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The water was quiet. They called it blue water, but it wasnít always blue. It depended on the depth I suppose. I remember Pete standing chest deep in the water and drinking from a tin can he had found out there underfoot. He was well along toward the end of his life by then, and I was just beginning mine. There is no telling what his old green eyes saw when he looked at me, but I can well imagine it was tempered by a lot of irony. His life experience was different from what mine was going to be.
I am a little confused about how to organize my day today. I know the best thing to do is to get it down on paper and work from there. I can start out with some priorities, perhaps three or four of them, and then I will construct a schedule for the day. The schedule is merely a plan, but it gives me a framework for understanding what I can actually do as opposed to what would be nice to do. True, it will take over my day, but this imposed discipline will give me back a kind of freedom.
It snowed in the night last night. I could see the neat square of the deck punched in the light covering of snow out the back window. I was thinking it must be cold out there, because it just looked cold. It was an eerie light that let me see things this morning. Perhaps it was because I had not yet turned on the lights. But there are so many lights these days in a home. There are lights from the modem and the router. There are lights on the plug strips and the various USB things plugged in everywhere.
Oh, I was making some coffee this morning and I spilled some of the coffee on the floor. It wasnít a lot. Maybe it was a lot. A scoop full perhaps. Looking down past my feet, I noticed it had taken the shape of Jesus. Jesus was kneeling beneath an olive tree praying. The picture was nearly perfect. What was I to do? If I cleaned up the coffee I had spilled I would be destroying an important religious relic. If I left it, I would be committing a terrible household crime. I would catch hell. Jesus, what a conundrum.
Itís a little more complicated now. It did not start this way. It was not mentioned in the original scope. We did not expect this. Perhaps it was always complicated, and I just was unable to grasp the complexity at an earlier point. Complexity can be like that. It is just a spore or two waiting to burst out and take over when you turn your head to do something else. The next thing you know is your entire bathtub is green and hairy and the health department is notifying you that you have to find somewhere else to live.
Itís really cold out there. I noticed Mr. Bunny Rabbit was hunkered down in his burrow. He stays there more now than he did in his salad days when he worked with the Captain. Mr. Bunny Rabbit liked the Captain, not so much Mr. Green Jeans. He never was so sure he felt comfortable with Mr. Green Jeans, but the Captain was fine with him. He liked the big pockets on his coat and even the fine spray of dandruff over his shoulders. The Captain always had a carrot for him. Mr. Bunny Rabbit still dreams he is on TV.
I think Iíll just stay here until I go back to sleep. I have faith that my body will sleep when it needs to. I remember my father up late at night. He was one to wake up after just a few hours of sleep too, and I donít think it hurt him. He died at the age of 94, which I am told is very good for a two-hundred-pound man. I am not sure what woke him so early in the morning. I think it may have been what they called restless leg. With me it is restless brain.
I live in a box. To be sure it is a well-designed box, as far as boxes go. I was going to say that it is a well-organized box, but that would imply that I have somehow efficiently organized those parts of my life that I have managed to stuff into this box. This is simply not true. Boxes, in general, in this part of the galaxy are fairly well designed. They come with plumbing, power, and air handling systems that ensure a constant temperature against the inclement temperatures outside. I have read our species used to live out there.
Well, itís a left alone thing for sure. It is that damn wheelbarrow out there rusting in the back lot. It is not like him to leave his tools out. Itís not even tipped over. He always sets his wheelbarrow up on the front wheel when he is done with it. Most of the time he even hoses it off. That thing still has rainwater and wigglers in it from the last storm. I tell you something is not right. He would not do something like that. You want to know what else? I havenít seen him for a week.
I do not know exactly how it happened, little by little I suppose. But I have slowly become accustomed to and have actually learned to enjoy some performances of music that could be classified as fusion jazz. Iíll give you a moment to digest this idea, the enormity of it. I donít know. There must have been some gateway music that got into my bloodstream some time when I wasnít paying attention, when I didnít recognize the danger. Pharaoh Saunders? Possibly. Something like that. Now Iím stuck with this monkey on my back, claws dug in, hissing at my neck.
