Every day he never combs his hair. His shirt is
always half tucked-in. Maybe hes shaved. Maybe not.
Dimock is extremely good at deflecting topics not open to discussion.
Lets get in the car, he says, seeming to avoid the conversation. But he is
thinking. You can almost smell the grey matter burning, the intensity of his observation
and the silent, self absorbed question which follows: Do I call Hueyoris
this guy gonna make it through the trip?
Dimock can talk airplanes for hours, no matter how much beer hes had,
or Grand Canyon continuously, beer or not. If he is not talking about Grand Canyon, he
writes about it. Or boats it. Or hikes. Or reads: books all over his house. Thousands of
books, manuals, papers, envelopes, table after bench after chair cluttered with this
amalgam of obscure information in piles. In piles or loose or all stacked caddywampus to
the world. Period.
Six a.m. in the morning. At the airport hes touch and go, ten times
hes touch and go under simulated crash conditions; simulated fog approach; wind
sheer take-offs; you name it doing nothing but zooming around at six a.m. And he wonders
continuously even then, his long fingers close to his chest, playing tarantulas against
themselves when the going gets tough. Auto pilot. When the realization strikes, the hands
flash skyward in front of the wide open eyeballs still zooming around in space.
Fabulous! No matter the obstacle, he feels Perfect!
Today he is late. Hangover. But he has made it. Every day. Regardless. Always the
questions, hundreds of them, and always at once. What happens when...? Hey, cool!
Lets move this over there... Now, what if...? Never Better!!
There are 7 pieces of paper sitting on the desk in front of me, like cards
fanned across a blackjack table. Whatdaya wanna do with this one? he asks.
Comes another. Would you print this? I read it. And another: Well?
We talk about commas. We are in the last few hours of editing the bqr, Volume 7, Number 3.
So far its been 8 hours a day for 4 days straight. Dimock speaks: A story about the
earliest, darkest days at Hibernacle. He didnt know squat about typing or computers.
He worked hunt and peck style. Letter-word-sentence. Paragraph. Page. Another page. On and
on for days and days. When almost done, near dead from exhaustion and frustration, he
pushed the wrong button. The computer burped. One second later it showed a single comma
where twenty pages had been. Damn!
Ten minutes later I do the same thing with the bqr. My maiden voyage, 36
pages long. What did you do?! he demands. I dunno! It disappeared!!
Thats why we made two backups! thunders Dimock, throwing me out of the
More corrections. Another backup copy. Off to the printer we go. Oh
well! You could go over it all over again and come up with twice as many
corrections. Three or four side trips. Back in town he shakes my hand. Wanna
grab a beer?
Naw. But thanks. Im nowhere close, even on commas. Besides, this
isnt about commas. This is not even about Dimock. Its about how, for years, Dimock
has been everywhere at once. If not in person or on paper then in his head.
Energy. Pure, raw energy coupled to an exceptionally bright, curious mind
searching-out the solution to a challenge hes presented himself. Across the room,
down the river or off to lunch he goes. In those huge flops. Always thinking. Always in
motion. Always. Gotta fix the boat, he erupts, bounding up the stairs. Dimock:
that weird hairdo and oversized sweater and electric grin and wide, penetrating eyes.
Flaps down and prop shut, a bunch of poles stuck into the sky with an old Avon PRO wrapped
tight in the corner. Help me carry this downstairs, grunts Dimock, already
half done with it. And then gone. In that old turquoise Cadillac with the weird Anasazi
handprint flags over the hood and a PRO in the trunk. I said: Gone! But not far. Not for
long. Thank God.
When the bqr hits the street my error leaps off the page at me. Plain as the
pimple on your nose, that one! And the next one, too... How could I have missed all these
things? Maybe it was the hour. Maybe the day. Maybe not. Who knows?
Dimock knew. And he let me fumble through that thing all by my lonesome. Not
to mention he saved my you-know-what. And he more-or-less patiently let me piddle around
for hours while he rode shotgun. Because he knew I would later stand at the mailbox and
stare into the thing and realize Id become President of Grand Canyon River Guides,
something he had once done.
I do not like to think about it. There is only one Dimock.