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BY Michael

11/01 Direct Link
The lawn mower guys were here, pulling down the engine rpmís as they spun up the blades, fat tires squishing across the wet, oh so wet, grounds. They were here too with their blowers, gathering up leaves in a tarp and then lifting it onto a truck. They were using the blowers to blow leaves off the trees in a move that seemed comic to me. But the blower guys love their blowers as they strut about the property blowing anything that will move and some things that will not and sand blasting the cars with debris off the road.
11/02 Direct Link
In about twenty minutes or so Iíll be leaving for my piano lesson. The temperature is still in the low forties so I will be walking. Iíll go upstairs and get my backpack. Bringing it downstairs Iíll pack my music books, both of them, for the walk downtown. It is a twelve-minute walk, but I allow fifteen minutes for it. Iíll put on my shoes, the new ones Iíve been trying to break in. Iím having some success with it. They are identical to an older pair that are broken out pretty much and need to be retired pretty soon.
11/03 Direct Link
Sunday will be a new day, but first I have to finish Saturday. Who knows? I may not live to see Sunday so I may as well enjoy what I can of Saturday. ĎTis better to enjoy than to suffer so one ought to do those things that lead to enjoyment. This should be interpreted to refer to both long-term and short-term enjoyment. One should not stuff oneself on chocolate cake day after day. Or white cake for that matter. Long term it would lead to suffering. Iíve got thirty minutes here. Can I make a difference in thirty minutes?
11/04 Direct Link
I donít think I can fix your computer problem from here for you. You have an Apple computer and I use Windows. I think it is better to just let you squirm and struggle and sort it out for yourself. Trying to help just increases my anxiety. It is likely to just increase your own frustration as well since it will just distract you from whatever solution you are trying to implement at the moment. I am hidden here under my headphones, isolated by my noise reduction circuitry while you struggle with your Apple operating system or your Chrome settings.
11/05 Direct Link
Is been cold. Itís been cold. It is cold today. We are safe behind our natural gas furnace. It makes you wonder how long we would last without our natural gas, without our electricity, without our running water. I know how long. About three days. Maybe a little longer but not so much. We have forgotten how to live in the natural world and the natural world is no longer what it was. Also there are too many of us. We have no choice but to continue the way we are. I should have added supermarkets to my list of stuff.
11/06 Direct Link
Jasper slid along the rail in the morning. He dipped to give a tie a shove with the worn toe of his shoe and gained some speed to glide. It was a wet morning with a drizzle of rain and the water seemed to lubricate the rail. He felt he could glide forever on a single push of his toe. He was out in farm country now with its woodlots, barns, and livestock. He wondered how far he would go today, whether he would make it to However or just turn around at some point and head back toward home.
11/07 Direct Link
Iím thinking they used to build barns away from the houses so that in case of a fire, the fire could take the barn without taking the house. They would often store hay and straw in those barns and they were prone to starting fires all by themselves. Spontaneous combustion they called it, some combination of wet hay decomposing and giving off heat to the point where the dry hay caught fire. Likewise, they built garages away from the houses initially to keep the gas and oil away. Slowly the garages crept up to the houses and nuzzled them asleep.
11/08 Direct Link
There was a sparkle in the lid like chips of mica in a piece of quartz. I absent-mindedly peeled the label on the lid back and forth, slowly tearing it before I rolled it back in place and set the container on the side table. It was empty. I would get a full one presently, but not just now. Just now is for listening to the HOS show and typing a 100words entry. I lifted my eyes to the room and marveled at the distance to the far wall, how my eyes penetrated the air seeing through the dim light.
11/09 Direct Link
I was seeing through the dim light of memory. I could fashion some story of the things dancing there and I suppose that would be all it would be. From what I have read memory is nothing but a story about what has happened. It is not, as it would seem, a dragging of some piece of reality from the past. It is but a fuzzy impression about what we think might have happened had we actually been paying attention. But we were not paying attention. We never are. We are unable with the insignificant intelligence we have been given.
11/10 Direct Link
I canít keep track of everyone year after year after year. Itís too much to put into my brain. Itís all scar tissue up there anyway. You should see the MRI. It looks like a Dr. Schollís shoe insert where my cerebral cortex should be. One doctor says it is a closed head injury. Another says it was a stroke. It doesnít hurt so much though. That is to be thankful for. I just canít keep track of everyone. There was Lester. Where was I supposed to put Lester? I am sure I had forgotten all about Lester before now.
