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In Craig’s List this morning I notice an ad for a Teleporter. It is out of Toledo, not far from me. They claim a 94% success rate to date, which is not high enough to give me a satisfactory level of comfort. Also, they say nothing about the price. They appear to have sold only a few of these items to date, three they say. I am somewhat nervous about having my particles beamed around in the first place. I am thinking that in any case it would not be wise to be an early adopter of this particular technology.
March is an awkward month. Snow-covered, it is oversized shoved in over tiny February with its plastic wheezing heart. No one is ready for March. The 100 words site isn’t collecting March entries yet. We write them and leave them like presents at the gate. The bank has not updated its accounts yet, instead leaving me a note online saying that I have about $3,000 to play with, but to not take this number too seriously. March is an oversized and overactive baby, crawling out of its crib before its new parents are ready. We are not ready for spring.
My son helped me move the treadmill downstairs into the family room so I could watch movies while walking exercising, but it didn’t work out. The first time I tried, it worked for five minutes before the network died. AT&T sent out a repairman who replaced the modem/router. A couple days later, I got on the treadmill, and five minutes later, the internet died, taking the TV with it. The third time, I got began experimenting, discovering that the network started going the minute I turned on the treadmill. Apparently the modem and treadmill cannot be plugged into the same circuit.
The police found Harry unconscious in an alley Wednesday morning and took him to the hospital. He was ok, it seemed. He had not been robbed. He had been chloroformed and dragged off the sidewalk. There was troubling psychiatric history in Harry’s medical record. The doctors weren’t sure what to believe. Harry complained of a needle mark in his arm. “Somebody took my blood, or put something in me,” He said. There was a needle mark in the crook of Harry’s right arm; however there was no evidence of anything unusual in his body. But who would want his blood?
Then there was the problem with Aunt Gladys, of sound mind and body and holder of thirty million dollars. Everyone in the family kept a close eye on Aunt Gladys. Julie must have been out of her mind the night she took Aunt Gladys to the free lecture, “How to protect your Aura,” or something like that. This is where Aunt Gladys met Destiny, the hypnotherapist. Aunt Gladys who was as sane and straight as an arrow suddenly became Destiny’s lesbian lover. Aunt Gladys wouldn’t talk about the thirty million dollars any more. Money dulled your view of the world.
I was thinking to go get my X-ray today. I doubt I will. You need something to get your X-ray. I don’t mean the doctor’s order. I have that. I have a car. I don’t need an appointment. It’s one of those places where you just walk in and present yourself with your X-ray requisition. It is something else I don’t have. Is it sleep? Did I not sleep enough last night? Should I take a nap and reconsider the X-ray thing? I worry that I will go to the next doctor appointment and will not have the X-ray done.
I went to my X-ray. I drove my daughter’s boyfriend’s car. She had borrowed mine to go to Kansas, apologizing about the smell in the car she left for me. Something had been left in the car left behind, left to die as near as I could determine, and while the driver’s window wouldn’t go down, the one behind me would, and that window seemed to be the one closest to the odor. Other than the odor and the heater which would not turn off, it seemed to be a capable car. I don’t know why people pointed at it.
On NPR they mention that 17 percent of iPhone owners sleep with their iPhone on their pillow. Actually I think they said seventy percent, but I assumed I heard wrong. In either case, Apple has created a thing with a personality. It has animated a product to the point where people have strong emotions about it and will buy it for irrational reasons. This has happened before, with the VW Bug, the Harley Davidson, and certain tube amplifiers, and hell with a lot of audio gear in general. You should see what is going on with Tri-path amplifiers these days.
You do not have a prayer. While you sleep your iPhone is calling to you in your dreams, and even if you have not bought it yet, you will have to. Its spindly arms are reaching for you. Its little iPhone mouth is calling your name. They can already bug us with our phones, see through our windows, and profile us with our purchases. How far are they from making the perfect personalized product? The one that will call to us from the assembly line? We will gladly hand over our IRA’s because to have it will be true happiness.
We’d often commented on the red-haired waitress at the Big Boy. She had a squeaky voice and violent blue eyes. She was just so cute. That was what we always said. So cute. Take her home. That would be the thing. But no, I thought. She would slam her door and sulk and would want her own car. She would not like being removed from her friends. I suspected that, away from here, she would begin to be less cute. She would bring home strange boys. She would want a large dog. Best to leave her in her natural habitat.
