Lay your dirty burden down

This is for you. And so the mud caked you and raked you, it stuck and it clung. It formed five-pound pie plates under each foot, and you squelched and stomped, left right, left right. It weighed you down worse than a mortgage, heavier than Thor’s hammer. A carefully constructed and grotesque glue prank—set by an antagonistic and oddball god—it rode up your heels like ants ascending a sugarcoated tree. This mud, this muck, this god-forsaken goo—it set its mind to crest the cuff of your shoe and infect your carefully chosen socks with pure Kansas gunk. You slogged and …

Hematoma Takes a Holiday

We don’t have time for this! No time. Tick tock. I’m not starved for attention, nor do I yearn for affection or the ear of a long-suffering confidant. But if I’ve absorbed anything from American summer camp movies it’s that you need a camp buddy if you’re gonna survive the short-sheeting and underpant wedgies. It should come as no surprise to anyone that I sought one out for Dirty Kanza training camp. It may come as some surprise, however, to discover that in order to find my camp buddy, I had to look no further than my own leg. That …

Dirty Kanza 200: A Meditation on Self

You. You are a frivolous person. A frivolous person with frivolous thoughts that spin and cartwheel on the front lawn of your mind. Legs flinging, knees bent, your thoughts less perfect with each rotation. Less complete and full. This gravel is onto you. It’s not stupid. It sees your nerves as easily as if they were strung across this road at foot-tripping, shin height. That armadillo husk, cracked and desiccated, melon-ball empty like some hollowed-out canoe—it is onto you. It mocks you. You too, it says, shall be a hollowed out shell at the end. Consider this a warning. You. …

Day 39, The No Country For Old Broads Day

This is pure friendo country. Sparse. Vacant. Moody. The wind shimmies through the grass, getting busy in that Hawaiian skirt way, and there I am. I fly fly fly along the skillet flat earth. In the silence only Kansas can provide. It’s not flat, of course. It tilts ever so slightly, pouring everything Eastward. I am headed west. Against the grain, against the script, and against the wind. So take a look at me now. Empty space. All odds. Hazzah! Once again, I’m having an endless conversation with myself, wherein I repeat the same line, or variations on it, over …

Day 38, The Geometry Day

“I’m missing a…” I want to say thong, but I know that’s wrong. That thong is a very different breed of noun here. That to say that I’m missing one sends an accusatory message that suggests both impropriety and shady-man weirdness. “A flip-flop,” I say. Elaine looks puzzled. “You know, a flip-flop? Um, I don’t know what else you’d call them here. I want to say ‘thong’ but that’s not right. Um. It’s a…” I make a motion with my hands that doesn’t really indicate anything except maybe the item I’m speaking off is the size of a meal-sized trout. …

Day 37, The Devil Day

“That storm’s coming for me,” I joke to myself, immediately thinking “That’ll make a nice first line for today’s blog.” A storm coming for me. Nice semi-dramatic lead. Legs churning, spinning, I pedal furiously, laughing to myself at the ridiculousness and futility of my 4mph headwind plight. Yes, a nice start. I’ll be able to talk about the storm and how it looked terribly menacing (fact). About how it came for me and at the last minute turned like a shy boy and went off in the other direction (hearsay). Of a wind that blew and blew and blew itself …