As I woke up this morning, I was thinking about how my hair was thinning. This was a process that started long ago, and that for many years was not noticeable at all. Lately it has started to concern me as another one of the indignities that aging thrusts upon us. I often use my father as a guide here, and now I realize that perhaps he took to wearing hats as he got older, not so much to hide, but to somehow manage the unruly hair that was left, because as it thins it also becomes wild and unmanageable.
That was yesterday. It rained most of the day. When it was not raining, it was threatening rain. Dark clouds hanging low with even darker edges. I was out walking even though it was still cold. Not one of those summer days when, barefoot as a child you would step in puddles in the yard and the water would feel warm against your feet. When the sun would sparkle in the water through blades of grass, clover, and weeds, most of which I will never know names for. No, yesterday was bleak. Yesterday was the cemetery side of the property.
This, however, is today. It is a young day and still so dark outside that I have no Idea what the weather out there is without looking at a thermometer or the internet, and this I will not do. It is a new day with possibility. I close my eyes, and my visual world is reduced to vestigial splotches of light that are memories of the last thing I saw. Slowly these change and resolve themselves into different shapes. A new reality presents itself. It has sharp angles, and doesnít make sense to a mind attuned to the old reality.
Memories crowd one another for space, their edges trimmed and broken. These pieces are fragments of something that may have been once. Or they may have been vapor drawings of a febrile mind. Did they even exist? Did they exist anymore than we, the exhalations of a febrile god ourselves? I am up again at 4:30, at 3:30 and no, I am not tortured. I am in tune with my body and mind. I resonate with myself. I am solid, and I exist. I will always have once existed even as the flames of a shattered reality flutter into void.
I am watching a J-pop music video. It is something one of my students suggested. I find I am interested in the music, yes, but I am more taken up by the visual balance in the video, by the architecture of the room the singers are in. The visual sense is clean and well-balanced. The counterpoint is familiar, and the rhythm is something I have listened to all of my life. The language is different, but I rarely understand song lyrics. The recording quality is excellent, and I have always been a fan of well-recorded music. The exuberance of money.
I yawn here a little bit this morning. I donít think I am so sleepy, but I might be. I usually get up at 5:30 in the morning, and to be honest, I am often up earlier than that. I just wake up, and I have found that once I wake up in the morning it is useless to try to go back to sleep. So, I do things in the early morning. I make coffee. I read the news. I write my 100 words. I remember my father used to get up in the night too. He would pace.
It snowed again last night. The snow has finally taken over. The land has lay down and gone to sleep now while the blanket of silence covers everything. It will get colder now while a thick coat of clear ice covers everything. Footsteps will stound differently and as you walk alone across fields in the deep twilight of evening the wind will whistle in your ears. Iím thinking of that sound, of the different sounds of snow. Iím thinking of the impossibly light hiss as each flake falls on the white blanket on the ground and then settles in place.
I had a seizure yesterday. There is nothing quite like a grand mal to bring you up short against your own mortality. Itís been several years since I last had one, and that is normal for me. Itís normal for me to to go a couple years between, long enough so that when the first auras start pulsing through my brain I may have forgotten what they mean. I may forget that I need to lie down, or pull off the road, or whatever. This time I didnít forget. I lay down immediately, thinking it might go away. It didnít.
Early mornings are always sober for me. Something shoots through my brain while I am half asleep, something that Iím normally not allowed to see. Perhaps I am still too deep in the sleep to filter it out. Perhaps it is my brain de-sensitizing me to the truth. But it is a jagged thing. It is jagged enough that it rips me from my sleep and dumps me to the floor fighting for my breath. But then it is gone. I wake up, and it is gone. I stand there, wide awake with no desire to go back to sleep.
It was really big. We could tell that much. Even the part sticking above the ground was big. When you looked at the angles it was easy to see that it was a dodecahedron, which made it even bigger. How it got buried like that, and then uncovered, that much of it in that particular place was as big a mystery as it was itself, because the cliffside there was a popular place for picnicking. But there it was as if it had been there for centuries waiting to be uncovered. It WAS uncovered. Well a corner of it was.
The wind is building outside. It has been all day. I peer around my monitor into the cloudy day. It is as if there is a filter over my world, a lens filter, something to filter out too much sunlight, but the woman in the park with her red bulky full-length down coat points out that yeah, itís really probably cold out there. Iíve been a little crabby today I think, and I donít believe I can blame it on the weather. Nor can I blame it on something I have eaten, because I really havenít eaten very much today.
