It’s the kind of weather that feels cold. Snow or rain most of the time, wet and overcast. Everything is grey, it seems, even the snow.
Inside is hot, outside holds a chill. Caught between seasons and unusual for November, usually cold as fuck frozen
Got in a few casts before the lake was completely frozen. The fish weren’t biting. The next time I’ll be dangling a hook down a hole in the ice, never hopeful with such a situation, no action on the lure, no casting where the fish just jumped.
Bishop’s neighbour was a recluse and the most social guy he knew – both. He stayed up all night and hid out in the day behind pulled curtains. He was a drunkard, and a womanizer, drug addict, miscreant, he could be obstinate and a genuine prick on the wrong day, even with Bishop. In the same week he could be well dressed, connected, a phone to his ear, rounding up business and a tee-time. They lived across from each other in the park going on thirty years.
They both agreed on tourists and condos, they were both breast men, but as they grew older they more appreciated a quick mind, smiling eyes. Neither said so each other or anyone else for that matter. Sometimes, like a tomato plant touched with frost, his neighbour tried harder, developing fruit too quickly with the women he encountered. They both were guilty of this foolishness, but they only recognized the fault in each other.
His nieghbour installed a hot tub in the front yard for just this purpose. It was sunk into the ground. It wasn’t fenced. Bishop fell into one night after running out of Rye, drunk and crossing the street looking for reserves. They say a person can drown in a cup of water. Bishop found that out. He was rescued, while flaying his arms, pumping his legs searching for bottom, taking on chlorine. His neighbour pulled him out by the collar of his jacket. Said, “What the fuck you goin’ for a swim at this hour?”
Once, in summer, he set up a pool table beside the hot tub. It ran down hill from southeast to northwest. If you had to shoot from due south, there was no way to avoid it, at least one foot was in the hot tub. This made him laugh saying, “About time you got your feet wet.”
The first of winter can do things to people. Bishop drove his truck off the road, was stuck in the bush for two days, building fires as close to the truck as he dared. Thawing ice and snow and throwing ashes under the wheels. He was lucky to get out before Spring.
Tonight, Bishop’s nieghbour walked outside, yelled something to the sky. Continued walking with a hand gun at his side. Fully outside, he pointed the gun in the air and fired several shoots. On the last shot, the ice broke, and he fell into his frozen hot tub.
Bishop yelled across, “What the fuck you goin’ for a swim at this hour?”
He pushed the broken ice aside. Fired another round into the sky. Booked it like a wet marmot inside. The police drove by about fifteen minutes later, slow with their side lights on.
This was the first sure sign of winter – the ice was thin, somebody has to test it before it hardens.
He’d check on his nieghbour come morning. They were both due to go into hibernation.
The Chickadees have been busy in the remaining sunflowers. I put a couple large heads on the deck so we can watch the tough little birds do their business. They fly from the garden, to the deck, to the trees where they hide the seed for future consumption, presumably when the cold and snow hits and food is scarce.
A Downey Woodpecker has been watching them and I wonder if he will be the beneficiary of all their hard work.
Like all of nature these small birds seem to work extra hard just to survive. They hide ten times what they will need, because they know most of it will be gone when they need it.
A Turtle lays a hundred eggs and only a small number survive. A tree produces many cones, some fall and lay dormant, some are eaten by birds. Some sprout and are trampled and die or don’t get enough light. Sometimes it takes a lightening strike or fire to clear the brush and let them survive. Without going ‘above and beyond’ perhaps all would have died out by now.
Then there is us. Humans are the cruelest animal, it is our nature to wreak havoc on animals, resources and the natural world, because we feel we are somehow above or separate from the trees and fish and even the coal in the ground. It’s because, like every other living thing, we guard our young. For them, we produce and consume much more than is required. In this moment of time we have gotten too good at being cruel. All of our seeds are still in the trees, we have ten times more than we need, but we’ve killed off all the woodpeckers.
The last 200 years, even the last 2000 years is such a small amount of time for nature. It is our hubris, maybe even our nature and our weakness, to think we are on top, or somehow in control.
It’s been awhile. The stars are up there still. The old moon this morning was a reminder of dark skies, the best time to wonder around.
So off we went.
Plenty of cloud, not the best conditions. Willow and I headed higher without further success. We walked the old road trying to register bearings. Taurus, up in the valley bottom, was down in the mountains. Cassiopeia was left, showing the way to Andromeda. Despite the weather, or the week, or the news, or our predicament, distance became irrelevant.
That happens when you are where you belong.
The election is over. I didn’t talk to anyone who was happy today. Most couldn’t give a shit. I talked to a few with Alberta plates who were devastated.
There is plenty of people left out of these decisions. Sure they cast a vote, out of duty or, maybe even, hope. They roll with it when house prices become unaffordable, and keep working until they die. Some even believe they are in a predicament, because of some shortcoming.
That’s the big lie. The same lie that makes people who are well off think it was their hard work who got them where they are. Both sides never considering the situation they were born into.
Before you think it; fuck you, if you say ‘look at me, I pulled myself up by my bootstraps’. If you think it and say it you are an asshole.
The world is going through a change. Most of the change won’t be bad. Do you remember we changed from vinyl, to 8 track, to cassette, to CD. At every change we were told how much better the next format was.
That’s what’s happening now. Unfortunately, it’s designed to leave a lot of poor people from every corner of the world in it’s wake.
It was interesting to see several teachers working at the polling booths. When I worked at the School District, during an election, some would take a sick or vacation day and work the polls. Double the money.
Our incumbent NDP, MP, Wayne Stetski was voted out. He will get close to $90 thousand severance for the effort he put in for the past 4 years, on top of his $180 thousand a year he made sitting way, way, back behind leader Mulcair, stuttering out how he liked local food and biking to work.
Our next MP, Rob Morrison of the Conservatives will do the same. He will be as ineffectual. Sure he will help his friends, and spew the ‘right’ rhetoric. But in the end, he will collect his money.
Thats why I don’t give a shit about political parties, The right and left are in cohoots. They take long vacations with each other, spend and bullshit. It’s us who are left behind.
My good friend said it’s criminal, and it would be, if it wasn’t them making the laws.
The plan is working. Song birds are stopping at the sunflowers left. They gorge themselves like it’s their last meal. A tell-tale of wildness,. The same is true of people too. Winter’s coming.