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.”
It 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.
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.