Friday, April 28, 2006

My dream

My Dream by Ogden Nash

This is my dream,
It is my own dream, I dreamt it.
I dreamt that my hair was kempt.
Then I dreamt that my true love unkempt it.


Over the Easter weekend I was sitting with my door open enjoying the cool night air. (For those of you who know where I live it was well after the gunfire had ceased and the blue lights had stopped flashing through the trees. It was very quiet because all of the people with good sense were huddled under their beds in fear, not outside making noise or even with their doors open so their TVs could be heard.) As the smells of springtime wafted through my apartment I began to hear a bird singing. Well I guess you could call it singing. It sounded like someone had taught a crow to imitate a whippoorwill, and then the crow had smoked three packs of Marlboros a day until he had to have a hole cut in his throat and sang through one of those little doodads that people who have had holes cut in their throat talk through that makes them sound like a bad special effect in a cheap science fiction movie. (Diagram that sentence. It’s a long way to go for an analogy but I have nothing else to do today.) What surprised me the most was that another bird of the same type (whatever type the first one was, either that or the crow had learned the song from a whippoorwill who really did smoke three packs a day and they were still in contact) answered from across the street. It amazed me that the terrible noise I that heard coming from the three in the yard was enjoyed by another bird. Even that it was understood. It made me think again that no matter how disgusting you may think something is there is someone who enjoys it. No matter how terrible it seems to you, someone will long for it. Pickled pigs feet anyone?


Life is like a game of solitaire. (This profound thought came to me after the zillionth game I played after someone woke me up at midnight. It was either my ex-wife or her sister. Since they both sound a lot alike to someone who took a strong pain killer and then was awakened three hours after he went to bed I am not sure which one it was, they left before I could get my pants on and open the door. And, just in case you are wondering, the urgent matter they rang my door bell for was bringing back my old family Bible. I have no idea why that couldn’t wait till a better time of day, or any time of day for that matter. The odd thing is that any other night I would have been up till three or four in the morning. But I digress.) In solitaire you have a large quantity of unknowns and very few knowns. With those cards you can see you must make decisions that may or may not be the right one. Sometimes you can do no wrong. Every hand is a winner. At other times you can do nothing right (sounds like my marriage). Every hand is a looser. Then there are times when you struggle and things look like you are going to win and then you are stuck with that one card left face down. Or you almost give up, knowing you are going to loose, and then you win. Just like in life. How many times have you worked yourself to the nub and couldn’t get ahead while you watched someone else do nothing and not be able to avoid success. Sometimes I think that the deck my life was dealt from is missing a few cards. I haven’t been able to win for quite some time. All I manage to do is spent time arranging new loosing hands. Every once in a while I get a good deal. The cards fall together nicely. Those times, however, are few an far between. Mostly though my life is like solitaire because of the name. I always seen to play alone. The greatest thing about solitaire is you can always reshuffle and play again.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Two weeks of exile

It has been two weeks, well, almost two weeks, since my truck died. And I am here to report that I am still alive. While the walking is making my back feel better it is making my ankle feel worse. I guess I can’t have everything can I? I may have to get a retread on my shoes.
I now know all my neighbors’ schedules. I have been able to observe the progress of the power line maintenance going on in my neighborhood. We even have a lovely new light pole in the back yard.
On foot you can see so much more than you can in a vehicle or even on a bicycle. I have noticed all kinds of stuff in people’s yards. I have found cars hidden in bushes. I found a cheap electronic organizer on the sidewalk. I keep looking but I haven’t found a new transmission laying in the ditch yet. And have been able to enjoy a myriad of flowers that are in bloom now.
I have even bumped into a few people I have not seen in a long time. If I had been in the truck I probably would have just honked and waved. I have made a few four legged friends too.
Strangely enough now that I have so much time to write I can’t seem to find anything to write about. I have reread and made corrections to my book, but I can’t seem to make any progress on anything else. I have about a million things I have started, but I can’t seem to finish them. I am sure that when I get busy again I won’t be able to stop the flow of ideas. I will be sitting on the side of the road again trying to scribble everything down before I forget it.
I have played my guitar for hours on end. My fingers are sore and I think the calluses are coming back. I have almost learned to adequately mangle Black Horse and the Cherry Tree. I don’t sound near as good as KT Tunstall though.
I have found the time to talk to a few of my neighbors that I hardly ever see. I have even started to cook again. It is amazing what you can do when you don’t have to rush off somewhere else. I even have plans to clean out the closet. I haven’t got brave enough to venture into the refrigerator yet. I cleaned up a couple of antique oil-cans and put them in the living room where they can be seen. Two plants and some decorating – if I am not careful someone will think I live here.
So if you are in my neighborhood swing on by. Most likely I will be here, talking to my plants. I may even cook something for you and play you a song.

