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Whoa, day 1. I'm still disgusted with Bush and his cronies but no more for this month. Too easy to go on about it and anyone can do it. No point in starting with a rant. It sets a negative mood for the whole month. I've worked for the government for 14 years as a technical specialist. The actual work is fun. It's easier to relate to machines. If they don't work it's because they are broken not because they are moody or lazy. And they don't lie, either. Oh, they can make you look stupid. It's just not personal.
Why do people subvert themselves for such paltry sums? A local teacher/pastor/politician is on trial for accepting money for votes. $500! What was she thinking? Cheney and Bush have completely subsidized their oil industry buddies and they're both still in office. Of course, she professes to be completely innocent and will likely get off . We'll forgive I suppose, and forget. I feel guilty over bringing pens home from work I must have 30 of them on my bureau. They'll be knocking on my door any day now. "Mr. Bill, we understand you have some property that doesn't belong to you…"
I remember waking up one morning in the Caribbean on an old ship and the water was completely flat and calm- not a ripple. It was kind of disconcerting. A passenger came up and muttered quietly, "Tranquilo." I never saw anything like that again. Another time I was leaning against the rail after watch in port somewhere in the south Pacific at night and a rolling curtain of faint light appeared coming from south to north. I thought my eyes were just playing tricks but a workmate noticed it too. We are such paltry beings in the scheme of things.
6 PM and I am ready to crash. Spent the whole day outside building some raised gardens along the back deck. They came out okay and will work for a couple of tomato plants each. My son got some barb-less blackberry plants. Now he is psyched to plant the whole back yard. I'd be okay with that but it would be me that would have to weed and water all of it. The lawn is okay back there. Violets have taken over the upper portion. You can't get rid of them but for a week or 2 they really shine.
Bathroom organization is always a critical item when 2 people share space. My 3rd wife was obsessive about it. She organized my bathroom by the shape and size of things. I‘m laid back. It seemed okay to me. She had all the square bottles on a shelf and the round ones on another. All the tubes were in a drawer. This was our downfall, I think. I started confusing toothpaste with the cortisone. Stuff like that. The clincher was when I grabbed the BenGay thinking it was Preparation-H. Talk about being lit up. We are still friends but I'm careful.
There are others who write here. Akonolinga writes well, terrific imagery. Very honest. I'd love to see some short stories. Updown is a trip. Not a boring word to be seen but I'd really like to know, does she make up each session that day? Bel has been around for a while but you have to understand English. I'm a Yank and have to translate. I wish she weren't getting married. Duck Nelson is funny and acerbic but his mugshot takes the cake. He must be published somewhere. And there's Deekers who is the homespun. These are but a few.
My grand parents found a skunk under their house trailer one year. Gramps had to belly-crawl all the way in with a box trap. It tripped after a few days and he crawled in to retrieve it with some apprehension. He noticed some black fur between the cracks of the box and crawled out to place the trap and contents into the trunk of his car trying to avoid detection. "What's that?" It was Gladys, the neighborhood busybody. "Why, it's a box I'm bringing to the dump," Gramps replied. This was true. Gladys moved along looking for something more interesting.
Gramps placed the box gingerly into the trunk and drove out to the town forest next to the dump. When he pulled the lid open from behind a tree a black and white cat jumped straight up into the air and took off towards the road. Shaken, Gramps drove back home and placed the trap back under the trailer. A week later it was tripped again. This time when he opened the lid nothing happened right away. Finally, a fat skunk did crawl out and waddle away. The cat returned to the neighborhood but never came close to Gramps' trailer.
What? Can't find server? It's out there. I used it yesterday. It's waiting for my words. I have them here. They're ready and pretty good for a change. I WANT THE SERVER! You know, technology is only good when it's working. 100 words is an odd phenomenon and has some odd contributors. Are the organizers odd too? They may be techno-geeks or just writers. It's difficult to tell. I need to check on this. Someone has organized this site well but they NEED TO KEEP IT RUNNING! PLEASE MAKE IT WORK! I'll be okay. This is way inconvenient and disconcerting.
It's Sunday and I'm doing Saturday's words. I'm afraid to turn the TV on this morning. Easter Sunday in Iraq and other Middle Eastern hotbeds. I'd go back in if they asked me but it's wrong. Bush's Iraq was a "gift from Allah" to all those radicals and a poor moral choice. I know I said I wouldn't go on about it but it's become so much uglier. Who really decided to go in? Rumsfeld is my first thought and Chaney for his buddies' oil profits. I finally agree with them that Bush hasn't an original idea in his head.
