Wellington Street

In which we take a stroll down a very strange lane.

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Apartment 2 "Skinned"

I was at a small local restaurant, situated just outside the train station. I struck up a conversation with a man there, who shared the following tale:

"Behind the apartments in which my father lived runs a shallow creek connected to a deep wood. I never truly knew how large it was, having never crossed to the other side. As a child, there were always things for me to find there, mostly in the form of trash that would come down the water. It wasn't drinkable, even without the refuse, and often had a oily, bubbling quality. Other than that, the only thing in abundance were the bones. Most of the time it was only small animals, their stark white hue easy to pick out against the dark mud and rotting leaves that choked the edges of the stream.

The other thing that was in great supply were the rats. Behind the apartments were a set of large trash bins. This caused the rats to become huge, some even the size of footballs. At least that is what my older brother told me. I never saw those rats up close, though the stories of the them terrified me, often leaving me in a state of panic whenever I was asked to descend the flights of stairs in order to take out the garbage.

Once though, we found a entire deer, its skin stripped away. My dad said that it was likely from a hunter, which always seemed like an off thing to me. My dad took the antlers from the creature, which remain on his mantle till this day. I asked him later what had happened to the body. He said he had left it where it was, and for a long time that was good enough for me. But I remember, or at least I think I remember, returning to the spot where we had found it. I never told anyone what I found, and for a long time I think I blocked it out. But thinking back on it now, I think I can remember what happened.

It was early morning. There was a chill in the air, and the the water had been reduced to a trickle. It didn't take long to find the spot. There was still a lot of blood, and the leaves were covered in it. The spot was as it was for the most part, the shavings off the antlers littering the ground, one of the broken saws tossed to the side. What was missing was the corpse, and along the ground were a set of drag marks. I expected that they would lead up the bank and to the street, having maybe been taken by some waste disposal crew. Instead they followed the river until they were out of sight. I was curious as a child, as my parents could tell you, and also rather morbid, so the prospect of trying to find out what happened to the body wasn't strange to me.

Birth of a Habit

On Tynan

I always write about habits after they're done, but I thought that it would be interesting to write about one before it starts, to get really specific about the actual process of creating a new habit.

For my entire life, I've been messy. Battles were waged over my unwillingness to keep my room tidy as a kid. My RV is very easy to clean, but somehow my four forks and spoons live in the sink instead of their drawer. Even when I stay with friends while traveling, where I know it's extremely important to be respectful of their space and keep my stuff as low-impact as possible, I find myself being careless about leaving power cords and shoes around.

A useful first step towards changing a big lifelong habit like this is to build up a healthy contempt for your previous execution. This isn't self loathing or anything like that, just the attitude where you say, "This is completely unacceptable and ridiculous."

I remember about two years ago when I went to the dentist, I asked her what the most important thing I could do for my teeth was. She said it was flossing every day. I already knew that, of course, but I asked the question in a subconscious hope that she would say that it was something I was already doing. At that moment, I thought, "How insane is it that I'm unable to just floss my teeth every day, and that I need to ask a dentist for some justification not to do it?"

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