11/11 Direct Link
The clock is going to need to be wound soon. Otherwise it will run down. Oh, what the heck, let it run down. What difference will it make? I have other things to worry about. I left them around here somewhere. There is a neat little pile of things I was going to do. Not to worry. I will do them tomorrow. Then tomorrowís entry will begin with, ďIíve got this neat little pile of things to do here. It is left over from yesterday. Why didnít I do them yesterday? Why didnít I avoid the pain of things undone?
11/12 Direct Link
Iíve got this neat little pile of things to do here. It is left over from yesterday. Why didnít I do them yesterday? Why didnít I avoid the pain of things undone? Itís peaceful beneath this pile. Iím glad I left it so neatly stacked yesterday. It is Sunday now as I look out the window, as I look out all the favorite windows of my life. So many of them are gone to me, closed to the darkness that is past. I wonder about favorite windows I have not yet seen. Will there be so very many of them?
11/13 Direct Link
Weird of word and world of weird. It is beseen over the hillside and in between. Where the gas lights the parade burning in the night. It is nothing. We are forever nothing in this instance. But bye to those thoughts, those sleighs full of troubles and rusty cans. Bye to those smelly lumps laid out in the snow once a week. We cannot let that end be our guide. We can only say we have lived and we have gone away beyond the parade burning orange in the night. I am alone here. I am left alone to cry.
11/14 Direct Link
Youíve decided to sleep. I can see that. It is not so easy for me to sleep. That is what I imagine. The truth may be a different thing entirely. I might find it easy to go to sleep. Just lay my head back and close my eyes. Come on, drop those muscles in your neck, the ones holding your head up. Close your tired eyes. You wake up suddenly and ask if I want a hot dog. I quickly imagine eating a hot dog and realize I donít want one. The idea of the taste doesnít agree with me.
11/15 Direct Link
When can I do this? I need to find time during a day in which there seems to be no time. Yet this cannot be true since I work only a part time job. The only other obligation I have is about an hour a dayís practice on the piano. So there is time. I just need to find it. The blinds are still closed from when my son was here. He must have wanted to sleep in and the sun does blast through this window in the morning. It must face east. Iíve been facing east all this time?
11/16 Direct Link
I start typing. Thatís all. I wonder how this gets done and the fact is that I start typing and the rest just scrolls out the slot in my head. I am going to see my Neurologist this afternoon. It is not to discuss the slot in my head. Well not exactly. It is to discuss my latest round of tests, the MRI, the Carotid Ultrasound, and the EEG. Guess what my symptoms were! No Googling now. Actually there could have been several things that would have sent me in for that round of tests. I have had them before.
11/17 Direct Link
Iím listening to the Allman Brotherís Eat a Peach album. It reminds me of a particular period of my life and it reminds me of Matthew. Matthew is dead now. He died of cancer. It was a surprise to both of us, ultimately more to him I suppose. Matthew is dead. Dean is dead. And now my father is dead. Life comes at you in such sudden and swift moves. Yes, I know about death. I am irrevocably married to death and have spent what is probably too much time looking it over to understand it, to blunt its thrust.
11/18 Direct Link
Iíll be in the shower in a little bit. It is not as uncomfortable in there as it used to be. We bought one of those curved curtain rods that sweep out into the bathroom. It gives you the feeling that there is more space in the shower. It does that right up until you stub your toe on the side of the tub which is still the same size it was before the shower curtain rod went into place. Still my shoulders are the widest part of me and they now have more space to move in the shower.
11/19 Direct Link
I down the last sip of coffee. It is some sort of Costa Rican coffee you bought at either Kroger or VGís. You wanted to try it out. Turns out you donít care for it, but I like it. To be honest I canít tell much difference between the various kinds of coffee. Maybe it is all the cream I put in it, but they all taste a little bitter to me. Coffee is just a flavor of bitter as far as I can tell. Darker beans are more bitter. To me there is either strong coffee or weak coffee.
11/20 Direct Link
I slap the sides of my chair in time to the music. I am clearly feeling better than I was. It is a good thing to feel better. I like it. To feel better is to feel there is a clear space in your gut. It is to feel light on your feet. To feel better is to have clear vision with no pain in your eyes. For that matter it is to have no pain in your hands, arms, feet, legs or head. It is to have no pain in your heart. Such a person walks off the ground.
