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BY Michael

09/01 Direct Link
My sister canít make a fist without her middle finger sticking out. It is arthritis she says, rheumatoid I believe. I am lucky to have been spared this so far although I am sure there are other lovely things waiting for me as I age. Steve Roach bangs on bone and vine as I type and yes, I can still type. I can still play the piano. I can still see and actually hear fairly well although some would argue that last point. My father died at 94, which seems unaccountably young to me. I suppose I should start exercising.
09/02 Direct Link
The woman was screaming in the courtyard. We went down to see what was happening. Her cries echoed off the stone and filled the yard. She was curled up in a corner by the steps and seemed to be experiencing some kind of pain in her left lower back. She could not speak and couldnít tolerate any touch. All we could get from her was more screaming. Someone, possibly two or more called an ambulance and they arrived, unable to get her onto a gurney without causing her more pain and screaming. After they left the place was spookily quiet.
09/03 Direct Link
The sunlight is burning my eyes and when did the grass in the park turn brown? How could I miss that? I know how I could have. I donít pay much attention to stuff around me. I may as well sign off and check out of this mortal shell now for all the time I spend being aware of being alive. It is as if I have resigned myself to the end. I have taken a number and sat down on the bench waiting now for the inevitable end. Arise! Take up your toys! Find a new meaning in life!
09/04 Direct Link
Sleepy me. It may be that time of day, that time when my meds start piling on. I may be getting old. Thatís another possibility. My doctor just yesterday said something about nearly seven decades. He was thinking that all these meds might not be such a good idea any more. Seven decades is a stony wall of truth Iím not eager to face. Now what do I say? Do I pursue the truth like some ragged hound worn down to a skeleton tied together with a few smelly pieces of hide? That hound appears to be the truth incarnate.
09/05 Direct Link
I think Iím a little sick to my stomach today. Too many Ice Breakers I think. It seems that governments have found a new way to take one another down. We had just begun hearing about currency wars when it becomes apparent we are under siege via the internet. This thing is not hanging together very well. Maybe I will have another Ice Breaker. Maybe I will have some dinner. I did have a couple handfuls of cashews. I did have a large lunch. Iím not really hungry although it would be nice to have something to soothe my stomach.
09/06 Direct Link
I called my mother on my way to the piano lesson. She was unhappy that they had not yet finished filling in my fatherís grave. She also still had her cold. Someone had gotten her some Mucinex, but she said the tablets were too big for her to swallow. I remembered that my son was staying next door at my sisterís house and suggested that mom ask him to get her some liquid. Iím not sure Mucinex comes in a liquid but my mother seemed to think so. She liked the idea, hanging up to go get my son Tom.
09/07 Direct Link
I have an appointment with the tooth fairy this afternoon. Yes, I have been flossing. Despite the news reports that flossing makes no difference. Whatís with that Tooth Fairy? I floss because I have to, I suppose. I can feel those food particles stuck between my teeth and they make me uncomfortable. So I floss. Perhaps I flossóand here the word escapes me. I cannot think of it but it is like I floss with an urgency and cannot stop sometimes. That is a problem with aging. It is more difficult to write things because you cannot remember words.
09/08 Direct Link
Itís a swirling wind off the coast of Florida, this Irma. They have reduced it to a Category 4 storm but its size still spells m e s s. for those in Florida. Probably for those anywhere in Florida as the airlines rush to get their planes out of the state and donít bring any more in, leaving passengers stranded at poorly protected airports. What choice do they have? It seems that even the weekís worth of warning that was given out wasnít enough to prepare the state for what was to come. There will be plenty of blame spread.
09/09 Direct Link
Being thankful I was in Michigan and safe from Irma and Harvey and Joselse I find I have been victimized by Equifax, a credit reporting agency that has taken the liberty of collecting all my financial information and then releasing it to hackers. Apparently this Is legal. Anyone can open a credit reporting agency and collect my financial information? Why go to all the trouble to hack? Just declare yourself a credit reporting agency and demand the information. Remember to act like you know what you are doing and you shouldnít have any trouble. Remember to hire lots of lawyers.
09/10 Direct Link
I am crouched beneath the weight of limited perception. I can see far in my imagination. I can creep beneath atomic particles. I can simultaneously hold the smallest space and billions of galaxies balanced in my leaky brain. I rub my hands together. They are smooth from hours of dry washing. I am thinking I may take a nap. We had breakfast, a Swiss and mushroom omelet with sausage patties and orange juice. Still I feel shaky. I donít know whether this is bad biology or bad philosophy. I only suspect that it is indeed something bad, something better forgotten.
