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BY Michael

05/01 Direct Link
Michael Jr. and I brought the leather couch over from the apartment today. The house swallowed it through the front French doors without notice, except it was one of the few things we moved that I knew where to put. It was also a marker, a thing I had in mind that meant a significant piece of the move was done. We had to strap it on the top of his Blazer as it wouldnít fit inside, so there was room inside for a desk chair, coffee table, and a computer monitor. We have one more trip planned for today.
05/02 Direct Link
The way I am moving is not the most efficient, nor the most economical. I am taking weeks to do it. I suppose I have my reasons, some of which I may not completely understand. Part of it is a desire to feel my way into my new environment, although I am also beginning to feel a desire to just get the damn thing done. Another reason is it is giving me an opportunity to spend time with my son. The slow trips back and forth in his truck and the morning breakfasts have become a pleasant ritual between us.
05/03 Direct Link
It was doctor visit day this morning. My cholesterol labs were high last time and I figured he was going to yell at me about what I ate, but that thinking keeps changing. I have to take the cholesterol meds. He says it is all hereditary. It doesnít matter what I eat. I shouldnít take vitamins: they are generally bad. It is a miracle I have lived this long following my doctors old advice. I look at the new prescription and wonder about it. I look at him. He is about my age. I already know I will outlive him.
05/04 Direct Link
Weíve gotten off to a late start today. It is noon, and MJ and I still have not connected. I am not sure we will connect today. If we do, weíll get two loads from the apartment at most. I am thinking weíll go for the second recliner and the treadmill. The treadmill may be the worst thing we have to get after the couch which we have already wrestled to the house. It always has interested me how much work it is to move exercise equipment. There is some justice in this. I just cannot put it into words.
05/05 Direct Link
I think I went overboard. The TV from the apartment looked small in the family room at the house. The room there was bigger than I had expected. I juggled back and forth. I really didnít watch TV that much, but I did enjoy a movie in the evening occasionally. The 32-in LCD I got for the apartment was perfect for the apartment. The 46-in Sony I drug home for the house yesterday looked nice there too snuggled up next to the fire place. It worked well with the Blue-Ray player I got for it. I think I went overboard.
05/06 Direct Link
Iím making good headway emptying the apartment. I have three rooms nearly empty now. The house is filling with narrow aisles and rooms littered with things Iím not sure where to put. I have discovered this weird passion to hang on to everything. This must be where my daughters get it. I had always assumed they got it from their mother, but now I am going to have to start making some hard decisions about disposing of some potentially useful items. I really donít want to get into the business of storing toasters just because I have three of them.
05/07 Direct Link
It is early and I can see some of the lawns across the way have been recently shaved. Iím thinking mine probably needs to be shaved again, as do I most likely, since my sister is visiting today. She is coming to see me in the new house or something. They have a vacation. She is coming because I have asked her why she never comes to visit, not in the whining way, but more in the curious way which emphasizes the ďyouĒ and the ďmeĒ in the sentence and thereby emphasizes some inequity that may or may not exist.
05/08 Direct Link
I look closely at the rug in the family room. It is a Berber. They are indestructible, unless you set them on fire. This one looks shabby for some reason. I am thinking of a carpet cleaning, but I have already been told one large orange spot in the middle is a burn of some kind. I am noticing small burn holes sprinkled all over this rug. Many cigarettes have been dropped in this room it seems. A friend suggests taking a brick from the wall to the rug store to match the rug to the wall. It works nicely.
05/09 Direct Link
The 100 Words web site has been broken again. I cannot log my daily words. Normally this is not too big a deal. I just stash them in the computer locally until the site admin wakes up and realizes his page is broken. It was a little more frustrating this weekend because I wanted to participate in the special Swine Flu Batch and was unable to submit an entry because the site would not accept any entries after the first few went in. Most likely, they will discover their mistake and will leave it open a couple days later for laggards.
05/10 Direct Link
I have been unable to submit words for over a week. I was unable to submit my 100 words worth on the swine flu. Other members report the same issue. I suspect it is a problem with the code they wrote to handle the special batches. I think that it locked everyone out after they submitted the first entry whether it was the flu batch or a regular entry. Yes, I have written to complain, almost daily. I imagine myself to be a pain. I think they are either swamped with complaints or are not reading email from that address.
05/11 Direct Link
The boss was freaking out when I got to work yesterday. I didnít take it personally. He was going off about several things at once, texting supervisors with nasty messages and leaving even nastier messages on the white board in back. I was thinking that I didnít need to take this kind of abuse for $7.50 an hour, that if I wanted to take abuse, I could get paid ten times that to work for men and women who had no skills in handling people. I looked at him at one point. ďDo you need to vent today?Ē I asked.
