She’d Be 94

Seven fifty.

Home on the range. I got a very good sleep last night. Earlier I was concerned about being addicted to caffeine, but when I got up today feeling fine, I decided on my usual Snapples. I’d been overwrought with company three days in a row, so I was overdue for a break from people. Aesop, my dog, is breathing easily; no anxiety or nerves this morning. I’m not going to church. For some reason I’m reminiscing on eighth grade, before I ever bought a Rush album and when I still thought Jack London was pretty cool. There’s time now to reread The Call of the Wild if I want… The oak in my backyard drops acorns on the roof now and then with a sharp report like gunshots. Though it’s gray outside, the forecast calls for sunshine this afternoon and a high of 79 degrees. It’s a great day to recharge my introvert’s battery; to stay home quietly with a book. Aesop stretches himself, rousing from his little nap. I’ll feed him when he’s hungry. I just remembered: this would have been my mother’s birthday…

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Domesticity

Eight thirty.

I’ve put out the trash for today and it’s below freezing out there. Again there is thick fog on the valley floor. Michelle might be back to work this morning. I called the veterinary hospital to reserve some flea medication for Aesop, so I’ll pick that up during the week. When I went outside, the cold freshness reminded me of times when I used to go to church regularly, before Covid came to mess everything up. I tend to see events in linear fashion, of cause and effect without a purpose or end. It’s the Darwinian way of understanding how nature works. So I guess I never had any business going to church— except for a mystic impulse in me that ponders the other side of the celestial veil, a possible fourth dimension.

Nine thirty. Still no Michelle at the store, but it was good to see Cathy. She said the customers come in waves, and some of them are students from the middle school, though not as many as you’d think. The old school makes me think of junior high school band, especially Stage Band in ninth grade where I played drum kit. We all admired Neil Peart, and I learned to sound a lot like him… My first drum set was a red sparkle Pearl that my mother bought used for $275. Gradually I added on Zildjian cymbals, all of them courtesy of my mother. She spoiled me rotten, but everyone believed I would be a rockstar someday. Probably the only person who had doubts about that was myself. It turned out I was a homebody. I’m still content to be comfortable and safe with a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and a little something to eat. And for entertainment, books to flap and CDs to spin. 

Cozy

Quarter of noon. The girls were very nice to me this morning, both at the store and the salon. At the red checkout counter, I paused a minute to just be there in the present. There were four of us in line, and Vicki called Cathy away from her unpacking tasks to man the other register. To me, it felt a little like old times, with the difference that I don’t drink anymore. In some ways, I’m still the same old guy as ever. I have more recall available to me as well. My entire life coalesces into coherent sense. At the salon, Angela said they love to have me drop in. Karen was on the phone making someone an appointment. The rain was rather light, thus I could manage the trip without using an umbrella. Just now, the rain is coming down more seriously; I timed my excursion about right. But who cares about getting caught in a little rain? My mother used to think it was a major disaster. I’m glad I’m not a child any longer.

The breakfast burrito was pretty good. Meanwhile the rain keeps coming down. I thought of human kindness, and how it’s universal. You can find it everywhere that there are people. My dog has changed. He enjoys affection from me now and loves to be petted. We didn’t use to have such a bond. It’s something new… As on every Tuesday, the Sanipac garbage truck is making the rounds. We are cozy inside the house and can’t ask for more. 

Comfort

Eight o’clock.

The dense fog through my bedroom window was rather pretty to see just minutes ago. Aesop, my cattle dog, looked at me with love in his eyes. My mind still plays “Blue Motel Room” for some obscure reason; sometimes it morphs to “Cotton Avenue.” Right now is a lull time before Aesop’s breakfast. I slept well and my mind is clear. Yesterday the sun came out in mid afternoon, cheering the scene a bit. My red oak has been dropping leaves already, some of which are gold. Nature is a little confused, but she’s trying to repair herself and continue as usual. The hot east wind we had last month, fanning the wildfires, was like something released from hell… The Wordsworth I read yesterday was good but a bit heavy on the abstracts. Essentially he was saying he lived through the French Revolution and Robespierre had died. He faulted him with being an atheist, whereas those who supported the monarchy were religious and conservative. There’s one more section on France before The Prelude winds down and concludes. Then I may range through his other poems again… Hopefully my brain can synthesize some of this information into poetry of my own. But it takes more of an effort now than it used to. If life itself is an epic poem, then there are elements of sound and fury and complete hurly burly. Maybe an overall order presides in our lives, though often hard to see. Aesop doesn’t care, just so he gets his breakfast on time.

Quarter after ten. Karen fed me a double chocolate donut, but otherwise nothing special happened. She said Jean has come down with shingles. But life just goes on as normal, mostly. I feel lucky to be so comfortable at home, with a dog who’s mellowing over time. I content myself with little, and the little is enough. 

Appreciate

Quarter of eight o’clock 🕗. I earned three new followers and ten likes this morning as a result of using tags 🏷. It was Suzanne who suggested it months ago and I only now am trying it. It works so far. The two liter of Pepsi I had galvanized me to productivity, and I was still able to sleep. Aesop needs canned food 🥫 and I might go for another Pepsi. I have hotdog makings enough for today. Could be a dull day without the demo crew to watch. I felt surrounded by humanity yesterday morning, a good feeling. Darlene is doing well. Lisa didn’t work yesterday, and business was a little slower at the salon for the holiday weekend. The maple bar was good. I like these mild temperatures while they last. I had to don my hoodie a few hours ago from my shivering 🥶. What an odd phenomenon it is to “join the human race” after a decade inside of an alcoholic bubble. I still avoid tv 📺 like bubonic plague, but WordPress has been sufficient to keep me tuned in. Church is tomorrow, my other window to the world 🌎. The cartilage in my back is sore. Perhaps I’ll never be in optimal physical shape, but I am thankful for the return of my faculties. My memory is a little better than before, though short term fails sometimes. With stimulation, older memories resurface, sometimes to my distress. I have to pause and say, You mean I was responsible for the things I did when I drank? How is that fair? And it’s so hard to believe that it was the same me. I feel as if my memories were implants, someone else’s. That couldn’t have been me! I am a bit aware of how being sober will scare off certain people who still use substances. I merely have to say I joined a church to be ghosted here and there. It could be limiting in some ways, but it’s worth it just to be alive… Sky is overcast 🌫 but no rain predicted. Long day ahead… time to appreciate the peace.