Friday, February 20, 2009

The Glacier Stops Here

Maybe the pre- Iroquoian natives of the Finger Lakes area didn't actually halt the advance of the continental glacier by building a huge bonfire in front of it, but after gouging out forty mile long Cayuga lake and pushing up a range of hills at the south end, the glacier stopped here.
As the glacier retreated, three streams descending from the uplands cut deep gorges which converged at the head of the lake, where Ithaca is now, and it was their potential for powering mills which brought the first white settlement here. Over the years the wealth of the gorges made this place a haven, not just for urban refugees and perenial students in academic withdrawal, but also for runaways, transients, and...trailing down through the green ways which parrallel the gorges.... for deer, racoons, foxes, coyotes, and other critters come in from the wild.....critters like me.

Six Mile Creek drains the City watershed, and at times of year when it has not been entirely diverted to showers, lawns, and carwashes, descends right at the city center.
About a quarter of a mile up through that gorge, still well within the city limits, there is a falls below which the gorge opens in an amphitheatre wide enough that it often hosts a small overwintering herd of deer or a flock of turkeys . Right up into the nineteen hundreds a small group of Indians wintered there. In the nineteen seventies there were still a few hippie types, like Randy the drop-out psychiatrist, who had rough shelters there below the falls.
After my bad luck in the cemetery, I felt l the need of a little more security than that spot. There were plenty of possibilites further up the watershed, and it was easy to move up and down the creek s along the abandoned railroad right-of-way.

In a little hollow of a sub-gorge above the upper reservoir, which had not yet become a well known skinny-dipping resort, I found the remains of an old sweat lodge or kids fort that had seen any use for a few years, so I set up there, figuring I could improve on it, or build something with a lower profile in the Spring. With my strap-on bouncer legs, I could get to town in under half an hour and I liked to have them on when in town so I could keep my head up where the other heads are. But if I was just moving around the woods or the creek I generally left them in the shelter So, as you probably guessed, or already know, I returned from foraging one evening, and the legs were gone.

Anyone who has ever been burglarized knows that the shock and outrage of that violation ... even if it is only your high school ring we are talking about... is way out of proportion to the value of the goods.
So now imagine what it is like to have your fucking legs stolen.
I myself can't see what use who ever took them would have for my legs, but if I found him with them, I would use them to stomp him into the ground .
Anyway, I left that ruined haven and headed back to town, looking for a place other than the cemetery to store my skull.
And then, not ten minutes after set foot on the street, I was hit and knocked down by a guy on bicycle. No bones were broken, but I was going to be mighty lame for many months, and mighty, ,mighty pissed, because.... and you're not going to believe this, but I'm pretty sure...... it was my own damn, three speed, Raleigh low bar.
Who gets run over by his own bike? At least it wasn't using my own legs.....or maybe so, but that, I hope to God Dog, is always going to be the low point in my life.

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