Whoops, I didn't upload yesterday. I slept in a bit then hoofed it up north to hike in a park called Locust Grove within the South Mountain Reservation. Mountain is more of a platonic ideal than reality here in New Jersey. Posted a bunch of photos on Instagram and Snapchat too. Maybe I'll post some of them here tomorrow.

While I was getting back to nature and revisiting old haunts, I went ahead and did some writing which I shall now inflict upon you.

At Locust Grove, reached The Boulder around 1:30 p.m.. For those of you playing along at home, The Boulder is a large rock atop a cliff overlooking Millburn, NJ and some of Springfield. Lemme tell you it was a rough hike getting up 150 feet with trails being badly eroded and the situation being compounded by how out-of-shape I am. "I'm not old, I'm just out of shape" was my mantra.

While sitting on the boulder and regarding downtown Millburn I remembered a December evening back in 1991 or 1992. My Color Theory class from college required me to read Johnny Got His Gun for the course and the intent was to convey the importance of color and sensation. I remember my copy from the local library had penciled-in remarks on the page margins addressing politicians for being warmongers and self-interested pinheads pandering to corporations rather than serving citizens. Each treetop was a square in a vast checkerboard and each was a different hue, some red, others orange, still more were yellow. Here and there were scars that I don't recall from 30 years ago caused by "progress" which is growth for the sake of growth like cancer. The intact portions were exemplars of autumn's rainment and I kept finding my eye drawn more to the reds. I don't think it has anything related to a mild fixation on redheads. Nor was it due to the contrast between those scarlet boughs and the lingering verdature, but its sanguinous aspect from humanity's industrious ministrations leaching vitality from Earth in the name of McDonald's, Walmart, and other alien gods of Capitalism who merely peddle convenience in the name of "service". Not service in the name of humanity but to their bottom line fuelled by the vanishingly few proles with enough spare change to afford a moment's contentment rather than invest in a lifetime of joy.

The ecosystem of mankind in the early fifth of the 21st century is stagnant. During lockdowns and quarantines people could not maintain the creaking buttresses of civilization, news was full of tales about critters roaming towns and cities in our absence, demonstrating mankind may be winning many battles but at the end of civilization Nature will prove victorious. One day roots will break our streets to reveal fresh earth to clear skies as vines tear down our buildings and while weather will contribute to the heavy lifting of erasing our footprint in due time.

Right now it's 11/11/2021 around 2:30 p.m. and it's 59°F / 15°C / 288 Kelvin but feels warmer to me. The sky is hazy but not overcast. Amidst the sound of the wind in the trees, I can hear the commuter trains running through Millburn, the steady rumble of Route 78, the squeal of police and ambulance sirens. When that cacophany dies down for spare moments, I can hear the few remaining birds calling from each to each. They aren't singing songs, as much as talking to one another. Maybe it's about their looming migration. Perhaps strategies to endure a New Jersey winter.

Visiting Locust Grove was tough physically but I made it. When the large stones on the trail weren't hurting my feet, thorny bushes were grabbing my overshirt and skin. The view from The Boulder was a treat but there were better scenic overlooks a little ways away. Following the edge of the cliff, I learned my twisty tree growing out of the stone fence had been cut down. Whenever I visited Locust Grove I always made a point of saying hello after a fashion because it was so unique. It stood upon its roots, turned 90° in one direction the grew straight up into the air with its trunk and limbs twisting in strange ways unseen outside of areas under the influence of Shub-Niggurath. Iä! Iä! Shub-Niggurath! Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young!


After paying my respects to the remaining tall roots of my twisty friend, I began descending along the edge of the cliff across slippery rocks, getting torn up by thorny bushes making for a slow descent 'til I reached a 6 foot drop forcing me to backtrack up and reach the main trail. As I wrote on the 10th about wanting to be in the woods around sunset during late autumn, this was my opportunity. At the same time the canopy was luminous while the understory was dark. A magnificent conflation of opposites which made perfect sense being immersed in such a setting.

I did share a screenshot of my location on Google Maps. Binnall and OnlyWednesdayMu gave me sass about being near a "fairy trail" with the obvious gags. When I reached the parking lot, I wandered about the fairy trail, snapping photos of the few Good Folk who were visible along with their familiar but tiny lodgings.

My next destination was the Union Plaza Diner on Route 22. When I pulled into the parking lot I found the outside lights were off, but they were on inside the diner. I saw one or two people wandering around inside and the fish tank had live fish, but the displays for cakes and pies were empty. Wandered up to the door to see if they had a note about closing down, not being able to find workers, or some such shit. I did find shit in the form of a wall of text on a piece of paper, a screed beginning with "Biden's wrong because..." so I turned 360° and walked away. Bad enough New York Water Bagel in Toms River is full of signs yelling at customers with nonsense like "IF IT'S WRONG TO RESPECT THE FLAG..." or "WE KNEEL FOR JEBUS AND STAND FOR THE FLAG AND JERK IT ON ALTERNATE THURSDAYS..."

Dude, I want a fucking bagel. Shut the hell up. Wanting an everything bagel with butter and a plain bagel with taylor ham and egg, no cheese nor salt, pepper, ketchup shouldn't be a political statement. Same goes for getting a slightly fancier burger in a New Jersey diner. So I took my business to the Kenilworth Diner which was good and cheap. $25 for tendies, a buffalo chicken wrap with fries, Pepsi, and a generous cup of chicken and rice soup.

Oh man I feel like H.P. Lovecraft crowing in his voluminous correspondence about how he can eat like a king on the cheap.

My penultimate stop was my sister. She made sauce, meatballs and sausage and froze a container just for me. We chatted a bit, I talked about the current circumstances of my personal life, drama between the new dog River and the reigning dog Otis, we agreed eastern European women as a whole are toxic and insane, along with my 7 year old nephew's scholastic achievements.

I'm home at 8:30-ish. I'm catching up on writing for inkubo.org. Just gotta brush my teeth and hit the sack.


I looked up a couple of Esperanto words during my hike. Spuro means "trail", trunko means "trunk", branĉo means "branch", and log is ŝtipo. Remember ĉ is a voiceless postalveolar affricate and ŝ is a voiceless palato-alveolar fricative. "Ch" and "sh" digraphs in English.

Yes it's a bit disappointing to learn trunk in Esperanto is just trunk with an o at the end. Way to go, Zamenhof!

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