Saturday, October 15, 2005


the leaves are dry.

this thought comes to me as my wife takes nos. 1 and 2 out in the front yard to play in the leaves while she catches beautiful autumnal glimpses in our digital camera.

the leaves are dry.

growing up in the pacific northwest, i had always imagined how fun it would be to rake together an immense pile of leaves and jump in it, and toss it around, and laugh, and play.

but the pacific northwest has two major things working against this fall utopia so alluringly portrayed in movies and jc pennys commercials: 1) the ratio of deciduous trees to conifers in western washington must be something like 1:583,978. (this ratio is completely and utterly made-up. if you want to know what the actual ratio is, google it or something.) not that this didn't stop a large amount of maple leaves from carpeting my childhood back yard, but enter thing no. 2) the ever-present moisture of western washington causes the leaves to lay like a decomposing sludge that is slug-infested and has little or no utopian properties.

now, the area in which i live has several large oak trees. in september, october, and november, my yard is red with cast-off leaves, in some places six inches deep. normally, i grumble about having to rake every three days, and give it not another thought.

but now my wife has encouraged the children to run around, tossing leaves at each other and kicking up magical spurts of orange and brown, like moving fall snapshots.

i watch from the doorway, amused, dressed in my work uniform. my little family is laughing and having fun, temporarily without a care in the world. in a few minutes, i will have to go slog pizzas through the greater lakewood area, forced to spend time with people i don't even like for the sake of earning some cash. i'm not feeling as carefree as my family.

the leaves are dry.

hard and fast upon this realization comes another: i have always wanted to play in a big pile of leaves.

even faster upon this comes yet another: i have always wanted to be the kind of off-the-cuff dad who would dive in and do something crazy and unpredictable much to the delight of his children. so far, i have only occasionally accomplished this goal, and usually on a very small scale.

into my head pops jeffrey goines' voice (i had only recently rewatched 12 monkeys), "window of opportunity opening now!"

laughter and leaves. straight-legged kicks that scatter bits of color all over. handsful of organic confetti tossed into giggling faces. it is a mosh pit of color and joy and life. my abandonment reflected in the sparkling eyes of my children.

vaguely, the practical bit of me makes inquiries into the possible presence of slugs, the likelihood that my uniform will be trashed, the chances that someone will get hurt (it will turn out to be me. something will go pop! in my arm when i dive sideways into the large pile of leaves. however, a few minutes later, i won't even be sore.) i ignore it, and eventually it gives up and goes to a back corner of my cranium to pout.

finally, the moment comes when i must leave the leaves.

a glow permeates my body and mind. nothing will upset me this evening. crazy, inconsiderate drivers, no problem. lazy, annoying coworkers, hell, i'll be leaving on a run soon anyway. nontipping customers, well, they probably don't have the extra cash to spare, and i should consider myself lucky that i have more than enough, and anyways, the last guy tipped enough for two.

even when a rainstorm moves in later that night, making the roads slick and the visibility almost nil, i simply think, "man, i'm glad we all got to play in the leaves when we did."


alright, so i've been a spotty poster at best, lately, o beloved reader, and most of my posts lately have been more of these literary tidbits. i just want to get them down in a form that i can copy right over to my book with very little adjustment.

so the other news of my life is this: no. 1 has been taken off of dairy. there are studies into food allergies making some children hyper and unable to control themselves, and dairy seemed like the culprit. and he is so much more the angel now. alot less tantrums, and shorter ones. he is more able to focus on things for longer lengths of time. and while he doesn't care for silk at all (which would be my first choice for a milk substitute) he loves carob-flavored rice milk. doesn't offer a fraction of the calcium that milk does, so we've had to supplement in other areas. but the results in no. 1's behavior are well worth it.

it looks like i might be part of a band soon. or, more likely, a few. for several weeks, i've been getting together with my neighbor, t, and we've been practicing a handful of cover songs, ranging from acoustic alice and chains, to dave matthews, to radiohead. enter p, who works with my wife, and plays guitar, bass, and drums, and furthermore, has a drum kit. we got together last weekend. and the only thing stopping me from recording my own songs and stuff is the lack of a microphone and a computer interface, as well as sundry cables and stands. but i am saving up for all that. so hopefully in the not-too-distant future, i will be passing out my own cd, as well as offering something from my neighbor and i's band. and also, my buddy from work, m and i want to get together and do something that would be a fair mix of electronica, jazz, and funk.

i am going to clean up my pals list. nico no longer exists, (well, she exists still, i'm sure) and her address is now being used by someone i don't know. plus, i want to add some other blogs.

anyways, i will try to do more of my everyday kinds of posts soon.

darth sardonic


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