Lilac Wine :: a warzone towards haiku

May 25, 2011


Filed under: Text — Tags: — Lilac @ 11:01 pm

Little sister’s birthday presents are a silver padlock necklace and a speech1 about revolution. The necklace shines like moonlight in every mirror or dully reflective piece of glass. The speech is whispered with hypnotic fury. I always did want an elder brother.

These are the bad times. Brother’s job has faded out, through no fault of his own, while I’m working overtime. I’ve been negligent and our lease is almost up, leaving us homeless within a month. On The Upper Floor, he lectures me and I cry in shame.

Circumstances remind me of my inheritance. We go to look at land.

His necklace shines pure as stars among the spit and stomach acid slicking down my chest. I am primed for use, a pornstar gasp in our mirror.

We go to look at land. There is a place. It has just rained, and the wildflowered grasses hang with dew. Oaks stand mossy. A pair of deer, male and female, race off; beneath an oak there is a hollow padded into the grass. This is where the deer lie, says my brother. I know this is the place.

I almost back out. In 5am panic, I know this fear exposes a lack of love for the thought of living isolated in the country. Like Dan said, says my brother, fear is the opposite of love. It was a nice fantasy. He has me throw the realtor’s papers away.

We go to look at apartments; a promising complex turns out cramped and moldy. These are more of the bad times and I cry driving home, behind brother’s white truck still muddy with Yuba County dirt. Tori sings give me life, give me pain, give me my self again; smoking cloves out the window, I recognize I do not love this life enough either. I love my brother and kitty, and many things in San Francisco; but the sum of this life, treading water in little apartments and a soul-crushing job, will not be enough. I like it enough; I can do it well and earn raises but I spend all its rewards making up for its discontents; and I would tread water forever, dancing the night down, drinking the evening by, nibbling chocolate or writing haiku against the boredom of an engineering office.

We slouch in bed, researching honeybee hives, building permits, composting toilets. On our anniversary we are selling off furniture and buying a cat carrier. Holding hands in your truck.

I made an offer on the land. I hang in stasis, awaiting well water potability tests.

1Not intended as a gift



  1. A decent reverse osmosis system is not that expensive and will make just about any well water potable, if you have sufficient water pressure. Would you have mains electricity on your property? If not, a outhouse pit toilet would be better than composting, as they are not that good unless you have an electric fan to remove the smells and a heater to speed decomposition. I recommend this book – lots of useful stuff there.

    Comment by Andrew Conway — May 25, 2011 @ 11:16 pm

    • Thank you. Fortunately, the water is clean and delicious, and we are setting up propane ( + minor solar), so electricity is an option.

      (..nothing makes a girl feel sexy like discussing composting toilets!)

      Comment by Lilac Wine — June 24, 2011 @ 8:46 am

      • It’s worth spending the extra money on a quieter generator. You’ll need to run the generator for an hour or two a day, while you are running heavy load appliances – washing machine, microwave, power tools. While you are doing that you can also top up the batteries. Propane is great for heating, hot water and cooking, and propane refrigerators also work well. Solar/battery is good for lighting, laptop, stereo, video etc. Have you discovered Real Goods yet? but unfortunately their web store is down right now and they have given up on paper catalogs. If you can, get up to their store in Hopland. It is full of everything you need for off the grid living. All sorts of hand cranked and low energy appliances, tools, wood burning stoves, etc. If you think living on the land is sexy, this is a sex warehouse :-) Failing that wait till their web site is back up, but Internet porn just isn’t the same as being there.

        Comment by Andrew Conway — June 24, 2011 @ 4:02 pm

  2. Do not fear the land. A decent distiller is the one I chose for the time I lived in the mountains of Santa Cruz. It does take power to boil the water however.

    Comment by Vicki — June 14, 2011 @ 5:07 am

    • I think the land deserves an amount of respectful fear. But that doesn’t necessitate distance.. :)

      Comment by Lilac Wine — June 24, 2011 @ 8:49 am

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