Sunday, December 21, 2008

Vacation Slug

Winter vacations are rough. The weather is cold. The sky is gray. The rain continues and does not evaporate. The wind blows. Yuck!

So with all the plans and things-to-do before the holiday season, television and music become the filler for no motivation.

The dark morning is broken by "Light" and a blinding brightness awakening the frosty air. With only a corner of a blanket and the bottom spread pull up off the corner and used for a sheet, you eyes don't open as cats bounce off your frozen body. As the dog stands under her blanket you hear "Coffee!" Sitting up, adjusting your hoodie sweatshirt, pulling at invisible covers, the television starts to blare "The Morning News".

"Sit up!" you slide you body up against the wall of pillows, still pulling whatever scraps of blankets and throws piled in mountains across the bed. The wind rustles the bamboo against the window air conditioner through the frost on the inside of the window.

The first sip of coffee is interrupted by two women chattering. It's the "Gilmore Girls" and the angst of a teen girl and her single mother with more money, funky parents, wacky boyfriends, Yale, crazy band, greasy diner, small town intrigue and things-to-say than anyone could imagine coming from two people at one time.

With the cuddly kittens crawling back under the covers and purring the sleepy rumble against the small speaker spewing constant conversation, the eyelids become heavy. Just a few more minutes.

Finally you can not take it anymore and must drag your body out of the bed. Slipping on heelless shoes sliding down the hall past the wallboard door and the litter room to open the flash of cold in the bathroom.

The hole in the wall behind the skin always lets you know what season you are in. The shower curtain blows in the breeze coming under the window pane frosted inside and out. Pour the bucket in the bowl to flush and place it back in the dropping faucet.

Pull off the over sized gray sweat pants and pull up the hole ridden dirt warn blue jeans over the dark blue long johns. Strap on the suspenders and re-load the dark gray sweatshirt over a thin gray t-shirt then another gray heavier sweatshirt on top, Gray homemade wool socks and old tennis shoes that are not really tennis shoes but I still use the term. They are actually "sports" shoes with walking treads, but don't do as much walking with arch supports and gel cushion. Slap on the VCU black baseball cap, although it has never played baseball and off into the world.
Pull the handle on the backdoor and over the crumbling porch, down the plastic steps to the walkway of timbers , gaps off rotten out wood, slippery from the rain.

Squeeze open the squeaky door to the spider web strewn studio and smell the mold. Spring is how many months away?

Time for the daily trip to the grocery store. Time to get the blood moving around the body. Got to shake off the slug.

Point down the Big Blue down the walkway made from a 6-foot fence and past the goldfish sitting dormant in the cool air. Up the gravel alley to the street, mount the saddle, and slid on tight gloves while you take in the sky and direction of clouds.

Turn right and glide onto the wet pavement. Listen for the traffic patterns as you roll toward the stoplight which is always red. Coast down the hill past the Westmoreland Lake and check the mirror to make sure there is room between you and the massive mobile machines and the mounds of slippery brown slushy leaves. It could be worst, it could be snow. Slow at the next stoplight and take a breath.

And today, after an evening and morning of rain, caused a pilgrimage of young and old alike, traveling with a uniform attention to a Kroger grocery store. Pushing carts, driving massive mobile machines, walking, talking to roaches in their ears, bringing their children, all moving toward the place of food and warmth.

As I locked up, a young woman walked pass me and under her dark glasses with a smile said "Good day for a ride". I looked up surprised at the comment and responded, "Yes, and the sun came out." Doesn't take much to make my day.

Back home and television and computer and music. Don't look at the stack of stuff you need or want to do. Don't go through your pack with the notes from weeks before. Don't even plug in the digital converter box for the DTV test, which none of the televisions passed.

Put on headphones and listen to the dozen of Beatle covers and original out takes or original poems put to primitive guitar and teen angst. Oh, that again.

Watch the comments of friends on Facebook, happy to see a new friend, and check out old music videos on YouTube.

What a way to waste a week.

But, now it's time to shake it off, rub some dirt in it, back to work, pay some bills, and get ready to end one weird year and start an unsure other one.

May the slug release me
and let me get back to



and life.

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