the convicted felon is in the woods

I was taking a walk to sugar house hill this evening, under phosphorescent skies, and all of a sudden the light had drained out of the sky. I cut through the woods to get to the road, knowing in the back of my head that walking in the woods at dusk during hunting season- posted land or not- was a bad idea. Just as I hit the road I saw the farmer cruising up on his four-wheeler. It had no break lights or tail lights, I could just see the red glowing tip of his cigarette gliding up the road as if it were floating. I froze, trying to melt into the hillside. I liked the farmer very much but he was a compulsive talker, and I wanted to get home.

I saw him ride past, come to a stop, and back up, having obviously spotted me. "Don't shoot me!" I yelled out, half playing, half frightened. I could have easily passed for a deer in the darkness. He swung his leg over the 4-wheeler and started coming towards me. "DON'T SHOOT ME! IT'S ME! DON'T SHOOT ME" I shouted again, springing up from the ground and running towards him.

"Thought you might have been a hunta'." He said, his heavy Vermont accident sinking the end of each word. Although the farmer hunts freely on the land, no one else is permitted, and just like his father before him, he does not take kindly to trespassers. He put his cigarette out and started in on a story of stalking and running off a small handful men from the land in the last few weeks. "This one guy, I seen him here a few times, hes a Knott I think."

"A nut?" I ask him. "Like, a total nutbag? And he's wandering around our property with a gun?"

"No, a knott" The farmer spelled it out. "That's his last name. But he is a nut. He's a convicted felon, not even allowed to carry a weapon." So there is a crazy, dangerous murderer father slapper pope raper of a man wandering around the property....which means the crazy ideas that I harbor between the hours of 10pm-8am when I'm home alone were correct. I asked how he managed to go hunting without a gun.

"Nah, he can't have a rifle, but he can have a bow and arrow."


"and a muzzleloader."

"I see." It was then I resolved to never again roam around in my underwear. So much for that simple pleasure.

"How's that cat?" Asked the farmer, changing the subject.

I told him she was alright but that I had to go. I wanted to get home and lock the doors and- I'm not sure what- sit in wait with a steak knife. But when I got there, with the yellow light pooling out of the windows and the animals lying around fireplace and the VPR pledge drive on the radio, things seemed far less grim and desolate as they had on the remainder of the walk home. The crazy dangerous murder father slapper pope raper stalking through woods seemed, if not anacuous, then somehow far, far away.

The power of Christ compels you!!

Boot and Spoon as babies: this is NOT monster kitty

I had a blanket, leather gloves, a cardboard box, a bowl of water and some dry kitten food.

What I really needed was a priest, some holy water, and a suit of armor.

I had just trapped a barn kitten from the farm at the end of the road and brought it home. It left behind three siblings, a mother, a bellowing community of cows and the kind of free to roam around a drink milk from the cow's utter that city cats dream about. It wandered into my trap going after the wet cat food and now I had it, hissing and spitting and clawing in the trap.

I'm not a monster. All these kittens are going to be round up one way or the other and shot in the head by the farmer, or brought to the Humane Society, probably the former. So although this little grey and white tiger striped little thing (boy, girl, whose do say?) doesn't know it yet, putting its little paws into the steel trap was the most fortuitous act of its young life. There has been a cat shaped hole in our life ever since Sport runned off and served herself as an appetizer to a coyote, and this little thing is going to fill that hole.

It was the brightest, bluest fall day in history, the day my mom and I let the little monster lose in the guest room for the first time. It went ballistic, jumping around and slamming head-first into the closed windows, leaping up onto the tall bed in one springy motion, darting around the room like lightning. I caught it wearing leather gloves and tried to hold onto it- the farmer told us the only way to tame it would be to catch it and force it to sit still while you pet it for hours. The farmer is a 63 year old Vermonter with hands like raw-hide and I'm sure he would be able to do this. But not me. The kitten hissed, spit and went for my throat. I threw it away from me, it twisted in the air and landed on the ground, then bolted away.

When we caught it again we held it down onto the bed. My mom's two gloved hands and one of mine held down on the little body with all their might, while I gingerly tried to stroke the back of its head with my other hand. It hissed and struggled. And then it started moaning. That terrible moaning of something that is so terrified it either wants to kill or it wants to be dead. Then it squirmed free and took off, spitting.

