Sometimes I wish I smoked.
Like tonight. It's evening, already dark. I hate smoke, the smell, the staleness. I'm allergic to it. I don't want it, really, but I want the stillness. I want the sitting, no questions, the time alone, the time. No one questions a woman smoking. No one wonders what she is thinking, but she must be thinking, sitting there.
What will people think? I asked Gilbert Blythe on one of many mountain days when he dropped me off in the middle of nowhere to write. A woman alone with a notebook?
You have to stop worrying about what people think, he said.
Gilbert Blythe, who is sick, is brewing a tincture of ginger, honey, and dandelion, reminding me very much of Meg Murray's mother.
I have not written in a week. I have been happy. I have watched movies, made dinners, sat with friends, saw snow, slept not alone, spent time.
I forgot to mention: Muzak was invented in 1954. Then Johnny Cash came on the scene. I forgot to mention: when Johnny Cash came on the scene, How Much is that Doggy is the Window? was the number one song. And he sang: But I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.
Which was a big deal.
Merle Haggard, then an immate, was in the front row of Cash's Folsom Prison concert. After the show, every man in the prison wanted to play guitar.
Every man in the prison wanted to play guitar, but I wanted to play piano.
I forgot to mention, I am eating a Pink Lady apple. I am eating a Pink Lady apple instead of smoking, my placeholder, my time, my space.
If I could, I would sit on the back steps and listen to the rain turning to ice. If I could, I would stand the cold, if I had to. I would have a small flame to keep me warm. I already have a small flame to keep me warm and it is called this, this thing I do, this song inside.
Tomorrow I fly back to the city to do it again.
The mountains are treacherous with fog. The wind and the colors are like spring: green earth, black trees, but the sky is all winter.
I am trying to show it to you.
I am trying to conjure for you the cows from fog. That is my job. That is what I do. That is what I'm called to do. I want to do it.
That and something else I haven't figured out yet.