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BY Michael

03/01 Direct Link
MJ and company slipped down the stairs to smoke. MJ stopped at the freezer to retrieve his hot fudge sundae. They both stopped at the door to zip their coats and put on their shoes, MJ balancing his sundae as he worked his feet into his still-tied shoes. Company opened the door and MJ followed her through and out to the Jeep Cherokee that served double duty as their smoking station. MJ crawled behind the steering wheel, crossing his body with his right arm to close the door against the frigid air. Company took the passenger seat, slamming her door.
03/02 Direct Link
It was always easy to fall asleep in the afternoon. Stanis thought he must have trained for it at some point in that part of his life that was lost to him. He liked the sleep. He liked the dopey feeling he got just before and the lifting in his gut. He liked the way his head slowly began to drift side to side as if it were too heavy for his thin neck to hold it up any more. He loved the flashes of color behind his eyelids as he closed his eyes preparing himself to go to sleep.
03/03 Direct Link
MJ and Lilly came in as I headed out the door to get the mail. They were having their "sitting in the car time" as I navigated the few ice-free spots down the drive. I am not sure, but the "sitting in the car" time may be smoking time, although I think MJ may have quit. I have not smelled it on him in a while. I cannot imagine what else "sitting in the car" time is for otherwise. I could ask, but I am afraid of an embarrassing answer. I think I will ask him about the smoking though.
03/04 Direct Link
I watched a TV show the other evening about efforts to develop computer consciousness. I feel not so much the need to weigh in on this as to understand my own reaction to it. Bottom line, inasmuch as I want to feel special, I have to agree with the "hell yes" crowd. It seems to me that consciousness could have been a survival adaptation growing out of something as simple as the "fight or flight" instinct that to this day is able to strike us with fear and gouts of adrenalin. It seems the first emotion was most likely fear.
03/05 Direct Link
It seemed to Rodney that it was easier to contemplate the patches of snow on the spruce tree outside his window than to do anything else. He briefly thought about the motorcycle languishing in the garage, but it was far too cold and icy to ride it now. He thought about how brittle the engine would be at this temperature and how reluctant to start. He remembered the open space deep in its guts where he had removed the battery last fall. There had been a time when he had ridden his bike in the winter. That seemed long ago.
03/06 Direct Link
happy Friday

Friday. hows your day going?

ok. this is my long work day. now is the time i have between working. i took a nap and was writing when you came in.

oh. sorry i interrupted you.

it is quite alright. slices of time are fungible and may be switched out. also the writing was not going very well

has it turned into journaling again?

no. well, maybe. i am not sure. it does not matter so much. i still do it because i find it interesting.

like doing a puzzle or playing a game?

not unlike a puzzle...yeah
03/07 Direct Link
i don't quite know what to make of this day. i am confused about it

it is a day; like any other

i have an appointment with a new therapist this afternoon. my old one fell on the ice and broke his ankle in 5 places. he won't be back until april. maaybe

so what is his excuse for not being a therapist?

i suspect he is immobilized

he will be on a walking cast and crutches within a week i bet

not likely. he's been out since early February, maybe mid February

he must do whatever he must do
03/08 Direct Link
ogod it's march. i thought it was February

why yes, once again it is March. does March hold a special horror for you?

it means spring is very close.

when does spring officially start?

not sure.

I am told Monday is St. Patrick's day. i think i will not be drinking green beer at O'Reilley's with everyone else.

heh. no geen beer for me either. beer is icky. adding green to it just makes it worse.

is that why you will not be getting rowdy with your friends Monday?

i don't do rowdy.

it is a preference for you then.
03/09 Direct Link
i don't have many specific memories that I know of...more like hints of memories. do you have many memories?

oh yes, i have lots of them.

are they filed and indexed in some specific way? how do you access individual memories?

they sort of pop into my head. randomly.

so they surface unbidden. if i were to say, "college days," one or two might come into your head.

yes, i see you grinning about your stereo system at your apartment

and these would be specific memories, not general reconstructions of maybe.

yes specific.

my mind does not work that way.
03/10 Direct Link
i have read that different minds work differently.

i would expect that they would.

i wonder how many different kinds of minds there are, and how much difference lies between you and me. i do not seem to have the memories others do.

oh i know you have lots of memories

i do?