We left it alone. This was probably the best idea and we should have done it immediately- the thing has never been touched, picked up, or been inside a house before, and we tried to throw it all at him at once. We were just trying to take the advice of the farmer, but that 4 minutes of handling was probably pretty detrimental.

What the hell?!? When we heard barn cat, we thought 'kitten in a box!' The kind that cuddles up in your hand and sleeps under your chin at night. When we heard 'feral cat' we just thought, so it will be spirited! Alright!

Now we've got a little monster demon crouching under the antique dresser in our living room. So far the soothing tones and the disastrous attempt at petting didn't work. On to plan B I suppose: shaking it bodily while dousing it in holy water and shouting The Power of Christ Compels you!!

shout::shout::for joy::rejoice::

i'm home again after

far far faaaaaaaarrrrrrr too long in southern airports and



over southern skies. (and it wasn't even that long.)

how i've longed lately to be home. and of COURSE. winter upon us. but not:
quite wintered in.

sky all sharp and diamond strung. Cold air, and clean. Two dogs, fireplace, VPR on the radio. pile of books taller than myself.

already had a cinnamon dolce hot chocolate and leafed

around a bookstore, eaten an entire loaf of bread.

Getting ready to march around the hills. at night you will find me and hometeam buried under quilts with extra socks on- my friend The Trout puts it this way: this is the closest I'll ever come to religion.

(why do I ever leave?)

In Which We Come to Explore the Wreckage

Somebody went through the lodge swinging an ax and knocking through Walls. The place is a wreck, the fields overgrown, broken AT2 paddles with splintered blades are twisted with weeds. The ghosts boy paddlers roam the place now, an unlikely group of ghosts but there you have it.

We spent two nights there. Chico lives on the ground floor, where the boys used to sleep. The girls always slept in the upstairs, except when we were breaking the rules. Of course, it only took breaking the rules once and we were out of there. Like Veronica.

Chico lives with his girlfriend, Cara, and the place has been redone. But it still looks a lot like it used to, and the memories were searing, and I felt like I was underwater exploring a sunken ship. In the town of Brownsville, the lodge has become taboo, because of what happened. And because the school that tried to exist after we left was also abandoned. Nobody will fess up to owning the place. Every body left in the night. But I was so happy there. So was Calef, and Chico, and Ethan, while he lasted. Of course, that was seven years ago.

We paddled the West river in Jamaica, VT. Class III with some III+ and big water. It was an amazing play run, although I was concentrated on navigating my way downriver. I learned to catch micro eddies out of pure necessity, as Calef was the jr. world champions back in his day and Chico was pretty close to it. I watched them bang out dozens of cartwheels and clean cartwheels as I desperately tried to hang on in the swirly eddies. Running into Ethan Waldo on the river was fantastic, and it continued the 10 year tradition of running into each other in interesting places. I had a nice boof off of boof rock and caught some real air. Boof late ''s rather addicting. We did the run a few times. At the take out on the last run, Calef and Chico were laughing and trying to pull the other's skirt, and some stranger said something about boy love, with a laugh, and that made all the AQ boys go quiet and stop smiling.

The next day we went to Sumner Falls on the Connecticut river where I finally, for the first time, sank into a wave and got to surfing. (The one other time I'd tried to play was a hole on the sky, and I flipped on my head in the shallow spot and went dragging my knuckles downriver till I could compose myself enough to roll up. When I came up, Brett was sailing next to me and Keta and Joe Barkley were laughing from the eddy. Those last few runs on the skykomish were shallow as hell, but sweet times.)

Calef, Ethan, Chico and I stayed out for a few hours and watched the wave transform from foaming white into a smooth green tongue as the river levels rose with the dam release. I think the only time I've seen Ethan smile genuinely is when we're on the river.

Thrown in the back of a truck full of kayaks and wet gear, pulling into the lodge, brought back the memories again. It was hard to sleep there without dreaming of school days. I woke up disoriented. Calef and I took off to boat in New Hampshire, but the rig broke down, the part that arrived the next evening wasn't right, we couldn't get it started and then Calef was suddenly ripped from the vacation and summoned to Virginia, and that was it.