Friday, October 17, 2008
we go for little walks now that linda's off the crutches. we walked in fairfax the other day. and then huckleberry trail and strawberry canyon in the berkeley hills. huckleberry is where that guy burried his wife for a couple of months and that kind of wrecked it a bit. and strawberry canyon is the possible site of some new structure and then it'll not be so nice to run in or walk.
so i try to stay focused and enjoy the moment. not think about the body that once decomposed just a few yards from us. i try to read the fuzzy little drawings off the free guide map at the trail head. every dang plant looks the same -- a little like a weed or something you might rip out of the soft soil so you can dig deep to really hide your dead wife -- but i try to identify the little plants as linda walks ahead carefully.
that's a western sword fern i announce.
i stand looking at the little plant. so that's what you are, i never knew all these years. and to be quite honest, knowing the name of the little guy kind of ruins it too. puts a human stamp on it. i want it to be separate and removed from human doings and buryings but there it is ruined with a dumb human name. and the latin one is longer than its little pointed leaves which do not remind me of swords.
linda says, you think he buried her far from here?
i fold up my trail guide. i look around. now if i had to bury a body, i definitey would chose huckleberry. it's thick with body hiding potential. all ferns and tight twisty bushes. in fact i bet there's still remnants of a few divorces, and bad break-ups lying around.
perhaps i tell her and stop and exame a little bushy tree thingy.
it's got tiny purple berries that could possibly be poisionous. i pick one and squish it between my fingers. the juice is a pale pinkish color. a little disappointing, i might add. i was expecting a dark Welch's grape juice color to stain my fingers. i sniffed. no smell. the other day when i went for a jog along this trail a couple had stopped at this very narrow spot and seemed to be picking something. so this is what they were after. these little purple berries with the not so purple juice. they were very intent on picking them. so intent in fact that they did not move one iota when i said -- and very pleasantly -- on your left. but then maybe that's just a biking term. maybe it makes no sense to hikers. anyhow, they did a fake knee bend kind of move that still left their REI clad butts sticking out, in my way.
i'm sorry, i said as they picked, picked, picked the little berries, i still can't get by.
and so they moved. i ran on, they picked on. i told this story to linda perhaps four times. this time, while on the trail at the very spot the pickers had picked, showing with my body how they would not move out of the way.
they did this i said and pretended to be picking the berry. wouldn't move.
linda walked on, not really interested in my vivid reenactment. she was walking carefully, making sure not to trip and rebreak her pelvis on a root poking out of the ground. i was careful to point out the roots and to trip over them to alert her to their presence. linda doesn't like walking very much and sometimes after our walks she'll describe it as the walk from hell, which ruins it a bit for me. but i think she liked this walk along huckleberry.