BY Michael

08/01 Direct Link
I close my eyes. Really I just rest them for a moment. I am conscious of a sound. It might be the fan in the bathroom. It has that kind of cadence. I wonder briefly about other noises and listen for them. Yes, there they are. She says she is going to jump into the shower. I tell her she should be careful about jumping into the shower, that she might slip and fall. She should step in, I say. There is the sound of her laughter and the water running as she fills the watering can for the flowers.
08/02 Direct Link
I hear the basketballs drumming on the court outside. That and the rattle of the rim as the heavy ball bounces off it. The weather has cooled. It is nearly seventy out there. I have opened the windows to the man cave so it will be cooler in there in the morning when I start work. I was thinking about doing some more walking today. I don't think she really wants to go with me so I will either go by myself or I will go downstairs on the treadmill. Either way I will finish my ten thousand steps today.
08/03 Direct Link
The train gives three short blasts on its horn as the heavy body diesel comes by. The blue-and-white striped prow comes out of the pines and I hear the wheels bumping the rails. I know there are broken timbers out there and broken pieces of steel. Still the whole thing holds together as the hopper cars now come in a row with diamonds of dusk between them. Then the train passes and I hear the carriages rattle away. The other sounds of the evening return. The voices from the park and the music on the laptop in the next room.
08/04 Direct Link
I am buried again in the soft
belly of dream.
My bare feet are sliding
through hard ice crystals
of re-frozen snow while the wind
opens my shirt
and the icy chill soothes the fire on my brow.
I can feel the cold passing through me,
rivulets touching my bones and muscles
as I climb in the dark,
starlight reflecting off the snow.
I can feel my toes
slipping on the ice
and dropping into
the frozen pack below.
And still I am climbing, fingertips
touching the ground
touching saplings
touching the points of stars
embedded in the ice below.
08/05 Direct Link
Well it is only 7:30 and there is so much I can do. I could put a hot compress on my eyes, something my eye doctor recommended I do. I could call the handyman to fix my door although I strongly suspect my door cannot be fixed. This is something I will have to deal with. I could check prices of new doors at home depot. It is not encouraging. It is about a thousand bucks minimum. I was thoroughly defeated by this door today. It does not close. When closed it will not open. It is a bad situation.
08/06 Direct Link
The chair is extremely uncomfortable. My desk chair maybe would be better than this. But then a desk chair should be better I suppose. You have to work out of a desk chair. Why is it the thought of a desk chair gives me the impression of someone not working? Of someone doing just the opposite? And this chair, the uncomfortable chair, why would anyone bother to make something both uncomfortable and uniquely ugly? Someone must have purchased it, must have dragged it home. I have to assume she got a real deal on it, hence its shuffle to me.
08/07 Direct Link
I am caught here without my mouse. I could go get it, but it doesn't matter. I could not sit in this chair and use it. There is not room on the arm rest for it. I should think harder about moving my recliner up here from the living room, up the stairs. I am reluctant to do this because it would signal a move on my part. It would put space between us and I like being close to you. True, I like being in this room and listening to whatever music I choose. But not at that expense..
08/08 Direct Link
I am trapped here by the painters. They seem to be doing a professional job. I was going to say thoroughly professional, but I wasn't sure I could spell "thoroughly." So much for that problem. I have tried moving away from the ugly chair, using my desk chair. It is not much better. I have been more comfortable sitting up in bed and typing. Getting a useful work surface is difficult. Even my recliner has issues with elbow height. I think I remember that to be the case. Still I used to spend a lot of time in the recliner.
08/09 Direct Link
There seems to be a space
surrounding ten minutes.
The space is ragged at the ends
as if perhaps a few seconds have been ripped
off at some point,
have been lost.
The space defined this way is finite.
It has a
resolute end
that comes without fail.
And this is followed by another ten minutes.
This is how I work. It is how I spend my morning,
I watch segments of time passing by,
timing them.
And it seems inevitable that I will come to see
my own life
as a resolute passage of a finite amount of time.
08/10 Direct Link
And it seems that some will
come to see their lives
as a resolute passage
of a finite amount of time.

We come across one another
and we compare thoughts
on the space in time allotted
to us.

It is slippery.
We don't know the size of the slug
we are living.
It could end tomorrow
or in thirty years
and thirty years seems like a useful
division of time to me.

Well we are sliding around one another
trying to catch hold
each hanging onto
our space of time with one
hand and trying to signal with the other.
08/11 Direct Link
He had a troubled mind.
It was a vicious pet
with little spidery eyeballs
and visions it would not forget.

