Thursday, August 9, 2012

No More Stories in My Head

I don't know what to tell you about next.  See, I'm tired because I already argued with Nick about being on time, wrote an article for the school reading program, washed, dried, and folded four loads of laundry, ran the dishwasher, took Nick and Adrian to play 18 holes of mini golf where we all somehow ended up with fiberglass splinters in our hands and clothes, made a nice dinner, and sent out an Evite to 25 of our closest friends even though it blew up twice and wouldn't display a photo I downloaded.  Isn't that enough?

No.  You need to hear a story too?

But I don't have any stories left.  So, here's an old story I told Nick one night about five years ago.  I hope it will work for you for tonight.

No More Stories in My Head
One day, I walked in my brand new boots to Swamp Creek with my dog, Indiana.  She was pulling on her leash, dancing circles, wrapping the line around my legs, and almost making me fall down.  I didn't see any crabby people around, so I decided that it might be okay to let her off her leash, just this once.
Indiana lifted her nose in the air, sniffed three times, and away she ran.  Oh no! I could still hear her barking as she ran to the bottom of the long hill and went around the blackberry bushes out of sight.  So, I ran after her.  I ran down the long hill and no Indiana.  I ran past the blackberry bushes and along the trail toward the lake and no Indiana.  I ran all the way around the small lake and no Indiana.  I ran into the old part of the forest where moss and ferns grew up in the trees like hair and still no Indiana.  I ran through the tall grass toward Swamp Creek and no Indiana.  And then, I ran right into Swamp Creek. 
I was so mad at Indiana, I wasn’t watching where I was going. Indiana was there in front of me rolling in the muck. Now, this wasn’t ordinary muck. It was green and brown. It was slimy and stringy. Now and then, green bubbles of swamp gas burst in it. It smelled like rotting fish and cow manure.

So what happened then? One of my boots sank down in the muck. Now, Indiana was a seasoned muck-roller. She could roll in the muck, get out of it, shake herself off, flinging globs of mud and dog drool all around her, and she would be ready to jump in the car and go home. But I was a novice muck-roller. So I got stuck in that thick green and brown muck.

I could feel it suck on my new boot when I tried to pull m leg out. Then my other leg sank down to my knee. The more I moved, the more I got stuck. It pulled at my boots and grabbed me by my backside. I wiggled. I squirmed. Muck squished up to my waist and in between my fingers as I tried to crawl out. I rolled. I writhed. Muck tugged at one arm and dripped down the back of my neck.

Indiana stared at me trying to tell me with her eyes to stay still. But, a bubble of gas popped right in front of me and splashed muck onto my upper lip. The smell made me gasp and I sunk right down into the muck until only my nose , my mouth, and one ear were still out. Indiana kept staring her message to me until I understood and stayed still. I had muck sucking my boots, my backside, my hands and hair, and my left ear. Do you know the feeling when your head is in the water and that water flows all the way into your ear and pops when it touches your ear drum? Well, that was kind of the feeling I had in my left ear. I didn’t know what I was going to do.

Well, at least Indiana had a plan. She gently grabbed hold of my nose with her teeth the way a momma dog holds a puppy. She got a good hold there on my nose and started to pull. She was always good at pulling.

I could feel the muck pulling out of my hair and my left ear. But that stringy muck had gotten deep into the story part of my head and as she pulled, I could feel the stories being sucked right out of my left ear. My hair got free, but I lost the story of the three pigs. My shoulder and one arm came out and I grabbed a sword fern, but I lost Goldilocks and the three bears. Indiana kept pulling and my backside shook loose and I tried to crawl up onto the dirt, but I lost the three princesses, Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty. My ankles finally came free but a long strand of muck took everything inside, the Emerald City, Narnia, and both Hogwarts and Wayside Schools. Finally the strand of muck broke when I got my left foot out  and laid heaving in the dirt but the last thing I lost was my mother’s story about the very day I was born.

As if that wasn’t enough, that muck stole my left sock and both of my brand-new boots. And that’s why I don’t have any stories left in my head.

So will that do for tonight?

Thank you for listening, jb


  1. Hello Julie
    I have been missing so many of your posts lately.You are a talented writer and whatever you write makes an interesting reading.Its a shame that I have too miss so much, being pressed for time right now; but I promise to be back soon.I hope you will keep creating these gems.Who knows, someday you will end up with a book!

  2. Thanks Arti! I appreciate that. Please don't worry about missing anything. I really love that you're busy with your art. I find I need to be around visual art to be happy and your work does that job. The last time I looked at your blog, your self-portrait and the one of the two boys, I was stunned yet again by your work.