Upon landing, the old man sits silent, listening to his animals, his ancient, beloved animals as they snort and cough and bob their magic heads to the shingles, pawing nervously there, waiting. His memory is thick and stiff with trenches of time, laid in rows upon themselves like lumber or bails of grain. He recalls the rooftop, its slope and its shadows.
Beyond all that normal craziness, there's a second level of beautiful melancholy that this season breeds. Judy Garland sings it.
They are taking a stand and making actionable what they believe is necessary, believing "this is the best choice," of a bag full of worse ones. It's nuanced and terrifying and heartbreaking and the wrongness of it is recognizable only after the sound of the gun startles someone else, not dead yet, but considering. <
Banana spiders, dozens, rain onto our laps and down the backs of our shirts, golf-ball-sized, iridescent yellow and green, like aliens, scuttling and snapping and clicking like a Japanese science fiction movie. I feel my sanity leaving and hold my breath not to scream, knowing the first scream would be the trumpet that broke down the Jericho's wall of myself as I know myself.
Pour yourself a glass of wine. But not six. Just one. And sit somewhere comfortable. Dim the lights. Not amorous. Be ready. Receptive. Appreciate how amazing humans can be. And listen. And I dare you to not be moved.
A small boost of adrenaline courses through you and you draw a deep breath and exhale, slowly, urging yourself back to sleep. But the driving rain is un-ignorable and compels you to pay attention to it, like something alive, so you open your eyes again and listen and breath to the rhythm of your tired heart beating, the black sky above you ripped open, broken, pouring.
But dads are also hopelessly insecure. And, just like any other insecure person in any other instance, dads who are insecure about whether or not they're applying the perfect cocktail of affection and guidance — that razor's edge between advocating and enabling — a lot of dads get defensive. Or offensive. Easy to default to "I'm right cuz I'm Dad," or give up, "Do what you gotta do, kid. It's your life."
Cloquet resident Parnell Thill, former Pine Knot author of “Notes From the Small Pond” column for nearly a decade, is working on a collection of short stories by the same title, along with other writing projects.
Challenger Erik Blesener, a Cloquet police officer, explicitly respected his competitor, saying: “I’m not running because I believe Dick [Brenner] is doing a poor job. I’m running because I think I can also do a good job, and bring a fresh perspective and sensibility to the role.”
November 16, 1978. 11:40 am. 509 Carlton Ave., Cloquet, Minn. Middle School social studies. I had on a plaid shirt. Red and black and brown, mostly, with pearl — fake pearl — buttons. Levi’s. Wallet and comb in back right pocket. Hair like Leif Garrett. Ahead of me, Cathy Walsh. Red headed and starting to be beautiful after a childhood of awkward, Smart-Girl with Alpha Big Brother Syndrome.