09/11 Direct Link
Itís a slow afternoon. The air moves slowly over the slow coffee and slow brain. The light enters the room slowly touching things one at a time, almost thoughtfully. I know though that light cannot think, cannot have consideration. At least that is what we are taught to believe, but so many things have been believed in their turn and then unbelieved, and then again discovered by yet others to believe. I pause to wring my hands and look out over the trees that are turning colors. I donít know what to believe about this, about all of this death.
09/12 Direct Link
The evergreens, true to their name are not turning brown. Those that did turn brown this summer were cut down. They somehow offended us by not staying green, so we simply cut them down and tossed them into the chipper. Whole trees there being swallowed and chewed up. It was quite a sight. I saw another chipper being towed down the street yesterday. It was a smaller one though and so had a few fireplace-sized logs tossed onto the bed of chips. It was not designed to swallow trees. It didnít have the cable to pull the tree trunk in.
09/13 Direct Link
A car rolls by on the other side of the park. The swings move listlessly in the hushed air. I hear crows barking at some passerby. Is that one or two words? It passes the spell check as one word, but looks out of place, as if it is sitting on the brown grass in the park all by itself. A woman enters the park with a small girl. The woman is carrying something heavy. It causes her to walk awkwardly. They stop. The woman puts down her load while the girl heads toward the tire swing. A bird falls.
09/14 Direct Link
A woman passes by talking loudly. She is pushing a stroller, but is alone otherwise. I think she is talking on her cell phone because she would be unlikely to be talking to the occupant of the stroller. She comes into view and, yes, her head is crushed to her shoulder, holding the phone in place. Soon I will be talking on my own cell phone, talking to my mother. I may take a nap first because my day seems to go so much better when I nap. How much trouble can you get into while taking a nap anyway?
09/15 Direct Link
I can hear the children playing in the park. It reminds me of being a kid. This in turns reminds me that I am approaching the final stage of my life. Oh yes, it will get much worse this being old. What I am facing now is nothing. Well, to be sure it is all nothing that I am falling into. Funny that I should call this nothing too. The children in the park are calling out to one another, calling out to life and their lives are also temporary. We are all part of the great temporary calling out.
09/16 Direct Link
A patch of sunlight covets the coffee table. It is bright against my eyes and smudged within my glasses. There are bright colors out on the deck and soon Iíll be in the bathroom with my morning rituals, shave the face, brush the teeth, and scrub the body. Iím afraid I donít know what the rest of this day will be about although I should. It is your birthday and you are insisting I take it easy and rest while you do little chores around the house. I think I should motivate and show a little birthday spirit around here.
09/17 Direct Link
Something was turning in slow sorrow for the archeological layers of dirt piled up on the playground. That was the secret he carried with him tucked inside his worn shabby shirt. He wore it that way on purpose we thought. He seemed to have better or at least the means to acquire better, but he never did. It was as if he had given up proposing to sit at the playground now until the end of his life come worse or worse. He had no realistic prospects for better. Those had worn out long ago like the shirt he wore.
09/18 Direct Link
He was careening around corners in his life too quickly when he came upon a wall that should not have been there. He felt the sudden stun as his face hit the wall too hard and then he lay there marveling at the sky. It was a clear sunny day. Some part of him must have been aware of it as he lay there, but his stare went through the sky, through all that blue. There was no one to call an ambulance, so he lay there, everything at odd angles. He felt an ache in his heart, a chill.
09/19 Direct Link
The fish are streaming in the pool, shining muscles reflecting blue, red, and green. They come in from downstream and circle the pool, peeling off to swim on upstream. The fish are swimming upstream. Perhaps they are going home to spawn. On the downstream side of the pool a twig has dared to come too close to the water and now periodically dips in, is flooded by the cold water, and then bounces back out, free of the water. It continues this dance as the water makes its quiet noise flowing deep into the woods and out the other side.
09/20 Direct Link
The sunlight draws figures on many of the surfaces in the room. I can see window shapes, slots from blinds, and reflections in picture frames. Out on the deck where the umbrella fringe dances in the wind, there is a flood of sunlight. It is a combination of nearly noon and late in the year that brings the sunlight in at this particular angle coming from nearly directly overhead. It is lazy, but powerful, casting light into corners and crannies. I imagine that I can even see into the birdhouse where a twig is leaning up against a far wall.
