Sunday, September 5, 2010

Morning, Hope Valley Trailer Park

It rained last night. Laura and I listened to the rattle. "I'm glad I'm not in a tent," she said.

"I love the furnace, " I said. Cozy in the firm thick foam queen sized bed we nestled together. Gilbert was on the floor beside the bed. He'd visited us a few times to walk across our crotches, abdomens and chests to lick our faces. Then he'd settled down beside the bed on the floor in the cool.

"I love new sheets." she said. "I love the new pillows." We'd bought them at Sears delighted to happen upon a bedding sale on the day we needed new bedding.

I woke at 4 am worrying about pulling the trailer up hills. I saw myself bowling backwards down a steep incline taking out the miles of tourists behind me. In another scenario I was stopped waiting for a tow truck everyone driving around me. Finally I was unable to brake going down the mountain with the trailer wrapped about my neck like a scarf and I was flying over the Frazer canyon looking down at the roaring river and ascending among angels. I ignore dreams like these. My mind catastrophises. When I was sailing I'd awake having hit tankers or been slapped down by the tails of whales. Still I'll be taking this pulling a trailer slowly and won't be cutting any corners.

I got up and peed. I love the bathroom. The toilet is just like the ones on the airplane. It goes whoosh when you're finished. Back in bed I listened to the rain some. Laura doesn't snore. She looks rather angelic, at peace asleep, blond hair on pillow. Gilbert had followed me to the toilet and followed me back to the bed. In the World of Dog a nocturnal event like this is memorable excitement. We might have gone out hunting Fifi or whatever his puppy brain conjured up. We might have. That's what his expectant look had said. He settled down to hope and dream himself.

In the morning his little body climbed all over mine and I woke to having my eyelids licked. "Yes, Gilbert, walk time," I know.

There was still the sound of rain drops on the roof. Where are pants, jacket, leash. It's a muddle in the morning. All the while Gilbert is circling and jumping up and down on the verge of dog delirious. "We're going for a walk. Master and I are going for a walk. I can pee. Finally I can pee. Hoorah! Hoorah!"

Green forest, pine smells, quiet. We walked along the lanes among the sleeping campers. A pretty young woman was going into the shower. She smiled at Gilbert. All the pretty girls smile at Gilbert.

I walked Gilbert across the road to the train tracks. It was fun to be there remembering times at Minaki with Kirk walking along train tracks. I tried balancing and walking a bit on the rails. They were slippery and I wasn't nearly as good as when I was twelve and we boys would compete one to a rail walking miles till either of us slipped off. Rock and shale and oiled wood. Spikes and rails. Farmers fields on either side. Another fat man walking his white poodle on leash along the road. A farmer with his jacket off pulling weeds in a row. Unusual to see the hand labour. 6:30 am. A truck passed on the road. Labour Day Long Weekend.

We came to a road that led to the Airport and turned around. Laura was up making the bed when we returned. She'd set out a towel for me to clean off Gilbert's paws. He thought it was a game. Couldn't understand why we both said 'No!" when I let him go and he headed straight for the freshly made bed.

He settled for being under the table on his new dog mat. "It's water proof, " the beautiful Asian woman at Wagababa told us, "If he vomits on it or anything you could just wipe it off until you find time to put it in the washing machine." She tilted her head knowingly with the conspiratorially look that dog people give each other when discussing the digestive tracts of their canine friends.

Just yesterday Gilbert had pooped in the Seven Oaks Mall. I'd snatched him up somehow thinking this would help. It only sent his poop arcing through the air to land neatly while the second splash landed by my foot where I stepped in it. Laura and I were then huddled together trying to conceal Gilbert and the poop from passing eyes while she rummaged in my bag for a doggy bag. "Oh my god, I got it on my fingers," she said as I looked down and saw I was tracking Gilbert poop across the clean tile floors. I found some wet ones to give her and together we cleaned up the tracks of my shoes and where Gilbert himself had stepped in his poop. More people passed. We were all down at Gilbert's level and the big people passing were all giving disapproving looks. Outside Gilbert had no more poop to offer. In side , carrying Gilbert this time a young security officer approached me and said, "I'm sorry, Sir, dogs aren't allowed in the mall." We left. "It's a good thing he'd not been here a few minutes earlier." she said. "Well done, Gilbert your poop was an act of political expression for all dogs who have been abused by Mall's." Together we walked Gilbert outside with security following us to make sure we didn't sneak back in.

I opened the Bible to Judges and read:

Tola: After the time of Abimelech a man of Issachar, Tola son of Puah, the son of Dodo rose to save Israel. He lived in Shamir in the hill country of Ephraim. He led Israel 23 years, then he died and was buried in Shamir."

I'm not sure what I'm supposed to take from that. It's uplifting though. 23 years of peace for Israel is never anything to frown about. Israel in the Bible often represents at the microcosmic level rather than the state level, individual man. We're all Israel in this equation and the trials, tricks and seductions of the world cause us to turn from God until we come back again and again. If you seem far from God, the saying, goes, guess whose moved.

I like this time of peacefulness. This little community of motorhomes and trailers is flush with children and teen agers. Kids were running around at night in little groups with lots of chatter and excitement. Occasionally an adult voice spoke with authority. Mostly the adults were sitting under awnings beside fires while their kids roamed this little community. If there was any drinking by the adults it was truly social. No shouting. No loud music. No disturbing of neighbors. No tell tale reek of marijunia. This is a trailer park. When I was setting up men walking by and greeted me.

Now I'm looking out the kitchen window at the occasional person walking by in hoodies and suits. It's not a high heel and short skirt or tux crowd by any means. I really ought to be bow hunting. i brought it along for the opening of the season but think maybe later. Another coffee and a bacon sandwich seem more pressing.

If I ask Laura, like a dying invalid, with both hands burnt in a far off war, whining with that manly baby tone, I'll bet she'll make me a bacon sandwich. Maybe if I say, "Wouldn't a toasted bacon sandwich taste good about now and wait," she'll figure I'm really just thinking about her, fearing she'll waste away to nothing. When she's decided to make one for herself then I can say something like, "Don't go to the bother or if you're making one for yourself, I guess I could force myself to join you." She's a soft touch for making bacon sandwiches in the morning camping.

I could try out the shower. We don't have the hot water working but the water is warm enough for a quickie. I'll give the pilot light another go for the water heater and then settle for whatever. Laura's already said she's going to boil a couple of kettles of water and have a bath. After I'm clean I'll read some more of Carl Hiaasen's hilarious Star Island. There's seconds, minutes and hours of day ahead and we don't go back till tomorrow. More reading, walking the dog, being aware of brushing teeth and dressing like's its something original and not part of work's automatic pilot. Gilbert's asleep under the table. Laura's reading. It's not like I've done nothing. I thought to buy the bacon at the Husky last night in anticipation of just this moment.

"Wouldn't a bacon sandwich taste great, Laura?"

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