on scoring embarrassingly low at Space Invaders

This is probably just about the shaggiest, most vine-covered silo you’ll find in Somewheresville of Lake Michigan Country, where men lean their tired bodies against junk Monte Carlos in the driveway, hanging onto warmth of the day while sipping from wet beer bottles on dewy nights, waiting for the kids to finish their baths and come out for whiskery good-night kisses. The silo has been featured in a calendar (not by me). I used to climb three quarters of the way up before getting rubber-legs and completely losing my nerve. On the other hand, I remember looking up in awe as my uncles climbed to the pinnacle, apparently without stopping to take any sort of stock in how pretty-bad it would be if they fell.

Every time we visit grandma and grandpa, I come up here to shoot. For years I’ve been in search of a signature image of the barnyard but I just haven’t gotten there. And well, I’ve gotta do it before the whole mess comes crashing down or gets grown over. I don’t know if presenting this image as a monochrome plays to its strength, all that midwestern blue-green in the humid haze was distracting to me. To be honest with you, when I’m up here I’m distracted less by photography than the filmstrip roll-crackling memories at 45 rpm from my youth. And I worry about poison ivy. There’s so much wild grape, Boston Ivy and Virginia Creeper in the grass, you’d be hard-pressed to know the difference between the leaves until it was too awful late. So in the worst overgrown areas, I’ve tried to use my size fifteen feet in a strategic way, flattening the tall grass in a sort of sideways shuffle that would look universally cuckoo if anyone were to notice me as they drove down the dirt road just over yonder in their rusty Ford F-150. The shuffling probably (or probably not) prevents me from getting poison ivy but makes it a lot easier for the ticks to hitch a ride.

It was another warm week in Seattle, though we got a temporary cool-off morning. That same day, I drilled Adam like crazy on his multiplication (he’s just about got the whole thing whipped) with a dash of synonyms, so before-and-after picking little brother up from preschool I consented to drool-out-of-the-mouth time in the “family” video arcade on 15th.  Top score on Space Invaders for me: 900. And that was with Oliver Fern helping. I’m looking forward to smashing my record (possibly going cross-eyed….the games are free). I wanna get Adam pretty good at Donkey Kong, too. Before the time is right and the landlord puts his toys away and the pot shop moves in which everyone expects will eventually happen.

Took the boys to the Elwha on Friday night for lazy wading in side-pools and catching little frogs. Saturday, Oliver Fern napped on Dungeness Spit in a driftwood shelter. Meanwhile, Adam and I found half a small shark tangled in the kelp (unsuccessful attempt to ID it this morning at Port Book and News after breakfast, though the guide we found on Pacific Northwest fishes was extensive and offered many possibilities).

4 thoughts on “on scoring embarrassingly low at Space Invaders

  1. You touch on places I love — the Midwest, the Elwah, Dungeness Spit — and set me dreaming, reminiscing. Which is better, your photography or your writing? Both.

  2. It’s so lovely, getting a glimpse into your world from time to time. (I think I could take you in Space Invaders!:)) As to your writing and photography, I think they are both amazing gifts… one, punctuating the other, making both.. the very best communication of your heart.

    I’ve missed you.

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