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I have ten minutes before I go to bed again to try sleeping again. I am startled as her Iphone buzzes on the table. An email coming in no doubt. She gets a lot of them, a lot more than I get. I think her trash filter is not as robust as mine is for whatever reason. But then I don't know what mailer she is using there. I know she has several. We all do. Any of us who spent the past 50 years playing in computer land has more mailers than we remember the names and passwords to.
It could have been a boat parked at the marina. It looked like a boat but I was disinclined to get any closer for a better look. This marina is a dark place, not a happy place at all. Things happen there and what may seem like a boat parked at the marina could just shimmer and disappear in the twilight. That is how things are at the marina. Now you see it; now you donít. And you for sure donít want to wander into one of those warehouses. I tried that once and nearly never found my way out.
I have used up the 30 minutes I allocated for being up here. I want more time and I send the 30 minutes off spinning again so I can listen to some more of this scratchy record. Jefferson Airplane, Surrealistic Pillow I think. Another piece of vinyl from the cave. One that I havenít yet thrown away. I donít know if I want to keep this one, but Iím not on the way to the trash with it yet, or even turning the turntable off. The turntable, Surrealistic Pillow, and this room are perhaps all things to settle my brain.
There is a blue thing in the park outside my window. Maybe it is the hood off a car left there by someone who was using it for a sled. Maybe itís not off a car. Yes I think I recognize it now. It is a hood off a dark blue í48 International Harvester pickup. Maybe itís not. Maybe it is a basketball. Someone has left yet another basketball at the park so that Suze and I can shoot hoops on our daily walk. Maybe not. Maybe it is a trash container. Someone has moved it from its normal location.
The sun is creeping in through the trees, beaming through the window. The trees, they hang heavy over the houses, giant beings. Perhaps we are all giants. I think about what it would be like to be a tree. My leaves dying each fall and dropping off. The empty feeling when the sap returns to the roots. What will we think when we learn that the trees are calling to one another along some frequency spectrum that we were unable to detect? What would we hear them saying when we learned to listen to the slow vibrations in the ground?
The clock is chiming again. It seems to be close to the correct time this morning. You must have adjusted it because the clock, the big clock in the living room runs slow most of the time. It makes me wonder if there is some adjustment inside to speed it up. I don't want to look. I have looked at the front and I saw only a switch to turn the chimes off. I imagine some little lever at the back of the clock and I am afraid to pull the clock out from the wall to inspect for this.
It is cold this morning. 32 degrees Fahrenheit when I looked at the thermometer. That would have been around eight o'clock a.m. Cold enough to leave a sheet of ice on whichever car is parked outside. That would have been your car this time. Sorry about the frost. Were I a true gentleman I would go out there and scrape the ice off the windshield and back window. But I am thinking you don't have anywhere to go this morning. It is Sunday. We used to go to church and that confuses me a little that we used to go and now don't.
The ball rolled down the road. It was a small rubber ball, nothing extraordinary except that it was rolling down the road. It kept a straight path in its lane, not wandering to the left or right the way we might expect a random ball rolling down a random road. It was a morning damp with dew and the ball had picked up enough moisture to make the rubber appear shiny. It came to a curve and carved an arc through the curve, coming out the other side. It then came to a hill. The ball rolled up the hill.
My coffee cup is almost empty. I watched you making coffee last night, preparing the coffee maker which is programmed to come on at seven o'clock. Normally my alarm is set to 7:10 a.m. and today I woke up at 7:11 a.m. The body knows these things. I sleep there in the dark and some nights I don't go to sleep readily. I have taken to setting the timer for the music to an hour. That way I will know when I have been lying there an hour and I can get up and do something about it: Sleepytime tea.
We went to pick up the dog. No I didn't go inside that time. It was another visit where I saw the toy airplane. It was the same size and shape of the one my grandfather made and I was reminded of him. No radio control for my grandfather. He built the plane himself, slicing balsa an covering it with tissue and dope. I was given the plane after my grandfather died and I still have a couple memories of him. In one memory he had blue hair. My grandmother had washed his hair and put something blue in it.
