February 8th, 2016


February 8--about some pigs and other things

From 10 years ago:

water pig

I don't quite recall what I was thinking about when I took this. Emerging from the primordial muck or something like that maybe. I titled the post "Intelligent Design", so who knows what I was thinking about. I used to put all sorts of cryptic little messages in the alt text back then, but not for this one. A lot of those alt-text messages were a sub-conversation with someone I talked to all the time back then, but don't talk to at all now, other than the occasional Facebook like. I got the idea to separate different stories with a series of asterisks from her, and whenever I would employ it, she would accuse me of stealing her asterisks. And so it goes.

The other day I mentioned that I had a dream that triggered a memory about a cement truck. The memory was from when I was a kid, somewhere around 9 or 10. I lived in a relatively small town, surrounded by the large urban expanse of the San Francisco Bay Area. I used to walk home to my babysitter's house after school every day. It was a little less than a mile.

I was walking home from school one afternoon, and a few blocks from the school I came across a fire truck in the street at an intersection between two residential streets. I remember the fire truck clearly, but not any other emergency response vehicles like police cars, although I remember a policeman being there. The firemen were washing down the street with a fire hose. On the other side of the intersection, a cement truck was parked in front of a house. A guy sat on the lawn of the house, sobbing, with his head in his hands. He was alone.

This tableau stays with me after all these years. The fire truck in the street, the firemen hosing the street down, the cement truck parked, the man sitting on the lawn sobbing. And something else. A golden leaf, floating slowly along the water in the gutter, illuminated in the soft afternoon light, carrying something bloody, as it headed toward the storm drain at the corner.

I don't remember any sound at all. I don't hear the man sobbing or the water splashing on the pavement, I just see it. That's the memory, and I see it in my mind every time I see a cement truck.

It was a little girl, probably about my age, who went to the Catholic School that was a bit farther away than our school. She was crossing the street in front of the cement truck, and the driver didn't see her. I don't remember how I found out these particulars, but they are as solid a part of the memory as the vision.

This happened about 50 years ago. I can still see the colors, so vivid. The red of the fire truck, the green grass where the guy sat, the black pavement glistening with water, the beautiful golden leaf floating serenely with its dark red passenger.

I pull up Google and look at the map, find the town, find the intersection. The corner of Via Manzanas and Via Media. Two streets in the middle of a small town called San Lorenzo. Via Manzanas means the way of the apple.

The other day I wrote that I had mentioned something about this memory in a previous LJ entry a while back. I looked, and it was ten years ago, another entry in my photo-a-day for a year (as well as the above pig), which I return to frequently this year. Here is the photo I posted for that day, April 28, 2006:


The caption read: "there was a story that went with this picture, but I am way too tired to tell it tonight." I guess I'm not as tired this evening, or maybe I just needed to get this out of my head.

I wonder what I was doing walking down Via Manzanas that day. There was another street that would have gotten me home faster and more directly. I took the long way around. I suppose a ten-year-old boy has no interest in the shortest distance between two points.
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