Sunday, December 2, 2012

Same to you, buddy

side of the city bus, out my window

Frost glistens, nature's jewelry, on the side of the deer in the ditch by the entrance to the subdivision. Stomach bloated, its stiff legs jut into the air as if waving as i pass. Head turned, i don't have to look it in the eye. Brown and yellow grass is broken by patches of green fighting for life against the season.

Even at 35 mph, driving through the subdivision saves fifteen minutes it would take to go into town and then back out. Children are just coming out their houses, wrapped in thick winter coats, fat back packs settled between their shoulders. Breath rises like smoke signals from their lips. dark recedes into the shadows of trees, houses & cars, as the sun rises beyond the mountains in the distance.

Midway through the subdivision, i take a left on a secondary road that will spill me out by the library onto the southbound byway. large black, wheeled trashcans stand sentry at the end of driveways. Stone Gossard and Ed Norton are interviewing each other on the radio, 'The first couple years you are happy just to get work and then you get to the point where you can choose what you want to say through your art.'

Rounding a bend, I see them---within feet of the same place I saw them yesterday. And the day before. Walking together. He, in casual slacks, a plaid button up shirt, the kind padded for warmth. White hair tufts at the edge of his mustard yellow hat. His golden retriever meandering beside him.

It is hard to tell most days who leads who, as they walk side by side, no hurry in their steps. His hand goes up. My right leaves the wheel to return the wave. In the rear view, their backsides continue along the edge of the road.

One day, I will bring a biscuit for the golden. Rub the pups behind his ears. Ask the man his name & let him know I look for them every morning. An unknown constant in the ever changing world.

Halting briefly at the stop sign, I swing into southbound traffic. 'You have all these ideas, but then you have four other guys will their ideas and you have to come in willing to listen,' Stone says to Norton. A kid on the school bus in front of me holds up a sign, a smile cracks my face as I read it.

The turn signal counts time, between us. Trees are empty, without leaves.

65 comments:

Claudia said...

hey..thanks for taking us along with you...love all the little details that make the ride so vivid..most of all i like the part with the guy and the golden retriever (they're my fav dogs cause they have such friendly eyes) isn't it funny how some people we meet by accident "somewhere on the road" become constants in our lives...without us realizing first..

Claudia said...

am i really first...? can't believe it...sorry i didn't bring some snow...smiles

ReBelle said...

Don't delay. The very next time have the biscuit on hand, pull over. Chat. Pour out the .blessings

DJan said...

What a picture you have drawn. I was there alongside you, watching. And other than the deer, smiling.

Pat Hatt said...

Quite the gawk
Today on your walk
Err um drive I mean
As you take in the scene
And yeah throw a biscuit to the mutt
Maybe as you talk let him sniff your butt
A real thrill there
For which one, hmm I'll leave that up to you at your lair hahaha
Always fun the constants we see
As off we go away from our tree

Gloria said...

ah you, this is really nice. Did you know how I love your poems Brian because they talk a lot about how are you a person cant talk about he doesnt feel, nice,, blessings to you, to Tara and the kids!!

Gloria said...

this is because I love poesy LOL

Heaven said...

I am walking and riding along with you as you capture the scenes and old man with his dog. Wouldn't it be lovely to just sit down and talk, instead of talking and deciding which ideas are best ~

Have a good Sunday Brian ~

Daniel said...

Love the thoughts that bounce around your head as you take it all in. Sight beyond sight.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

You always have a paragraph that stands out to me in a distinct way. Today, it was this one: "One day, I will bring a biscuit for the golden. Rub the pups behind his ears. Ask the man his name & let him know I look for them every morning. An unknown constant in the ever changing world"
What a great post for me to read on this beautiful Sunday morning!

Mrsupole said...

Hi Brian,

I think I was in the seat beside you watching everything you saw. I think the pup would love a dog treat now and then and the old man a cup of hot chocolate. Coffee as long as you bring the cream and sugar for just in case but with hot chocolate you are always safe.

So glad you have a shortcut to save on time and especially gas.

I think being sick is getting to me. I need to get out and take a ride. Thanks for taking me on a short but sweet one.

God bless.

annell said...

I loved this one!

Leovi said...

Yes, that is what I seek: that I want to get through my photos. I hope someday reach. Greetings.