Gray Sunday but nature's at work, Dogwoods are open, blooms suspended outside the window, strewn throughout the wood. The maples are tense with anticipation barely able to hold in their red flowers amid the already leafed tulip poplars. The holly's will now recede back into the wood until late fall when they can be seen again. The daffodils are still coming in though the early ones have passed. If you're lucky they come in waves because you put in several varieties. The birds have just about all paired off and are all over the place eating up and making homes.
I turned 21 in Vietnam in the city of Vung Tau, the "Riviera of Southeast Asia." I was on a ship delivering food and other goods to the troops. I went ashore by myself from our ship after 4 and started partying and taking pictures. After each stop I'd have to hold my camera over my head with both hands or the street kids would have yanked it from me. After a few hours I was severely impaired but still had enough sense to hire a cab to the base where I could get a launch back to the ship.
Half way through the jungle the taxi broke down. A big truck came along with a load of giggling Vietnamese women in the back. It was driven by 3 Australian soldiers who made me leave the taxi driver and ride on to the base in the back with the women. As we rounded the first turn I glanced back and the taxi guy was gesturing and talking to 2 other guys who had suddenly appeared from the jungle. He was already heading back. Later, the Australians taught me how to say hello in Australian- "Good ‘eye!"
I was real happy.
The alarm rattles them awake until she kills it. Foggy, they both lie there, stifling groans. They exit one at a time, leaving by their own sides of the bed, the blankets undisturbed in the middle, an invisible barrier. He plods into the kitchen and feeds the relentless noise wrapping itself around his feet. He manages to pour some coffee and turns the news on, sitting down at last at the counter to watch and maybe listen. She eventually comes out without a word and starts banging the dishes away into their places.
It is just another day in paradise.
Steve wheels through his day with steady effort, always positive. He's a resource to everyone at work. I don't know how he does it. He was injured just before he graduated high school and became a quadriplegic. After therapy he regained partial use of his arms and hands. He got interested in computers after that and is a natural at it. He's into what makes them tick and what makes them faster more than anything else but he's good with applications, too. He does okay, seeing his kids on weekends. He's happy not to be married but he's still alone.
The boy is moving steadily toward his goals. He knows what he wants and how to get there. How many of us ever really had that? He has a lot of energy and has lost that self-absorption from his teenaged years. He works and plays hard, impatient with his contemporaries who still just hang around and party whenever they can, always seeking their individual comfort levels of oblivion. His sister though is at her teenage peak of impatience and self-centered lifestyle. She wants immediate gratification and can't look at things in terms of long term consequences. I love them both.
"Here I am, Drowning in Love Again." I don't know the artist but it's a great blues number. They played it straight ahead for the story not the performance. An acoustic guitar playing big cords with just a little picking. I had to listen close but there was a drummer just playing rhythm with brushes and a bass way in the back. His eyes were closed, I'm certain. It was a story not just a song. Taj Mahal was the man for this back in the day. Hendrix could really do it. Listen to "Red House" from the first album.
Daughter is buying her first car soon. She knows what she wants and doesn't want. A good sign, I guess, but makes looking more difficult. I'd like to put it off for 5-10 years but she won't have it. She's excited. I'm scared. She's incredibly mature at times, respected at work but she's a 2 year old at other times, just like ‘adults' can be. Her school work is average and she can give her teachers a hard time. Her college money is in a state fund but I don't really know if she' heading that way.
Time will tell.
I lived on a boat for a while. It was good most of the time. The novelty of it carried me through the first couple of years. It was a houseboat and had plenty of room for up to 4 people overnight. It was popular when I was running around with all my crazy friends. They called it the ‘Barge' at least to my face. I know who lives on it now but I've lost track of the friends. They've probably found somewhere else to party. I wonder if I can get it back over here and live there again?
They were talking about men and women at work today. We're a mix in there. All kinds, colors, genders but we all had the same perspective- men will stop at nothing, women will stop at everything. There's an old guy who eats garlic at times for what ails him. He has a LOT of money. ‘Would you sleep with him?' ‘It would cost him' but another woman chimed in, ‘Ohhh, he can keep ALL the money. There's no way.' We couldn't find a similar situation to test the guys but generally we all agreed, ‘The breath wouldn't matter at all.'