05/12 Direct Link
I watch you, a crippled bird veering away from the flock, unable to keep up. Perhaps caught by a random rock thrown by some small boyís sling, I donít know, but you are going down. I can see the angle of descent, my mind already calculating the curve, the point of impact, already looking for alternatives and I cannot find any alternatives and it frustrates me that you seem to have some unshakable faith that things will work out, that they always do. But I know better. I have been on the butcherís block, and you should know better too.
05/13 Direct Link
I can see through this window, green on white in the sun. I can see the splatter of shadow behind these trees and these splatters of green against this particular shade of in-town white mean something to me. They tug at a memory in my brain. Even the bay window slung onto the side of the house, resting in the shade is part of this memory I cannot reach. My fingers stretch, but cannot quite make the distance, canít retrieve the thing. I am left with a kind of itching in my brain as these flashes of color tease me.
05/14 Direct Link
Your housekeeper comes into the kitchen while I am there and the two of you are talking. You have told me that she is incredibly hot and that I should check her out, so this is what I do. She must think I am drooling as I try to sort her out beneath her jeans and t-shirt. I can see that while she appears to be young and pretty, she is just not my ďtype,Ē and I canít quite say why. It seems to be subtle things that attract people to one another, things that we often donít know ourselves.
05/15 Direct Link
Someone mentions Matthew, or maybe I do, my friend lost to cancer some months ago and I am transported and stranded on a desolate and lonely planet called grief once again. I knew Matthew and I were close, but I didnít know this about us. I didnít know it would feel like this to lose him. You donít know who these people will be, the ones who will leave you like this, the ones who will leave you with this grief thing to carry. It should not have come as a surprise to me. Yet it did. Should I apologize?
05/16 Direct Link
It seemed to him that he already knew where the trouble spot was. It was low on her neck, on the left side. He could see it somehow. He could see the entire area was angry. He was asking her about it, about where the biopsy was to be done to be sure, and her fingers fluttered at the exact point where he already knew they would. He had already decided that he was going to do this, was already reaching, already knew where to place the three fingers. He had lost enough. He wasnít going to take any more.
05/17 Direct Link
It looks warm outside, but it is cold here inside. It is one of those mornings I wish I were back in my apartment basking in the morning sun breaching the wall. I want to not have to deal with the complexities of the house and the moving. Here there is a different room for everything. I write in one room, watch TV in one room, listen to music in one room and go to yet another room to eat. It all seems too much. There are moments when I want to go back to the apartment just to rest.
05/18 Direct Link
I know Iíve got some kind of blues here. Thatís really the only problem Iíve got. I could come up with a name for them if I thought about it a little bit. It would have to be a long name, and it would be difficult to fit within a twelve-bar scheme. Maybe Iíve got more than one kind of blues and I need to write several songs, one for each of the blues I got. I got the More Than One Shade of Blue Blues. Iíve got the Blues So Bad I Canít Write The Blues No More Blues.
05/19 Direct Link
Iíve been thinking about buying a bicycle and I can afford it, so what is stopping me? Am I not sure I will use it? Perhaps I am worried that my son will destroy it. That is what usually happens to my bicycles. And I can avoid the inevitable argument about whether he can use it by not buying it in the first place. That is a bad reason to not buy the bicycle. It is a good way to exercise. Even if I use it for just that and only once a week it will be a good investment.
05/20 Direct Link
Iím waiting for my son. He went to visit his girlfriend at work for her morning break. There is something not quite healthy about that. It is cute occasionally, but daily it is not healthy. Iím worried about MJ. Iím not worried about him losing his job as much as I am worried about how he is handling his motherís leaving. They never did get along well, and since she left the country, he has been unusually detached. I wrote her yesterday and asked her to call him. I know one phone call is not going to fix the problem.
05/21 Direct Link
I got out on the bicycle this morning. I remember why I donít like exercising in the morning. The body is just not ready for it. Still, I got the thing done, and I crept another half mile closer to town. I want to be able to comfortably bike into town, and I should be able to despite the nasty hills and roads between here and there. Itís only about five miles at most. From the apartment I used to be able to walk everywhere. My car would sit for days without being moved. I have plans for this bike.