Gail said...

I saw it clearly, beautifully written.

We need constants in our lives.

Valerie said...

I enjoyed that so much, Brian. Our daily and sometimes tiresome journeys can be transformed by meeting interesting folk along the way. Don't forget the dog biscuits next time you drive out... smiles.

Monkey said...

just a moment in time...thank you miller :)

farawayinthesunshine said...

Human connections and how you describe them is always a treasure to savour. Thank you Brian

Quotes,Photos and a little Poetry said...

I love this tale of travel down a familiar road. It has to be one of my favorites of yours.

Laurie Kolp said...

Hmm... halting briefly at stop sign once got me a ticket.

I love your attention to detail... and I can't wait to hear more about the man and his dog.

Alice Audrey said...

If you told him you look for him, he'd probably change his route.

hedgewitch said...

Contemplative, and I like the nuggets of quotes you chose to embed with your stream of image and action, as well as the layer of constancy and connection under all. A good Sunday read.

Tara Miller said...

Thank you for sharing these special moments of your daily drive in all the vivid detail we have all come to love and look forward to. Sometimes constants in our lives bring such comfort as it sounds this moment does to you. Sweet and simple my love. <3 U !

CiCi said...

Why can't all aspects in life be recognized as better because people were "willing to listen".

A Cuban In London said...

Ha, the quotidian "heroes" who make our lives that tad bit richer. Many thanks, man. By the way, all poems have now been posted on my blog. What an amazing response. Yours is the first one! :-)

Greetings from London.

Mama Zen said...

Those constants in our lives mean so much more than we realize . . . until they're gone. Great write, Brian.

manicddaily said...

Wonderful amble/ambience - great pacing, great details, you are terrific to take the time in writing/in action. k.

Audrey Howitt aka Divalounger said...

I loved going along for the ride on this one! Thank you!!

Daydreamertoo said...

I would love to know what happens when you talk to the man with the dog.
Shame about the deer though.
Kids on the school buses do that here too. Some are pretty comical.
Loved your drive :)

Wander said...

Smiles for you today Brian :-)
Rub the pups ...
It took me a sevond to realize you were refering to just the one dog...then the tone of that sentence changed for me and I smiled hearing your personal "voice" in your guided tour:-)

flaubert said...

What a very sad opening to this poem, Brian. As always you carry the reader through with a continuing and nicely drawn scene. You should bring a biscuit for the pup, and introduce yourself to the gentleman. Life is short, as we say here; "la vida es corta", who knows what might come of a conversation with him. And the pup will certainly be impressed. :)

Pamela

^.^ said...

Comical ... to say the least ...

Eva Gallant said...

A rich description of your morning commute!

Luke Prater said...

Whimsical, thoughtful, and descriptively excellent. Love the way you journal the drive, the vibe. Atmospheric. Love the sign, too...

Jenny said...

Thanks for the ride-along Brian. I always see the scenery along with you..you are amazing. Your writing draws most of your readers ....another great one!

Mary said...

I am sure this man would be happy if you pulled over and gave his dog a treat, Brian. He would be honored that you even noticed him on a regular basis, I think. (I know I would if I were he.)

Rene Foran said...

your world
is very much like
my world

ayala said...

A nice ride you take us on...love the part about the guy and the golden..I miss my Daisy...so hard still :( Great capture :)

Myrna R. said...

I had a little trouble getting past the image of the dead deer. But then, I went along for the rest of the ride, content to join you, to see your sights and hear your radio program. And the man and the dog, nice that you connect daily. Unspoken friendships are great. One only gets to imagine the goodness of the other. Enjoy your morning ride tomorrow. Leave early and take a biscuit.

Cloudia said...

For me it is a mature retired gay couple with two small dogs. . . . we exchange pleasantries.



Wishing YOU a sweet week,
with Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

~ > < } } ( ° >

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><}}(°> ~

Charlotte said...

I love that the details you see every day on the way to work haven't escaped into the blur. I used to pass a cyclist every morning on my way to work in his cycling duds pedaling like a demon. Then one day he was gone. I like to think it was only because August in New Orleans is just too damn hot - even for the locals. :)

Hilary said...

I love that you think about telling the man that you look for him.. that he's thought about. That's a most beautiful thing.

