Friday, September 7, 2012

On September 6, 2012, we awoke to a sky dotted with rain clouds. On the day of the rat, begin packing away summer memories to ponder on winter night's. You have a baker's dozen of summer days, thirteen only.


I haven't seen a rat all summer until today, and I saw a dead rat in
the roadkill. I once saw rats all the time in the barns or along
rivers. I saw the remains of a rat, already dry and flat, on the bike
lane of US-31 Business south. I am trying to not become roadkill on
the roadways of Muskegon County. Monday, I was crossing the road, and
a driver turned onto Grand Haven Road and punched it. His acceleration
ate up a quarter mile in no time. I had already set off across the
street when he appeared and punched his accelerator to get up the
hill. I thought he was actually trying to get me or had bad vision. He
honked and hit his brakes. What part of drive the speed limit didn't
he understand. I wonder if he had been drinking on a Monday?

Tonight, I was cycling downhill past the corner of Seminole and US-31,
and darkness hadn't gathered yet. The sun was setting, to my mind, a
little south of due West. I was loving the soft blushes of rose and
washes of lavender on the western horizon. I also noticed a softening
of the sundown light, a muting that made me think of November
sundowns. I decided to visit the American Legion at Hoyt and US-31,
and the men all shouted "I will", when the bartender asked the rail,
"Who will sponsor this man for a beer?" The prices at the Legion are
incredible, top shelf coming in at three dollars a drink. As my mother
was a Women's Army Corp veteran and my father served in the Michigan
National Guard, I could apply for membership.

I walked next door. I was surprised to hear a couple talking in Hindu
at the party store on Hoyt, the pair talking on the porch as they
awaited their next customer. I overhead an officer of the Muskegon
Height's police department appraising scooters with a friend, several
of the inexpensive vehicles passing west on the downhill street. One
scooter had two wheels in the front, looking like a small Can-AM. The
officer addressed the man on the porch, "Hey now, hey now, hey now, my
brother". His wife, wearing a sari, had gone indoors. I assumed the
couple owned the Range Rover with the shiny titanium hub caps.

Many of the men at the rail live close and eat all their meals there.
A jug on a shelf collects cuss money. An empty jug set on the bar had
a sign, "building fund". A series of metal pegs awaited red tabs from
Anheuser Busch beers, each worth a small premium for veteran causes.
As I left, the volunteer bartender invited me to come back for lunch
or dinner since the kitchen served food to the public. I just might.
All of these men reminded me of my father, and that's important when
America is down a guardsman.

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