05/22 Direct Link
I was back at the apartment early this morning, clearing out and packing the kitchen and sweeping the bathroom. Iím getting close to done with the apartment. I had ice cream for breakfast. Last night I was thinking of life in terms of a series of unfortunate events. Today that thought was bouncing down Gatsbyís river and was morphing into a series of both fortunate and unfortunate events. We tend to dwell on and reflect whatever kind of event we happen to be living through at the moment. That is our nature. Oddly, it is also part of our beauty.
05/23 Direct Link
I argued with my son today. It felt wrong and it bothered both of us. I could see him walking later with a funny tilt. It was a bad argument and I behaved badly, throwing a hundred dollars at him and telling him to go buy some dope and cigarettes and solve his problems. I may as well have hit him. The effect was the same, and it also belittled him. We both apologized and hugged later, but today we need to talk. There is something going on in the household dynamics that isnít working. We need to fix it.
05/24 Direct Link
I got it wrong again. I thought today was Memorial Day and I was going to call my kids all over the state, get them out of bed and invite them over for a picnic. Fortunately I realized that Memorial Day is not until tomorrow and they can sleep in today and can have at least a 24-hour warning about dadís latest brainstorm for increasing the stress level in their lives. I was thinking about games, maybe bicycle races, sack races, canoe races, and hot-air balloon races. Maybe a fishing contest. Of course weíd build a fire and roast stuff.
05/25 Direct Link
I did it. I had a dinner Memorial day, inviting the children to the house and christening it this way. I cooked dinner for the four who showed up and it actually went fairly well. I still havenít unpacked all the dishes, but it is clear I have three sets. I sent one set home with Tom and Heather. NoÖI still have three sets. I must have had four sets to start with. This is the kind of stuff that drives you nuts in this kind of move. That and the occasional ďWhy did you throw that away?Ē from junior.
05/26 Direct Link
Itís a cooler and more overcast day than it was yesterday. I am running more slowly, perhaps tired from getting the meal together, and getting the house ready for the gathering yesterday. I left one of the Foreman grills on all night. I will see the effects of this on my next electgric bill. The grill doesnít look happy. I may be dumping it before the weekend. Today I realize I will have to keep moving. It is a sludge day, one where it is easy to get stuck in the sludge, slowly trapped there, slowly becoming yellow-tarry sludge yourself.
05/27 Direct Link
The rain stops and a car slides by on a close road. My mind slides back to a small bungalow across the road from Brighton Lake. I was nineteen and was renting the house with Jo Ann. She was gone and I was left in the living room myself. The house was owned by older people, the Betseyís, whose taste in decorating ran to starched lace and light rose colors. I was wondering what they were thinking renting their home for the winter to a pair of teenagers with a baby. A pair or teenagers who obviously had no money.
05/28 Direct Link
The dog ran off yesterday. Junior came upstairs to tell me. My disbelief angered him. ďThat dog couldnít run off,Ē I insisted. I was thinking the dog was too stupid to run off. I went downstairs and he showed me the cable where the dog had been tethered, rusted in two. It was garbage day. The dog hadnít run off, I realized. It was just out checking out garbage cans. It had either gotten lost or had been picked up by someone who didnít know that all cute stray dogs are not lost; they are frequently on their way home.
05/29 Direct Link
Iíve been in the house for a month now. I have nearly finished clearing out and cleaning the apartment. Iím fifteen minutes work away from turning the keys over to the management. Why is this piece going in a different direction than I intended?

Often, I watch myself do things without acknowledging them overtly. This has been one of those times. Itís the apartment. Iíve been watching me stall about letting the apartment go. The ring that holds the keys has sprung open and is snagged into my hand like a fish hook. I must be leaving something important there.
05/30 Direct Link
I suppose what you have to do is make the assumption that you are ok just where you are. You have to accept that as the starting point, and understand that nothing more is needed. You have to believe in the capabilities you have, that they are an assortment adequate to the game. You must acknowledge the space allotted to you. More than that, you must claim it, raise a flag, and proclaim it yours. And this is just the beginning, because at this point you have done nothing but draw your first breath. The rest is waiting for you.
05/31 Direct Link
MJ emitted a long howl, that of a hurt and dangerous animal. I found him spitting into the phone, ďYou were the only ones who knew it was hereÖĒ Someone had come into his place and stolen his dope, a whole ounce.

Maybe youíre overreacting?

No, you have to accuse everyone. Itís the only way. A testosterone charged Jason Statham ran to his Blazer. It was scarey. Minutes later the doorbell rang. A small baggie of dope lay on the doorstep. I took it to his room. He returned that afternoon to three ounces neatly lined up on his dresser.