It leaned away and pulled hard
growling at strangers on the street,
an unrepentant crotch sniffer
who chewed on its leash.

It was born too late of
a troublesome litter.
refused to be housebroken and
woke up nights whimpering
about places it had been
and the ones it has left squished
in the fists of avaricious men.

And one morning
was found lying on its side
falling asleep, perhaps
drooling with rolling eyes
feet pawing and
churning the empty air.
08/12 Direct Link
It is a day
like any other.
And memory sees you coming
sees you coming down the street
And I can already feel the touch of your
can already feel the bump
of your hip against mine
as we travel where the hedge
has narrowed the walk
so that I put my arm
around you and we are
stepping, a tight
three-legged competitor
leaning into life.
This is where we
turn toward the park;
we are crossing the rails,
picking up the pace
looking at me
looking at you
heads almost touching now,
eye lines crossing,
pink shoes.
08/13 Direct Link
We shoot hoops. I've carried this line in my head for weeks now. worried about what I would do with it. But it is time to put it down. We shoot hoops. In the sunny bowl of West Park in the evening under a sky full of clouds. Someone left the basketball there. It has a name sketched on it, but you can't really read it. It has mostly worn off. And every night when we go back the basketball is still there and we take turn shooting hoops and talk about the marvel of the ball that nobody steals.
08/14 Direct Link
The bird clock chirps from the kitchen and the museum train rolls by every hour. We are sharing space here and I am trying to crawl out from under this anxiety thing. The clock chimes five o'clock and we are actually waiting for the temperature to drop so we can walk downtown and check out the melon festival. This will be our third night there. The first night it rained hard and we sat in a coffee shop watching everyone get wet out on the street. The second night we listened to the band and there goes that thing again.
08/15 Direct Link
I feel trumped by the TV, but I am sure I will get around that. If not, I can relocate. I have new places to relocate to, a new upstairs, with a new window to the world. The world seems very big these days. I think sometimes I wish I were a little boy again. I am not sure what appeals to me about this as I begin to physically approach that age again. Perhaps it was the limit on inputs, the innocence I don't know. I didn't know I couldn't see then. That was how much I didn't know.
08/16 Direct Link
It was cool today. I was afraid at first that it would be too muggy, but the ground seemed to dry up quickly and my study stayed cool with just a fan in the window. A couple times I turned the fan off to bring the temperature back up. I just drew a blank here. She is sleeping and the news is on the TV. Perhaps I should relocate. I have considered this before but it has not yet proved to be necessary. Define necessary. What about the headphones? I could put on my headphones and drown the TV out.
08/17 Direct Link
I keep waiting for something new to come on the TV, but all I get served up is commercial after commercial. I take a break and watch the financial news, but that really doesn't make any sense to me. It should. I have the educational background, but so much of the financial analysis that goes on is 20/20 hindsight, I am convinced. It reminds me of the physical sciences that with advance after advance are continually faced with the unknown. There will always be mysteries. There will always be places where we are unable to pin down an absolute truth.
08/18 Direct Link
Gee 100 words, I have been pumping words into you faithfully for years now. At first it seemed like good exercise, but now I am starting to have second thoughts. It seems that I am writing 36,500 words a year here. Wait, that's about a novel a year! If it were just a warm-up for something else I could see it, but the fact is that I write very little else. I do the 100 words and I seem to be finished. Clearly I would be better off if I were pumping out 100 words every day into a book.
08/19 Direct Link
I used to think I could write about anything. I suppose this is still so. It is just that the new meds, always with the new meds, are making me feel a bit sluggish. I had lunch with my son today at the Coney. The Coney was busy, very busy, maybe 200 people packed in there. I told him I felt stoned. He opined that it was because I was stoned adding that perhaps I should find a different word to use. She is in her kitchen office clipping coupons for our trip to the grocery. She loves clipping coupons.
08/20 Direct Link
She is in the kitchen cleaning the radishes she bought at the farmer's market this morning. She turns to tell me that she used to put the radish tops on the yard to feed the rabbits, but that the rabbits would not eat them. "You can eat radish tops," she says. "I'm not going to eat them though if the rabbits won't touch them." She heads out the back door with a plate full of coffee grounds. I stop her telling her I have more of them. "In the thing?" she asks. "Yes," I say. "I'll get them she says."
08/21 Direct Link
Iím sighting out over the park into the sand of the volleyball field and the thermometer tells me the temperature is dropping, unseasonably cool, although Michigan has been cool now for the past two years. Soon the leaves will be falling, crisp, colorful, crunching beneath my shoes as I walk, most likely in this same park that I am now watching over. This is my new home. Get used to it. I almost am used to it. There are just a few changes I want to make. Move a chair in here and a turntable. That will about do it.