09/21 Direct Link
I adjust my glasses, pushing them more tightly against the bridge of my nose. Iíve been chewing on my tongue again. I canít get the Bluetooth to work on the big speakers, on the amplifier that drives the big speakers. I know what I probably need to do is to reboot the Bluetooth and then reboot my laptop. It is easier to just put on the headphones. They connect more reliably. Perhaps that is because I reboot them in a sense every time I use them, powering them down and back up so as not to run down the battery.
09/22 Direct Link
My life is a reflection of those I have known, already dead. They surround me like mirrors knocked askew, each one carrying a different image. I too am already dead. It is that inevitable, waiting for me. Perhaps death does not even wait. Perhaps it is indifferent. Run from your houses and into the streets. Spread the news. Death does not care. We do not need to care for it. We no longer need to spend effort considering it. Such effort is time wasted, precious minutes of our lives drained from tiny reservoirs that are like flowers filled with dew.
09/23 Direct Link
I am walking. I am walking down a road in country summer. It is a dirt road with puddles of fine brown dust. Along the sides are weeds coated with the dust that grow out into the farmerís field unbroken by the imaginary like where once would have been a fence. There was a time when each field was neatly bordered by a fence. Rabbits, mice, and birds lived in these fence rows. But then the farmers learned that they could plant those fence rows with cash crops and away with the fences. Away with the fence rows. All naked.
09/24 Direct Link
I am walking. I am walking down an asphalt patch in deep and dark woods. The path does not exist in this forest. Yes, it is a forest and not merely a woodlot. The path forms itself a few feet ahead of me, and slowly evaporates behind me as I pass. The path it cuts through the trees likewise stretches only a few feet ahead of me and is replaced by timber behind me. Sometimes I am walking through the trunk of a great tree that is floating over my head. I remember looking up to see such a thing.
09/25 Direct Link
I am cold. I feel the chill in my core. It is like the music I am listening to, slow lightening stabs of sound that are suddenly there. This experience is startling. I think I am covered by perceptions. The red truck parked out by the ball field. The jogger in an orange sweater. The sounds of your cleaning the kitchen. Are you working on the floor or are those noises you make cleaning under the sink? I know you threatened to do that. I wonder if it will hurt your knee. My leg hurts from being still too long.
09/26 Direct Link
Time is running out. The sun cripples through the bay illuminating the fish below. The fish, always the fish. I dream of the fish. I dream I am swimming with the fish, huge and brightly colored. I dream odd configurations of the fish and am untouched by their horny fins or scales. I sleep with the fish and oddly wake up in the morning with memories of them that donít quite match. The spring we are in is small and dark, covered with newly fallen leaves. We swim in small circles yet I am not afraid of the tight space.
09/27 Direct Link
You were looking through your things this morning, searching for a picture. You found some other long-lost things. We have so little space to store things it seems. I could rent a storage locker, something I always swore Iíd never do. A storage locker is a room that costs more than anything you will ever put into it. It is a losing proposition, yet my sons seem to find them indispensable. I wonder if I found things indispensable that my father didnít understand. Probably all my stereo equipment and recordings. Those things might not have made much sense to him.
09/28 Direct Link
I am starting to calm now. Writing calms me. This is not something unique to me as a number of medical professionals have mentioned the calming effect of writing or even journaling. So why not 100 Words? Why wouldnít that be as calming as say, a bout of yoga. I wonder if that is how I got into it, but no, but yes. I was going to be a famous writer. I found myself taken up by the process of writing. It slurped me right up. I loved it. It was like a psychedelic drug showing me new faces constantly.
09/29 Direct Link
The concrete men arenít finished yet. I wonder if they will still be able to move when they are cured. Perhaps a cured concrete man is no longer a concrete man at all but something else. It will be two days and longer for the curing. My father used to say the concrete never finished hardening, but continued changing little by little for hundreds of years. The grass is sprouting over his grave now. He too is curing down inside a concrete vault that will continue changing little by little for hundreds of years. That is all I can think.
09/30 Direct Link
It is cold downstairs. Perhaps it is a little cold up here too. It is days are getting shorter time of year and the house is cooling off. One on those dull little headaches sprints through the side of my head. This weekend I started seeing double, so we were off to the ER. We were on the other side of the state so we visited the ER in Holland, Michigan. They seemed to be competent people, but were unable to determine why I was seeing double. They sent me to see my eye doctor who was equally without answer.