He said he would be back "in a few hours" so I wasn't worried about him even as the day wore on and the shadows got long, but I kinda wondered if he had stopped to see a friend or something because even though there's no ice up on the cliffs just yet, it gets really cold up there once the sun starts to get close to the western horizon, even at high summer.
When he returned I didn't even realize he was back for awhile, because he came in through the back door. I heard the doves cooing at him downstairs and I looked out and saw his truck in the driveway. I went downstairs to talk to him and he was making a fire. He was all covered with dust and he seemed really pale, and he didn't want to talk. I figured he was just still in a bad mood because he and I had got into an argument, and so I was like, "What's the matter, man? C'mon, lighten up!" and he gave me this really weird look and said, "Did you put a curse on me?"
So then I thought "ok he's been drinking" and I just went back to what I was doing. Later on he came upstairs and he was all dressed up/made up as a zombie for Halloween. That was pretty funny. We watched a DVD, part of season 3 of "The Sopranos" (the episodes where Tony meets that car saleslady and it's Thanksgiving/Xmas, and the guys in the gang are all thinking of Big Pussy Bonpensiero, who they capped in season 2) and things seemed pretty cool.
However, this morning (1 November 2010, which is a Monday) here in the Hemisphere That Has No Peer, that so-called great-but-never-late, where the winds may be blustery but the sunshine's always luster-y, the wonderful, fabulous, scintillating-never-shabulous, Northern Hemisphere, when I saw him before he went to work, he had the same exact look on his face. So I said "what's wrong?" again and he sort of fizzled for a second and then said, "Did you put a curse on me?"
I admit at that point my reaction was one of unmodulated surprise.
"Why on earth would I do something like that?" I demanded, remembering with some annoyance the at least five or six times I have tried to explain what curses are and how they operate, with my usual disclaimer that nobody should ever employ them.
I guess yesterday (31 October 2010) Smudge, being in a foul mood and not willing to tell anybody, even us poor fools who live in the house with him OR his cats, climbed up onto one of the spires (that's what people call them around here "the spires") and got stuck, and nearly fell, and sat up on the rock face for several hours wondering if he was ever going to get down alive.
Now Smudge does not consider himself an expert climber, but actually I DO consider him an expert because I count all the times his older brother (who is now dead in a mountaineering accident, go figure) dragged him up onto some alpine crag or another and then suddenly lacked the resources to bring them both down again safely, requiring Smudge to fearfully and with lots of shaking and danger climb down and return home to catch the last part of his brother getting screamed at by both their parents for leaving him to die on a mountainside.
[FONT="]So I realized right away that if Smudge had told me twice with a lot of sincere conviction that I had cursed him into getting stuck on the mountainside and nearly dying, then even though I hadn't actually done that thing, I should pay attention.
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(to be continued...)