Tuesday, March 31, 2015

You Win

After trying to restrain myself to a full night’s sleep I awoke after three hours. OK, invisible mistress of the night, you win. I’m staying awake till the end.
But what is there to do at 4AM? Everyone else in the world is asleep or so it appears. Social media is unsociable. I can talk but no one talks back.
So an early, early morning breakfast and wait for the sun. Religion appears to be the topic of the day but why does any interpretation of ‘the word’ care about what goes on in the bedroom. For that matter, whatever color you are? Why are we all so scared? Like the long road trip to Aunt Sallie’s, there is no going back, we are not there yet, and we are all in this together and there is no way out.
Today will be great and I’m not going to miss it.
And early morning ride while it is still dusk and a store ride before the old folk gather. Swap ponies and journey for a check-up and an eye replacement. Mellow music combined with the natural voices and the warmth of the sun. Be responsible and prepare for next month for there is much to do. As the yard calms down, choirs are just playing pick up sticks without a score. A bit of paperwork and some happy tunes, a comfortable chair without a worry and hydration complete the last of winter.  Why put off today what you can put off tomorrow? Tap out a message just to see if there is an answer.
The sun is bright now and today will be a good day and tonight, I will sleep after enjoying the full moon’s shadows.
You siren of the night with your foreboding spell of darkness cannot conquer spring. In the end, I will win. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

I Missed It

It is springtime. At least that is what I hear but the heat is still on. The weekend was cold and it just feels all damp and clammy. This is not spring. This is still winter.
And I am in the winter funk.
The long winter, or it seemed that way because of more cold and dreary days, did not offer me any inspiration. Even with all the time and toys to do whatever came to mind, nothing came to mind. Hours spent reading other’s works and ideas and observing old film clips and music videos did nothing to motivate me.
Even with heat and massive amounts of coffee, night would become day and day would become night and it all seemed the same. Walking from the kitchen to the office to the bathroom to the bedroom was all the exercise of the day. Only storing enough food for a few days, there were constant rides to the local grocery, even in the snow, but it was never enough to wear me out.
The winter is very quiet. No lawnmowers or children’s voices or birds or motorcycles fill the air. Only snow and dark shadows welcome everyday and fade to darkness at night. An empty house has its own sounds and alone every sound is an adventure in terror.
The voices are louder in the winter months. The voices keep awake at night and tell you things you try to forget. The voices speak from the past, the present, and a possible future. The voices remind what you already know and forecast the inevitable.
Your only company is your neighbors. You feed them everyday to make sure they come by and visit. You speak to them but they do not understand. They clean their plates and leave their trash, yet you repeat the process everyday.
So the calendar says it is springtime and everyone awakens from the winter blahs. That is everyone but me. While they gather under semi-sunshine to rake the remains of winter and start anew, I will wake only to sleep again.
My parents used to call it gumption. The get-up-and-go that seems to have got-up-and-went doesn’t wake me long enough during the day to do what needs to be done. I logically know and understand what needs to be done but just don’t do it.
As a youth, I was a night owl. I can blame it on being a teen but for whatever reasons then I would stay up past bedtime and read or draw or listen to music into the wee hours of the morning. This behavior probably helped my late night carousing but didn’t help my attention span in school.
Today looked like a good day. The temperatures rose and the sun came out. The birds were even singing, but I slept through it.
Not entirely, for I woke up around sunrise and had my coffee and checked my emails in my usual routine but the mind and body said go back to bed and I followed the commands.
I awoke again at 3PM, more refreshed but the day had past me by. I still caught a brief glimpse of spring but missed a wonderful day. The neighbors scowled me for being late with the open buffet and Al even got tired and wandered off early. I didn’t wash the dishes. I didn’t take out the trash.
It seems like today was a beautiful day and I missed it.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday Morning - Not winter but not yet spring