I made oatmeal this morning, and I am eating it as I write. This is dangerous I realize, as I have had to clean oatmeal off the screen before after trying to juggle the spoon, bowl, laptop, mouse, telephone, remote, timer, and coffee. Oatmeal is serious stuff. When you make it, it is innocuous enough, but left to dry, it sets up like concrete. While you can clean a screen easily with Windex, the stuff that drips down below the keys, I am not so sure about. I think I have been lucky so far. All my keys still work.
I have forgotten what I am for. I’m pretty sure I used to know. I even remember having had a sense of urgency about it. I would circumvent people or things I perceived to be in the way of what I was about. Now, I am not so sure. I search through my old writings for a clue. I find where I have written, “The purpose of man is to belive.” What did I mean? Did I misspell believe? Did run two words together? Was I being deliberately vague, trying to scoop up both meanings in a net too small?
I feel poisoned today. It may be due to lack of sleep. I have no idea why I have a lack of sleep. I sleep until I wake up. I lie there, realizing there is no reason to lie there any longer because my time for sleeping is over. I look at my clock. Seven hours is about when this usually happens; seven hours after I have gone to sleep. I am used to sleeping longer than this. Maybe I am getting cold. Maybe some noise is waking me up. Are the neighbors going to work on their motorcycles now?
I had dinner with my daughters last night. It was a nice evening. They enjoy getting together, and their perspective is instructive to me. I spend a lot of time berating myself for not vacuuming doing laundry, or keeping the dishes cleaned up. Jennifer will tell me that as a single man I am not supposed to vacuum nor do the dishes. This does make me feel better, although I wonder if it is just that she has low expectations of men in general and perhaps it is my job to show her that we can be better than that.
My daughters have been trying to talk me into a dog for quite a while now. They are both dog people. Jennifer trains Border Collies, owns about ten of them, and herds sheep and geese for a living. She also sells canine supplies on the side on eBay. While Amanda has only three dogs, she is studying to be a zoologist, and is currently interviewing for graduate programs around the country. They are both convinced that my living alone is an unhealthy thing, and that I would be a lot happier if I would let a dog into my life.
I hate UPS deliveries. The minute you leave, they run up to your door, slap one of those stickers on and dance away, “We were here!” Today it is cold, but I leave the door cracked open, and I lean up against it, reading a book. I am sleepy. Around 6, I see him heading toward the garage. I run down the stairs through the garage, but he has changed direction to the front door. I’m chasing him now. He runs past the door toward the back. “HEY, I’m home!” “No you’re not.” “I am too!” “I don’t see you!”
There is a knock on the front door. I am startled. No one knocks on my front door. Well, people selling insulation do and the UPS man does. Come to think of it my youngest son does, and I cannot figure that one out completely. Normally everyone just walks in through the garage downstairs. If people come at all. It is because they know that as long as anyone has lived here, no one can hear the bell or a knock at the door. As long as anyone has lived here, no one has bothered to lock the garage door.
The knock on the front door was my friend David. He had a day off and wanted to go to Ann Arbor. He wanted to rub up against the film festival, go to the art museum, walk around, and get something to eat, and he wanted company to do it, and I was the fortunate one—really. It was a cold day for those things. We ate at his favorite place, a Lebanese restaurant on Main Street. We are always the only people there. I joke that the only red meat on the menu is Cornish Rex. It’s not true.
I may have made a mistake. I’m not sure. The email from Jennifer was titled, “Manda said maybe you'd let us get you a dog?” It started out, “Can we Daddy? Please?” I remember saying something to Amanda about reading that people who have dogs lived longer. I don’t quite understand. When I think about dog, I think about my other dogs, and I miss them. I think about the people I have lost in the past 5 years. I don’t think I can stand to lose one more thing. I don’t know how to explain this to my daughters.
I called my mother yesterday. I usually call her on Saturday. She wants me to come visit, but I have not been able to. I told her the daughters wanted to get me a dog. “Don’t do it,” she said. I could hear her dog yapping in the background. “You have to give it baths.” I had forgotten about bathing the dog. “You got to pay vet bills. You got to get up at four AM in the morning to let it out.”
“They say people with dogs live longer.”
“It’s a lie,” says my 84-year-old mother. “They kill you.”
