Thursday, January 31, 2013

january photo-a-day challenge

Happy New Year! Here is the challenge list for January:

And here are my photos from this past month:

Saturday, January 12, 2013

a crack in everything

I was not always the enthusiastic, vocal advocate of Metamucil that I am now. Years ago, the things I liked to eat were largely also the dishes most likely to stop you up. That changed when I was in my twenties.

It was the summer of 1997, six months after my sister had died. We were at the KOA in Flagstaff, Arizona. I had been beset with recurrent butt problems for over a year at that point. Because of a lack of fiber in my diet, I suffered from something technically called a "fissure," which is a small muscle tear that is difficult to recover from once it originally happens because—no way to put this delicately—the sphincter tends to spasm continually and involuntarily, causing it to bleed and preventing the muscle from healing. That June, my parents had loaded my brother and me and my spasming anus into our rigged-up conversion van (which my mom had nicknamed Vincent, as in "Van Go") and traveled out west. I went willingly, but Jeff, who had a very active social life that had just cranked up for the summer, dragged his heels. By the time we got to Arizona, Mom and Dad were desperate to wean my eighteen-year-old brother from his cigarettes, so, as I wrote in my journal, "they kept plying him with beers instead," to keep him in a good mood. One afternoon, Jeff and I sat at the picnic table at our campsite in the blessed cool of northern Arizona, drinking Coronas and playing gin rummy. I lost to him several times in a row and finally muttered to no one in particular, "Damn it! I don't know my ass from a hole in the ground today." Without missing a beat or looking up from reshuffling the deck, Jeff deadpanned, "Yours is the one with the tear in it."

Tuesday, January 1, 2013