My Uncle Chuck’s house backed up against one of the humps of Little Mountain. As far as I know, Little Mountain has two major humps separated by two apartment complexes, two tracts of homes, two schools, and, lately, a strip mall, an iHop, a McDonals’s and a Starbucks always bustling with CalState Berdoo students.
My Uncle Chuck’s house butted up against the back of it and there was a small piece of it in his yard. I knew it intimately. He landscaped the crap out of it. He not only planted gorgeous plants everywhere, but he dug great paths and steps into the dirt so my sister, my cousins, and I could go run and chase all over it, minding the ankle-eating gofer holes of course.
We used to love to dig holes in that hill ourselves. My uncle had shovels for us all and, wherever he was working on some worthy project on the hill, there were my two boy cousins and I also working, digging holes to China or, if we were really ambitious, digging a hole large enough for us to sit it. Sometimes that took days, but the prestige that came with climbing into your own hole was well worth it.
I am an essayist and poet. My work has been rejected by some of the finest journals in America. Fortunately, it also gets accepted from time to time and has appeared in equally fine journals such as Word Riot, Inlandia, Brew City Magazine, and SageWoman, among others.. In 2002, I won the Academy of American Poets Prize for Vanderbilt University.
For no good reason, I possess an unnecessarily dark humor which is why being third generation California Inland Empirian delights me so. My gods are weird. I once won $350 for writing a smartassed essay on “why the wise use of water is important in my daily life”. I am undoubtedly the Greek god Hermes’ special snowflake. I’m pretty sure I got into college via a series of fortuitous clerical errors.
When I had to grow up and get a real job, I decided against it and stayed a writer. I have worked many odd—and I mean odd—jobs to support my habit: PR writer for country music hopefuls, resume massager, WalMart fitting room attendant and switchboard operator, and telephone psychic, just to name a few.
I am also albino. That's why my psychic gifts are so strong. I traded in my pigment for magical foresight, because that's how it works. It gets all technical. Trust me. That's totally how it works.
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4 thoughts on “A Hill I Once Knew (creative nonfiction)”
One can dig that music: wholly whole holy-holes of play sitting for a meditation with gophers, making a mountain out of a kid’s hill without the assistance of a mole.
Do you suppose that if their had been moles, the moles and the gophers woulda had a smackdown?
I think moles prefer to discuss the gram molecular weight of oxygen. Avogadro’s number of molecules is called a “mole” about 16g. In that area, the moles have dug to China and the gophers are busy with interviews with Rodney Dangerfield at the Caddie Shack.
For a high school chemistry project, I wrote a song to the tune of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” that I called “Avogadro in the Lab with Atoms.” True story.
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