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BY Michael

03/01 Direct Link
Twin lights pierce the darkness glancing out over the snow. There are tires out there grinding slowly down a street. I am sitting on the edge of my seat now waiting for an extreme shove from a glowing furnace. It is steel perhaps, or cast iron. It has burned nearly away in places as those things will wear out with time. All things will wear out. I have told you that before. I have told you already nearly everything I have to say and am left now with little but surprise that I could have emptied myself out so easily.
03/02 Direct Link
For one thing it is quieter here. There is the blat of the horn and the punch of the keys, but these are sounds that harmonize with my soul. It is not the ragged staccato of the television that gets so quickly under my skin. I have a rice bag on my shoulder. It could be a metaphorical burden but it is a literal one instead. I can feel the weight pulling my shoulder and I can feel the heat seeping from its core into my core. These are the sentences I am writing at this stage of my life.
03/03 Direct Link
A carbon copy rises from the platen of the typewriter, the keys going clackety clack, the motor inside the heavy case glowing in sullen pain. It is all pain. Pain crawls out of your shoes and creeps across the floor of the room. Pain rises against the windows and breaks out into the yard. Pain strides down the road with purpose, inhaling and growing stronger with each new step. Pain leaps into the air and bellows into the sky. Pain runs amok racked with joy. Pain is no longer a stranger. It is joined with life. Pain sings. Pain flies.
03/04 Direct Link
I think my glasses are dirty. But I get that a lot. A lot of the glasses are dirty thing. A man passes by the window walking a small dog. He is wearing a bright red hoodie. In another time, in another window that might have been me. But there is no other space. This time and this window is all I have. We are trapped in these infinitesimal slivers of time moving always moving. I don't know what they move through. The slivers take everything with them as they move so there is nothing left behind. Nothing anticipated ahead.
03/05 Direct Link
I had forgotten how nice it is to be under the headphones. It is not so convenient because there is no table to set things on. There is really not even a place to put such a table if I had one. I make do with a reach over to the audio cabinet on one side and the corner of a speaker on the other side. Both are difficult and the speaker is not even designed to hold things on its top. The top is just fabric surrounded by a wooden frame. I can balance small things on the frame.
03/06 Direct Link
I think about the frame of mortality and the things I do. It seems that each instance of life takes on a supreme importance. It seems that the lump of clay that is life becomes unimportant and futile. What are we, a shout of defiance into the darkness? This is what I have often thought and it still seems to be the only answer I can offer that has any sticking power. It does not scare me as much as it used to, the darkness. As a child I was very afraid of that, of the size of the darkness.
03/07 Direct Link
It comes as a surprise. A box wrapped up in bright foil paper with a large ribbon and bow. You open it with a wide smile, getting the sharp corner of the smile under the bow to cut it and using the smile to lever the edges of the paper up just so. No tears to the paper. You can reuse it. Well, you can if you have some place to store it but when you open the box you find that it contains space restrictions, a wide array of space restrictions so that you have nowhere to put anything.
03/08 Direct Link
I am avoiding the piano. I should practice today but I am getting so much pleasure sitting under the headphones while I type. I am listening to A Produce, an LP called "The Early Sessions." Yes it is ambient music, or New Age music which is possibly a worse thing to be called. But I like much of that stuff, more so the ambient music. Anyway, the piano. Yes I will take that on when this LP finishes. I can always come back to the music. I think I have figured out a way to listen to my headphones here.
03/09 Direct Link
Well I had ten minutes. There is a problem though. My computer seems to be too busy to let me type here. Maybe it is still loading Word which seems to be a bit of a trial for it. I had ten minutes. I may be able to stretch that into thirty minutes though. I will try that and I will see what happens. I burnt my tongue on the coffee this morning. I made a mistake, leaving too small a cup in the microwave for too long, and then forgetting to test it before taking a gulp of scald.
03/10 Direct Link
I have a new laptop and am still in the process of setting up and loading software. I’m still learning a new operating system, already giving up on the browser and loading up Chrome which I used before. It is not that I particularly like Chrome, but it does the things I need it to do and I have become somewhat used to it. It actually does more than I want it to, taking me into my bank account without so much of a nod. I am sure that is something else I can fix with yet another learning curve.
