Merry Surviving

(about a woman who survived for 3 days under the snow, and was found by a search & rescue dog.)

It's Christmas, I'm looking at a paper bag printed with reindeers wearing scarves, watching the dogs chase each other outside. The power went out for a few hours around 3 a.m., which led to a dream of being old and marooned. But I'm not. Is there an equivalent to 3 days under the snow? A domestic equivalent? And why is life constantly permeated — or perforated — with a sense of connection, whereby the story I picked last month as Chronogram's fiction winner was about a man obsessed with a Ford Aerostar, the car that took me to graduate and into the first vestige of a new life, and why was it the best story, and how did it come to be that it was written by Mimi Lipson, who just happens to be with Luc Sante, who just happens to also be on Verse Chorus, etc.?

I blacked out the names of all the authors when I read the stories. But I wouldn't have known anyway. A blind spot which led right back into the small tidy circle of life. I'd been meaning to mention this.

And my father just told me this, his advice to a friend who was having trouble (his words) with her son: One of the first things I learned as a parent is how to make my children feel guilty.


Xavier and Cato, early December, before the snow.

Slam after the snow.

ran turned away.
what? he said. did I do something wrong?
he's staring at me, she said. she was referring to Old Big Guy, who was laying on his pile of clothes, his giant shovel-head resting on the edge of the bed, yellow eyes shining as they went at it.
what, never had sex with a 140 pound wolf staring at you?