I sleep fitfully, the rain and thunder wake me, the dog panting and thirsty, I worry about things from civilization, things I cannot control, 7 days of heavy metal that I cannot fathom after a day paddling and fishing for perch in the lake. And in this case more than half of what I cast in gets a nibble and I catch a half dozen perch and a couple pumpkin seeds. I throw them back when they are little, but the ones I kill by ripping out their throats via a hook I keep, soon I am covered in fish guts and worm blood, I love it. And later I gut them myself, and then skin them, flour them, and put them in brown butter with the caramelized onions, and cover a bowl of brown rice with them, so simple, so delightfully delicious, and best of all the fish so fresh the house does not have any odor of fish. But as I toss and turn in bed, my decision to keep my word, to maintain the integrity of that word, I know is the right one. Still it bothers me. In my sleep I dream of the ex, again, and I wake apologizing for falling apart when he left, though it still brings tears to my eyes. I wake a bit later than I did yesterday, and do not want to get up. I want to walk, but I am tired, my arms and legs ache, my back is surprisingly not hurting. Come on buddy I say, lets go for a walk. He remains at his place at the foot of the bed. He hesitates as I put on my hiking clothes, he hesitates on the stairs, he hesitates at the door, he hesitates on the lawn. My friend’s dogs, who refused the walk yesterday, are halfway up the first section of the hill, I cannot take the short walk this time. And by the time we get to the turn around, I am happy we have taken this path. The dog is slow and stays by my side, the male of A’s two dogs stops and waits for us always, never quite getting out of sight. I begin to notice the smaller things, the small rivulet by the road the sound of the water under the swampy clumps of grass, the long vein of pink granite that flows down the center of the road, the gravel on the mushy parts of the road, the rocks near the beaver dam. I will be bored, I think, in time, of this walk. But I also want to love the exercise, the health of my body, the health of the dog’s elderly frame.
We are nearly out of veggies and fruit, and the garden only has fresh greens ripe for the eating, I take her daughter on the long trip to the nearest large town and we buy from locally grown (no dumpster veggies here) and small but charming market. I buy an empanada, the best one I have ever eaten, and I have enjoyed them fresh in South America. This one is filled with brown rice, spinach, black beans, something spicy and it is phenomenal.