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BY Michael

11/01 Direct Link
You also bought the dog while we were at the thrift store. I did not understand the dog purchase except to know that it was somehow important to you. It was a plaster or plaster-like plastic dog, a light-colored Labrador puppy reclining and it is now reclining in front of our fireplace. You gave the dog a name and proclaimed that it was a perfect dog since we did not have to walk it or clean up its poop. You sat in your chair and had me move the dog until it was watching you at the ďjust rightĒ angle.
11/02 Direct Link
I could get up and clean the fingerprints off the switch plate across the room. There are so many little distractions when I start writing. Once I get involved in it though there are no more little distractions. Then there are only big distractions that try to lever me out of what I am doing. I pause, looking for perhaps a distraction but none is available. I look at the watches on my wrists. Yes, I used plural. It is a long story. Well it is too long for a 100-Words entry. Perhaps if I had started with the watches.
11/03 Direct Link
Today I start with the watches. I have four wristwatches. This does not include my smartphone, my various computers, or my other devices which incidentally give me the time. It does not take into account that I live with someone who loves to collect clocks. On my left wrist is the Bulova she bought me for Christmas last year. It is a good watch, having survived a trip through the washing machine without losing time. On my right wrist is my Fit Bit. I am not as enamored with the Fit Bit as I was when I first got it.
11/04 Direct Link
Yesterday I started with the wristwatches and still didnít have enough space to do the watches in 100 words. But then that is the challenge of writing 100 words. You make it fit whether you have to condense or stretch it. Lately I seem to just chop things off. I think I ended with a chop-off of the Fit Bit. To be honest I seem to be having some allergic reaction to the Fit Bit. My wrist breaks out in a red sore just beneath the latch. I switch wrists and a few days later the same thing happens again.
11/05 Direct Link
I donít have my usual fear of finishing the 100 Words entry today. I think I can play the piano. I try to practice the piano an hour every day and really an hour is rarely enough to get through the pieces and exercises I want to get through. Normally I need closer to an hour and a half. And it is hard to find an hour and a half during the day. To be sure the hour and a half needs to end before six-thirty when the news comes on. You love to watch the news. It just scares me.
11/06 Direct Link
It is Daylight Saving time now, the very first day of it. It really seems to unnecessarily complicate our lives. It must have seemed like a good idea at the time and in fact other countries have adopted it even though some of our own states have declined to use it. More complication. It is especially complicated for me because I work for a Korean company and Korea is not on Daylight Saving Time. To further complicate matters my job requires me to schedule sessions with students so twice a year I have to stop and re-schedule all my classes.
11/07 Direct Link
Before yesterday was yet another day and I donít think I can remember it anymore. Yesterday was the day you had an allergic reaction to an antibiotic and drove yourself to the doctor while I worked upstairs. They shot you up with epinephrine and shoved you into an EMS truck for the quarter-mile ride to the ER. That was where I found you. This is the second time this year I have found you in the ER. The last time I took you. That was the kidney stone. Iím not sure which session was worse. Yesterdayís certainly had the potential.
11/08 Direct Link
I didnít go for a walk today. Iím not sure what made today so busy. Itís not over with yet and that may account for an hour or so of it. You seemed to have a lot of projects going this morning. Mostly clean-up from the extended visit of daughterís dog. Scrub the floors. Clean the rugs and the carpets. This activity will continue tomorrow morning you have promised. While I am working upstairs you will be running the carpet cleaner. This means I should shut my door to keep down the noise. I have a pretty full schedule tomorrow.
11/09 Direct Link
Itís dark outside and my ears are burning. You said my hands were cold so I slid them up under your shirt. We were coming back from CVS where I had picked up yet another prescription. You were talking about putting wallpaper over the cabinets. A light yellow you explained. What was that called? I was supposed to know but I didnít. Suddenly I blurted out, Pastel. Yes, that was it. You wanted to do it in pastel colors, but not right away. Nothing for me to get anxious about. It must have been something you saw on my face.
11/10 Direct Link
A window slowly opens, the frame a semi-gloss white in double sash. The wind blows through bringing leaves with it. Dry leaves that skitter and bounce across the floor. I see a tree trunk outside the window, possibly the very same tree responsible for these leaves. I shut the window. The heat is on. I donít want to be wasteful. That is something shoehorned into my brain in the same indelible way that the belief in God is. How can I have grown up as me and not believe in God? It is as if it were in my DNA.
