Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Words to come ... later.
I'm off skating on slippery roads (in my car) at present.
Meeting a friend for coffee.
Priorities ...


Okay, it's later ... but not much, as my friend never showed.
Never wrote our "date" on her calendar, apparently.
I forgive her, of course — !! — as I know all about calendars
and about forgetting anything/everything that isn't written down.

I suppose I could start all over again, here and now,
i.e., I could erase what's been written (or said).
But, no, that's impossible, even dishonest; I'll just go on.

Or try to pick up where I left off.

With skating, that is.
Hmmm, skating ...


Okay, on the way to Fort Adams the other day — Saturday? — we (Mr. Betty and I) passed a bustling scene on the left, off Ruggles, in the neighborhood of Rogers High School. We pulled into what looked/felt like someone's driveway packed with cars for a party ... except we weren't invited. (What a feeling.)

There was no party, or not exactly a party, although it was a party of sorts (being a joyful gathering): the skating scene on Almy Pond. A hockey game and assorted less-defined activities were in full swing/force/whatever. A few parents skated; most sat chatting-more-than-watching on a dock socked in by ice rather than water. A pair of dogs — round brown boxer-types with very nice smiles — noticed our arrival and trotted off the dock to say hello.

We spoke to no one (except the dogs). Just watched, peered (leered?), half-hidden by reeds: two anonymous grown-ups on the sidelines. To be honest, I felt grateful that I didn't have to sit on that cold dock watching 'til the sun went down as we might have done in the old days ... but, at the same time, I was thinking, "Weren't we right here, not on this particular pond but in this exact place and time, only yesterday??"

As I/we watched, I was thinking about being a kid — and a lousy skater — and all that rather thin ice my friends and I skated on so unwisely at times. I'm guessing Mr. Betty was thinking more concretely about all that pond-skating and hockey-playing he did with his brothers growing up and how he won't be doing much or any pond-skating in the near future due to the limitations — or mere fear of falling down — associated with having a new knee.

Having a "new knee" sounds so much nicer and more promising than having a "knee replacement" (doesn't it??), not that it makes any difference, as choice of words can't really change anything, or soften anything, least of all reality. Not being much of a skater, as I said, I don't miss it, but I did pick out one little boy/girl/child in an oversized hockey jersey learning to skate by pushing two stacked milk crates along the ice.

We did that. Correction: Mr. Betty and the kids did that. He taped two upside-down crates together with duct tape and gave them (the kids, not the crates) all manner of encouragement. I'm guessing he was thinking about that, too, on Saturday, on top of his new knee, with which he walked, after we left the skating pond, all the way around Fort Adams, as in the whole park, a pretty good distance (two miles, maybe??). We were thrilled, both of us. That much isn't a guess, or a projection, or idle reflection; I know it.

I also know that having the kids off on their own, leaving us on our own, isn't all bad. It's not at all bad, actually. We have great flexibility at present — that's taking a very deliberate look on the bright side.

And — making a very weird leap to a new topic, but it's a very weird and disjointed day thus far, so why not?? — I want to end (finally!) by asking: What's this thing that looks like a dried-up-but-still-flexible skeleton but which I assume is some sort of egg case?? I was thinking it was a skate egg case, but skate egg cases are those little black rectangular things with slightly-curled pointy corners called "mermaid purses," aren't they?? And it's not a snake, or the remains of a snake (or an eel) — although it certainly has that appearance — is it?? It's an egg case?? An empty one??

Ah, well. Whatever it is, whatever you/I call it, it doesn't matter (much). Flexibility is good. Important, even. It's nice to be less tied-down ...