Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Sam and I went to civilization last night, or at least to Colebrook. For the last 10 years, I’ve been going to a secret club, first in Nashua, then in Manchester, then in Nashua again (and in between in England and various parts of the US). This club meets to review the very simple truths that helped us stop drinking an, infinitely more important, learn to surf rather than sink into the chaos and unmanageability of life.
After having access to four or five potential meetings every single day in Manchester or Nashua, life in the secret club requires more planning up here. Colebrook is 40 minutes away, at least the way I drive at night—constantly scanning the underbrush for signs of suicidal deer or moose plotting their demise on the front of my Jeep—and meetings are only held on Mondays and Fridays. Those may be the only two days I leave the Tiny White box, but those WILL be the two days I do so.
The Colebrook meeting was like every secret meeting everywhere. We donned crimson robes, chanted allegiance to each other and to the club, brought out the goat to be sacrificed, then let its blood coagulate on us as we vowed to destroy all that lay before us. Sorry, I got carried away there. This being the Great Northern Woods, we sacrificed a fox, who was not too damn happy about it.
Honestly, the ritual of these meetings is comforting, something like what I imagine a nominal Catholic feels as she goes to mass each week. There’s nothing new to be learned, no news flashes from the Vatican about a heretofore undiscovered sacrament for life in the Internet age. Instead, the priest and the congregation take a walk down memory lane, re-remembering things learned long ago. My secret meetings just remind me of what life used to be like, what happened and what it’s like now. Life is better today than it’s ever been, and those secret meetings are a good part of the reason why.
Sam was impressed with Colebrook for a few reasons. We stopped at the IGA, a supermarket chain I thought had passed into conglomeracy long ago, and I got him a beef bone. It gave him great pleasure while I went to my meeting, and at this minute he’s still working to get to the delicious marrow inside. A part of me would like to get him a cow, just to cut off a hunk of it now and then and let Sam feel a little heaven.
Which reminds me of an idea I’ve had for a long time, and still haven’t discovered the flaws in. Why couldn’t I keep a beef cow, and when I wanted a steak just go out and cut off a pound of him, making sure to cauterize the wound and let him heal? I’m not saying I’d do it every day, or even every week, but why couldn’t a cow survive minor surgery on a monthly basis?