11/11 Direct Link
One word written in ink Indelible scratched on the rag bond page set next to the broken pen. It is the end of summer and I am dethroned Suffering and in pain. Millions of rubber tires wipe sticky on the asphalt road. The glinting metal, the cast iron block, the spark and thermal detonation. We are crawling to a final resolution in long lines. Can you feel the scrape of the road against your knees? It is a vision across the land of empty rooms in the sky. The rat vermin wear the crown. Your writing doesnít make it so.
11/12 Direct Link
No, Iím not deep in thought. Iím deep in something or perhaps into something but I donít think it is thought. It is more of an apprehension, a kind of panic. Time has become stuck and is piling up behind me like a tsunami of forgotten dreams. Soon the morning will come for me. The day will call and I will be unprepared. I will be standing out there alone and naked. Itís like that. Itís usually like that. The birds are working near the feeder. Flowers have become limp wet weeds feeding in the sunlight. I heard you calling.
11/13 Direct Link
Iím cold and my eyes are fogged over. I am like a frog caught in an early frost. Matthew Iím terribly sorry you are dead. Iíve spent much of my life dodging death like things and you went so quickly. I think if there was anyone dead I would talk to it might be you. Unless it were my grandfather. But Iím not sure about the grandfather thing. I was very young when he died. I remember my father crying in the kitchen. Then it was over. I donít remember the funeral. My parents have always protected me from death.
11/14 Direct Link
Itís turning daylight, turning, ever so slowly turning. The world slides up, trees slicing the air, spinning beneath the sun. I stop because my mind goes blank. Then it too turns again, slowly turning like Faulknerís wheel in the sand. The music I am listening to turns to rap and I hit the forward button going to the next track. Rap must represent to my mind what some rock represented to my parents. It was something different, too different for their minds to assimilate. This must be an indication that I am getting old, too old for this world already.
11/15 Direct Link
I wake. I wade through the muddy stuff that is day. It is extended. My view is so limited, so closed off. I may as well be blind. The fortunate is that this is what I have become used to and if I do not think about it it becomes OK. I close my eyes and wring my hands. In a little while I will make the oatmeal for breakfast. I will make it in the red pan, putting in a cup of water. I will add chopped walnuts and Craisins to the water and turn the flame on beneath.
11/16 Direct Link
I write while the rain slicks the deck. The deck is in my field of vision where I sit now so it gets lots of print. A squirrel glides from one tree to another and slips down the trunk. There is no food left in the feeder here so they have grown tired of this venue. I write while my brain slicks all melty down the side of my face. The melty mucous brain is in my field of thought where I sit now so it gets lots of attention. My face is numb where my brain has touched it.
11/17 Direct Link
Soon I will get up to play the piano. Soon enough. Iíll shut off the music and go put in my bite splint. I wear the bite splint while playing the piano. It gives me something safe to chew on and I seem to need to chew while playing. I wonder how many calories you burn playing the piano. It seems like work. Time to Google. The answer is about 100 per hour. It seems to me it is more work than that. Maybe it depends on what you play and how you play. I have seen some players sweat.
11/18 Direct Link
You are sending an email to the condo association board notifying them that the man from the gas company took exception to their practice of planting ornamental shrubs in front of the gas meters. We were outside laying down an extension cord for Christmas tree lights when we smelled gas. You called the gas company and an hour later a young man was at the door with a gas sniffing device. He went out back and returned to tell us that our meter had a small leak and needed replacing. He replaced the meter telling me about the shrubbery problem.
11/19 Direct Link
I cut my thumb slicing it up the side and halfway across the nail. The slice on the nail is just a scratch however and yes, the cut it not that deep. I am wearing a band aid now and it didnít get in the way of my piano playing that much. As you get older you get scared of things. You are scared of falling down, of bumps, and of cutting yourself. You donít get on a motorcycle anymore not because you canít see, canít see, and have seizures but because you are simply afraid of the damn thing.
11/20 Direct Link
I look into my spam folder. Last night I was taken by a sense that I used to be smarter than I am now. My brain used to work better. I donít know whether that is a natural product of aging or a result of the same thing that caused that sneaker-like smear of scar tissue on my cerebral cortex. And I donít know where that came from. I have some theories, but I have no memory of a head injury. Maybe Iíve had it from birth. Maybe I got smacked too hard. Maybe an accident I have forgotten about.