After a night of a on again off again naps, I sat in front of the screen drinking cold coffee and waiting for the sun to join me. The classical music changes to silly news and puzzles but I’m restless. I get up and then lie back down and then get up again. Still full of red beans and rice from last night, I surf the same news sites with the same news because it has been nighttime and nothing has happened. Get up and make another cup of hot coffee and try to sort why someone would be getting married at the beach in the middle of a civil war reenactment with cannons scarring the seagulls and counting MandMs. Where do these weird dreams come from? So back into the guitar room and catch three cases that are sliding. I rearrange them to eliminate that happening again, and then notice the light is increasing outside. I pull back the curtains and whom should I see? A small grey bunny is hopping about munching on leaves and bamboo. The bunny is young with those little ears and about the size of a chipmunk instead of a squirrel. Well it is near Easter so I guess they had to come around to entertain me this morning. Brings more joy than the sun coming up or the bitter coffee. A few emails of silliness then the first of “This American Life” but still too anxious to stay still. The mind is still flashing between what needs to be done in spring but don’t interfere with the bunnies and haven’t heard the owl yet and what should be bought at the store because a real trip to the store is in the future. So shake off the boredom and aimless wanderings and looks like ‘Readwave’ has crashed without my latest fine writing, so put on some pants and sweats and brush the teeth and power rinse like I was going on a date instead of just the grocery store. The same pattern of opening the front door just to look at the cars parked in the same spots they always are. The next door neighbor’s boyfriend or workman or whatever he is has started his continuation of yesterday’s construction with his two-time barking dog. Locking up the empty house there is a chill in the air but the air is fresh. Grab a pony and prepare for the routine, but every day is different. The usual protective behavior to pulling to the side of the street to let the driver decide which lane to choose before the light changes. The sand from the winter just a few days past is still there but is being covered by the petals of new tree flowers. There is not much movement yet in the hood, but it is nice to see the father and son riding on the empty streets. Shift up the gears because I need some exercise from the cold damp boring dark winter. Maybe I should use that gym I keep paying for? Lock up with little problem and find a miniature cart to zip around the far too familiar floor plan in. The deli holds the same stuff that was there yesterday, so I’ll pass on that. Grab a bag of peanuts and then my venture to find something that might entice my taste buds. Being early on a Sunday morning it is a different crowd than I normally see. Couples seem lost, cute girls on a mission, and some guy on a phone who I guess cannot figure out the difference between butter and margarine. I look at the shelves and into the frozen cases like visiting a sideshow. What ticket would I buy to taste the wonder? Microwave potpies? No, I had them the other night. Pizza? No, got one in the refrigerator. So on my way back to reload my bullets, I think biscuits might be good. Where did I have biscuits before? Oh the mind is spinning now and I’ve got to use my mental GPS to find all the locations of a possible meal of eggs and biscuits and juice. That might even be a tasty breakfast. Should I get real eggs or that soup pouring stuff that is an artificial egg mixture? The guy with the phone has now parked himself in front of the eggs so I do my usual walk around some more allowing him to move on. After a round about in the frozen food I venture back to the egg stand only to find an elderly couple, the first one I have seen today, discussing the virtues of dead chickens in shells. Folks this is not a library so make your discussion and move on, but they are determined to read every label and run a price comparison that will probably last until the afternoon. As I usually decide it was not meant to be today, I move into the troughs with the moving rubber belts. A cute brunette in a black jogging suit has already piled her gatherings and is about done with her scanning. I look around for there is a pile of dead animal products sitting at the beginning line. Perhaps they were someone else’s so I waited. As the cute brunette’s products were being scanned and she was all bubbly and talkative, I point out the pile of meat and asked if they were hers? “Oh yes!” she replied and dragged them to the attendant (what is the job title of the person who scans your food and takes you cash?). As I unloaded my little zip cart with my meager selections, the cute brunette started going through a fist full of coupons. As I pushed my daily nutrition forward, another cute brunette in a grey sweater and smile started unloading. I have to remember to come to the store more often on Sunday morning. The cute brunette in the black jogging suit was about done when she thanked me for reminding her of the missing meat. I glanced at the checkout screen and noticed the balance was $100 but after all the coupons the total was $8.00. I need to shop with her. “Where are the peanuts?” the bagger asks. Note: the bagger refers to my constant purchases of the same items everyday and the term ‘bagger’ is about a person who places items into a bag and not the English term for a looter. All in a good laugh about coupons for beer and the final approval button and a fare the well away from my brief interactions with other humans. Not so sure the few miles ride home will pay off the rest of the day of doze, but it was fun for the moment. With the rest of the yard fed and left alone to romp, I wrap myself in a lap blanket with a small heater and Celtic songs and poetry and guitars and maybe a nap or two for another Sunday morning in the spring.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Just Another Day

