We saw many animals on our adventures to State College, including a white-tailed bunny rabbit that hopped around Carrie's mom's yard, numerous Holstein cows chewing in the mud next to a rickety fence, horses flicking their tails or pulling the Amish to and fro down the roads, goats doing goaty things, a sheep, and a swooping bat who appeared at twilight two nights in a row to dip into the pool. I miss trees and I miss the hard dark rocks along the sides of 322 and I miss the sound of not-traffic or hollering or car horns at 6 a.m. However, I also remembered how hard it can be there too because it's so insulated and shut off and full of nineteen year old white boys with side-slung baseball hats and low denim jeans.
We spent much of the time out by the pool--I bought a new black one-piece from TJ Maxx that has a little skirt and makes me feel like I'm Esther Williams sans the flowered bathing cap. I didn't in fact forget how to swim, and there are fewer things that feel better than diving down into the deep end and kicking until your fingers brush the bottom of the pool and then shooting to the surface.
Made friends with Carrie's college roommate, Kathryn, she of the pretty arm tattoos and long hair. She lives in Germantown with her boyfriend and works in the library at the Friend's School as well as being a licensed massage therapist for pregnant women. She shared with us several useful tips for massages and finding pressure points on the feet.
But now I'm back to concrete and treeless sidewalks and that's okay too, I guess, because there are still lots of things I like about the city; one of which is the number of slinky cats I see while walking to the subway. This morning was a four cat morning. I always stop to tap the screen. Some cats like this and will bump their heads against the window. Others, like one this morning, will hiss at you, though that is rare.
Also went to the library at lunch and checked out an tall armload of books including novels by two of my favorite short story writers, Mary Gaitskill and Amy Bloom. I may have already read the MG one (Veronica), but that's the good thing about having a spotty memory; I get to enjoy things again and again. Also checked out a collection of writers interviewing writers published by Believer magazine and a nonfiction book by Richard Dawkins called The God Delusion. Do we like him or not? I feel like I read The Selfish Gene by him but maybe I just thought about doing it and never got around to it. Finished up my shameful SK book and was disappointed, though I somehow raced through the last 500 pages of it. I must remember to add this great line I read in MG book--something about an author talking about her book on the radio and how the narrator pictures her head as a giant inflated balloon with a smiley face drawn on it.