The News and the Weather
An errand had me driving around in Virginia today, of all things. It was one of those days of anxious retrospection. The landscape was all abloom with couldas, wouldas, and shouldas. I gathered armfuls of them -- I was sure no one would miss them, there were so many! -- and the filled the car with their rich and evocative scent, so that I was quite giddy with anxiety. Emphasis on anxious, anxiety lighting on anything that passed by. Oh there's another horse farm! My thighs are expanding! Will I end up living in one of thse noplace apartments between the 7-11 and the storage place? (I was telling Leslie about it, it made her snort wine through her nose with the result that I may now owe her a pair of pants. As she put it, "Where did I make the wrong turn in my life so that I never got to own a horse farm?")
I was also painfully hungry, having made no plan with respect to stopping to eat, and being on totally strage roads. I drove through Leesburg, saw places to eat, but on these anxious drives it's so hard to stop. I took White's Ferry and stopped at the White's Ferry store and had a hamburger, onion rings, and some kind of weird Mid-Atlantic version of coleslaw in which horseradish seems to predominate. (I know some East Coasty person will tell me some day that's the only way to have cole slaw etc. etc.) That was a totally native, totally unpretentious experience. Drove home (this was the long way home) passing through Poolesville where someone actually has a black lawn jockey in front of their house. Got home feeling quite shattered and dived into bed at 4 p.m. That's not as bad as it sounds if you understand that I had about a two-hour bout of insomnia the night before.
After the nap -- yes, more nightmares -- I took the dogs out to a new part of the lake and they did not like it. There was a bit of boggy ground and for some reason they didn't want to be there, they were balky and nervous, most strange. I'm thinking maybe it was a bit snaky. They really do not like snakes. They want nothing to do with them, when they smell snakes it's like they hit a wall, they just back up and look disgusted and alarmed.
But the walk was good, all I had to do was just, you know, walk. I listened to John Prine on the iPod. About 10 years ago I bought his double album "Great Days." I could not tell you why. But I listen to it a lot. Today, it was this song:
So what in the world has come over you?
What in heaven's name have you done?
You've broken the speed of the sound of loneliness;
You're out there running just to be on the run.
Oh, did I leave some details out? Ah well.
I did learn, however, that at White's Ferry it is possible to rent a canoe and have them drive you up to Harper's Ferry so that you can paddle (or not paddle) all the way back down.
You may not have realized this but I quite like this river. The Potomac. I went to Carderock on Sunday with the dogs. This magical, rocky river landscape, practically underneath the Beltway. Great Falls is a couple miles up but I missed the turn for that. Something to look forward to. I took my camera but got not a single picture because every time I stopped to take one Misha assumed that it was time to get us all safely back to the car, and was dragging me with all her strength. Misha's idea of a really good time is : get in car, get driven around and bark at people, stop someplace nice, take a shit, and immediately get back in car and bark at more people. Also if pork rinds could be worked into this scenario...
Between Great Falls and Georgetown the river has all these hazards, it's quite dangerous. I saw a sign that said wading was illegal. I was not tempted.