Monday, August 8, 2016

August 8: A Creek Life, Not Fond of People, Neanderthal Brain

Summer:  I go down to the creek again, and lead a creek life.  I watch and stalk.

Dillard is stalking creatures in the summer heat.  Birds.  Fish.  Muskrats.  She goes to Tinker Creek and stares into the water for flashes of silver.  She gazes into trees and watches for flashes of feather.  She stands on the shores of the creek and waits for wet fur to emerge.  That's summer at Tinker Creek.  A carnival of creatures.  And Dillard, chasing after said creatures like Eskimos hunting caribou.

I am done with grading.  My final grades have been submitted.  I have a few more weeks of summer left.  Unlike Dillard, I will not be traipsing off into the forest, looking for skunks or rabbits or wild blueberries.  I will be reading.  Watching the Rio Olympics.  Getting ready for fall semester teaching.  But not tonight.

Tonight, I am going to be antisocial.  There are some nights where I am not very fond of people.  Tonight is one of those nights.  I would rather lose a limb than make small talk.  Maybe it's part of some inactive neanderthal part of my brain that, for some reason, stirs into life at certain moments.  When I'm like this, I'm snappy and short, and I make everyone around me snappy and short.

I find that silence is best when I'm like this.  If I open my mouth, I say things that piss people off.  My wife, in particular.  She just snapped at me.  Maybe Dillard has it right.  Summer is the time for a creek life.  Being by yourself.  Animals that shy away from me.  The only sound, my breathing.  Maybe cicadas or a breeze or a distant train whistle.  No people to irritate or to irritate me.

Saint Marty is not going to stalk anything except silence.  And maybe a glass of wine to celebrate the end of the semester.

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