Things could be going better, but I suppose I still have my eyesight and both legs. Estep would trade places with me in a heartbeat. If he had one.

I was dismissed from my jiu jitsu school this week, a month and a half before a belt test that I have been working towards for almost 9 years. Seems word gets around quickly in a small town and social stigmas are alive and well. I can thank those same stigmas for the loss of my job last year too. 

The family was invited to spend four days at a massive cabin on the lake in McCall, Idaho. I say "The family" because it was them that were invited. Not me. Same thing happens sometimes at Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Depends on what mood my sweet mother in law is in. I'm used to it. 

If I stay home by myself though I just get lonely and bored and start to go quite crazy and that is a little scary because I have no idea what I'm going to do all day once the kids go back to school and I'm stuck there alone.

Preferring to not head down that path towards complete apeshit insanity, I got in the car and left town. 

Ten hours drive later, I am here at the farm, trying my best to remain civil to Farmer Goober. The guy is either going to get sent packing or he'll quit the farm altogether and I'd rather not deal with him at all. I admit that this is a bad habit I have with people. I hold grudges and I ignore them.

Brought YowYow hundreds of pounds of food but I don't think he will be around long enough to eat all of it. He isn't staying on past November. He is going to go home and I can't say that I blame him. He is being treated like absolute shit.

Its ungodly hot here and the mosquitos are biting me non-stop. Back of the elbow. Top of the knee. Earlobe. Sole of the foot. The absolute worst places to get bitten. I'd almost prefer to get hit in the face than bitten by mosquitos. My body overreacts to whatever anticoagulant fluid they inject upon biting and I get monster welts that don't go away for at least ten days. I seriously just got finished with the batch I had from the last time I was here.

The temperature outside keeps most everyone indoors, or at least in the shade from 1pm to about 7pm, when the sun starts to dip down behind the piney hills that surround my sleepy little farm. From our positions on the lazy front porch we watch the cat chase butterflies and listen to the wind in the trees, we smoke cigarettes and throw pinecones for the dog to chase. We listen to Jefferson Airplane on the on cassette tape player and talk to each other in paranoid Dr. Gonzo or Raoul Duke voices. We talk about things we did in the army. Things we've done since. 

We talk about Estep and Coker and Brantley and a dozen other soldiers and we take turns telling each other stories about how crazy the other was back then.

Back in the day.

Ironically, those stories keep me from going mad.