The number writing for 100 Words has slowly dried up to a few hard knots of stain stuck to the internet these days. I wonder how much longer before the boss shuts us down completely and we all have to go somewhere else to pound out whatever weird things crawl into our minds. It cannot be vanity that brings us here; there is no one reading this stuff anymore if there ever was. Even the slow crawling giant search engines ignore us. We are tiny specs buried in a drop of amber and tossed in the earth. Even Amber dies.
I sit here and I want to sleep. I do. I frequently sleep sitting up. It is much easier for me to sleep sitting up. Sleeping while lying down forces me to arrange my parts, my legs and my arms in suitable ways. Sleeping sitting upright is definitely easier. There is no worrying about such things. There is not even worrying about what you will do until sleep, because you are already sitting up. I should try asking sometime, ďWhat would you like to do?Ē I should ask that of my elf sometime. See if I would like a book.
It is another wintry Christmas eve. Christmas is o.k. for most, but I am one of those for whom it is mostly a thing to be survived rather than celebrated. There are reasons for this. There are always reasons, and reasons do not care whether they are good or bad. They are satisfied to just be. In some ways, the things that are satisfied to be are more complicated than those that try to explain. They are able to encompass more. Then can contain galaxies of possibilities where the first word of the explanation begins to limit what can follow.
Christmas is colorful. That is in itís nature. Perhaps it is because of its focus on children. That is the nature of secular Christmas. Religious Christmas is still defined by subdued colors. Imagine a picture of the crucifixion done up in bright reds and greens. Nothing good could come of that. Think of the nativities that you have seen either in front of churches or in your own living room. Browns and dull reds at best. None of the flash and dazzle. No blinking lights or glitter. Perhaps the flash of a streetlight reflected on a pair of plaster eyes.
Iím looking outdoors. Not directly, but out of the side of my face, the side of my eyes. It is like the pedestrian in the supermarket parking lot. If he does not see you, you do not exist and cannot run over him. He is unaware that this is a short-circuit rule that exists only in his brain and has nothing to do with what you perceive and any decision you may make. So like a child who covers its face so you cannot see it, he blithely walks out in front of you, as if this were all pre-arranged.
It cannot be true. That was their first reaction to the election. But no way am I going to spill any ink on that. Anything I do, only serves to further his purpose. I think he cannot possibly be as corrupt and greedy as he is portrayed in the media, but my fear is that I am wrong, that he is even more so, and I realize that his education and enculturation may have been somewhat in isolation, and I look at his young son and I see another one in the making, only with a much more auspicious start.
The books on my top shelf are starting to slouch from their upright position. There just are not enough of them there to hold them up. Over the past ten or twenty years the accumulation of books on my shelves has begun to slow, and in some cases it has started to reverse. Even the number of shelves has decreased. I think at one point I had well over a dozen active full-sized bookcases. Now, I have two. There are a number of reasons for this, but basically it is that I donít read as much as I once did.
My eyes are still a little fuzzy as the day begins to sweep away the darkness. It is easy to just close my eyes again, to let their natural weight drag me back under, beneath the sidewalk, beneath the street, into the crusted sharp foundations of all these buildings. Down there, buried in the dust and dirt, beneath the boilers, basements, and parking lots, sprouting out of bedrock, these things grow. They send out roots and shoots. Bark hangs heavy on their shaggy sides. Limbs sprout and we climb them, pretty much oblivious to the living wonders at our feet.
Iím listening to my stereo, but I am not sure whether it is the amplifier, the speakers, or the source material. I think I hear some glare in the upper mid-range, but I am not sure what I mean by glare. It is not something I can always define as a boost in a certain frequency response, even though I can often cure it with an equalizer. I suspect ďglareĒ is a kind of distortion, and I suspect this ďglareĒ is a product of the recording I am listening to. Perhaps a capacitor in their mixing board is going bad.
I have noticed a lot of sentiment regarding throwing out the year 2020. People seem to have the impression that they have not gotten a renewal on the old lease. Rather they seem to feel they have gotten a new lease, negotiated by a skilled legal team loyal to only them. I cannot think of a single problem from 2020 that will not follow us into 2021. Even Trump will still be president for another 20 days. COVID will still be with us, and the vaccination program in the States does not seem to be going well. Happy New Year!
The Tip Jar