So. Today is a stunning day here in the Enchanting Land. I awoke at 4:30 am with a head full of To-Dos, and since getting up and starting my day was less stressful than dealing with a head full of ADHD-fueled swill, I got up. I took the dogs to the backyard for our first outdoor bathroom trip. The air was crisp and cool and the night’s stars were close and bright. There was an owl of some sort in the tallest of our three Ponderosa pines and it hooted a greeting at us.
I’m guessing that after almost two weeks it’s his greeting rather than a warning.
Yoda and I have been marking all the territory inside the tall adobe wall that surrounds our place, and all of it each day. On this morning’s visit to the wall that borders the ally in back, my formerly-abused half Whippet sniffed and went on high alert. And then he went totally apeshit.
“Fooph-fooph-fooph-fooph… Grrrrrrrrrrrlllll…. Fooph-fooph-fooph………….. Grrrrrlllllllllllll!!!”
The little puppy mill escapee, whose voice box was clipped with a pocket knife because he likes to bark, was taking exception at some odor coming off the wall. He kept it up for a full minute and if his bark was more than fifteen decibels I’d have quieted him. As it is I allow him to bark with a free will and spirit–my way of giving him his voice back.
Fucking puppy mill assholes.
I called the Squirt over to translate Yoda’s rantings and she told me, she said, “He says he smells stray cat and raccoon and he doesn’t think we should have any fucking raccoons here in town. He seems to hate raccoons.”
Go figure. I try to not hate anything, but raccoons are way down on my list of favorite animals. They’re mean and nasty and tear shit up for sport. I brought the pellet rifle so maybe we’ll do us some raccoon hunting tonight. My gun is a .22 cal. pump action and I can pump air into the chamber to a range from “Ouch” to “Please notify next of Raccoon Kin”. Maybe we’ll try “Ouch, ouch that really hurts” for starters.
Which reminds me. I went over to the Ace Hardware store yesterday and… OK, stop. I go to the Ace Hardware every fucking day and several times each flip of the calendar. I can’t ever seem to get everything I need for any project in one try. ADHD is a terrible thing to waste.
So, yesterday I was over to the Ace to get a small, flat pry bar and when I got to the right isle there was a man standing in front of the pry bar display. He was about 6′ 6″ tall, maybe 180 pounds, and he was dressed like a Down-Easter fisherman–yellow rubber rain slicker that was hooded with the hood up, black matching knee-high boots–and he had a burned-out cigar stump poking out the side of his mouth. His hands were hanging limply out of at the ends of the slicker sleeves, and he was stock still save the crinkling of his rubber suit as he took deep, wheezing breaths.
I watched him for a few minutes, mesmerized. Why in the hell was he dressed like this in Santa Fe, what the hell is he looking for, and, I’m wondering, what task requires this level of focus that needs a pry bar?
After some time, he grunted. I took the grunt as an entre so I asked him, I said, “Might I offer some assistance with your choice of pry bars, sir? I have quite a lifetime with pry bars and I can be of some good for you?”
Gloucester fisherman guy grunted again and slowly turned his entire body to face me. It sounded like thirty school kids in new tennis shoes walking on a clean marble floor as he twisted his tall, skinny frame to face me. The yellow rubber hood framed ET’s face–giant, round and leathery, with huge blue-grey eyes that were focused a thousand yards beyond the present. He remained silent.
“What task requires you to purchase a pry bar, sir?” I inquired.
He grunted once more, and said, “Crows,” and re-squeeked his way back to face the display.
Huh? Oh, he’s thinking “crow bar” and thinks he can pry the birds out of his barn. “Sir, maybe you need another type of tool. Have you tried getting a cat? Crows hate cats.”
This got another grunt and a second, slower and noisier 180-degree turn. “I have the spirit of a Crow Indian stuck in the wooden baseboards of my home and he wants out. His entreaties are keeping me awake at night. What will I use to free his spirit and not abuse the spirit of the wood holding him hostage?”
A very good Santa Fe question. I selected a small, flat bar that had a thick rubberized coating and held it up to his face. “See, this is thin enough to slip behind the baseboard trim but won’t gouge or dent the wood so long as you’re careful.”
I held the pry bar out to him to hold but he didn’t move to take it. That’s when I also noticed that his eyes didn’t move or blink either. He was blind. I placed the bar into his hand and said, “This one’s $9.80, sir. Do you need anything else?”
He grunted once more, his official favorite word, said “No,” and walked off.
Me, I chose my little bar, paid and left. When I got home I grabbed an icy-cold Carta Blanca and a lump of this medicinal pot in cream chocolate that a buddy gave me, and went to sit on my portal with the dogs. Without invitation, Yoda sat down on my feet and stared at the spot where he caught the Raccoon scent and the Squirt sat in my lap and stared up at me with adoration in her eyes.
“You’re a good man for a loony fuckball, Bwana Mooner. I love you, dude.”
“I love you too, little lady.”
Next time somebody asks me why New Mexico is called the Land of Enchantment I’ll tell them this story. If they can’t figure it out, I’ll encourage them to move to Texas. Or Tennessee.