I have a new stereo amplifier. In this room I have uh… five stereo amplifiers. My name is Michael. I have a problem. I have had this amplifier for only two days and the power light has burned out. This is a different kind of problem, normally one which would not bother me, but I don’t know if I am going to keep this amplifier. So now I have to call the company, send it back, and have them send me another one. This, for an amplifier that I am confused about why I am purchasing in the first place.
March is no longer snow covered. I used to think those little ditties about the months were not true about Michigan. March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. April showers bring May flowers. But we seem to be right on schedule this year. My legs are starting to ache. All my life, my legs have ached at the beginning of spring. I do not know what to attribute this to. My friends have suggested that I am an alien. I Googled seasonal leg pain, but it appears I am the only one who experiences this.
A robin stops in the pine tree outside my front window, and then parks on the window ledge to peer in at me. I know he is only looking at his reflection in the window there, maybe his attention caught by the piano notes of Sweet Georgia Brown from the stereo. This would be the first robin of spring. It is the first one I have noticed. It is supposed to mean something. I am pawing back in my string and straw mage man mind for this meaning. No, I am not supposed to cook the bird and eat it.
I am nearly finished reading this Jane Austin Book, not my normal cup of tea. The book moves so slowly. People complain about Moby Dick. Nobody takes time setting up a character like Jane. Anyway Crawford has just committed his unpardonable, leaving Fanny to sweat out the meaning of it all. I was wondering myself, just what moral message Jane had for us. Apparently, it is a very stern one. It could have been worse, I suppose. Fanny didn’t give in to Crawford and have to drown herself; not yet at least. I still have a few pages to go.
My friend David has been on a Tolstoy kick lately. He has seen a Tolstoy documentary and is reading “The Idiot.” I asked him whether he was reading a translation. He gave me a wry look and admitted to reading a translation. “I have some trouble with the names,” he said. I know what he means. I do not understand. IF they are going to translate a book into English, why do they insist on leaving the names in a foreign language so we still have to struggle? Why cannot Dmitri Schostovanovovistavlich be Fred Smith? Would this not be better?
Yah, it’s a lovely sunny day, and I am going to go out into it in a while. I am not sure if I am going to go into town in a while or not. I am planning to go outside though. I realize I do not have to go into town. The chemicals are out of balance in my brain again. They have been for a while now. This is frustration. This is inconvenience. It makes me want to stay inside and hide from others as much as anything, but I am confused about it at the same time.
Last year my credit union was taken over by the feds and fed to another local credit union. I do not know if this has happened again, but this morning when I tried to sign on to my credit union to see if my car payment had been made I was greeted by another credit union that had just eaten my new credit union. I couldn’t sign on, but I could sign up for paperless statements. All I had to do was print out a form and mail it to a near-by town. There was something basically wrong about this.
I find myself opening windows and turning off heat. I open up rooms that have been shut off. I find I have new problems because the screens to the basement windows were destroyed last winter, and some of the smells are starting to return down there. I need to get down there and shovel that mess out. I think about half of it is several decades worth of Christmas decorations. Much of the rest are things that belong to various children, things that are too valuable for them to lose, but not valuable enough for them to take with them.
I can hear the wind moving in the trees, and pushing the chimes at the windows. Pushing the trees, it shoves up memories of the forest and of my father and it is an odd memory because my father was forever leaving me alone in the forest because that was what the forest was for. He was adamant that the trees would talk to me. He would find me a place to listen, and then he would go off to his own place. But father, the wind, I hear the wind. I hear some animal moving. I hear my heart beating.
It is the end of March, the last day. It is clear to me that I have come to the wrong place to live, the wrong city, the wrong house, and somehow the wrong life. It is an easy admission to make, because I will be offending no one but myself in doing so. It is an easy error to correct. It is deceptively easy because the chances of choosing incorrectly again are fairly high. I need to give some thought to what I will do next. Today I will wash windows and think about what I will do next.
See how easy it is to make a mistake? It was not the end of March. Now I am cautious. Even though I know with certainty that it is the end of March, part of me expects to be over-ridden again with a new authority. The calendar you were looking at was incorrect. It should have shown an extra day. There are 32 days in March every 2,000 years. Everyone knows this. Well, everyone who pays any attention and whose brain functions properly knows this. Yes, that is how these things are presented. Remember the Y2K calculations? Surprised? I was.
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