Woke up this morning. Well to clarify more like this afternoon. Seems I stayed up way too late last night. I’ll excuse it on the twins as I stagger down the hall.
Fill the plastic container with water and throw the switch to heat as I yawn the morning yawn and open the blinds seeing half the day has already past. Tearing opens the pink packet and pouring half into the mug for the rest will be used for the next cup and there will be the next cup. Shake some of the powder that looks like that stuff you shake on after a shower but it doesn’t smell as good. Crack open the big container of brown flakes and with the smallest spoon in the house dig down deep for a spoonful for that is all is needed for a smaller mug. Walk to the front door to see if the neighborhood is the same and there are no dead bodies in the yard. Close and relock the door as the water whistles.
As the routine of the everyday turn on the big screen, adjust the chair, yawn some more and rub the eyes. It may be noon by the clock but it is early dawn to me.
Log on with the various secret codes and start scrolling through the windows of nonsense while pour down the dirty water. It won’t wake me up but I’ll empty the cup and go back for another. Seeing the usual car wreck and political crazy I notice a strange statement on social media. It is from one who does not post much to another who also rarely comments. Somewhat later I get an email that defines the message as a good-bye for a person dying. I had just recently had a communication with that person. It is the last communication you remember.
The rest is seemliness mindlessness so it must be time for the second nap. The two cups of brown warm water have not done the trick to reduce the hours spent with the twins last night, so return to bed. Not really sleepy or really awake I listen to the radio until I suddenly awake again.
What was that all about, I though of the dream that was fast fading? Monks in the kitchen, fruit lined up in summitry, house full of folks and dogs wandering, spilling over into the yard with lions and neighbors fighting, and big black gorillas.
At least I felt somewhat more refreshed as the afternoon past with a few more cups of hot dirty water. Saw some comments I wanted to comment on also but decided it was better to get a breath of air before the sun went down.
Dragging on the same jeans from yesterday and the day before that and pulling up black socks for they have not worn out yet and pulling on the same sweatshirt and another sweatshirt, I brush my teeth with no blood and gaggle some green liquid. Taking a deep breath, I wander out into the day.
For a day to be mostly over, there are the evident signs I’ve missed much action. Little gnomes have been digging in the pine needles under the watchful eye of a big brown owl. Otherwise the yard and the neighborhood are quiet.
With the same routine that is a daily habit, I am on the street before I know it wondering how I got here. Passing several young mothers enjoying the afternoon stroll not knowing me yet but will see me often. A young guy walking a little pill of fluff on a leash is ignored because that would be frightful to acknowledge that behavior.
Having to lock to a trashcan instead of my favorite stop sign, I notice more hustle and bustle than usual. The grocery is busier than normal but this is not the normal time. The normal ingredients for a day are placed from the normal positions on the shelves and I got into line with the normal checkout trough. The usual faces of people working for minimum wage greet me with smiles of familiarity and perhaps wanting another flower on their name tag instead of a raise.
Then the adventure began. I was awake now. Refreshed by the breeze and the pumping of the pedals I was alert. Checking all sides for the increased traffic flow, I made my way out to the main thoroughfare but it was different this time.
I had hit closing time traffic. The flood was coming from every direction with sleepy faces talking into their hands ready to return home to a television and microwave dinner. Being the cautious old guy on two-wheels barely awake myself, I pause to watch the parade. Car after car drifting down the road, some faster than others, and most unaware of anything but what was in their metal box. Some were courteous but I waved them on. I know my vulnerabilities on these striped surfaces and have time to spare.
Once back in the safety of the backyard, I feed the critters a much later buffet than they are used to, then reconnect with the electronic world. Little sips of yesterday’s poison and today’s hydration gets me back at my normal pace. I void the music I have brought with me for the current news but I’m not listening to that either.
A brief discussion of beach access and other strangeness and I’m back inside to debrief into cozy ware and settle in for the sky is dark and this day is over. Well, not really because here I am. 
Just because there was a flip in the calendar, this day could be like any other day. The clock reads it must be time to eat something for it has been many hours since you last stuffed your face. Cook a plastic wrapped disk and wonder what that smell is, but the houses on both sides are dark. Sometimes it is best not to ask questions.
As the clock turns to double digits again, I take another deep breath. How many more hours before I lie down and attempt the passage of sleep? 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Where the dead people are

