Sunday, May 01, 2011

The Assassin's Escape


So last weekend The Woman on The Verge dragged me down to San Diego to look at a little-bitty old trailer she had her eye on. Built in 1979 and pretty much untouched since then, except for an unfortunate Miami-vice inspired reupholstery job done in the mid-eighties. The roof leaked and the overhead inside was water damaged and rotted. Everything that could open or shut was held in place with bungee cords. The exterior paint was sun-faded and the seams were split and bulging.

But it was also short enough to fit in our driveway, and light enough for our little truck to tow safely, had a toilet and shower that worked, a beautiful little stove and oven I fell in love with, and overall it had a certain undeniable charm.

The woman was in love.

So she gave the nice lady the money she'd been saving up for the last six months, and I got a three-minute walk-through of the systems from the nice lady's troll-like husband, King of The Bungee Cords, I'd already taken to calling him, the gist of his commentary ran along these lines..."This here used to be hooked up, but it come undid and I never noticed nothing different, so, hell, I don't know what it did. Same with this here switch under there, I flipped it back and forth, but I don't know what it does." 

We hooked up our new 13 foot 1979 Nomad travel trailer to the new tow hitch and drove the three hundred miles straight back home.


This weekend we took her on our shakedown cruise. There happens to be a beautiful and wild little RV campground not six miles from our little blue house on Main street, and that's where we went.

The Trailer, The Woman on The Verge, and The Bulldog 

We had a hell of a good time.

Dishwasher's Command Central: Three burner stove and kitchen sink.

We managed to eat pretty damn good.

Lentil tacos with pickled onions, red cabbage, and roasted poblanos.


Good Lord Almighty.


I have to be honest and let you know that I was not the best partner The Woman could have hoped for. I was nervous as a dog shitting peach pits driving that trailer home, and I was worried about all the imaginary things that could go wrong.

Thank God she handled me like a snake-charmer. At this point I'm almost half convinced the whole thing was my damn idea.


At any rate, I'll spare you the details, but I will say this:

My soul has been becalmed.


I will take to this like a duck to water. All day to cook over smoldering coals. All day and night to play with the dog and look over at the woman, catch her eye, catch her by the arm as she passes me, kiss her, kiss her and kiss her some more.

Sit by the fire and stare into it.

Roast vegetables in the ashes and coals.

Read until I fall asleep.

Take the dog for long, wild romps in the tick-thick grass.

Let go of the entire architecture of my imagined terrors and petty fears.




We had a damn good time. Set up camp on Friday at about 2 pm, and broke camp Sunday at 9 am. I love the Woman on The Verge and I owe her my soul, but what she did by getting us this camper and bringing this whole new thing into our lives- I am down on my knees in thanksgiving.

I fed her, though. I gave her caramelized French toast and bacon and fried eggs for breakfast. I gave her grilled shrimp and grilled corn on the cob and roasted poblanos for dinner. Lentil tacos.

We even roasted a butternut squash that we didn't bust into until we came home today, served with goat cheese and mint vinaigrette and salad greens, that almost killed me.


The whole time we were camping, I felt this huge, twisted knot that was in my soul gently unwinding.

She'll tell you, man, I can't sit still for five damn seconds. Out there, under the setting sun, or under the blazing stars, under a cloud of mosquitoes, I could mimic stonehenge.


Stalwart in my immobility.


Abject in my passion for the woman I love and the taste of good food and the warmth of the wine and the woodsmoke on my skin and the deep, deep, rekindling of the pastoral nomadism that is my biological  homecoming.

All that Mongolian steppe manliness and abandon.


The Assassin Has Made Good His Escape.





Blogger Judy Wise said...

oh, thank you for the camping trip; I haven't been in ages and I could feel myself breathing more free as I read your words.

sometimes thing are all right. if we can slow down enough.

3:43 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


Slowing down. That's the damn nut of it right there.

Thank you. Breathing more freely, that's key.



3:50 PM  
Blogger Radish King said...

It's better outside out there my friend. I spend more time out than in if I look at the bigger scheme of things. I'll be on the Oregon coast the end of July finishing my book. In a tent. Without all that good food just peanut butter sandwiches and coffee. But damn you make my mouth water. Like the sea. Peace on you and your house.

4:31 PM  
Blogger Radish King said...

ps. That house on stilts is my dream house.

4:32 PM  
Blogger 37paddington said...

You have such a good woman who knows to get you out under the sky where you can breathe and remember who you are together. I am so happy for you both. Rushing right now, but will be back later.

I love that boat, the sureness of the oars. But I dont think its escape exactly, more like coming home.


4:36 PM  
Blogger Lisa Cohen said...

A long time ago, before kids, before careers that almost made us strangers to one another, before mortgages and terror alerts and $4 a gallon gas, my man and I used to sail in a little boat on the Chesapeake Bay. 2 burner stove, little ice box, full sized bunk, room for the pup and the wind caressing the sails, whispering to my restless soul.

And my whirring thoughts, settled like a bee on a flower.

I miss those days fiercely. This brought me back. Thank you.

4:48 PM  
Blogger Mim said...

Lucky, lucky life!

6:12 PM  
Blogger Ms. Moon said...

This makes so much sense to me. Your wife. Man, you got it made.

7:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

simply fabulous! speaks to spring, a new season, a new road that looks alot like the tender road traveled in one's youth - good, good stuff. Mary

8:18 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

I used to dream with a man of one of those houses on stilts in the woods -- to be a fire-watcher -- with loads of books and nothing but the page and silence.

This post brought a bit of that back for me, those thoughts.

I'm glad you're well and able to share that wellness with us. Thank you.

9:57 PM  
Blogger Petit fleur said...

You had me at "the dog shitting peach pitts"! I thought I was was going to pop one out I was laughing so hard!

Sounds heavenly. So happy you two discovered this new way of unwinding.

PS I'll be that's the first time that little trailer's seen food that good!

6:14 AM  
Blogger deirdre said...

Holy! You got a camper! hahaha, love it, love this post, we're just about to head out ourselves for a wee little camping trip up to a lake for some fishing, that is if the snow is off the high country roads which it might not be.
Point that sucker north.

I'm so glad.


7:43 AM  
Blogger susan t. landry said...

i am so happy for you two!
(ok, so you stole my dream, but that's cool. dreams expand and accompany all who clamber on...)
it's all about slowing down; listening... what my generation used to call dropping out.
funny how the wheel turns.

e n j o y

9:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is fine!!

3:47 AM  
Anonymous Paul said...

Sounds like fun to me ...:-)

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you

4:49 AM  
Blogger LKD said...

Thought that floating house in your escapist art was the Buddha again.

Wonder why I'm seeing the Buddha everywhere?

Your piece reminded me of that MASH episode in which Hawkeye dreamed he was in row boat drifting across a lake but he wasn't rowing because he had no arms.

The water, however, was full of arms, floating on the surface.

I learn a lot when I come here and look at your art and read your words.

Thank you for that.

11:40 AM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...

I am so damn grateful to each of you for being here.

I am sorry I can't bring myself to respond to your comments individually. I suck, I know it.

I am a poor friend.


I yet pray for your continued indulgence.

yrs, most sincerely,


5:25 PM  
Blogger Marylinn Kelly said...

So happy for you, for the wisdom you each possess to find your way back to the best moments. Good news is contagious.

11:51 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

this was great. made me miss living in the north woods. sigh.

5:18 PM  

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