08/22 Direct Link
It's humid. I remember her saying this morning that the humidity was at 99 percent with a twenty per cent chance of rain. This was a contradiction to her as she saw humidity connected with rain. I would agree, although I am sure that there are other things involved. Air pressure? Or is air pressure a measure of humidity? Time to go find Google and get some answers. I go Google and I think I have an answer that makes sense. Air pressure affects the amount of water the air can hold, so the air pressure must be high today.
08/23 Direct Link
We all find things to worry about. I am currently worried that my laptop is going to run out of electricity. It is obviously a worry I can do something about. I can move a little and plug in the laptop. Simple solution. Then I can watch it charge while I continue to dribble here. 100 words is dribbling is it not? I mean it has no literary import. It is as futile and pointless as life itself. Oh dear I let my writing enter into unforgiving territory. It means I have to tear up this piece and start over.
08/24 Direct Link
Air. I keep thinking about air. It seems to be important that I keep moving here, that I maintain the flow of letters across the page. It is a mental health issue. It seems to relieve the persistent anxiety. I don't need to understand why. I only need to remember that it works. I think the piano playing works in a similar manner although it sometimes causes stress. I wonder, does this journaling stuff cause stress? I guess it does. It seems that everything that touches you causes stress of one kind or another. Air. I was thinking about air.
08/25 Direct Link
It seems breathing would be easier under conditions of high air pressure. Contrary to that it would be more difficult to breathe under conditions of low air pressure. I think the low air pressure gets you in two ways. First, It is more difficult to draw in a breath and second there is less oxygen in it. I think about scuba diving where the body is under pressure from the water. You have to work harder to breathe. Wouldn't the same be true with higher air pressure? I clearly don't know and I don't think I can Google this one.
08/26 Direct Link
It happened. The laptop battery ran down. I plugged in and moved over on the couch. I used to plug in behind the couch, but that seems to make her nervous. Perhaps I need to get a plug strip and run it around the couch instead of running the cord through the split in the back of the couch. Although, this actually places me in a better position to hear my stereo. I was thinking about going downstairs to the treadmill. That led me to think about taking the laptop to the treadmill. But I would need electricity for that.
08/27 Direct Link
I consider a run to the store for an extension cord with multiple ends on it so I can plug in the laptop while on the treadmill. Actually, I have an extension cord already...somewhere. I might even have two. What I need it the one I saw once that had three female plugs on the end. I am unsure about the length though. Is fifty feet enough? I think it is. I would also need another one to hook up the workbench, and then I would have plugs on top of plugs and wires running all over a damp basement.
08/28 Direct Link
I want to move the topic elsewhere. I am thinking about my father. I am remembering him dressed in denim with a gunny sack over his shoulder, coming back from the woods. We must have been gathering nuts. I would have had to climb the fence of course. He must have taught me to climb the fence, or maybe I learned by watching him. Only I've no memory of my father climbing the fence. In my imagination he simply steps over the fence. I know this is not possible. It is just that he seemed that large in my imagination.
08/29 Direct Link
It is important that I stay mentally active. The activity keeps my brain out of dangerous territory. In a little bit I will go into the basement and get on the treadmill. This will cause some anxiety in me because I will be leaving you and I will be afraid you will be alone or something. To be sure you have spent a lot of time alone before this and handled it fairly well. I will probably ask you how many steps I should shoot for on the treadmill. Will we be walking tonight? The sun has come out finally.
08/30 Direct Link
The sun steps over the window sill and into the room, stepping in brightly and wearing muddy work boots. Little bits of mud fall off onto the carpet and begin slumping down into the nap. I give the sun a wry look but I can see he is too self-absorbed to notice the dirty boots on the carpet. I will have to run the vac after the he leaves and the mud dries. I hope I won't have to shampoo to get the mud out. The sun is still smiling at me. I wonder what he has on his mind.
08/31 Direct Link
She catches me rubbing my eyes and bring me a hot cloth. We have to be careful with the hot cloth. If it is too hot I could end up with hard-boiled eyes. This dry eye thing is a side effect of the latest med experiment by my doctor. The docs like to experiment. Unfortunately the med has shown other positive effects so I am left with the dry eyes. I suggest going to get some artificial tears. I really don't know if it will work but I think we will do this as soon as I am done here.