Today we had a CD with 12 early rock hits to listen to. There was "Do you Love Me?', ‘Louie, Louie', ‘I Feel Good' (James Brown), ‘La Bamba' and so on. The earliest hit was from 1958. Everyone liked it or at least some of it. I ended up burning several copies. Music is a real common denominator. We should try it more often. I don't see Osama and GW getting in to it, though. There's no hope for that, I think, unless we come up with a couple of good numbers. How about 'Wipe Out' and ‘Stairway to Heaven?'
He drove up through central Virginia on US 1 and up to Fredericksburg then and to I95 north. The day stretched bright and promising ahead of him. Was he going to like her after just talking all these months? Would she like him? And she has kids. DC was a hassle as usual but by the time he got through Baltimore all was smooth. Over the Delaware bridge and onto the NJ pike he went. It was smooth there, too, after fighting the trucks coming down off the bridge. He was going to her parent's house first.
This would be good.
The houses out back have all disappeared again. The trees have all leafed out and obscured any part of the world more then a couple hundred feet away. Oh, don't worry. There is a train track a mile away which keeps us in touch. It's the main line on the north south corridor between New York, DC and Florida. There's plenty of activity on that track. And Friday nights we can hear the high school games- quiet if we are losing, raucous when we aren't. I'm going to miss this place. I have to leave and start a new life.
I'm worried about our daughter. She's so stoical on the outside but it's going to be a trial, I think. Her mother isn't talking to me but I'm hoping she'll keep the house at least through the separation. The girl will be a senior and maybe we can wait until graduation to settle all our legal crap. The wife may not go for it. She's pretty bitter. It's a long story but not the usual made for TV stuff. She's convinced it was me but it wasn't. She's not even certain what I might have done. I must be guilty.
Thursday I go to DC for an interview. It's a manger's job I did before for a couple of years 10 years ago for another boss. I hated it then. This boss is not particularly astute but knows the game VERY well. I would work for the first boss again in a heartbeat, though. She could slice you open with a look if you messed up but she was straight with everyone and called it like she saw it, never waffling for political reasons or gain. I'll be on my own with this job, with my neck out and exposed.
Here I am trying to do my 100 words and I have to listen to ‘The End' by the Doors at 105 db. It's not mine, my daughter is listening to it. I can't tell her to quiet down or listen to something else. Then I'd be my father yelling at me for the same thing! This sucks. If she would listen to some of the crappy new stuff I might be able to get away with it but then she'd come back with something like- "You used to do it, didn't you? Why can't I?"
She would be right.
I am lost in this domestic ghetto called ‘separation'. It's been very tough to give up on everything. I'm trying to think straight and do what's right but it's been a mean time. We can't both be all right or all wrong and we can't be disconnected and rational, either. Almost 30 years, though tumultuous, is a major commitment but we can't go on being so nasty to each other and making life miserable for all around us. There's no infidelity or bad habits to admit to or anything. That may have been easier to deal with.
Black and white.
I went to rent a car yesterday for work. Charlene behind the counter remembered me and we talked. She had found her sister 3 years ago who was given up for adoption when she was born. The 2 sisters hit it off and everyone was overwhelmed. In January, the sister was hit by a truck while in her wheelchair. The driver sped off and she died. Her husband had been with her crossing the street but it was a motorized chair and he couldn't wheel it out of the way in time. Charlene still goes out there but she's sad.
I rode the Metro into DC today. It's not my usual thing. I live in Richmond, VA which is way different- WAY different. I'm in my fifties but it was like an adventure. I stood most of the time and just watched. I looked at one guy who may have been going in to work. He was clean and alert but his clothes! He had pinstriped slacks on from a suit, a light blue and white checked shirt. I can't remember the tie but it could have been brown striped or something. I hope I've never done anything like that.
Ah, the end of the month and I'm free at last. Well, I think I'll continue on and see if I can be more consistent. It's still difficult to be as straightforward as some of the other contributors but they are some inspiration at least. May will likely be a turning point month for me. I'll endeavor to keep good track of it and put everything down honestly and with some style too, perhaps. I am at my wife's house now, early in the day but will leave pretty soon. We're still struggling in our individual ways with being separate.
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