Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Corn Husks and Potato Peels and Ozone On My Tongue

I can taste the ozone on my tongue when he sprays the quietly flaming coals. He was calling me over to see the vortex the heat had made, but I took too long. All that remained was a few small tongues. I ran for the camera, nearly begging him to tempt the fates.
"Just one time, please? I want to get a shot of it!"
Saner, survivalistic minds were not available, and I readied the camera as he went out with the bottle of fluid.
A short, pounding stream. A WHUFF of heat that rolled in the door, buffeting against my skin.
"It's there!" he shouted. "Do you see it?!"
Several fast clicks, muttered curses, and a valiant squeal.
"It's AWESOME! Look look!"

I hurried off to dump the picture to the computer, and minutes later, heard my name called.
"Could you shuck the corn while I peel the potatoes?"
Out again, still smelling burnt fuel and toasted air with every breath. Quiet, laughing talk over our jobs; me marveling at how quickly your body falls back into old strides. I thought nothing of asking for the husks and peels to be left for me to scatter on the Back Forty (The Sandbox), where I once imagined garden plans for hours.
Once we were done, I pulled out from under the sink a tray of coffee grounds, several potsworth that I'd never gotten around to taking out. They dry quickly, so it was never a concern to me that they remained down there, and now I had other things to take out with them.
The grounds, husks, and peels I scattered, flinging from rocks to fence, and sprinkling small amounts of each under The Citrus (now thought to be a Citron). For a moment, it felt like it should have. I was stepping out from the cool air and controlled environment, the armoring walls and blocking roof. It felt like walking out into an oven, but flinging the offal felt like the true me.
I don't have any lofty reasonings, or any smug bitterness regarding choices others have made in their lives, with their lives. I know simply that I must return to who I am, who I was, and live my ways for my reasons. Cynics are aplenty, that doesn't concern me. No matter what the future holds, I feel free in one small, insignificant act. I gave back to the earth and in doing, thanked the Mother for all she gave that we might revel in the excess grace and circumstance has allowed us.

And then.. it was time to eat.

As if the Mother were having a moment of laughing nudge, we decided to watch Avatar (the blue people movie) after dinner. More than ever, I was grateful. In simple, unspoken, wordless ways. Tonight, I have been reborn.

Welcome, then, to The American Gothic.

Dinner was lovely.

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