Hay bales

Marriage changes you, they say.

I spent my Saturday running back and forth between the bride's room and the groom's room, playing wedding photographer-imp in an aging green dress, shoes tight and clacking mercilessly against the tile floor. By virtue of my sex I was allowed in the bride's room, and through marriage and friendship was allowed to hang out in the groom's room.

Unsilent night

After scooping up, the twelve-pound cat nestles quiet, quiescent, in the crook of my left arm. After twenty minutes of fussing, complaining, plaintive mewing, and other guerrilla tactics that amount to nothing more than human harassment, he has finally gotten what he wanted.

I can't reach the keyboard, but from the pillow of my shoulder, the two red-gold eyes flutter closed. The paws lying limp at the base of my neck shift and begin to gently knead my chest. His eyes and tail droop in unison, until he is a limp, nearly-sleeping cat being cuddled with his belly and back feet pointing toward the ceiling. His paw pads are pink, silken. The fine, soft individual tufts of white fur between them flow and bend in the gentle currents of air.

Experience Huntsville!

Welcome to Huntsville, your location for prime, newsworthy weather activity! In order to get the most out of your time in Huntsville, you should consider making or purchasing what we in the unofficial tourism board call an Experience Huntsville! kit.

Experience Huntsville! kits have been available for some time at local retailers, but due to popular demand, are probably currently sold out†. Chances are good, though, that you - the average Huntsville visitor - probably have most of the individual components of an Experience Huntsville! kit already in your garage or attic:

How does one love a goat?

Three and a half hours' worth of meandering south and east on the back roads will bring you to a highway, which leads to a smaller road, which leads to a gravel road. Even if you turn off onto the gravel road, you might miss the driveway that appears to lead to nothing but a copse of trees.

Like many of the good things in life, there are no signs pointing to it that say "This is where you need to be." Just a mailbox and a fence for the horses.

Stupid chocolate

We've gotta work on this truth-in-advertising thing. Sure, who hasn't heard that chocolate is bad for you? Rots your teeth, fattens your ass, puts the thunder in your thighs? Sure, we've got it. We ignore it every time we buy a candy bar.

However, in all those PSAs, parental lectures, and root canals, has anyone ever said to you "Stay away from that nasty chocolate or you'll get a one-inch gash on your left thumb?" Don't think so.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am the only person I know who has shed blood over a Sunday morning chocolate craving.I have also, however, managed to prove yet again that the severity of my injuries can be determined by the amount and hue of my swearing just after the injury is sustained. Torrents of colorful and inventive invective can mean only one thing: paper cut.

For some reason, the breaking of bones or the flagrant spouting of blood makes me completely forget how to swear.

a more precarious flower

Words don't like forcing. When pushed, they fight back with kick and claw and bite, resulting in nothing but torn-up papers and cramped hands. Finished sentences rarely result, and the ones that survive their troubled gestation usually prove to be truly ghastly infants.

The past week has been tough. The next few will be tougher. I am approaching the one-year anniversary of Dad's death with something deeper than apprehension but differently-flavored than dread: knowledge conveys its literal meaning, but precariousness conveys its resonance.

It's extraordinarily rare that I talk to anyone about what happened last year. Even now, a year later, I don't have the mental distance or emotional stability to do it, so I leave the words hanging, swinging, between my lips and another's ears.

The mirror tells me I am not fundamentally different.

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