The Rift and the Moon

Gorgeous. The weather, here. Gorgeous. But it’s drying out the lawn. Such is my enjoyment and suffering at the moment. Jake, the dog, is fascinated by the rails of the sliding glass door. He likes to put things in them, then try to get them out. Ice cubes in particular. We have far too many green beans. My dad took a bag full of them over to Emiko yesterday, and she sent my dad back with a big bag of yummy Japanese crackers, cookies and treats.

A guy from down the stream a ways stopped by the house yesterday morning. He asked if he could keep one of his horses in the field in front of our house. If you remember, we’re pretty well boxed in by housing developments, with our property as one of the last holdouts of nature. My dad said no. He didn’t want any problems that might come from it. I thought it would be cruel for the horse. The Jehovah’s Witnesses made their weekly visit, a thin, tall man with glasses who always remembers your name, but I can never remember his. He brings different people with him each time, who stand there, mostly silent. His car, parked in the driveway, often has some kids waiting in it. He’s become familiar, almost like the Avon Lady who used to come by, ever since I was a child, to visit my mom. She was very sad when my mom died. Freida had a thick, German accent and came from that last, earlier German era.

Yesterday I learned that the election records in Ohio have been destroyed — those from the 2004 Presidential election. They were ordered preserved by the courts. Apparently the Department of Homeland Security even called a bogus emergency that kept people from observing ballot counts at the time. Alternet.org has a piece on it, as does a local Ohio newspaper. It doesn’t seem news worthy though, in any mainstream media.

Something encouraging happened, though, which I’ll cling to. Some Naval exercises to test mid-frequency sonar off California’s coast have been stopped. I don’t know why the Navy wanted to do it when “The judge noted in her tentative written opinion that the Navy’s own analyses concluded that the Southern California exercises “will cause widespread harm to nearly thirty species of marine mammals, including five species of endangered whales, and may cause permanent injury and death.” I don’t understand why people can’t consider the ramifications of what they’re doing, and act sensibly. But this court injunction was very encouraging, though the decision is only preliminary.

It’s strange for me, but lately I’ve been thinking a lot about some old friends that I’ve lost contact with, Mike and Jeanice. They were both heavily Republican people, but we always got along wonderfully. Mike loved his guns, and would often go hunting. I would even crave the taste of venison that he brought back, and cooked himself, as only he seemed to be able to. I think it was Rove leaving that made me think of him, saying he wanted to go back to his family and shoot doves. Mike and I have some really good memories, but none of them are collectively related to such things. They were other things. Things that were, apparently, less important, at least in some sense.

But I remember that long, moon-filled night, in Aberdeen. The bar, in that redneck town, and all us guys sitting around drinking a few days before he was getting married. Guys that would pound you, as likely as look at you. Jeanice’s dad, that big man with a kind and giving heart for those within his fold. I remember looking at all of them, and myself, there with them, then I got up to leave, to walk in the middle of the night through that coastal town, under that large, clear moon. The guys jibed me for it, but I had to go, and only Jeanice’s dad looked at me and I knew he understood. I’ve always loved seeing the moon, and so many stars, and out there, reflecting brightly off the ocean waters.

When I returned, there was yelling going on between our guys and a group of strangers. A fight broke out, and bodies smashed into tables in the way that only being there can let you see. I sat down, next to Dana, the only guy not involved, who was a writer, and we watched. Even Jeanice’s dad, and his buddy, were in the fray. Afterwards as we were walking back, Mike asked me where I’d gone, and why. I told him I just needed a walk — I needed some space. Then he asked me if I was ok. It was then I knew something fundamental had changed, when I didn’t ask him, if he was.

And strangely, it wasn’t because I didn’t care. It was just far too complicated, for being so simple.