I could go out onto the deck. It would be cold out there, the boards hard and cool against my bare feet. Yes I am once again in bare feet despite your buying me house slippers. You got the slippers for just such things: going out onto the deck and taking garbage out to the curb cart in the garage. It was to protect my feet you explained and when I stubbed my toe against a heavy piece of furniture in the bedroom you reminded me again of my house slippers. I really don't know why I don't wear them.
I hear the humidifier on the landing above. I believe that humidifiers should be seen and not heard, but they tend to make a noise. This is a fairly large one with a total capacity of about five gallons. The tank is nearly empty but I didn't move to refill it this morning. There was still a little bit of water left. I will check it again later in the day. I don't know. Maybe it is empty enough to refill. These matters are dark and difficult. Do I refill the humidifier now or wait until it is completely empty?
I set the timer as you came out of the bathroom and walked in a tiny little circle before heading off into the kitchen. The tiny little circle dance is a thing that I am usually doing, not you, but you have often said we were twinnies. Perhaps. I hear a little pop of a noise as my glasses adjust to my face. It takes them longer nowadays to get distorted out of shape with my sleeping in and on them. Just one more example of the "Thank God they don't make them like they used to." school of thought.
The fish was too big for the tank. It was a very big fish and I was feeling a little nervous about what might happen if it got out. What was it? Maybe 3/4 ton? And all those razor sharp teeth set in pretty little rows. Ok, maybe I was more than a little nervous, but I was the one who was left working in the same room as the thing and if it got out I would most likely become its first taste of Homo Sapiens. That thought caused me to wonder. Maybe this beast had tasted humans before.
I'm taking another peek at the Virtue 1.3 amplifier for sale on eBay. It has two hours left and the part of me that used to adopt wayward amplifiers on a too-regular basis wants to bid on it. But I really don't have space for an amplifier collection. I don't think I even have that kind of disposable income. I am getting old and everything is likely to disappear in the spend-down at the nursing home, which means an amplifier collection might be a good way to hide money from the health care accountants. I look at the Virtue again.
The sun has come out drying things up. We could go shoot some hoops although that conjures up images far more active than our slow games of Horse. We got the basketball at the Salvation Army store for $2.50. It was our second attempt at purchasing a used basketball. The first one we got at a resale store for a buck. It would not hold air. This one is on its third day and is still holding air. It may be the keeper. The inflating needle cost another $2.50, so we have six bucks in this ball project so far.
I swallow my medicine with a root beer. I am confused about what I can drink. There are so many rules. So many birds chirping so many songs from so many perches. I close my eyes and the dark birds flutter, their wings scraping the insides of my belly. If I lift my head and open my mouth they will come flying out in a great dark cloud of fluttering, scratching claws and bird shit, a dark vortex burning a hole through the ceiling, into the sky and the neighbors will lift their eyes to say, ďHe is screaming again.Ē
I hit the Write button. A command is returned: ďContinue.Ē I am coloring outside the lines. I have been here before, wavered here before. Wandered chicken-shit all over the road, but I donít think I have been on this particular road before. Yet it looks familiar. I stop the car and get out. I can hear the door closing, crisp behind me, the clatter of the engine at idle. I can hear my boots on the blacktop as I walk across the bright yellow line and stoop. A bird cries from a fence row and swoops off across the field.
I had other ideas of things to do. But the conjunction led me astray. The birds are swarming at the feeder out the window and the giant rusting whirly gig has been returned to an upright position is spinning madly struggling against its mount in the ground. The rains yesterday had torn it loose tossing it casually against the neighbor's balcony. Life here is about neighbors and balconies. It is something I need to get used to. You would think after decades in apartments this would not be so difficult. But the thirty years in the house have ruined me.
I listen to the clock going clunk as that little kicker gear lets the weights down second by second by second. I was trying to sleep to the clock earlier but it was not a day for sleeping. Last night was not a night for sleeping either. Which left me a bit wasted today unable to lift the things I had to lift to get on with life. I had a piano lesson. "Oh, you are studying piano?" someone asks. No, it seems to be much less than that. To be honest, It is a thing I don't completely understand.
I can hear you sleeping. In sleep you breathe with a whooshing. It is as if you are taking a long quiet breath and then you let it out through your lips in a great rush after holding it in for what seems to be much too long of a time. But what do I know? I could repeat that phrase again and again, or I could delete it completely, the what do I know, and it would not make any difference to what comes after. Nor would it make any difference to what came before. I hear you breathing.
