Navajo Merchant


The name of a freight hauler flashes above the overpass as the Navajo truck takes a bend to the west. I drive to the park for a  Monday morning walk. The brown duck swims near the far shore of the creek. Its back looks like yellow leaves have fallen on it. All the noise is quiet.

An AVIA label dots the path. A heron with light-colored fluffed feathers crouches on a limestone rock in the creek, 30 yards downstream from the red covered bridge.  Further on, the names MCKENZIE + HEIDI have been hand drawn in the fine stone screening s of the path. The large letters are like miniature track portions with lanes, four lanes, formed by the fingers on one hand. I can imagine some track and field entrants running dashes and distances inside.

There is a series of x markings and a kind of open eye formed by bowing an x outward. The name JENNA, done with the smooth stroke leaving no trace of fingers, has been spelled out in fifteen inch tall letters near the 10 marker. Members of the Wilson high school cross-country team train in the rain. They account for 90% of the foot traffic. Solitary metallic mylar shreds thread through the grass edge to the path in a few spots like benign girlish garter snakes. Some are magenta and some are pink.

A heron struts in the process of fishing activity between there and the locks. At the locks several invisible bullfrogs bellow and twang as if strumming and plucking big rubber bands.

The rain is light  – not a mist – not a drenching downpour – so light it makes me think of The rain as being the quality of mercy and I mentally rehearse Portia’s speech from the Merchant of Venice The quality of mercy is not strain’d. It droppeth like a gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath. It is twice blest. It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.

A few shirts tossed onto the diamond-shaped park sign are now in a condition damp to soaked. I have come home with my list and a sketch of some leaves + pieces of sycamore bark. Some have the angles of Navajo blanket geometric designs and some have irregular undulating shapes. The surface of the creek showed similar irregular patches as the rain increased and speckled it. I stop at the World’s Cleanest Grocery Store to buy six cans of cat food, two boxes of pasta, a bag of dry cat food and a box of cereal stamped with a best by date of May 05 12 K 8:22 on the way home, startling the janitor, who has never seen me this wet. The coupons save $1.50, keeping my total at lane six under ten dollars. It is a six-day – I wear the Six of Cups shirt. I have to sell it.

For more about Navajo, fast safe and reliable transportation for 75 years, and to see what I have seen please go to: http://www.navajo.com/

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