sure

i have spots of memory

well i don't remember all the things that have happened in my life

i remember the orange insulated curtains we bought for the half windows when we lived on the second floor, somewhere close to you i think

same building

yes
03/11 Direct Link
I was having trouble losing weight until my father explained to me that you have to "go hungry" to lose weight. A simple concept, I have found it works. I had grapefruit for breakfast and a hardboiled egg for lunch. I am excited because in another two hours I get to eat chicken for dinner. I may fancy it up because I have discovered that food tastes good when you are hungry. I ignore people who say "don't starve yourself," or "Watch your sugar level." I am losing weight and I feel better. This can only be good for me.
03/12 Direct Link
I hit the keys and they don't always work. The machine spits and sputters and works most of the time at best. It drops the network and drops its Bluetooth connection constantly. If I touch the side it drops the network. It is annoying and feels like it seldom or never works. I could take it back I suppose but I don't want to give back a machine that has all my information on it...or maybe I just do not want to go through the perceived pain of returning a computer and then building a new one up from scratch.
03/13 Direct Link
A beam of light slashes through the window and bores into the wine-colored drapes. I am going to have to wash those windows before long. Perhaps sometime after the snow melts. The clean sunlight pierces three layers of fabric before being absorbed. Some of it misses the drape and splashes onto the floor. I think about lying down on the carpet where the sunlight is coming through the window and letting it splash onto my back. I know it would feel good on my back which has been behaving strangely lately, transmitting me messages of a pinching pain and chills.
03/14 Direct Link
I'm cold when I come inside after my walk. My body is having one of those spells where it cannot decide whether it wants to be sick or not. It thinks it is cold. It thinks it is hungry. Sometimes it thinks it wants another cup of coffee. Yesterday was trash pick-up day. In front of most houses is a little pile of debris where the curb cart sat and the robot hand on the garbage truck spewed forth tinsel and paper as it dumped the garbage. Perhaps all this will wash down to the lake along with the snow
03/15 Direct Link
I called my daughters this morning, all three of them. One didn't answer but another told me what the first was about. The other was out checking her traps with her fiancée. She is studying rabbits under some kind of grant, live-trapping them and putting little radio collars on them. She had come up bust this morning, with nothing but a skunk and a raccoon to show for her efforts. The third daughter is pregnant. She is due in July and is moving to the UK next month to join her husband, my first son. Yes, I have many children.
03/16 Direct Link
I am thinking of you

knowing full well

it could be an exercise

in something--

but no, not there.

It is not that,

no exercise thing

of routine or

futility.

Rather it is a way of being.

You are living

whole in my mind.

As you go through your day,

draw your finger across a windowsill

reach into a cupboard or

shake out a rug,

we are touching--

senses alive

flinging me into the air.

As you breathe

I feel your breast

rising against my chest

and if you touch your lips

I am kissed,

turned

wobbly

off my knees
03/17 Direct Link
For that first moment we are without motion, without sense, without thought. Thought is a thing that eludes, that does not present itself. There is no consciousness because that is something we must be given. There is only perception and a set of limitations that color that perception. We must be taught to see, to hear, to listen with fingers set in fine moments of touch against a surface that is filled with an incredible number of flaws and irregularities. The touch is so new, so untaught, that we sense every molecule, not knowing that is error. It is temporary.
03/18 Direct Link
Light comes as a torrent of photons, streaming unchecked, unfiltered into our brains. We are at the end of a fire hose of light and can't move. We have come from another place whose memory has been ripped away. It lies up there at the other end of the cord, perhaps, except that we are without memory as well, forging it from the beginning. The first second is infinity. The next second is half that again and we will be engineered to swallow each second in increasing momentum until we are moving so fast that we snap the new cord.
03/19 Direct Link
I hear the rumble of my son's truck. I am pretty sure that is what it is. He had it parked out on the driveway, charging the battery. I think he just put a new alternator in it. If so, charging the battery does not mean good things. I hear a feminine cough, probably his girlfriend, and then I hear footfalls up the stairs and around the newel post. I did hear correctly. It was he. It were he. He, she, it. sometimes I think I have lived too long and have done the same things too many times over.
03/20 Direct Link
I think it used to be convention to put a double-space after a sentence. That thinking seems to have changed somewhere to single space. It is a small thing I suppose, and the single-space is even a smaller thing Now my head grows heavy, wanting to find the back of my chair. When I close my eyes the lids are hot and heavy. I type, my eyes closed, finding the idea of typing in the dark. Yet it works. I notice that I am not even translating in my head but just hearing words which flow out of my fingers.
03/21 Direct Link
I walk around with words

in my fingers.

Crazy, jumbled,

dancing;

6 point,

10 point and 2,

words lined up,

crosswise

and leaning slouched

against the ball of my thumb.



