Showing posts from September, 2008

The Way You Wear Your Hat!

Back in Oaktown, and it is a culture shock, esp. at the YMCA.

Those Midwesterners in Corydon—oh so reserved. When PP tried to engage anyone in random chitchat in the locker room, she was met with a shyness that just isn’t found here in Oakland.

For instance: Corydon Locker room: PP’s getting dressed, she’s had a lovely private swim in the perfect pool with a lane to herself—-yet there’s a ‘crowd’ in the other half of the pool. A redneck couple doing handstands; the Big Butterfly Man swoopin thro the water in the lane next to her; a youngish middle-aged white woman (come to think of it, everyone at the Corydon Y is white), in her wire-rimmed glasses doin head outta the water breaststroke in the shallow end.

And this is the woman that PP meets later in the locker room, so of course, PP thinks, perfect, I’ll engage her in some after pool chit chat. “Did you have a good swim?” PP asks her. (Granted this is a banal opener, but PP didn’t want to scare her off) “Yes, Ma’am,” Wire Rimmed Glas…

Cicada Tree People and Farewell Mary Anderson!

“Did you hear about one of the artists that stayed here who wrapped up people with tape to make a cicada shell and then he sliced them open in the back and they stepped out and there was this giant tape shell left over and then he went around the grounds here and put them up in random trees. He really was into trees too, besides cicadas. He said how his whole life since he was 8 years old, he’s always climbed one tree every day. Anyway, because he liked climbing trees so much he went around and put these cicada people shells in the trees years ago. There’s some still here. I saw one today.”

LaFonna is on her 3rd glass of wine and the stories are rolling. PP is loving this ‘event’—an author reading, full of the politics and poetry and art of George Ella Lyon, who was marvelous.(Check her out--kids books: My Friend the Starfinder; life after death woo woo!: Don't You Remember? are just a few of her titles) Then after the reading, everyone’s back at the Lotus House drinking and eating…

Monk Ghost Take II

"Did you ever hear about the Monk Ghost?"
PP nods, wondering if it's the same Monk Ghost that Molly had told her about. Maybe, maybe not. She's gonna go for not just to hear the story. Even if it's the same story, it'll be LaFonna's version.

"Well, every summer these Jr. High School kids come up from Ketuckiana and stay over at the dorms at the friary and every summer, they hang out at the lake and Brother Bob plays this trick on them...."

PP thinks, how of course he does. BB is so goddamn evil. She's sure he has many devious torturous Christian tricks up his robe!

"You know how the lake has that dam down the middle?"
"It does?" PP has seen the dam at the end of the lake where the snake lives, but not another dam.
"Yeah, if you look you can see this wall down the middle of the lake. It's a few feet under the surface."
"The lake used to end there," Cigarette Smoking Board Member offers as he flings another…

Little Turtle Saviour

Tromping down the path round the lake, near the end of the circle before the grassy snake in the lake knoll, PP is thinking about swimming of course, and how she’s gonna go to the Y later since she can’t swim in the lake—at least not right now--when what does she spy right in the middle of the trail?

A sweet little Lake Turtle!

He’s just frozen there. In the middle of the trail. And this is a LONG way from the watery home of the lake.

“What are you doin all the way up here, Little Guy?” she asks, as she kneels down next to him and looks him in the turtle eye, or she thinks she does. It’s hard to tell with a turtle. But what she can tell is that he seems distressed. His little yellow throat is pulsing rapidly and he’s not moving at all.

Should he be out of the water? she wonders. Do these Lake Turtles often take strolls out on the trails? Maybe there’s a little turtle luncheon happening on the other side of the trail, and he’s just heading over for a delicious buffet of dead bugs and spi…

The Ghost Monk

“I saw a ghost last night when I was down at the lake," PP offers after listening to Molly's Artist Ghost Story, which is definitely another blog.
“You did?” Molly’s eyes are wide behind her thick glasses as she takes another bite of oatmeal.
“Yeah....I mean, I dunno....” PP tries to laugh it off, but part of her really does believe that she saw a ghost on the dock.
“What did it look like?” Molly’s a great audience. But maybe she’s not awake yet.
“Well, it was tall and floating and ....”
”Was it a man or a woman? Could you tell?”
“ was just a figure and it looked like it was in a white robe and.....”
“Have you heard the story about the Ghost Monk?” Molly asks, completely serious.
“No....” This is even better than PP had hoped for. A Ghost Monk. How validating would that be?

” of the artists who stayed here said that he was down by the lake and he heard this voice and he couldn’t really understand exactly what the voice said, but whatever it was, it made him get down…

Cockadoodle Days

The next morning, PP hears a loud knock on the front door of the Loftus house that rouses her from her lazy sleep-in slumber.

Could it be? A Friar come to take her swimming in the lake? Did Brother Bob really round up one at supper the night before to make her lake swimming fantasy a reality?

She's just too excited, so she hurries down the stairs, and throws open the door and......

There stands Friar Rake to take her for a swim in Snake Lake. He's got his brown baggy swim trunks on, his Teen Spirit sweatshirt on, a big orange towel draped round his neck, "I hear you need a friar to take you for a swim in the lake, Missy," he grins, as PP jumps up and down.

It's just too good to be true....
And so it is.....

Not true. (Had you goin for a minute though, eh?)

So, yes, no friar appeared at her door this morning or any morning, and she has no hope for any appearing in the flesh anytime soon. She knew that Goddamn Brother Bob was lying to her the other day, and she was righ…

Autumn Lies

First day of fall. The autumnal Equinox. And it feels like it as PP does her morning walk around Snake Lake. The breeze is more frequent, the leaves fall floating in golden whispers, the sky is a bright clear blue.

