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BY Michael

12/01 Direct Link
It's a cold and foggy morning. The park has a layer of frost and so does my car. I'm thinking I will wait and let the sun clear off my car, but it will have to warm by some ten to twenty degrees for that to happen. It is 27 degrees just now, and it's supposed to get into the upper 40's today. I need to feed the birds today. You used to feel the birds but that has somehow become my job. It happened quite suddenly and it's not really my thing. I do it to make you happy.
12/02 Direct Link
The sun is shining now. It is a nice change from the winter fog that was bearing down on us for the past few days. You are sleeping here. You suggested that we both take a nap, but nap taking is an art that I'm not much good at. I think I was more proficient at it several years ago, but memory is not too certain. Memory is uncertain about so many things. Yet you often say I have a good memory. I don't know. My brain seems to leak terribly. Maybe this is how brains are supposed to work.
12/03 Direct Link
I go on. I could go on. I do go on. I was going to do something else, but I am not really sure just how much time I have here. I am giving you a break. I am giving you a break from me. That is my present to you tonight. I am going to leave you alone, untouched, unsought for a period of time here. I am not sure how long this period of time will be. It will be until you come to look for me? Can I hold out that long? I sort of doubt it.
12/04 Direct Link
The Christmas tree lights up the end of the room. It seems like an enormous tree. It is ten, maybe twelve feet tall. It is your tree of course. You are the Christmas queen. You wander around singing carols to yourself. I helped you drag the tree out of the basement and assemble it. We only used three of the four sections and it still buts up against the cathedral ceiling in here. And it was heavy coming up the stairs. Then we trimmed it, me standing on a small ladder and you adding two ornaments for my every one.
12/05 Direct Link
Where was it? I am now typing with a Band-Aid on my finger. Hyphenated? Is the word Band-aid hyphenated? apparently so. That iteration made it through the spell checker. I wonder what suggestions the spell checker has for Band-Aid. I check. Yes, it is supposed to be hyphenated. It is amazing the drivel I sometimes put in here. All this in the secure assumption that no one actually reads these entries. And there are fewer people writing than there used to be. I have hitched my wagon to a sheltered star. It is going nowhere and taking me with it.
12/06 Direct Link
I could go out into the night. I could go out there in my mind. It is too cold to go out there in person. It will be much colder before this season is over no doubt, but it is cold enough now to give me pause about going out there in the dark. In the dark the grass will still be wet from the rain today. There will still be puddles about. The park will sit ghostly populated by shadows and memories. The railroad track will sit silent and waiting for the heavy iron that will soon gallop by.
12/07 Direct Link
I typed an entry about things sitting in the night. I look into the corner where my piano sits. I suppose it is my piano. It is my piano by default because I took it in when no one else would. You let me take it in. I have to give you much credit for that. It was not a small thing to take in and you encourage me to play it. You go beyond encouragement sometimes making me play it at times when I am too distracted to do it myself, but you know it is good for me.
12/08 Direct Link
I am hopelessly behind in my 100 Words entries. It is not the distance that is at issue, but rather my ability to focus these days. I am powerfully distracted. I could blame it on the Band-aid on my finger. See the Band-aid? But the Band-aid is only a metaphor for another thing. I have hidden behind metaphors in the past. That is no new thing for me. Nor is it a new thing for me to be powerfully distracted. I am also working up a powerful crick in my neck. I rub it but it will not go away.
12/09 Direct Link
I can hear you on the phone in the next room. You are in your corner. "Go to your corner," I used to say. You are ordering Christmas baskets. It is part of your job. We both have little jobs to keep us focused in retirement. This is something I think I need more than you do. I think you could do just as well without your focus. I could probably use more focus and I think you would be the first person to agree with this. But, I don't want to yield up any time I spend with you.
12/10 Direct Link
According to my battery timer I have seventeen minutes left before my laptop dies. I don't know if seventeen minutes is enough time to pound out a 100 Words entry but I am going to give it a go. By then it will be nine o'clock here and time for me to consider other things anyway. The night is swiftly drawing to a close again. I count the evenings, one after another as my life dribbles away in tiny little photos of you and I on the couch watching TV. The clock chimes. I am going to beat the seventeen-minutes.
