Well, dang. It feels like weeks since I've sat down to write anything. I guess maybe that's because it HAS been weeks since I've written.
I blame the railroad.
Up until just a month or so ago, I lived in a constant state of danger. Facing one's mortality at every turn stimulates the mind and force feeds creativity. I was on the edge. And living there made every breath more stimulating, everything was brighter, stronger, more pungent.
But now the danger is gone.
Here's the deal. At the end of one of the roads leading away from my house, there is a railroad crossing. I've lived in this house for almost ten years, and I lived every day with the knowledge that the train was going to kill me. For years I've told my friends and family, when the train finally gets me, it will be my own fault. I forget to look both ways before sailing over the tracks. So don't sue the railroad.
Anytime Katie was riding with me and we encountered the train, I told her I could jump it with my truck. The tracks are five or six feet higher than the road. You approach them on a dirt ramp sort of thing. Perfect setup for launching the truck right over the top of the moving train. I watched the Dukes of Hazzard all the time as a kid, so I knew I could do it - no problem.
Kate wasn't so sure.
So, to keep from offending her delicate sensibilities, I'd have to come up with a new excuse for not attempting the jump each time we ended up there at the same time as the train. Sometimes it was my own fault - I'd not been paying enough attention and hadn't built up enough speed on the dirt road leading up to the ramp. The price of jet fuel was prohibitive on several occasions and I wasn't sure if I could reach launch velocity on the cheap low-octane stuff I was using. Every once in a while the angle of the sun interfered. Occasionally she was in the truck with me right after I'd completed a successful jump and to do it again, so soon, was to run the risk of showboating and I'd never want to be accused of that.
I was running short of Shinola. But then the railroad solved the problem. They came along last month and put in lights and those arm thingies. Now I have to stop -- I can't jump the train.
It's the law.