A sudden wistful panic hits PP. What if the weather really turns and she still hasn’t gone swimming in the goddamn lake cause she can’t round up even one stupid friar to go with her?

So. She decides that today she will simply march into the friary cafeteria and confront those sacred non-swimming holy men. Interrupt them in mid-overcooked-meat chew and demand that one of them, anyone, come swimming with her!

12 noon. All is quiet on the grounds. PP figures they’re inside chowing down, so she does her march into the industrial green cafeteria ('They could take a hose to this place,' she remembers Christina joking) and peers down one hall, then another, then into the big eating room and....

It’s entirely EMPTY!!!

Shit. Where the hell are all those goddamn friars? Did they…

The Therapy Pool Beckons

Day 3 at the Corydon Y and PP is breaking new ground. Today, it’s the Therapy Pool.

She’d spied the Therapy Pool on her first day here, but after her elusive Y search ordeal, she just didn’t have any more energy to explore. It looked weird and inviting. Another large room in a glass enclosure with a square ‘warm’ pool inside—at least PP assumed it was warm—full of shower cap women (though the women at the Corydon Y don’t wear shower caps, which as you’ll see, is an excellent thing!), and other various ‘therapy’ swimmers doing their walking and noodles and such. (Hello Lovely I and Ruthie—you both know and love the therapy pool rigors, yes?)

Then the 2nd visit here, after her lovely swim in her own exclusive lane next the Kentucky Navy Seals, PP was gonna go in the Therapy pool, but darn, it was ‘closed’. Maybe those Seals woulda been too distracted by all that therapy goin on in the next room? (PP realizes this makes no sense but she wants to develop this paragraph a little.)

So, today,…


“Mercy!” she exclaims, plopping down on the wooden bench, a dark blue towel barely covering her enormous girth. She smiles tiredly over at PP, and then just sits. Breathing. It’s been quite a workout for her at the Corydon YMCA, PP thinks.

For PP too. Finally, she’s got the lay of the YMCA land here in Indiana. Today the swim was lovely and perfect. Why even the lifeguard, when he saw her come out on deck, created her own lane for her because the Kentucky Navy Seals were training in the lap lanes. Neither of these things would happen in Oakland: a lifeguard even caring she were alive, or Navy Seals venturing into the Oakland Y!

She doesn't know what's going on at first when she walks on deck and sees a coach in army fatigue pants, those scary jungle ones, and a Navy Seals t-shirt on, hollering numbers at the 4 scrawny white guys training intervals in the pretty little pool.

"28! 29! 30!” he yells. When PP ventures near Shouting Coach to retrieve a kickboard from under the …

The Ghost of the Lake

Sitting out on the end of the dock, the first stars appearing, PP shivers as she stares at the lake's blackness. Hell, it's creepy. Looks like black glass with nary a stirring except for the tiny bug rings that wisp the top of its surface.

What a perfect place for Lizzie Eustace to get her Revenge, PP thinks to herself, so involved she is with this new writing project. What would Lizzie do? Take Frank Greystock out on a friendly little canoe ride at dusk, tempt him with her wiles and seduce him with her helplessness and then....whack! Brain him with a canoe paddle and away he'd fall, into the inky creepy blackness never to be seen again.....

Oh yeah, that's already been done--A Place in the Sun? Monty Clift brains Shelley Winters in brutal cold-bloodedness and tosses her into the deserted creepy lake! Shelley was a pain, but did she really deserve to get murdered? Sure, Monty was motivated; Liz Taylor will do that to a guy, but the consequences.....Don't ya just lov…

Rescued by a Man on a Red Tractor!

(Dear Readers,
This is part II of yesterday's adventure, so if you want narrative flow, or what little may be achieved by chronological order, please read yesterday's story first. And sorry, Poet Owen, it's Corydon, not whatever was written incorrectly yesterday!)

Finally, PP spies the Swifty Gas-up, and pulls into the station, but at this point, her mermaid soul is almost out the window. She’s breathing hard and trying not to cry as a toothless Redneck with a money belt slung round his dirty jeans hips stares at her while she tries to figure out which side of the car the gas tank is on. Indiana has gas station attendants? When was the last time you saw a gas station attendant out on deck wandering round, chewing a piece of hay, and saying ‘Thank yee Ma’am.'?

NO, PP is not making this up. She couldn’t. It’s all just too weird as he watches her pump the gas into the Cobalt (Was she supposed to let him do it?) But he gets a task at the end when she can’t see the receipt, “…

A Mermaid May Lose Her Soul...

“That’s a long time for a mermaid to go without swimming,” Ardis Fucking Moonlight nods, when PP mentions how she hasn't been swimming for 10! whole days. She oozes sympathy in her boundary driven paradigm. But PP thinks that she probably is. Sympathetic. Esp. since now she’s told PP how to get to her YMCA in Coraday (From some poem, but AFM doesn’t know which one even though she lives there. It does sound kinda familiar to PP, but hell, she doesn’t live there, she only wants to swim there—Poet Owen? Do you know from which poem, Coraday comes from?)

“Yeah, it is,” PP is beaming. Finally, all the mermaid goddesses seem to be on her side what with the power back on, Southwest Airlines giving her back her original return ticket on the 29th for only an extra 68 bucks. (Damn, what a rip-off, but the airlines are scum right now. Everyone knows this, so PP is just happy that they didn’t charge her more!)

“A mermaid may lose her soul if she goes too long without swimming,” AFM intones as sh…