12/11 Direct Link
Well it is in the morning. I can see the trees outside in dim morning light, branches moving slightly in a cold breeze. I have time here, some time and time is so precious, always moving, always crowding itself out leaving us dumped out so much farther ahead every time. I look in the mirror and see an old person who I do not recognize. What happened to the younger me? What will continue to happen to that which is now me? There is nothing unique about my experience. Billions of people on the planet. Millions are just like me.
12/12 Direct Link
I am looking out over the wet park. I am thinking I should be exercising. I am thinking I should not be thinking about should’s. Of course that is another should. Maybe it is a case of the second one cancelling the first one out? Is that how that works? I made the bed. You like it when I make the bed so I do that. I do it for you. I would never do it for myself. I take a drink of my coffee. It is the last of the coffee. I would like to make some more coffee.
12/13 Direct Link
The tree reaches up past my window. It is a giant of a cottonwood. This is my second home in a row to be sheltered and simultaneously threatened by a giant cottonwood. I miss my other home. I left it twice. I did not miss it very much the first time I left. I was relieved to be out of there and away from my wife at the time. This time there was nothing to flee. It was only me leaving one home and putting on another. I came to be with you here. It is as simple as that.
12/14 Direct Link
I've been reading in the Bible lately. I don't think I can say I've been reading the Bible because that implies that I would be tackling the entire thing. I'm not ready for that project, but I am tackling the four New Testament Gospels. I've finished John and started Matthew. Already I'm taken by the difference in my experience from my reading it as a youth. Then, things such as adultery had little real meaning for me. Now I find I am a lost soul because of my actions. Of course I can seek forgiveness. No one is past that.
12/15 Direct Link
It is starting to get dark outside. I could turn on the Christmas tree. You love Christmas. I was the opposite before moving in with you. I had no tree and spent most Christmas holidays with the blues instead of red and green. Your passion for decorating scared me. Still I gamely helped you erect the 12-foot tree in our tiny condo and then watched as the auxiliary decorations began to cover every available surface inside and out. It was when you did the bath that I called enough. I don't know where you store this stuff in the off-season.
12/16 Direct Link
The sphere was rolling around in the truck bed. It bounced as the truck hit bumps but never enough to bounce out of the pickup bed. It was a metal sphere about the size of a volley ball. It was light and obviously hollow. Well it felt hollow in my mind. It was grey in color. It reminded me of a globe. But it would have been a smallish one. I remember globes. They were once more popular than they are now. I don't know if they are still popular in classrooms. I haven't been inside a classroom in decades.
12/17 Direct Link
Show saved copy the browser suggests. I know I don't want a saved copy. For one thing the browser will not remember my password in the saved copy and I am not sure I still remember the password. The site is down anyway, and a saved copy will not do anything for me. There are millions and hundreds of millions of people in this country alone and we only get a dozen 100 word bites a month these days? It has literally become a one in a million kind of shot. I taste my teeth. The wind is cold outside.
12/18 Direct Link
I saw the new Star Wars movie yesterday. It was not as good as everyone is saying. Not only was it not as good as the first, it was in many ways a repeat of the first. It is set to break all kinds of records for attendance. Imagine what it would have done if it had actually been a good movie. It used too many devices from the first movie that had already been used up. The cute robot. The attack of the death star. The Cantina band. Bringing some of the original cast on stage wasn't even helpful.
12/19 Direct Link
I have come kind of catch in my arm. I am not sure whether it is in the elbow or the shoulder, but when I lift my arm and move it a certain way it gives off a click and feels creepy. It sounds creepy. It is really creeping me out. There are already enough things in this life to be creeped out about without this. Still I am thankful that I do not have some really creepy thing wrong with me. I could be paralyzed or could have severe chronic pain. I could be incontinent. I could be dying.
12/20 Direct Link
I have been thinking about eating lunch. Actually I have been thinking about many things, lunch being only one of them. It is 2:30, late for lunch. Linner? Linner is the word you would use. You have been at your calculator most of the day so far. I can hear you in there. Ka-chunk goes the calculator. Mumble mumble go you. You mumble something about being seven cents off. I think that it is soon time to do income taxes. The thought of doing my income taxes this year gives me angst. Too many things give me angst this year.
12/21 Direct Link
It is getting dark outside. Dusk. Evening as the day slowly sheds its light, its memories, and crawls back into the empty sky. The hungry birds have abandoned the feeder. Even the greedy squirrels have gone back to their twig nests high in the trees. This sky is now an abandoned rose color behind the pines. Maybe they are spruce. I am not so good at telling the difference. A quick question to the internet suggests fir trees also and two different articles give two different answers to the question. Sic semper internet. Do I really get information or not?