03/11 Direct Link
My new laptop is slow. My son says it is bloatware, stuff they load onto a new pc. I have removed this stuff from other pc’s. I am not sure how to identify it in this new configuration. Maybe it will come to me over time. There is something called Cortana. It seems Like a good place to start in the elimination process. And yes, a search for the word bloatware comes up with a lot of references to Windows 10. And my son assured me that Windows 10 was a good operating system. Now I know where to start.
03/12 Direct Link
I had a vague notion of typing here until 10:30 or so. It was a vague notion, but I may do just that. You are in your corner playing with your MacBook. You are playing a number of loud tracks, which is a bit unusual for you. Stuff from Facebook most likely and that is not unusual for you. I watch a dove pick up corn from the deck. You ask if I would like some more coffee. I had a vague notion of going to take a shower around 10:30. Does that sound decadent? It is Saturday after all.
03/13 Direct Link
It is nearly ten thirty. I will have to call my mother soon. Perhaps I want to call my mother and I should do it soon. This Aphex Twin recording is not suitable going to sleep music. I am going to keep it anyway because I find it interesting. I could keep it, deleting this track, but I find the track interesting. That is the problem with having access to so much music. I cannot wrap my brain around all of it. Life is so full of stuff that it seems you can get only a shallow grasp of anything.
03/14 Direct Link
Who is this person who writes all this stuff, who must sit here for hours typing? We will be leaving in ten minutes or so. I should be getting up and getting the things in order that I need to have in order to go. Empty my bladder. Put the things in my pocket I might need. Find a way to shove away the anxieties I have, any anxieties that might prevent me from leaving in the first place because leaving is something I will do. It is not like dying in that sense, but it is still fairly certain.
03/15 Direct Link
The sun is shining on the basketball court. The sun was shining on the basketball court. It disappeared that quickly. Now it slinks back again. Like memory it comes and goes. I remember my uncle teaching me to dribble a basketball. I was probably pre-school and was slapping the ball. He taught me to touch the ball as it came up and follow it with my hand. It made a significant difference. My basketball lessons ended there, on that porch of the house in the Kentucky woods. It was my grandmother’s house and that was such a long time ago.
03/16 Direct Link
The players on the basketball court fall out of the game and gather in a group in a corner of the court. Three of them drift back out, possibly playing a game of Horse, if kids still play that game. Google knows what it is, so maybe it is still played. They sure seem to be playing something that looks like that. It is the game you and I play when we take the basketball out in the summer to “shoot hoops.” I think I taught you how to play Horse. We stop occasionally while playing to discuss the rules.
03/17 Direct Link
The men came with their chainsaw toys the other day and trimmed the trees in the common area. You explain to me that it is a common area and not really our yard. You would know. You have read the Condominium documents. I have never even seen them. I’m not sure who was caused the most distress by the chainsaw men, you or me. You were glad to see some of the trees cut down but were unhappy to see the lower limbs cut off some of the others. I don’t deal well with changes in my environment in general.
03/18 Direct Link
I checked my lottery ticket tonight. I think it is a $4 winner. Four dollars is a starting point. It is an exchange for another ticket is what it is. I am not looking for the one-billion-dollar cash prize. A million would be fine with me. I have learned to not be greedy. The clock strikes 8. I should take my 8 o’clock meds. That would start the whole 8 o’clock train rolling though. I am a little sleepy. It would be so nice to rest my head against the back of the chair and doze off for a bit.
03/19 Direct Link
I should think about something to eat. I could eat what’s in the refrigerator or I could go out for something. I am just not hungry enough to be terrifically motivated just now. The remains of the rotisserie chicken are in the refrigerator. There is some lettuce. I could make a salad with chicken on it. If we had bread, I could make a peanut butter sandwich. If is not going to get me fed though. There are a couple leftover containers in the fridge, but I am sure you would have mentioned it if there was anything edible there.
03/20 Direct Link
It’s inedible. That’s a problem. Were it edible it would be easy to get rid of it. The dog circles nervously at the end of his leash. I circle nervously in the middle of the room. That might be a problem. My circling might be a problem. The dog’s circling is just what the dog is doing. What might be ok for the dog is not ok for me and there is nothing out of the ordinary with that. Dogs run free but not me. It’s incredible. It just cannot be believed. It is blended and flavor in the woods.
03/21 Direct Link
It is morning and the morning is about to shine despite the rain outside. The morning is about to shine in full glory you little heathen and indeed I was surprised to be called a heathen, but why not? In retrospect it seems to be obvious. How I got to be that way I don’t know. The product of a liberal arts education? A first-class liberal arts education? Heathen is a bit of a pejorative term and its use when applied to me was different than when used in colonial times. I wonder how our own actions will be viewed.
