Tabatha Deans

Bringing Integrity to the Written Word



          It’s hard to believe it’s actually December, as I waited for the 66 bus this morning, clad in jeans and a sweatshirt, watching the sun rise with temperatures in the 50’s. The stop for the 66 is at the corner of the field where the No Drama Llama lives, actually four llama live there, but this llama spends all of his time alone in the corner. I’ve taken the bus several days in a row, and the No Drama Llama is starting to like me. Initially he ignored me, and ran the other way when I approached. This morning, I stood at the curb and sang Christmas songs, and whistled, and when I turned around he was standing behind me, nose high in the air, either liking my singing or at the very least, curious about the woman who stood on the corner singing loudly. Luckily there are fields on all sides, so, much like running crazy down the streets of Mexico, nobody really noticed my early morning caroling.

          The 66 is usually full, carrying commuters to the light rail from the depths of suburbia, and the crowd is pretty tight-knit. I have resisted officially becoming one of them, but there was something in the fresh air this morning, combined with perhaps a bit of Christmas cheer, that prompted me to sit by the “secretary.” She’s very chatty, and will talk to anyone who listens, about anything at all. She gets off across from the Justice Center each morning, and today she told me she had given her two-week notice at her job yesterday, claiming she was too old to put up with bull&*$t at work.

          The blond brothers agreed. As far as I can tell they’re not actually brothers, but roommates in some kind of rehabilitation/halfway house program. In the evening they board the bus at the Justice Center, and I’ve heard them talk about passing their urinalysis. They’re both in their late 40’s, and this morning they spent their commute talking about the deluxe “man caves” they planned to build when they finally got their own place, with a pool table instead of a kitchen table.

          The secretary got off, and Rain Man got on. Rain Man appears to be in his mid to late 20’s, and always wears a crisply ironed white shirt with black slacks, with a belt cinched one notch too tight, making the waistband of his trousers bunch up. He’s a nice looking young man, with well trimmed hair and nails, and long elegant fingers. He gets on, smiles, and if nobody is in the front seat he’ll sit down. If somebody is already there, he stands near the driver. After about sixty seconds on the bus, he begins fumbling in his pocket, and produced a twisted yellow straw, the kind you would use to stir coffee with. His face relaxes and he starts humming quietly as he twists the straw in his fingertips, watching the other commuters and smiling to himself.

          Overall Route 66 is becoming one of my favorite commutes, at least until we hit the light rail. I usually commute out of town, but the 66 leaves me standing in line with angry commuters headed into town. It’s usually standing room only, with rude, inconsiderate people who feel the need to ignore others and push and butt their way to a spot on the train. I only travel two stops, so I stand back and watch the battle, then get on the train and stand in the stairwell watching the angry commuters ignore each other and fiddle with their phones, iPads and Kindles. And I can’t help but smile because I know the No Drama Llama secretly likes me.

December 5, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Llama Drama

When I moved to Denver, specifically the city, I wasn’t prepared for the amount of random wildlife that is found here. Bunnies are regularly seen darting across the streets, (although I seldom see cats roaming the neighborhood), the squirrels are so abundant I feel like I should be paying them rent. I often see fox, (or foxes?) hanging out in the fields along the train tracks, and there’s a general fear of coyotes eating small dogs and cats.
And then there are the Llamas. Three of them live in a field near the Centennial airport. Actually there are four in the field, but one always stays in the far corner, all by himself, isolated away from the others. We call him the “no drama llama.” The first time we pulled over to check out the llamas, they were on the far side of the field. When they saw us lined up at the fence, they came running eagerly, like they were excited to be fed and meet us. We grabbed handfuls of tall grass and held them out through the fence for the approaching animals. I’d heard that llamas were very smart, sociable animals, and they would actually hum if they like you. I hoped they would hum for us.
But their enthusiasm waned as they got closer. They stopped several feet short of us, the white one advancing slightly farther, while the other two stayed behind her. She tipped her head to look down her nose at us. She was adorable looking, with long eyelashes and a nose that she could wiggle at will. But she apparently didn’t like what she saw in us. It was about like meeting an adorable baby that you just want to squeeze and love, but it begins crying as soon as you get near it. I was disappointed. Animals usually love me, and they had seemed so excited in the beginning. Now they just stood and judged us. Deemed us not good enough to play with. I felt like a child on the playground shunned by all the other children.
We talked to them in soothing voices, tried to coerce them to eat out weeds, and finally said good bye and left. Determined not to be rejected again, the Good Doctor did some research into what might endear the llamas to us. Several days later we hit the grocery store and stocked up on apples, carrots and broccoli, all supposed “love” foods of llamas.
Again, they ran toward us from afar as we approached the fence, and I knew for sure they would hum for us today. They stopped short of the fence and gave us their judgmental looks, although it was obvious they were curious about the carrot the Good Doctor held in his extended hand. The white one, which I have decided is the leader, and probably the female, approached slowly and sniffed at the carrot. She twitched her lips and finally took the carrot, only to chomp it twice and spit it back on the ground in front of us. The broccoli she promptly disregarded. We threw bits of carrot and broccoli toward the other two, which they eventually began munching on, but I felt it wasn’t because they liked it, but more because it was something to do.
Then we brought out the apples. Sliced into quarters, the Good Doctor held one out for the white llama, and after sniffing and feigning disinterest, she finally took it from him. She lifted her head high, apparently to position the apple in her teeth so she could chew it better. She didn’t want us to know, but I was sure she was enjoying the apple. When she finished, she strained against the fence slightly in search of another piece from the Good Doctor. He obliged her, and for a few happy minutes we bonded with the llama. The other two stayed well behind her, but we tossed apple bits to them. They still didn’t act like they cared for us, but they didn’t spit on us, and I’m sure, almost sure, that I heard the fainted sound of humming coming from the smallest llama…

October 15, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment