Monday, August 8 2022
location: rural Hurley Township, Ulster County, NY
Lately (for reasons of privacy and, I suspect, connection to nature) I've been in the habit of pooping off a cliff south of the house here in Hurley. I hold on to a tree, stick my ass over the edge, and poop. I keep doing it in the same place, and nothing much accumulates down below because, I suspect, a bear has been feasting on the bounty (they're much like dogs in this respect). This morning, though, Gretchen saw me walking stiff-legged out of the woods, stoop in the yard, and blast my ass with the hose. So she later asked me why I had done such a thing. I'd been hoping to go a whole lifetime of blasting my ass this way (it's better hygiene than wiping, certainly) without ever being observed, but I'd been busted. So I just said that sometimes I like to poop in the woods and that when I'd done it this morning it had been a bit of a "vanblarcum" (our term for a messy shit, named after a heinous candidate for Ulster County sheriff I once accidentally voted for). But of course, I always blast my ass with water no matter how messy the shit goes (though, for me, it generally tends to be fairly messy for some reason).
I went to check the mail today and there was a treefrog in the mailbox. It being a hot sunny day and the mailbox being black, it must've been frightfully hot in there. But the frog was alive when I picked him up in my hand. I don't know if moving him was the right thing to do, but I don't know if he could escape with the mailbox closed. I carried him across Dug Hill Road and placed him in a bush along the Farm Road and then went to get him water to splash him with. But he was, as I said, a treefrog, and they're very hard to see when on natural objects, so I never saw him again.
This evening Gretchen invited me to meet her at the Garden Café for dinner with Cathy and Roy, the folks with the fast casual falafel place in Rhinebeck. So I took a shower and shaved away a week's worth of facial scruff, shampooed my hair, and washed the nascent smell of urine out of the only shorts I've been wearing. I then loaded up the dogs and drove the Forester (which still lacks air conditioning) to Woodstock, a village I haven't visited in months.
I saw Gretchen walking toward the Garden as I came up Old Forge Road with the leashed dogs tugging me in two opposite directions. Normally Gretchen has been sitting inside at the Garden in this brutally hot weather, but today there was enough of a breeze for us to be outside. Gretchen and I hadn't seen Cathy and Roy on awhile, and there was much to discuss, including my missing incisor, the state of our Adirondack cabin, the progress Cathy and Roy are making on a new house they're having built, Powerful's departure, and a number of other issues. [REDACTED]
I didn't much like the options on the menu, so I went with something I used to order in the past, the black bean burrito (even though Gretchen said it was "basic" and "bland"). With hotsauce and jalapeños, though, it was pretty good. And the lentil soup I'd ordered without enthusiasm (I find lentils to be among the least inspiring of beans) was surprisingly good, partly because the lentils weren't too mushy.
Meanwhile Neville was free to wander the outdoor garden area, and (until Gretchen told her to stop) someone at a neighboring table started feeding him stuff, which is a quick way to build bad habits in a dog.
At some point the dentist all four of us use happened by and we had a chuckle about the gap in my mouth. The dentist said he could give me a fake tooth very quickly if I wanted one, but I said I'd only need one if I found myself applying for jobs.
Gradually clouds built up and rain started falling, gently enough at first for people to continue their dining outdoors. But then the rain came heavier, and we were happy to be under an umbrella. The rain didn't stop us from ordered "cappuccinos" (or "upside-down coffee," as Roy put it; that's the direct translation from the Hebrew word for "cappuccino"; Cathy and Roy are Isræli).
After dinner, I did my best to avoid hitting frogs leaping across the road in front of me. They always turn out in force after a rain, and I'd prefer to live in a world where frogs weren't crushed under tires just for conducting their froggy business.
While we were out at dinner, the FBI raided the Trump compound at Mar-a-Lago. Perhaps Donald Trump's reign of impunity is finally coming to an end.
Neville over by another table during dinner tonight at the Garden Café. Click to enlarge.
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