Thursday, February 27, 2014

Six Point Three Seven Miles, a Country Song, and Losing My Memory

RunKeeper, an app on my iPhone told me that I walked 6.37 miles today. That 0.07 is important, you know. It's about the distance across the parking lot. Usually when it shows a total that big, it means that I forgot to turn off the app and have jumped into my car to drive home. On those days, it appears that I walked very fast, very fast indeed. Today, when it showed my total, it told me I walked a mile in about 27 minutes. That included picking up Teddy's excrement, taking pictures on the trestle, hooking Teddy up to the leash for passing bikers, watching some rocks coming down in the slide zone, and a few minutes standing around while a Douglas Squirrel teased Teddy from a low branch of a Western Hemlock. I know. It's still a pathetic speed to have walked.

I wasn't out to make a speed-walk record though. I just wanted to be outside with Teddy. In fact, I hadn't intended to go that far. I just didn't feel like turning around when I usually do on that stretch of the Snoqualmie Valley Trail.

After the first mile during which we met up with a couple of friendly mountain bikers, I got to singing. Teddy kept looking at me like I was strange. I'd like to tell him that I am strange, but I was outside, very nearly alone, so when I felt like singing, I sang.

All at once, during a break in my sound track, a song popped into my head, a whole refrain. It was my song.

Oh no. I am not going to put that onto you. No. I'm still trying to figure out if I should apologize for the kid's Zebra poem I posted the other day. Really, I am sorry about that. I just had a picture book appear in my head that day and I pressed 'publish' before I realized the remorse that would occur the next morning when I woke up and remembered what I had done. No, I hadn't been drinking. Isn't that sad? At least, if I'd been drinking, I'd have had an excuse for giving you a zebra poem. I have no good excuses. None.

So I'm not going to give you lyrics to my song. I will tell you that it was a country and western song. Yeah. That. I hardly ever listen to country music. I have no idea why these things are popping up in my conscious mind. Let's just say that it might be related to the source of the zebra poem. Maybe Alzheimer's disease may be setting in and this is its manifestation. I could use that as an excuse. I could.

My song then became an ear worm, repeating and repeating, in this case out loud as I worked on the verses.

It got pretty monotonous. I'm a terrible song writer, so don't go thinking that I've got a hit on my hands. I don't.

But then 'Momma' appeared in the song. Oh, that's what it was all about. I can tell you that in addition to zebra poems and lyrics to country and western songs, you do not want to hear stories about my 'momma.' I have to tell you that I hate it when my subconscious is trying to work something out, something from which I have never healed and, despite my repeated attempts to push it back down, it bubbles up.

This time, it bubbled up in the form of a country and western song. Really? Really?

So, the next time Teddy looked at me and glared, I put the kibosh on the singing. Quiet was good. Yes, quiet was very nice.

By then, I'd reached the trestle and I got to stand up on the edge and cling to the fence while I tried to get a decent picture with my iPhone. It was a little dizzying, thrilling with the feeling I was going to drop my iPhone. I like heights though. I like that zing I get when I look down a great distance and wobble a little with the effect. After a while, I realized a good photo wasn't going to happen. Oh, I know people who can take great photos with their iPhones, but I am not one of them. I blame the iPhone, but I know the truth down deep. I have no clue how to take a good picture.

Then, for some reason, I couldn't make myself turn around. I'd always turned around at the trestle and I knew the trail had a disjoint near Tokul Creek road. The trestle ran across Tokul Creek, so I must be pretty close to the end, right?

Just about the time I hit the three mile mark on RunKeeper, I got to Tokul Creek road. There was a tunnel under the road made out of corrugated aluminum. This place was great!

Someone had made a beautiful graffiti near one end. It looked different when you looked at it straight on as opposed to looking at it at an angle. I don't think the artist took good advantage of that change in perspective, but it was neat anyway. Wouldn't it have been cool to see a totally different picture from the different angles?

Then, I opened my mouth again. Teddy looked at me with alarm, as if to say, "No, not again."

Yes, Teddy, it was time to sing. Thankfully, I left my number one hit country and western song in my back pocket and sang a little jazzy thing to hear the ringing in the tunnel. The corrugated metal gave it a twanging reverb after my last note. I loved that effect.

Am I the only one who likes to sing in parking garages?

This was better.

And best of all, there wasn't a soul around to hear me. I could really sing out. Then Teddy looked up with a pained expression on his face. Maybe there was one soul to hear, one with ears that didn't appreciate that twanging reverb so much.

It was time to go back. I looked at RunKeeper which said I'd gone a little more than three miles. Crap! My feet suddenly hurt. Couldn't I get somebody to pick me up at Tokul Creek road? I was only half done with my walk.

I shambled back the way I came, trying to change my number one hit country and western song that was still running through my head to something more reasonable. Ear worms don't listen to reason. They don't.

By the time I made it back, I was going to get home an hour late, had sent a dozen texts to Mike about my how much further I still had to walk, and even Teddy was tired. Thankfully, my song had managed to disappear forever in the misty parts of my mind.

There may be advantages to losing my memory after all.

Thank you for listening, jb

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