I started the day well-rested, but with a light kratom hangover. I recalled dreams about falling in love together with a spunky brunette, the success of which was somehow tied to my choosing the right fishing kayak. Uncharacteristically, I wasted no time this morning and did the right things in the right order. I jumped straight in the shower, less to get clean, but more to get in my two minutes of a cold soak a la Wim Hoff Method. Staying with the method, I dried off, dressed comfortably, and sat in my comfy leather chair to do three rounds of Wim Hoff breathing. Building on the positive momentum, I then went to my little yogic temple room and lit an oil lamp. I sat on the floor in front of it, bowed, and then chanted nine “oms”. After a few more vedic prayers, I changed positions into an esoteric asana and chanted the syllable “lam” for five minutes while focusing on my tailbone. Then I sat in a half lotus position on my cushion and did six slow rounds of alternate nostril breathing, followed by another esoteric exercise which I am forbidden by my guru to share. This led me into meditation. I sat until my thoughts became clear, And then they became still. Then I disappeared into a thoughtless bliss. Then I started to slump in my posture and I knew my energy had arched, so I chanted another five “oms”, three Maha Mrityunjaya mantras, a Sanskrit prayer for world peace, and a thrice-repeated Sanskrit prayer for universal peace. After offering water to the lingam and incense to God’s altar, I made coffee, ate my last two eggs, and then rolled a spliff of half tobacco, half Cali-grown Sativa weed.
The first priority of the day was to make my Dad’s birthday gift, a handmade frame of bark-lined pine containing a Vietnam pic of he and his recently deceased, best-friend, Wally. But first I had to pick up the trash that nighttime winds had ripped from a loosely tied bag. The trash collection gave me a good opportunity to let my dog run, fill my lungs with fresh air, my eyes with sunshine, and to level out my fresh morning buzz before jumping into a blur of sawdust, powertools, angles, rulers, and pencils, sticky glue, and smelly stain.
The frame came out well, in fact I’m proud of it. It’s the nicest frame I’ve made yet, although most of the credit is due to the choice piece of timber I used. My friend, mentor, and conractor, JW, had told me that he needed to return those timbers to the mill for credit. I had nodded in agreement as I gazed at the bark-lined piece, already envisioning a handsome frame for my father’s deeply sentimental photo. Sorry, J-Dubs, I’m taxin’ your credit!
After finishing the frame and basking in the glow of self-satisfaction, I smoked another spliff to prepare for the task I wasn’t looking forward to: driving possibly as far as Rapid City to buy a couple fence gates, and the material to make a slightly nicer third one. I usually enjoy a long cruise, but I had just ventured over to Rapid yesterday to have my van windshield replaced. It was a cold drizzly day, and I spent most of it in an industrial park sniffling with allergies, drinking below gas station grade coffee. Today, however was a beautiful Spring day; green was simply bursting from the ground in pastures full of napping calves and watchful cows, exhausted foals and wary mares, to the tune of mating meadowlarks. And if luck would have it, I would only have to drive half as far to Belle Fourche and Spearfish. And luck would indeed, have it.
The Runnings store in Belle Fourche had just the ranch gates I was looking for. Two gangly teenagers in the awkward years helped me load them into the bed of my truck, stirring in me a reverie of nostalgia for the random jobs of youth, not to mention, I’ve always wanted to work in a hardware store. I wratcheted down the gates and headed back over the hill to Spearfish. I grabbed sushi and a tallboy canned margarita from Safeway, and then headed to the east side of town to grab my lumber for the third gate from the Ace Hardware where I’ve been scoping out a slender lass who works in the gardening section. In the past few weeks she’s helped me load many heavy bags of sand and gravel. She didn’t look happy at about it. I hadn’t been able to decide if it was better to accept her labor, or to deny her help as a gesture of chivalry. People are so easy to offend these days. I decided to let her help. She seemed kind of tightly wound anyhow, so I erred on the side of less work for me.
I navigated the social niceties of finding help and getting what I needed and then escaped back to my sanctuary on the Wyoming prairie. My dog Karna had accompanied me on the ride. By the time I reached home, that tallboy canned margarita had perked up my mood, and I was practicing my stand-up routine on my dog. As usual, he was not amused.
I rolled another spliff as a reward for my successful outing, which I smoked as I loaded lumber down to the woodshop in my basement. Chanting the Gayatri mantra the whole time, I quickly churned out a simple and sound cedar gate with proud, jumbo, latches. Upon arriving I had seen that my new pallet forks for my tractor had arrived and I was eager to throw them on and try them out. The pallet forks were super solid and easy to install. I fired up the John Deere and drove over to try and flip the giant tractor tire in laying in my yard that was filled with potting soil as a makeshift planter. There were three flower bulbs in the tire already starting to rise. I felt kind of bad, but flipping the heavy tire was a great test for my new forks, plus I need to move it anyhow to the corner of the fence I’m installing with JW this weekend.
I jammed the forks under the edge of the tire and pulled up on the lever, and… the forks couldn’t really get enough grip under the tire and just ripped the earth out from underneath it. So I begrudginly took off the new forks and tried it again with just the tractor bucket. The bucket slid under the tire better, and to my suprise, my little John Deere was just strong enough to lift it, but not quite enough to flip it. So I adjusted my method and lifted the tire again as I gunned the tractor forward. The tire slipped from the bucket and slammed back onto the hood of my tractor. I wasn’t sure if it damaged it or not. I backed up and tried again, this time gunning the engine sooner and more consistently. The tire flipped with a womp, leaving a huge pile of garden soil in it’s footprint, littered with the three, ripped-out, flower bulbs. Minding not to harm the bulbs, I flipped the tire three more times until it was in basic position, and then I pushed into final place with the bucket. Tractors are fun. I was satisfied.
I smoked yet another spliff, don’t judge, and then got inspired to make a cedar planter box for the ripped out flower bulbs using the cuttings from the cedar gate I had made earlier. I had several two foot by six inch-wide planks left, and quickly cobbled them into a nice looking, well-made, planter, finishing it off with a coat of polyurethene. Later tonight I’ll add another coat, and in the morning I’ll staple in a liner made of trash bag, layer the bottom with lava rocks, fill it with the soil that fell out of the tire, and finally, plant the stranded flower bulbs. You see? It all comes together, it all works out. And for that I’ll reward myself with another spliff, a nightcap of wine, and plant myself in my comfy leather chair and type all this out for whoever cares. Then I’ll watch my programs, finish the roach beside me, and probably go to bed with good buzz again. It’s not a drunkeness of depression, but of celebration. I like Wyoming. I like pallet forks and tractors and woodworking. I like my new life. And my new dog.