When I was in my thirties, I was an Angry Young Man. I was wrathful, irate, mad, sore as a crab, waxy, hot under the collar, raging, fiery, wrought-up, fuming, foaming, in a red-hot passion, in a pucker, in a huff, in high dudgeon, infuriated, furious, hopping mad, rabid, foaming at the mouth.
Each one of us shouting our two-minute notice, each crying what
we most want from that other world [a bacon cheese burger] [a
hot shower] [a swim in a river] [a long night’s sleep] [a boy- or
girlfriend nearby] until this cacophony of quitting fills the air
& steals, for one moment, all our savage fatigue.
In darkness, the audience rises, applauding the last performance of the evening. Before I can bang my hands together with wild abandon, I slide my guide dog’s leash back over my arm,into the crook of my elbow. My companion rises from his prone position and assumes a dignified sit, scanning from left to right. He recognizes the applause as a signal for our imminent departure.
When I stepped into a commercial maple forest for the first time, I thought I had come into the wrong place. The maples were there—gray and leafless in their winter drab—but it was what stretched over the snow between them—the miles of black and blue plastic—that made me uneasy. It wasn’t their ugly straight lines or their artificial tautness that unsettled me. It was the idea of what they were replacing.