Pinnacle Hill ramble
Hey! I just remembered I have a blog! Well, of course, I hadn't exactly forgotten entirely—I'd just been in some kind of funk apparently, where the idea of updating the damn thing just didn't sound appealing. It's been about three weeks—since the night Hillary Clinton stole the New York primary. (Yeah, I said it.) But anyway, politics don't really matter, do they? I never used to think it made one bit of difference who the president was. Is that more or less cynical than thinking the whole thing is rigged? (Maybe I'll vote for Trump, just to test the theory.)
Allison and I went to Portland last week (I really should have done some blog updates about it), and we managed to get her room in her old house completely cleared out. Most of her stuff just got thrown away. All of her old paperwork, which for years she'd meticulously filed in folders, got burned in the fireplace. She did keep a hard drive of old photos, her grandmother's pearls, and a few pairs of boots and dresses. The rest went to Goodwill or to a storage facility in Vancouver, Washington, to be claimed by her sister who is moving to Olympia this summer. Other than that, we drank WAY too much with Allison's father and his girlfriend, who happened to be in town visiting her kids; tried to catch up with as many of Allison's old friends as she could get a hold of; and smoked some shockingly powerful legal weed that legitimately made me think I was going to die. Those pre-rolled spliffs (or "spleefs," as Allison's dad calls them) they sell everywhere in Oregon now are too strong! By the end of the week, we both needed a clonazepam to make it to the airport without having concurrent mental breakdowns. But we accomplished what we went there for.
Back in Rochester, the weather has turned springlike. There are more sunny days than overcast ones, and temperatures have climbed into the 60s. I've been going for more jogs than in previous months, mostly in Highland Park, where the flowers are finally starting to bloom.
Yesterday, I was still feeling tense despite the improved weather, as I waited on a text message that it seemed would never come, so wandered up to Pinnacle Hill, near my parents' house, with its familiar dirt-bike trails, campfire pits, and views overlooking the city. The woods don't appear to have changed much in 30 years, since the days when we kids would go up there to play Survivor Shot, swing perilously over gorges on flimsy ropes, climb the radio towers, and occasionally smoke marijuana. I don't feel nostalgic, not exactly, as I ramble along the dirt paths; I much prefer to look to the future than dwell too much on the past. I sit for a while on a fallen tree deep in the woods, and eventually my eyes find a pair of women's underwear and some indeterminate scrap of leopard-print cloth stretched across a nearby stump. There's also a tent at the bottom of the hill, which looks like it might be inhabited. Perhaps someday I will live in a tent in the woods, even if only for a little while. Allison would probably like that. And before we leave, we can string a pair of her underwear up on a tree for the next passerby to fantasize about.