Inhumane Humanity

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed. --Herman Melville

Sunday, October 24, 2010

This is where I'm from. Where are you from?

I am very simply from the memories of my life that flood my head, of which 65% and the most significant and wonderful include my incredible wife, seemingly as though it all started with her just yesterday at sunrise.

Perhaps from the worn out Fruit of the Loom sleeveless t-shirts and cotton shorts full of holes, cool and comfortable with Coleman hiking shoes from K-Mart that are the extent of my wardrobe, be it home, grocery store, movies, extreme heat, snow, or within the pickup I’m never seen without while roaming the roads of the desert southwest.

Maybe from the stucco house, not on the prairie, but in the desert amongst the endless sea of homes also painted (desert-pink? Pink? Why not brown I wonder) with red tile roofs and desert landscape; where I spend hour upon hour within its walls, with my friend and soul mate; where my daughter lives, a home well known in the neighborhood for the noisy, gentle, fun-loving dogs and the warm, open, friendly atmosphere.

Certainly from my favorite local entertainment; no casinos for me, but within the yard also claimed by the chipmunks darting here, darting there fast as lightning, suddenly stopping, laying perfectly still and as flat as a freshly fallen leaf in the shade of the mesquite tree for a much needed break, the many mocking birds singing their endless tunes, impressing one another with their outstretched wings and tail feathers spread, cautious lizards eyeing me, first with one eye, then the other, curious kangaroo rats with heads bobbing above then below the rocks as if able to dodge my glances (if I can’t see you, then you surely can’t see me) and cooing doves sneaking sips of water from the pool; all are scurrying to gather morsels we’ve spread for them, fearing the winged shadows racing across the ground, avoiding the beautiful red-tailed hawks far above in the endless expanse of blue, gliding quietly, even ghostly, across sol’s searing, blinding glow; symbols of the desert in which we each reside; serenity deep and calm until utter bedlam as my dogs enter the scene, evicting all tenants and claiming the yard “eminate domain.”

I love being from the massive purple sage brush at my home’s entrance, the grey/green, waxy leaves wafting pungent aroma throughout the home as thunderstorm’s rain drops pummel the leaves and velvety lavender blossoms, fragrance from both blending into a whirlwind of perfume more intoxicating than wine; the air laden with sage and blossoms joins with the freshness from rain drops to cleanse the soul and entice honeybees by the hundreds, the hummingbirds gather for their share too, both humming nature’s soft refrain, ignoring the outstretched hand I’ve extended in hope of but a whisper, or slight touch during their busy day.

Decedents from families o’ Scotts and Irish, or Irish and Scotts, depending upon which one of is asked first; from a house often afire with the flames o’ the Celtic gods, shillelaghs and shenanigans thrash’n from within the house, while the fires from green Irish and Scot eyes scorch the paint from the walls.

From the smoky aroma of daily barbeques, salmon, halibut, cod and tuna, hamburgers, Jamaican pork, but chicken not so much; a tradition born of our love of good food, always grilled nothing cooked indoors; neighbors inquiring, dogs running amuck, noses in the air and sniffing frantically as though sniffing hard enough will somehow drag the evening’s dinner to their mouths to inhale.

I may be from the sun, setting quietly in bright orange, gold, purple and turquoise, signaling the close of yet another day, the air and skin cooling while stars gradually burn holes into the darkening sky, one occasionally skimming across, thrown in rage by Zeus, pissed off yet again at one of his lesser gods.

And tomorrow these too will be the memories; neurons flooding my mind, displaying in every minute detail, every aroma, every sight and sound of yesterday's events, reminding me who I am and where I am from.


  1. Wow. Beautiful words and gorgeous photos. Would that be Camelback up at the top? Hard to really tell.

  2. Boomer you are just adorable. I think I love where you are from!

  3. Leslie - thank you. It's actually a rock formation behind my mother-inb-law's house in Boulder City Nevada. Not sure if it's called Camelback or not. The cool thing is the big-horn sheep that visti her backyard in the evenings, coming down form that very hilltop.

    Than you Sue. Can you call my wife and tell her that? She thinks I'm a pain in her Scott ass :-)

  4. most men, no matter how adorable, are pains in the asses! :-)

  5. The Camelback I'm referring to is in Paradise Valley, AZ. Couldn't really tell for sure.

  6. Well hell Sue, I suppose you must be right. My mom thought I was a PITA too, so does my daughter. I don't have much of a chance dispelling the rumor, do I.

  7. A month late getting over here, but this is a beautiful piece Bob. I am envious of your surrounds.

    When I lived in L.A. I made many weekend trips to the desert and camped out, over a period of 10 years. All in direct contrast to my Florida swamp beginnings. And now here I am on the prairie, a place of beauty on it's own.

    I love this post!

  8. Hey there Jaded. The words are still here :-)

    Thanks for the read and the compliment. The desert can be an incredibly beautiful place as long as it isn't 120 degrees out there.

    I took a drive to a place we have about 2 hours from here, about 20 miles east of Kingman, AZ. Jesus does it get dark out there.

    One becomes so accustomed to the bleached out night sky form the lights from Las Vegas, you almost forget that there are billions of stars out there.