster than having my activities interrupted so that I may go fix someone else’s negligence and/or stupidity, but this seems to be the story of my life.
That’s depressing too. I have enough problems without anyone else contributing to them.