I wrote this in October 2002 after a real long drive to Comfort, Texas. I titled it “fireflies.” It maybe should have been titled “how bad my knee hurts after a too long drive to comfort texas but the skunks are spiffy.”


shoes_kid_iiIt is is October —

Time for pumpkins and black cats and my favorite dress up holiday because it is a real dress up holiday and I like those. I always have.

I am visiting Texas and the other thing about October is, in every single state in the union I have ever been in, especially the humid states like Louisiana, Florida, and Texas — October is beautiful. Downright balmy.

Texas has beautiful fireflies too. They are real fireflies, the kind that light up like a star in the night. I take the dogs out to this field to run — okay the dogs are old they do not run they amble and once in a while sort of stumble over pot holes but you get the idea — and I just watch the fireflies.

[Texas also has fire ants and they are mean as sin with a real blood thirsty bite. Ow.]

And in the midst of all this my main thought is, Wow does my knee hurt.

My knee is left over from being a smart ass in junior high school and dropping into the splits after about a week of not working out on the barre. And then, because I did not want anyone to know it hurt, smiling and staying there. I was showing off. I am still paying for that one moment of showing off. My knees were never great going in, but this one knee never forgave me for that.

And I messed it up lifting dogs in and out of a car on a 1900 mile drive, because old dogs need rest stops.

One stop was pretty funny though. The dogs were done and I went off to use the facilities and when I was going back to the car, this skunk was doing a war dance by the car.

Um, oops.

So there I was at 2 a.m. at a rest stop outside of El Paso staring at this skunk dancing around my car. And this poor schmo comes wandering down the path and I say, You really do not want to go down there. And he looks at me and says, Why? And I say, Well you see that skunk dancing by the black SUV? Oh wait, it has moved it is dancing by the gray car next door. And the guy says, That’s my car!

He was definitely a city guy. He said he had only seen skunks on roads, [that means run over skunks], he had never seen one walking. So we stood there, waiting for the skunk to get bored with the cars so we could drive on. And the city guy got to see a live skunk for the first time in his life and I got to really enjoy a cigarette and make it play out.

Now I am watching fireflies and nursing this knee.


where this came from : seemaxrun thoughts 2002

13 Responses to fireflies

  1. A road trip story, wow, it really takes you there. I miss smoking and fireflies. And strangers at rest stops just outside El Paso…..ah just kidding. You are one brave soul, Max!

  2. max

    It is funny to me when people say that is brave. I was doing long distance drives before I was old enough to get a driver’s license.

  3. I use to travel alone too- and what I liked, what I miss now is how BIG the world felt.

    Now when I travel it’s with my husband or friends and it’s okay- but nowdays I there’s a beginning a middle and an end.

    In my Solo Days, I never saw the end of the road.

    God I miss that.

  4. Haha, that is funny. And just think, you were heading to a place called Comfort, Texas. The irony.

    I always say being a smart ass is better than being a dumb one…Although in this case it certainly didn’t pay off!

  5. max

    Yeah. Comfort Texas. One of the most physically uncomfortable places I have ever been. Those fire ants got me good too. Just one of those bites lasts three weeks and raises blisters and I got way more than one bite.

  6. Before you discount fire ants, there is something to be said for them.

    I just read a story about a woman who went skydiving in North Carolina and her chute didn’t open…well, she fell straight down to earth and lived to tell the tale because she landed in a pile full of…you got ants! Of course, she had to have a numerous reconstructive surgeries but the whole point is…those fire ants get your heart pumping!

  7. max

    Gee, let me think. Cute doc administering cpr or… fire ant attack.

    I am going to go with cute doc administering cpr. It is whacky but I am just wired that way.

  8. I love the mood of this piece. Even if it’s set in Texas.

  9. October is a wonderful month in Texas. November is my favorite because by then the air is nippier, but October — oh, the relief when October brings a few cool nights and days.

    Thanks for the fireflies.

  10. Yup. Good idea. One last kiss before death!

  11. max

    Hey, no death. We are too young.

  12. The Reaper, my friend, does not discriminate!

    Oh my, I’m buzzed. I shall have to stop. ‘Til tomorrow!

  13. max

    Hey when the bottle is that low you should just kill it.

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