Saturday, June 4, 2011

Memory: After All These Years

Something I will never forget: the sight of Brazil nuts -- those really huge ones -- working their way slowly down into the fingers of a food handler's glove.

It was a dozen years ago. We were on our way to a potluck hosted by one of the members of our poetry group. He was scooping edibles out of the bins at Ray's Ranch Market. I called his attention to the fact that, well, most things made it into baggies, but he was scooping the Brazil nuts into something else... like maybe a glove out of the box on the counter.

He realized, hey, I was right. "Well, we can't let this go to waste," he said. "That wouldn't be environmental of us." He got a twisty label and wrote the bin number on it. He used the twisty to seal the wrist of the glove up neatly.

Something else I will never forget: the look on the face of one of the poetry group ladies when he sat the Brazil nut glove down on the coffee table amidst the other hoers d'ouvres.

I repeated the story the other day. "That was in my manic days," he said. "I don't do things like that any more."

"Mellowed?" I asked.

"Medication," he said.

Ah! I remember how he arrived in the woods for a camping trip, coincidentally, on the first day of hunting season. He briefly had the idea of playing his guitar real loud and scaring the bears away. "Would I give my life for a bear?" he'd asked.

I repeated that story. The bears deserved it, he said, but he didn't have the guts.

He has talked about visiting a couple times over the years. And finally did. He was here for a week recently. We went out to the beach at Discovery Park. He climbed over a little log fence so he could see better over the cliff. I called his attention to what the sign said about staying this side of the fence. "I didn't see it," he said, "Well, don't tell Seattle parks."

Oh , there's a few things maybe to not tell Seattle. He likes to press flowers see...

It ain't a bad thing, though, is it? Still crazy after all these years