Venturing Out

Four fifty.

I just hiked a mile and back to the veterinary hospital to fetch Aesop’s flea medication. The ghosts of the past didn’t stir until I got back home, hot, sweaty, and out of breath, my legs like rubber. Now I remember back to the end of the 00 decade and Sy’s New York Pizza in the Silver Lea Center. I used to have a vehicle for getting around: a lot more convenient except for the cost of gasoline and upkeep. I also drank a great deal, and my relationship with family was rocky, though I don’t blame myself much anymore. It wasn’t my fault more than my brother’s addiction is his fault. Pointing the finger is easy but pointing out the solution is not… For a time, a dog groomer named Terri had a business in the same strip mall as the veterinarian, so I took Henry to her for nail trims. She didn’t like me very much, and eventually her business folded and I never heard of her again. I’ve had some weird ups and downs with the veterinary people over the years, plus it’s been very hard to find friends in my local community. I had a little breakthrough finally when I ventured online and registered with a rockstar’s guestbook in the fall of 2010. From there, things have only gotten better for me, and meanwhile the locals are still pretty set in their ways and narrow minded. It all started with that guestbook on the worldwide web twelve years ago. Now the shadows lengthen with the setting of the amber sun: another October day draws to a close, making way for October night. 



Ten o’clock.

We went to breakfast at Carl’s Jr. again, but my heart isn’t really into this morning. It is cloudy and very cool and my thoughts are trying to adapt to the change. As I write, the vacuum cleaner is very noisy and bothersome and I want this to be over with. The streets were moist when we drove on Armstrong Street to the east. Some people believe in paranormal phenomena but it’s hard for me to swallow, except for a few times when flukey events took place. It’s more of a feeling than an actual occurrence, in my opinion.

Five ten in the morning.

Finally I took down The Golden Bough and picked up where I left off many years ago. It’s the best written refutation of superstition available, with countless examples of primitive magic practices from around the world. So I read a little of the discussion of rainmaking by primitive societies. For me, The Golden Bough is like Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, a product of Enlightenment thought, but it addresses mythology rather than history.

I hate limbo times like now. It’s pitch black outside and no one is awake except me— and it’ll be like this for another hour or more. In my journal I said that making friends is difficult in our age, perhaps any age. But friendship is something I value more than money and pragmatic things, while some people are the opposite. I had a girlfriend like that. We had a lot of fun, but we each looked for something different. Hopefully she got what her heart desired when we broke up. On my side, I’m still looking. 

Lonely Hunting

Nine o’clock.

I just remembered an old acquaintance of mine who had trouble making friends when he got to be older. Now I compare myself to him and see some similarities. I’m 55 years old and beginning to look my age. My little trip to Barnes & Noble felt like a failure, and it’s easy to get depressed over that sort of thing. A person gets frustrated and a little angry when there’s a roadblock to friendships. I noticed how tiny the philosophy section was at the bookstore, with only one shelf dedicated to atheism and agnosticism, whereas the religion shelves sprawled over a good portion of the floor. Nobody knew me, so I wound up a wallflower sitting alone in the cafe. But this doesn’t mean I’ll give up on my project… I think I understand my dog’s behavior better now than before. His brain is wired for duty instead of his desires. He believes it’s his job to protect me and guard the fort. When I tell him “you have to,” he does what I command… I saw two house sparrows make overtures to mating outside my back door, but there was a third bird that came between them, then they all flew away… My friend Bill finally did find a companion, but since then we lost contact. I kind of miss the old guy today.