emma b. says

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Irrational Fear of Earthworms, part II

When do you develop an irrational fear of earthworms?

I suspect the professionals might have a field day, pink and blind and primal, covered with the slime of fresh earth, vaguely tumescent, longish, drowning, surfacing gasping for breath in the cool night air. Shrink's fodder.

I keep having this pseudo nightmare where I am running barefoot down a corridor being pursued and I have to run through all the worms, alive and squirming, I am alternately disgusted and horrified that I will be smashing through them.

Sometimes I sit on the back steps for a cigarette, just to break things up from the front porch. I watch with repulsed fascination the earthworms stretch out their great length over the the pavers for a breath of fresh air. The shadows don't help. I sit and watch as these things emerge from the earth, primal and thoughtless, survival, and survival only. And yet, it's these beings that keep my lawn so lush. One heart, two heads. Go to town all you junior Freuds.

I think it has a lot to do with being supremely and arrogantly urban. I love nature, because someone was always there to tend to my urban forays into the wild. I am a connaisseur of parks, but I am no gardener. I can admit this now, as my back yard begins to go feral and I am at a loss to distinguish flower from weed and my brother has yet to give me a primer on mowing.

In other words I have no idea what's going on in my pretty, pretty over grown yard, I sort of stare at it like some helpless feudal lord as the dandelions serfs wage a bid to wrest control.

I suppose it's a good parable for life, I should love the earthworms for the mulch that they give, and shouldn't be beguiled by the golden headed weed that is the charming dandelion, out to choke my unruly lawn, and by extension me.

In the seven plus months that I haven't had a legitimate job, and the two days that I haven't worked at all, I am struggling to keep the niggling demons at bay.

In the nearly six months that I have been here I have drunk up the changes like some sort of dandelion wine elixir, willingly, eagerly. Happily. Now I chafe. I should be making the most of this time, but with the intermittent rain and the price of gas it's hard not to burrow into the recesses of my incredibly welcoming couch. And it's still cold. I'd leave for California tomorrow if I weren't beholden to be available for the dangled apple of the second interview, or the first, the tantalizing prospect of full employment if only to bitch about it from the comfort of benefits and such.


I spotted a woodpecker in the front yard, spent part of Saturday sitting on my porch half listening to birdsong and reading. Got drunk at my brother's house on Friday with a good group of people. Skiied on Sunday through pillocks of snowy white buttercream snow as the flakes fell idly down between the leaden sky and spikes of sunshine. Left me breathless and panting at the lineless lift, this after I had booted the skate rat out of my bed at seven on that Sunday morning. How to argue with the goodness of that. The independent rightness of that.

If the money runs out, I'll be in deep shit, but I still have a little time, time for a drive home, possibly, or to the coast, definately. I am still surprised that despair has not permeated my being, I handle this optimism with kid gloves and greatful reverence. It will be alright, things will fall as they will.

When it starts to go dark I just go driving in my head, my home landscapes with their temperate hills and flora and the steely corrugated Pacific, bridges and peninsula, freeways as familar as my blue veins, bridges I've crossed a thousand and one times, stars and city lights and night blooming jasmine the elementals I wrap about me to stave off the North West chill. There are more stars here, but I can't track them on this changed horizon. I traipse contendedly through this old landscape, but it's gone of course, or rather it's not mine anymore. Or it is. I've got a new city to map, and I still struggle with orientation though I live in the South East and you would think that would be helpful, but I still displace where west is. Really, it doesn't make any sense, when you have always lived with the ocean on your left, it's hard to accept that the ocean is on your right.

Also the bay stink is far more pleasant than the river stench. By god there are days when that river is foul.


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