Vicki Lane said...

I hope you give that dog a biscuit and tell the man you like seeing him. Such a little thing. You inspire me to look for something like that in my life -- something I'm not paying attention to...

Victoria said...

Moments like this make something like the commute so much more meaningful. Don't you wish you could stop and learn more about these people who we see so often and know nothing about. Nice poetic prose, Brian

Anne said...

Being the country girl that I am, the opening line made me think several things. Fishing and Wildlife should be called to remove the carcass and what a waste of a life.

Nice journey to take with you Brian and give the dog the biscuit and talk to the gent who walks with him. I bet he has stories to share.

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

I like the sameness of every day also. :)

Lorraine said...

sometimes thoughts cross the wires even if you never say the words...a moment in the life of Brian, a man and a dog, love it, always

I do, I do. said...

You take your readers with you while you write, you know? I just hope you know what a brilliant writer you are! WRITE A BOOK!

kaykuala said...

A constant, everyday to anticipate and meet - even waving to each other is enough goodness to share. We often wonder what would happen if an opportunity presents to just exchange a few words. I wonder. Nicely Brian!

Hank

Dave King said...

A great commentary on an interesting drive -- or at least, on one that you made interesting. I loved the switching between references, it brought the whole thing to life and anchored it in reality.

Susan said...

"It is hard to tell most days who leads who, as they walk side by side, no hurry in their steps."

Amen. Especially with dogs on leashes, but with many other things as well. BTW, I have heard said that the Golden is the dumb blond of the dog world. Is that true? Or is it more true that there are no dumb blonds?

So: I love your daily drive as depicted here. I miss the dialogue and inner/outer aspect to your normal style, but you have the layers with the radio, the bus on the road and the people and things you pass, and that is neat. In my mind the sign in your illustration is the one the kids hold up on the end. Did I miss a clue? For me, teh daily commute was a kind of daily prayer, much improved when it had smiles in it.

Jyoti Mishra said...

Morning walk, Evening walk or any walk... there's life all around.. diff characters n stories..
Loved your treatment to all this :)

dsnake1 said...

i feel like i am on that ride with you. great stuff! :)

ladyfi said...

Oh, how lyrically lovely!

Jenny Woolf said...

A great slice of life. Sad to think of the frosty "jewellery" on the deer. Or is it sad? I don't know, come to think of it.

Sharp Little Pencil said...

Brian, thanks for leaving your good wishes on my blog. I especially value those who know the road...

I love the idea of your stopping with a biscuit and getting to know him... I do this a lot downtown, just making conversation, reaching out. You are on a good path, B. Peace, Amy
A short erasure from Mockingbird:
http://sharplittlepencil.com/2012/12/01/stock-still-an-erasure-poem/

Tracie Skarbo said...

I always love coming over to your part of town... at the Waystation...although I don't live in your district I feel as though I have come close to breathing those same images, you are that great at description!

Pat said...

You can write about the phone book and make is sound beautiful! You should stop and introduce yourself some day to the man and his dog.

Rebecca S. said...

We have a neighbour who walks his two golden labs every day. He also has white tufts sticking out from his green Austrian cap. One of his dogs, the one with three legs, has become so arthritic he places her in a sort of cart and pushes her along. We wave at each other, too, although I know his name and the name of the dogs as well. My son used to teach the man guitar lessons last year.
Anway, lovely little short story.

RMP said...

I hold my breath on "one day" because some how it never comes and then there are no more "one days."

the sign has me curious....I can hear the tick-tick of the blinker while I wait to read the sign; (it never comes).

Secret Agent Woman said...

I often see the same people walking at the lake and they seem like old friends, even though I don't know their names.

Annmarie Pipa said...

simplicity is beautiful thing, isn't it?!

mrs mediocrity said...

"An unknown constant in the ever changing world."
These are the things that make up a life. The things that become part of us, though they may seem so insignificant at the time.

I really love this piece.

Fred Rutherford said...

really cool scene you painted here. I love the weave between the interview and the observations, has a really cool feel to it. Great read Brian

Margaret said...

Just love your ramblin' mind. And I mean that in a good way :)

Syd said...

I hope that you do get to meet him and give the dog a biscuit. And I hope that he will keep walking.