February 3rd, 2001


2/3/01 First Meeting ∼ The Dream ∼ from Despina's I Green Journal (2/146; WC: 332 )

Table of Contents (SOTFW: SC summercircles)
Table of Contents (Despina's IGJ summercircles)
Table of Contents (travelsfar)

Despina's Infamous Green Journal

First Meeting The Dream


In the dawn of the computer age, a British computer sends an old adage to its Russian counterpart as part of the calibration process.  "Out of sight; out of mind."  The Russian computer dutifully translates the message into Russian, then returns the Russian language version to the British computer.  The British computer runs it through its translating program and prints out, "Invisible and insane."

                                        Anonymous joke circulated heavily in the early days of computers.

She was driving Baby Blue Ram, her old beater of a pickup, east on Highway 2.  The windshield wipers intermittently batted at the spittings of snow decorating the glass.

"A hitchhiker?  Mid-November is no time to be out seeing the country on foot!" she thought.

Never pick up a hitchhiker.  They might turn out to be a serial killer, and you might turn into their next victim, her conscious niggled her.

"That jacket sure looks short.  And a bit worn.  It probably isn't much protection from that wind."

You're just an old softy.  See a stray dog, and nothing would do but you had to bring it home, even though you KNEW how your father hated animals in the house!

"But, this is a human being, not a dog.  He can't curl up in a snowbank with his tail protecting his nose." (Assuming the smattering builds up to a bank...  It is too hard and cold a snow to create a comfortable drift.)

"He's not even trying to hitch.  He's just walking along."

Phew!  Finally out of sight.

"Out of sight; out of mind."

Translated into Russian and back into English as "Invisible and insane."

"Rats!  It is INSANE to be out walking along, not dressed for the weather, on a day like today," her voice ended her internal debate as she pounded the steering wheel for emphasis.

You have to live with yourself.

She slammed on the brakes and did a U'ee right in the middle of a deserted flat stretch.


Last updated 2/14/16 Added to Summercircles from Travelsfar; 11/27/15 chained into novel and added to TOC; 11/6/2015 removed -- before quote, added ~ ; added second space after end punctuation; 9/14/08 changed first sentence into a clause; changed sends to returns; added her voice ended her internal debate as she pounded the steering wheel for emphasis; added capitals on Assuming and It. (8/18/06; 7/11/04 ...hated animals in the house!).

Word Count: 332


Current Music explanation: Inside the New York Times Book Review: Love and Death, reviewer Andrew Solomon discusses five books with Pamela Paul [podcast posted 2/14/16] Love and life and loss and death
The books:
Death's Summer Coat: What the History of Death and Dying Can Tell Us About Life and Living by Brandy Schillace
The Good Death: An Explanation of Dying in America by Ann Neumann
In the Slender Margin: The Intimate Strangeness of Death and Dying by Eve Joseph
The Iceberg by Marion Coutts
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi


2/4/01 The Recurring Dream ∼ from Despina's Infamous Green Journal (3/6/16; WC: 669)

Table of Contents (SOTFW: SC summercircles)
Table of Contents (Despina's IGJ summercircles)
Table of Contents (travelsfar)

Despina's Infamous Green Journal

The Recurring Dream


Appalled, she eyed the pile of feed she had laboriously drug helter-skelter onto the floor and seat to keep it from getting spoiled and again had second thoughts.  She watched him grow and grow in the rear view window as he did a tired jog up to the passenger door.

It would be helpful, if one decides that one just MUST pick up a hitchhiker, to have ROOM for him before making the offer.  Now that I've GOT him, WHERE am I going to PUT him?

Motioning for him to open the door, she leaned across the alfalfa pellets, rolled oats and cracked corn to raise the lock button.  She would have to move a good 600 pounds of feed to reach the handle from where she sat.

If we put those sacks in the back end unprotected, the snow will weaken the paper, and some of it will get spilled before it gets unloaded.  The grain up against the wet of the sack would be at risk of molding.  I can't risk losing a horse to it like that gal in Georgia did.

As he drew closer, he loomed even larger.

Swinging an exceedingly small pack into the bed of the truck, he prepared to hop over the side into the back.

She rapped sharply on the window, motioning for him to come up front.

He opened the door in an economical continuation of the same motion he'd started to climb aboard.  His eyes grew slightly wider as he took in the piled sacks, then, placing one hand on the roof, he lithely moved onto them, curling into a human knot to get his head and shoulders below the roof line.  Folding his legs in a roughly lotus position, he deftly shut the door.

She could see NOTHING past his body.

As big as all outdoors.

Noting his bluish, gloveless hands, she cranked the heater as high as it would go.

"I can drop you in the next town. I have to pick up some bags of salt." She bit her lip. Drat! What did I have to say that for? Where would four 50 pound sacks of SALT go? "Where are you heading?"

"I'd settle for someplace warm in exchange for honest toil, at the moment."

"I'm Despina."

"I'm Cu."

"I see.  Well, now that we have the "You Tarzan; me, Jane," bit out of the way, would you like to stop at the Chinese restaurant for a bite to eat while we figure out where you can find your ideal soft landing place?"

"Livestock salt?"

"What?  Oh, yes, I need iodized salt for the weather vane feeders."

Silence.  Finally Despina spoke again, "There are other restaurants if you don't like to eat Chinese."

"Anyone local hiring?  I'd rather work outdoors."

Alarm bells went off.  No money for a meal... but not willing to take charity, she decided.

"I don't know of anything off hand, but I can sure use some help unloading this feed if you'd consider trading the labor for lunch.  It will put you off on a side road instead of in town, however," she finished helplessly. Whatever ARE you up to?  You don't know anything about him.  If you take a drifter home with you, what does he have to lose?  He'll be warm and fed, and you will have a hard time putting him out afterward if you couldn't even drive by him.

"I don't think I've ever eaten a Chinese.  They're quite small, aren't they?"

Surreptitiously checking her cash as they entered and were escorted to a booth, she decided he'd have to become acquainted with the hors d'oeuvres platter later.

She headed to the rest room after the meal, not spotting him when she went to pay.  She felt curiously let down, instead of relieved.   Maybe he's in the john.

When she exited, he'd re-stowed the grain sacks.  The four bags of salt should fit, leaving him with as much room as he'd had before.


Last updated 3/6/16 Added to Summercircles from Travelsfar; 11/27/15 chained into novel and added to TOC; 11/8/15 replaced IGJ with Infamous Green Journal in the title; 11/6/2015 removed -- before quote, added ∼ ; added second space after end punctuation; 7/28/04.

Word Count: 669