11/21 Direct Link
I canít go out there. I canít go out that door. The moment I do, the screen door will slap shut with a slam and leave me out in the cold without a coat. The leaves will rattle along the street in the breeze. My eyes will cloud over against the haze. I canít go out there. There will be mud in the yard. It will get on my feet. It might get on my pants and my hands. I just cannot go out there. There will be bare branches scabbing at my skin and poking holes. I canít go.
11/22 Direct Link
It might be time for you to consider changing your account preferences. Would you like them set a different way? Would you like to be a little taller or a little slimmer in the waist? Just change those account preferences. Would you like to be more popular or have more money? You know what to do. Just let those fingers do the account preference boogie woogie. Change the color of your hair or the size of your feet. Upgrade your automobile or get a new motorcycle. Account preferences are the answer. Whatís for dinner tonight? Just check those account preferences.
11/23 Direct Link
I hear the pounding of the machines in the next room. They must be in the next room. I can hear them clearly. There must be a next room. I can hear it around the pounding of the machines. They beat out its space, its dimensions, its unique acoustics. One end of the room is padded. It is isolated in some way as if it were a cold room at some point in its life. It has one of those rods sticking out of the door with a heavy metal disc on the end. Push the disc. The door opens.
11/24 Direct Link
I wonder if my father will be somewhere to greet me when I die. They say he was talking to his father the day before he died. The nurses said that is common, for patients to dream of dead relatives just before they die. My mother said my fatherís mother used to come for a lot of the boys. But my fatherís father came for him it seems. This is all somehow comforting. It is as if there is something gentle and sweet on the other side. We want it to be that way, even if we have been cruel.
11/25 Direct Link
I always felt my father loved me more than I loved him. I mean, sure, he loved my sisters more than he loved me, but I somehow loved him less. It was as if I were incapable of loving correctly, as if I were too self-absorbed. Now I have children of my own and I do not know that it is love I feel so much as they are a part of me. Maybe that is what is called love. My children are a part of me that cannot be easily taken away, like a left leg or an arm.
11/26 Direct Link
I hate having the sense that I could get in trouble for what I write. It is always there, that threat. I have gotten in trouble before for what I wrote. It hurt someoneís sensibilities. It was the wrong thing to say. How could I put that out in public? I used to write for newspapers, back when there were newspapers to write for. I got in trouble there too. There was always someone who didnít like what I had to say or the way I said it. It is enough to make you not write and it often does.
11/27 Direct Link
I think I may be a little sleepy. Perhaps it is the late lunch we had at the Chinese restaurant. Perhaps it is tiny fairies landing on the edges of my eyelids, weighing them down as they arrange their wings and make themselves comfortable. Come. Look at the fairies on my eyelids. They are moving slowly and are different colors. There is a green one with a long shepherdís crook. There is a blue one and an orange one. Of course there is a pink one. Most of these fairies are females, but there are a few male fairies here.
11/28 Direct Link
It is cold outside. It is cold enough that I wore my fleece vest under My London Fog coat. This is a combination that works for all but the coldest of days. Iíve had the London Fog for over a decade. I bought it in Chicago when I found myself there one day in a cold wind without an adequate coat. I still remember the feeling when I put the hood up, the feeling of warmth against my ears. Over the years the lining has grown thin and I have had a new zipper put on and some pockets patched.
11/29 Direct Link
I bought my mother a nice pair of pajamas for Christmas and had them delivered to her. When I called her this morning, she already had them and she was practically squeaking with joy. I think I made the right choice. You pointed them out to me in the Pajamagram catalog and told me what size to order. The rest was easy. My mother had already shown the pajamas to my sister because she told me snippets of the conversation. The pajamas are substantial enough so she can wear them out if she wants. And they are warm she says.
11/30 Direct Link
I think you are making a pumpkin pie. You have been talking about making me a pumpkin pie and we bought pumpkin and a pie shell the last time we were shopping. At first you said you could not use the shortbread pie shell I picked out because you could not bake it with the pumpkin. Then you said you found a recipe where you cooked the pumpkin and egg mixture on the stovetop and then poured it into the shell to jell. It has to sit there for something like four hours. That is what it is doing now.