Friday, October 17, 2003

Man, I’m tired, tarred and feathered, one of my witticisms, a nod to the duke and dauphin of Huck Finn fame. Stayed up late last night watching those Damn Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox, 6-5, in 11 innings in Game Seven of the American League Championship Series. This sets up the least desirable World Series matchup between the Yankees and Florida Marlins. Yawn… I’ll watch the darn thing, but who really cares? I’m just stupid diehard fan of good baseball.

Once again Bosox manager Grady Little committed a sin of omission and left tired starter Pedro Martinez in the game a little too long, allowing the Yankees to post a seventh inning rally and tie the game 5-5. Aron Boone smacked the game winning homer in the bottom of the 11th off Boston knuckleball hurler Tim Wakefield, brought in for late relief because he won two games as a starter in the series.

Now Esther and I are off to the wilds of Lincoln County Wisconsin for a weekend of trail work with the Mobile Skills Crew. Just by looking at the trail notes, it doesn’t seem like too technical of work – no retaining walls, bog bridges or major constructs. Just clear some brush, establish better tread, a couple major re-routes. I’ve been going through some major jonesin’ for trail, prolly cuz the weather’s been so nice and fall colors so beautiful, and I’ve been cooped up in the bright lights big city a bit too long.

I got work today at West Middle School, which went well because I played the Mary Poppins angle, kind but firm with stern voice and ready smile. I taught one of my godchildren, Laurine, who I haven’t seen in a long time. Her “father” Steve is a childhood friend, the best man in my wedding. Steve’s not Laurine’s biological father, whose never had anything to do with her, but he’s supported and taken care of her since she was a few weeks old. I remember when she was the tiniest infant. Today I taught her how to compute perimeters and area in her 6th grade math class.

Steve and his ex-wife Michelle went through a very acrimonious divorce, and Steve has to sneak around to spend time with Laurine because he has no legal rights to see her. Michelle’s father is a science teacher at West, and condones Steve seeing Laurine. Seems he agrees with Steve that Michelle’s kooky. My impression of her is flighty, prone to rash, unpredictable behavior. She was always bitchin’ at Steve. I always left their house thankful for the wonderful even-tempered-ness of Esther.

After school Steve was in the hallway waiting for Laurine, and after they visited, all too briefly, before she jumped on the bus, we talked with gramps and then went out to a local diner for lunch and talk. Steve likes his truck-driving job, but wants to quit it to get a local run. He misses his kids and worries about their welfare with Michelle and her new boyfriend Nick. Steve told me about the truck driving life, checking in at weigh stations, messing around with other truckers on the radio, women flashing him as they passed, others caught in the act giving fellatio to drivers, one woman pleasuring herself with a vibrator, both feet on the dash, both hands on the wheel. “Guess she’s got cruise control,” Steve said.

Steve said he likes driving because long hours on the road gives him time to think, or not think. I said trucking is a lot like hiking. He said his favorite state so far is Oregon, the forests and mountains green and lush and out of this world. He told me about the 49-mile downhill off Donner Pass. I told him the Pacific Crest Trail goes past there. He said some of the women in the small, desert towns of the southwest were beautiful beyond belief. So weird for me to see Steve talking it up about other women. He was married so long and never talked like this. Not that he’s become a pervert, but sex never came into our discussions.

I woke up this morning about 7: 15 a.m. and called West to find out what time school started. When they said 7:30 I had to throw clothes on and cruise out da doh. Less than half an hour after entering consciousness I faced a classful of students, strangers, with a given coterie of rebellious punks wanting to test the subs’ limits. Thankfully the teacher had the lesson plans ready and they were easy to follow. And I stayed in the same classroom. The last few times I’ve worked I’ve been a “floating” sub, which means a heavy pocketful of keys and much confusion wandering the halls all day.

Well, I’m hitting the showers and gotta get packing. Have a great weekend whoever you are wherever you be…

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