I fling my hand to the side

and the words fly out

stapling themselves to the ground

stitching a message

that quietly soaks

into the soil.



washing up for dinner

with the soap suds I squeeze

out small phrases

from digits:

more milk and pass the

hamburger gravy this way.



So when I touch the keyboard

It is not unusual to find

entire pages tumbling

out from under my nails.

03/22 Direct Link
It's a day like any other. The cold curve of the earth is tipping up to swallow the sun. I am thinking something, listening the hum of some engine on the road. Today the deer came back, three of them feeding on the hill behind the house, eagerly pounding the bark from pieces of limb. It has grown quiet in here. This is what it will be like if I drive my son away. I understand that. It has its good points and its bad points. I worry about him if he goes; I worry about him if he stays.
03/23 Direct Link
It is a day like any other. The slow cold curve of the earth is tipping up to swallow the sun. The sky is a purple bruise, swollen and silent. I talked with my father today. He just turned 91 and is peering over the precipice into the dawn of death. I do not think he cares for the view. He talks about his time in the Army/Air force flying B-24's. Maybe it was B-26's. I don't remember. I should remember. They were called widow makers. According to Wikipedia, that would be the B-26. He still has nightmares about that.
03/24 Direct Link
It is a day like any other. The slow cold curve of the earth has tipped up to swallow the sun leaving the sky a silent swollen purple bruise that turned black. I wonder if it is safe to think about you here. It is probably not appropriate. However, it is not like anybody reads these things. Hell, everybody reads these things. Which is it? I don't know. Does it make any difference in the long run? No. Does it make any difference in the short run? Everything matters in the short run. That is the nature of the run.
03/25 Direct Link
It is a day like any other. The slow cold curve of the earth has tipped up to swallow the sun leaving the sky a silent swollen purple bruise that turned black. It's quiet in here now so that I can hear the furnace. It may be too warm. I am wearing a heavy flannel shirt. This morning I put it on because I was cold. That was this morning. Since then I have been working. I cleaned windows and worked up a sweat taking them out and putting them back in. It took me awhile to find the Windex.
03/26 Direct Link
It is a day like any other. The slow cold curve of the earth has tipped up to swallow the sun leaving the sky a silent swollen purple bruise that turned black. It is quiet in here now so that I can hear the furnace. It may be too warm. My ears are singing. They sing most of the time. I think the ear ringing is related to blockages caused largely by a deviated septum that results in unequal ambient pressure on the inside and outside of the ear drum. This ongoing trauma in turn results in the singing noise
03/27 Direct Link
It is a day like any other. The slow cold curve of the earth has tipped up to swallow the sun leaving the sky a silent swollen purple bruise that turned black. It is quiet in here now so that I can hear the singing in my ears. The window is a dark mirror reflecting my life in ominous shades of black on black. I see the lamp at my side and little else save the glass-paneled door in the dining room behind me. This is the same style of the living room door in the family cottage in Canada.
03/28 Direct Link
It is a day like any other. The slow cold curve of the earth has tipped up to swallow the sun leaving the sky a silent swollen purple bruise that turned black. It is quiet in here now so that I can hear the soft singing of the furnace. The window is a dark mirror reflecting my life in ominous shades of black on black. I talked with my mother this morning. She said they had moved out the old men living in the trailer at the bottom of the hill. She did not know where they took them to.
03/29 Direct Link
It is a day like any other. The slow cold curve of the earth has tipped up to swallow the sun leaving the sky a silent swollen purple bruise that turned black. It is quiet in here now so that I can hear the soft singing of the furnace. The window is a dark mirror reflecting my life in ominous shades of black on black. The furnace drops something down a heat vent and I hear it rattling and falling onto a flat surface. It makes the sound of a chain being dropped, links piling up as the chain falls.
03/30 Direct Link
It is a day like any other. The slow cold curve of the earth has tipped up to swallow the sun leaving the sky a silent swollen purple bruise that turned black. It is quiet in here now so that I can hear the soft singing of the refrigerator. My son comes home with his girlfriend and I hear their pant legs brushing together as they climb the stairs to his room. He says something to her about making sure the door is closed. There is a muted snick as they close the door at the top of the stairs.
03/31 Direct Link
It is a day like any other. The slow cold curve of the earth has tipped up to swallow the sun leaving the sky a silent swollen purple bruise that has turned black. I was fishing today at the lake down in the woods. The paths there are wide and still dark with the moisture from the snow. Little sun has filtered through the trees to melt and dry these woods. The lake is starting to thaw, the ice too rotten for drilling a hold. I had to fish from the bank, letting the hook drift up beneath the ice.