Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Stranded near Spokane: Something wilder this way comes.

Today I'm integrating a bit of an update with a bit of fiction, so I'm all caught up on both for a bit.

The garden has reached a peak in productivity, and I have more supply than demand, at least when it comes to zucchini.

I hand-grated a crap-ton of the z-weed, and it just keeps coming.

I'm not disparaging zucchini. It's a multi-function veg. And it can be frozen, so we'll be feeding from the zuke trough for a while. 

And when it comes to my wall of color, let's remember what the Otter Pop wall looked like when the summer began.

That color defined our summer.

The Feasts, the heat, the random socializing, the constant activity, the silence, the college prep, the reality, the fiction, the letting in, the letting go, all added a complex, interesting web of shades to summer. 

But the season is conspicuously softening.

The wall of pops has taken a turn.

My wall has faded, not unlike this summer. But it's all good.

I was anticipating wrapping up my summer fiction right about now, but life's distractions have gotten in the way of writing as much as I'd like. 

That's just an excuse, really. We all volitionally prioritize the way our world spins, and I'm no exception.

So I'll try to wrap this fiction up soon. Every entry has so much more I could add. I love the ladies, I relish the time I get to write about their zany septuagenarian antics, but I do miss writing about other stuff. 

So once Stella and Maisie find their way to the coast, I'll get topical again. No personal projects, no social experiments, no fiction for a bit.

But until then....

Bob turned on his best How Can I Help You face as he ambled out of the Impala toward Stella and Maisie and said, "seems you two lovely ladies are in a bit of a pickle!"

Stella had begun to unload the very full trunk, in search of the spare tire. Maisie chatted it up with Bob, and Stella may have looked busy, but she was listening.

Something smells like snake oil, Stella thought.

"Can I get a little help here?" Bob may have had mobility when it came to his Impala, but he was in low gear when it came to actually doing anything, Stella thought.

Maisie began unloading the trunk with Stella, and eventually they found the tiny spare, as well as a device that lifted the car enough to change the tire. They couldn't find the tool they needed to take the tire off the Dart. Neither knew what this thing they needed but didn't have was actually called, but of course, Bob knew right away. "Let me see if I can round one of those thingamajigs up for you lovely ladies," Bob said as he sauntered to the Impala.

He returned with exactly what they needed. Uncharacteristically, both women thought, he got straight to work, and back to talking. Stella and Maisie were nothing if not good mannered, so each would occasionally offer up a Really!, a Your Kidding! or a Mercy, that sounds awful!.

Maisie and Stella had told Bob that they were going to Spokane to pay respects to the lovely but deceased Carrie Wilder, and they had to get to town in time to clean up and settle down for an evening of contemplative remembrance. They had to say something. Why lie?

But the ladies didn't do much of the talking.

By the time Bob had changed the tire, he wasn't the only one who felt in need of a shower.

Regardless of his missteps, despite his troubled times, Maisie thought, Bob had a good heart. He'd done such a thorough job on the tire, and his stories added a dash of naughty, underworld spice to the afternoon.

"So Bob," Stella asked, "How far away is Spokane?"

"Well, well, well, Stella," Bob said in a measured tone. "We're just outside Liberty Lake. You can practically taste Spokane from here."

When Bob said taste, Maisie remembered Carrie Wilder. They were so close, and she was getting hungry. And curious.

But it was apparent that, not unlike many of his stories, Bob wasn't finished.

"I know you got yourselves a shindig you're headed for in Spokane. Remember when you told me about Carrie Wilder? You going to her funeral?

I'm heading for Spokane, too," Bob said in a measured tone.

"Carrie was my ex. And I'm ready for a party."

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