03/22 Direct Link
I am hanging out here, hanging out with the music. I am avoiding re-entry into the life stream. I actually account that a good thing, the hanging out. It is a happy thing and to be honest I have been too much about anxiety and unhappiness lately. That is a difficult thing to be honest about. At least it is a difficult thing for me to be honest about. I ruthlessly scrub all references to it from my normal 100-word entries. I feel it somehow does not belong here. Hanging out here is what this is about. With the music.
03/23 Direct Link
I think I will sit here listening to the music and watching the rain for a little longer. It is a thing that tugs the soul out of me this morning. It is a good thing. I have said that before. Recently. My grammar checker will flag that as an incomplete sentence. But it is what I wanted to type. My grammar checker and I do not always agree on these things. I will be a little sad to see the music end. At that point I will go get into the shower and no, I do not like that.
03/24 Direct Link
Later today I will play the piano. Playing the piano is very difficult for me. Sometimes what is required of my brain is just overwhelming. But it also brings me much joy when I can just noodle through a piece I have learned. My playing has changed somewhat over the past year. I no longer play from the sheet music as much. Now I am playing by ear at least half the time. I found this scary at first even though it was something I wanted to learn to do. I just did not expect it would come by itself.
03/25 Direct Link
I have time. I have been given time here but it is not enough. It is never enough. But it goes to show me something, that the time is valuable and there are things I can do with it. In the past I have been afraid of the space between, the open slot in the schedule, afraid of the silence. But perhaps it is good. I had started with a hesitant scheduling of thirty minutes in the evening. I have realized that thirty minutes is not enough. An hour is not enough. I need more like two hours every night.
03/26 Direct Link
It was cold out today. This evening the temperature has edged up to just over forty degrees with the sun shining hard out there. It looks good. It felt good when we were out earlier. The bright sunshine fools you. It warms you inside the house and riding in the car, making you think it is warmer than it actually is. When you step out into it, the wind hits and chills you quickly. I have even had a little trouble today regulating my body temperature, putting on a favorite shirt, taking it off, and then putting it on again.
03/27 Direct Link
My father is in the nursing home again. He has not been playing well at home. This is what I have been told and I am inclined to believe it. I think it is the man he has become. I would like to talk to him. I would like to tell him that some of my favorite memories are of him. Of course I have many favorite memories. Hell, just about all of my memories are favorite, but I cannot tell him about my memories of him. He cannot hear well. What is worse is that he cannot listen either.
03/28 Direct Link
We had hot dogs for dinner. We bought them at the store on impulse. You wanted to get all beef dogs and it didn’t seem to be a problem for me though I asked what was wrong with pork or chicken in your dog. You said pork had more calories. I don’t know. I am left with a potential Google question about the relative merits of all beef, all meat or all whatever dogs. Ours were great though. You cooked them in your trusty toaster oven and we served them up with deli buns, chopped onion, sweet relish and mustard.
03/29 Direct Link
I have a new medical problem. It seems to be a thing with aging that you get a string of medical issues. Most of them are of the nuisance variety. My latest is amaurosis fugax. I know this because I Googled my symptoms and was promptly told this is what I had. I was also told to go see my doctor. This I did and she apparently had read the same article I had. I told her, “You read the same article I did.” So now I have to go in for new tests. Ultrasounds of my carotid and heart.
03/30 Direct Link
It’s just an excuse. That’s what I thought when he told me his truck broke down. His truck breaks down too often if you ask me and he is seen driving it around much too often with minimal time for repairs after his alleged breakdowns. Or maybe his truck is chronically broken and he drives it anyway when it suits him, but not when it might suit someone else. I can understand when a friend wants help moving and the truck is broken. Even though that is clearly what you are letting yourself for when you purchase such a vehicle.
03/31 Direct Link
The clock was leaning into five o’clock. The old man was asleep in his recliner, glasses askew on his face, one shoe cocked on a toe. He spends a lot of time sleeping like this after work. This allows him to stay up late. He likes staying up late. He likes to stay up late, watch videos on HULU and eat ice cream. Chocolate chip is his favorite. Often he will wake up from his after-work nap and drive to Baskin Robbins for a quart of chocolate chip. You’d think this routine would cause some weight gain, but it doesn’t.