11/21 Direct Link
You got some programs in there you donít need. It needs to be cleaned up. ďIt actually came up a little faster,Ē you say. Outside the squirrels are fighting over the ear of corn nailed to the deck. They spend more time and energy fighting over the food than they do eating it. That would seem to be a negative pressure for survival. They are like humans that way. The birds are better at sharing food than the squirrels are. But squirrels are tough little customers. Cats that will eat rabbits wonít take on a squirrel. They can be mean.
11/22 Direct Link
My mind heaves itself up on tall stilts and walks along the freeways into Ohio. The grass lays heavy in ditches as I pass and the stilts press into the moist earth. I pass the cemetery there where my older sister is buried. She was almost three years old when she died. Headstones wait for my parents and for my sister and her husband. There is a small space there for me I have been told. A small space in the tiny under-funded, overwhelmed cemetery in a run-down town. Where they got the money to build it I donít know.
11/23 Direct Link
Iím looking out waiting for something to strike me as I prepare to write. My eyes are burning. I should get up and wash my face. It is that way in the morning and evening and if I wash my face the burning goes away. I assume it is caused by a build-up of oil. Here I am writing about the build-up of oil on my face. This will be a dead entry I can already tell. But as I was looking out for something to strike me, that is what reached up and smacked me between the eyes, literally.
11/24 Direct Link
Fresh out of the shower I remember I should put some lotion on my feet before putting on socks but it is time for my Skype call to my son, so I sit here bare feet on the carpet dialing for a connection that probably will not be made. I can feel my ears drying in the air and my pants tugging at my thighs. I have been gaining weight again. Gainer-loser that is what I have been called as my weight constantly bounces between 200 and 250. As I look at the numbers I think that is a lot.
11/25 Direct Link
The big red pick-up is parked in the driveway on the other side of the park. I think it is an Avalanche. Maybe a Chevrolet. It has these peculiar fins behind the crew cab. Why someone would name a vehicle the Avalanche I would not know. Perhaps it is to call to mind an unstoppable force of nature. To me it has connotations of catastrophe. This vehicle will maim or cripple you. It will be an unstoppable hunger for money for an endless stream of large repair bills. It will strand you in unspeakable circumstance. It is a natural disaster.
11/26 Direct Link
Itís wet and sunny outside. Were it not 34 degrees Iíd think it were summer. The red pick-up is parked across the way again. I donít know whether I posted that batch or not. I am in purgatory, running a bit late this month and can no longer see my posted batches for last month. I have my piano practice done for the day and my two oíclock meds are down the hatch. Iím doing fairly well with the scheduled activities for the day. I have some slack time. Time to be a slacker. Slack in the sack. Two words.
11/27 Direct Link
Itís granular. Itís all granular except perhaps for the smallest granules which seem to be made up of small pockets of energy. It seems though that they keep finding smaller and smaller granules so I will stick with my initial statement. Itís all granular. When we walk we are stepping on granules of soil, pressing them together. They get larger and we can feel them against the bottoms of our shoes. They get still larger and we are picking our way through them. Even larger and we are walking around them. Larger still and we go for drives around them.
11/28 Direct Link
I must have slept on my arm wrong last night. When I woke up I was having serious pain with it. It is late afternoon and it still hurts a bit. To be sure it is the left arm and I have been having trouble with that one for nearly a year now. I am having visions of living out my life with a withered arm. My arm shrunken in size and bent into my body like a desiccated claw. Of course things are never quite as bad as I imagine them to be. The arm will be fine tomorrow.
11/29 Direct Link
The houses across the street are depressing to look at. Maybe it is because they are worn-out bungalows with gravel driveways. Perhaps it is because they are not in very good repair. If America is looking for starter homes this is the neighborhood to look in. Iíd be afraid to buy one of them. The repair costs would break you. They are old homes with bad roofs and questionable siding. I think most of them are rental units. They donít have the look of homes where someone has some investment in pride in them. The only investment there is money.
11/30 Direct Link
I had a dream about my mother last night. I donít recall ever dreaming about my mother before. I was living in some extended housing arrangement with a large number of people in a house with many rooms. My mother showed up on a foggy night after driving eight hours. She was tired. Of course she was tired. She is 92. She was driving her 1984 Buick. I remember all this clearly. I tried to get her to lie down and get some rest but she was having none of it. Instead she wanted to rearrange furniture in the house.