The birdfeeder is rocking wildly side to side. A squirrel must have leapt off it. They are hungry. They will do all sorts of acrobatics to get to the food and it is not yet winter yet. What would we do if we got hungry like that? We would eat squirrels no doubt, but there are more humans than there are squirrels so that game would rather quickly run out on us. Indeed the consequences of disrupting our steady food supply system would be nasty from almost any perspective. It is one of those things we just don't think about.
Even though I know it is important to keep moving, I find it is easy to forget. It is also hard to maintain movement when the body and the mind want to rest, to go to sleep. This seems to be the natural state. That may not be true because I have so much trouble sleeping. There must be two kinds of people, those who cannot go to sleep and those who cannot stay awake. Of course there would be the third kind: those who can do either with little trouble. A fourth and fifth kind. A multiplicity of people.
This morning's sky seen through the pines is a steel grey shot through with patches of blue. It reminds me of those dramatic pictures in that Planet Earth documentary. I wonder. Does anyone else have trouble watching TV shows that grapple with large sweeps of time? They cause anxiety in me. For that matter, merely watching TV can stimulate anxiety in me. The act of watching TV in our culture has gotten a not so subtle undercurrent of a bad thing. We know we are supposed to be doing something social, something socially more approved. We are wasting valuable time.
Occasionally the 100-word entry turns the lens back onto itself. The entries are supposed...well I don't know. Actually there are no guidelines for them. They can be anything. I have seen entries where the same word was repeated 100 times. Truly that is not exactly 100 words, one word repeated 100 times. It is one word. Still the 100 word site accepts such entries. It is amazingly tolerant and I am sure it would also accept a one-word entry, although there must be a system limit on the maximum number of words it will let you submit in one entry.
The puddle was a hole in the earth, a patch on her surface, painted brown. The surface was occasionally disturbed as if some creature lurked there, possibly a frog which would lead you to think the puddle was deeper than it appeared to be. How deep would a puddle need to be to be home to a frog? How deep would it need to be to completely cover the frog. It would depend of course on the size of the frog. I have seen some very tiny frogs, especially the tree frogs that cling to the glass in the morning.
You cannot carry a bucket that far. I don't care how specialized your need is. You can crave that distance as much as you want. And as my eyes fuzz I wonder about some of the words I have chosen and I wonder about the nature of death. Have I actually ever typed the word death here before? I am responsible for perhaps thousands of entries and it is likely that in one of these entries I have typed this word. It is a careless thing for me to do. The word seems like a very bad thing to drop.
I wonder if there are more people writing 100-word entries than there are people reading them. I have read some of them and some of them I have actually enjoyed reading, but I am afraid that I for one am guilty of having written more entries than I have read. Hell, sometimes I don't read my own entry, and I sometimes don't think I want to actually be read. The writing of the entry seems to organize my brain in a healthy fashion, diverting it from anxiety-producing speculation on matters such as the end of life and nursing home stays.
I am constantly bombarding myself with things I "need" to do. I am distracted by an endless list of things undone. This moment I am considering the need to fill the humidifier and as I type I am balancing the need to finish this entry with the certainty that the humidifier is about to run out of water. Really, it is ok for the humidifier to run out of water. It will not run out of water. It will shut itself off long before that happens and the filter will not dry out so there is no need to worry.
Where was I? Was I here? How many questions can I ask before I put down a statement? Where is it written that you must put down statements and not questions? I think my fingernails are getting too long. There. You have a statement. Are you happy now? Are you happier than you were with all the questions? I am not sure how my fingernails got to be long. I used to bite them off. Yes I had that habit. How, after all these years did I suddenly stop biting my fingernails? Now I have to learn to trim them.
You are curious. I find this odd. When I write backwards my sentences start with you. When I write forward my sentences start with me. Possibly this is just what happened for this particular paragraph and would not be an overwhelming rule. You ask what you should do. There are several things you must do. You must stir the stew. The stew is steaming in the kitchen. Truly it is an imaginary stew and there is little danger of anything burning and sticking to the pot. It is a tall pot with thin walls. The stew is sweet and salty.
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