12/22 Direct Link
The man walking in the park had a red hat. You said something to that effect, something I didn't quite catch. Was there a reference to TV, or a TV in your sentence as you leaned out of your chair for a better look? I saw maybe a couple pushing a baby buggy. I got a quick glimpse as they disappeared from my field of view, but I am pretty sure I saw a red hat. It may have been a red wool hunting cap, like the one my father used to wear when he was young, hearty and hunting.
12/23 Direct Link
You are an advocate of red cars. Your car is red. You feel red cars are more visible because there are fewer of them and they attract attention. People are used to looking at grey and black cars you argue. I do not take the bait for the argument. We rarely argue. It may be because I am afraid of conflict. I might be. I was told once that grey cars were the most visible, this coming from the new car salesman as he sold me a grey car. I don't even remember the make. May have been a Toyota.
12/24 Direct Link
I had a dream the other night. We lit a fire in the fireplace. It is a small fireplace and you like to burn those wax logs. You have purchased a small bundle of firewood, but we don't use wood like that very often. In the dream we used the real firewood and it melted a hole in the floor of the fireplace. We wound up in a discussion of how to repair the hole. I was in favor of adding a new metal plate although I was disconcerted about the new view of the basement from our living room.
12/25 Direct Link
It's Christmas morning. I have three new sweat suits now. I have already been warned that I cannot ask where I will put this new thing. I have been instructed to like my presents no matter what I get. I can see you are not excited so very much about your presents. I tried. I really tried. I should have known jewelry was a bad idea given that your previous was a wealthy man and you have real jewelry. I tried to buy real jewelry, but I can see that I made a mistake. Still you are a game recipient.
12/26 Direct Link
I am sitting without a plan. I am the without a plan man. Yes, of course I should hyphenate without a plan. I probably should have put it in quotes in the last sentence. There are so many rules and I seem to have forgotten many of them. I get a twinge of conseience as I think about my job which is English teacher to Korean students. My grammar knowledge seems to have holes in it. Let's see, a gerund is a verb used as a noun. Yes I have that right. The participle is just a little more tricky.
12/27 Direct Link
It is raining. I can hear the dishwasher running in the kitchen. The dishwasher runs for a long time when it I started up. I am however getting better at refraining from grinding my teeth so perhaps the stress component is falling off. You are trying to transfer some files to your iPad using the cloud. I think you are doing this for me. I would say not to bother. I really don't care to have the files. Still, you are on a mission and you will keep at it until you complete the mission. That is in your nature.
12/28 Direct Link
We have coffee in the folio. When I picked up the folio coffee was actually running out of it. It ran out all over the desk. I think the folio and the documents in it are ruined. The folio was clean earlier. It had nothing but documents in it. It had more documents than anyone could ever possibly read. This has been one of the gifts of computers. We have more information at our fingertips than we can ever possibly use. Often the information we actually need is hidden by all the other irrelevant information that it is stashed with.
12/29 Direct Link
It's a broken tooth. It is sucking the truth. Taking all from the wall, leaving the shelves empty, glossy pine planks shining in the lamplight. Careless lovers have left lint on the tops and sides. We walk topsy turvsey and the women come dripping from their bath. The men are left crying. We set them on the empty shelves in a mistaken compassion. What is left slides over the hill, chasing the sun down until darkness covers everything. We are broken. We are left. I will not say what or where we have been left for. It is too horrible.
12/30 Direct Link
I am often left singing about the amount of time left. I am fixed on the amount of time left. I don't know how much time is left. I do know that there is less than there once was although once was is now lost to us forever or at least for a very long time. Forever is often confused with a very long time, but make no mistake. A very long time is long enough for nearly anything to happen. Not that I am fixing my hopes for the very distant future on a very long time. It's wicked.
12/31 Direct Link
Memory is so fragile, all broken and crumbling around the edges. Perhaps it is only my memory that is this way. Perhaps the memories of others is robust and health, rotund little babies laid up in storage for instant perfect recollection. Nonetheless it is the memory I have and this is the only experience I have any real access to. My mind is running back maybe fifty years to a camp that may no longer exist. I know the property has been sold. I am readily confusing memory with what I imagine must have been. It is that easily overrun.