If you have managed to read this far in these electronic scribblings, you probably have a grasp of the sense of humor that Arthur and I shared, often irreverent, quite imaginative, and usually going on for far too long. Sometimes these ideas and stories would go on for months, one of our epics was detailed study of the Western Maryland Hoop Snake and Associated Species, everyone else in our family got tired of hearing about it but we just kept making the story more and more elaborate. I’ll write it up, with all of our ideas, about April 1st., if I can bring myself to do so.
I was out at the Town Creek Aqueduct cleaning up trash from the parking area and after ten large garbage bags and much scrambling up and down steep banks I was at the end of my task except for a few bottles and cans down in a small depression. When I got there I noticed a largish ball that I thought was a air filled toy, till I tried to turn it over and realized it was a bowling ball. I got it turned over and saw that it’s name was Greg, tears of sadness were running down my cheeks as I knew Arthur and I would have had a blast with this. The start of this story burst unbidden into my head. The way this usually worked was that one of us would start the story and the other would add to it, this cycle would repeat until some other thread of goofiness caught hold of our imagination. This process could go on for months.
It would start something like this;
“You must be very careful around domestic bowling balls that have gone feral, they can be dangerous. Wild bowling balls will usually flee from human contact but will continue to watch you from a safe distance. Domesticated balls on the other hand don’t really know how to react when surprised and often act aggressively or even attack. Fortunately domestic bowling balls usually have their teeth and claws removed when they are pups so as not to cause problems for the breeders, so the real danger is only from their prodigious weight. They are also usually branded with a name, breeders stamp, and number for identification and licensing purposes.”
This would be bandied back and forth until we came up with a natural history for wild and domestic bowling balls, their food sources and habits, a tracking guide, and preservation efforts. We might have gotten tired of it over time but we would sometimes come back to a tale like this when one of us had a particularly good idea.
The farther I move along on this path of mourning and grief the more I remember the little things that Arthur and I enjoyed so much. These things were such a large part of our lives together. The experts say that three to four months is about the time a loss like this really starts to sink in. This seems to be true, I started writing this in February, had to stop, and finished it in the middle of March. I just couldn’t bring myself to think about it much.