At least for awhile
I find cemeteries interesting. Not in a morbid way but in a historical way. On this plot of ground is where our ancestry lies.
We research our heritage and trace our forefathers to where they lay under the earth. Put there by well meaning families following the pomp and ceremony of the time. A headstone describes in a few words who this person was during there life as best remembered.
Then everyone walks away and the grass grows tall and the weather takes it’s toil and a few anniversaries or family gatherings bring relatives to look at the headstone and ponder who the rotting skeleton underground was.
I was looking at my cities neighborhoods recently and noticed the cemeteries. Gigantic swaps of land taken up for the burial of the dead. Protected acreage full of dead bodies and stones protruding announcing whom this body was.
Not being an overly religious person or a worshiper of zombies, I find these large plots of land fascinating. There will be additions but no withdrawals. Some will become famous hollowed ground and many will be forgotten and overgrown.
My grandfather or his grandfathers are buried in some plot with no indication of who he was or what he did or why he existed. My father is placed in a family plot next to his mother and father and may never be seen again. I have no idea what happened to his brother?
I just wonder, as a land assessor or a city planner trying to develop what land is available, what do you do with these dead bodies. Some of these old cemeteries are discovered when construction starts on land forgotten. Others are dug up for archeological findings.
Let’s face it, we will end up nothing but bones no matter how romantic our visions of life eternal are. Even when they unwrapped the mummies, they were petrified bones. No matter how secrete we wish our remains to be preserved; if we get in the way of progress, our resting places will be bulldozed.
Other animals on this planet do not dig graves for the fallen. They fall where they are and the inevitable takes over.
Now I’m not totally avoid of emotion. I have buried many a critter in my plot of earth with great ceremony and comforted those who mourn the passing but I am fully aware that they are worm food now. Archeologist or construction workers can find the bones and prognosticate who this was and why they were buried here.
I appreciate the land devoted to the dead and in passing always salute and announce condolences to the unknown people buried underground. I will never know their names or their history but I respect their heritage of some one taking the effort to dig a hole to put the carcass in.
I’m only here to keep future historians guessing.

Living Alone

It has been a long winter this year. It has been grayer than most and colder than most. The snow came more often and didn’t go away. For three months life goes numb and the silence takes over.
This is part of living alone.
In the cold dull days of winter not only are you trapped within the four walls but within the silence? There is no amount of lights to turn on that replaces the sunshine. There is no distraction that will keep the walls from closing in.
In the dark days of winter, living alone becomes an obsession. There are sounds that are not really there. There are shadows in the corners that are not really there. There are thoughts that fill the mind in the deafening silence that only return in the dreams. Maybe they really are there?
Snuggling under a blanket doesn’t help because when you get back up, the silence still there. The cold. The snow. Silence is the darkness that overcomes this season.
Even the constant scanning of social media with all the children playing in the snow and the dogs playing in the snow and the kittens tumbling in  the covers and the folks complaining about digging out doesn’t help. All the news sources that have the same stories over and over again besides how many times does anyone need to read so much of this junk?
Without someone telling you to put down the lid or take out the trash or pick up your socks or sliding over hairballs or shooing away fur-balls or interrupted by nuisance, the house is quiet and you are alone. Make dinner whenever you want to and take a bath when you just feel like it. Sleep all day and wake up whenever you want to because you are living alone.
Winter is an imprisonment in silence.
Wander the empty house from room to room and never hear a sound. Sit and listen to nothing.
Radio and downloads and even desperation television can bring in noise, but there is still silence. The noise will only numb the inevitable silence that surrounds every moment of time.
Tomorrow will be like today and after that the same will be the constant silence.
Friends will offer various acceptable solutions but the solutions have been tried and sources unknown to most have been experimented with but there is still silence.
For living alone is about living with you.
Living in silence and accepting it is living alone. No matter the season, living alone is the silence.