Political Revision

I am not a very political person. I don’t often get involved in political discussions. I vote but that is my business. I am a conservative, but frankly both parties sicken me. I have gotten tired of arguing over the issues of each election. I don’t think that there are many politicians alive that know how to tell the truth, are ethical, or that I would trust with my life. I have an idea though. After being at home for two weeks and watching television I think we should have a new method of picking political candidates. Since reality (unreality?) shows are wildly popular now I think that each party should have their own show and the winner gets to run for office. It needs to be a combination of all the reality shows. They have to race to a deserted island, eat pig eyeballs and grasshoppers, and win a rose each week to determine which one can run. The danger would be that we might decide that we like them there and not send anyone to go get them.

Thank you?

I was at the library this morning checking my email like I am most morning. Things were as quiet as they ever are there. Kids were screaming, patrons were talking, and the librarians were making more noise than anyone telling them all to be quiet. As I sat minding my own business and reading all the unimportant things that I had been emailed, a woman walked up to me. Can you tell me how to spell “continental”? My first instinct was to stifle a laugh. Anyone who knows me knows that I am one of the world’s top ten bad spellers. I quickly opened Microsoft Word and typed in what I thought was close. It was close enough for spell check to find a correct version of it anyhow. The woman thanked me with a compliment. “I thought you could help. You looked like the smartest person here.” Now if I had known the woman I would have laughed and known it was a joke. However, since I had never seen her before, my head started to swell slightly. This swelling was brought down quickly by a look around the computer area. Other than this woman and her husband, (who were at least smart enough to know that they didn’t know how to spell continental. I sat next to two girls one day who were writing emails and one of them corrected the other – “No it isn’t ‘more good’, its ‘gooder’.”) not only was I the smartest looking person there, I was the only one who seemed to be aware that they were breathing. Most of them looked like they didn’t know what a bar of soap was for, let alone a shower. Two or three of them actually surprised me that they had found the library, but then again they may have had help. One guy was there talking to the computer screen as if it was actually going to talk back. As the lady went back to her seat I suddenly felt like the best-dressed man at a nudist colony - not all that hard of an accomplishment to pull off. I am sure that the lady meant it as a compliment, but after looking around I wasn’t all that sure. I wondered if she and her husband snickered to themselves over the statement.


I have taken down all of her pictures. I burned all her letters. I gave away everything that reminded me of her. But she is with me still. The haunting memories of all she did to me linger like specters of another life. I never know when she will appear in my mind. I wonder about from day to day and wish for relief. There is none. I am tired of being alone. I am tired of living with her memories.
Life would be nice if there was a list of soul mates somewhere that told whom we were supposed to be with. Some way to know for sure who to be with. Some guarantee that a relationship would be happy. Some way to know that we wouldn’t be alone.
If women outnumber men so much why am I alone? Why must I live my days talking to my plants and strangers? Some day it will all end. My loneliness will be over. I will know joy again. Finally the ghosts will be banished. The past will stay past. The future will shine brightly. Dreams will come true. Someday, but not today. Someday

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

out of order

For an unknown period of time this blog will be out of order. Well not actually the blog more like my life. In February I hurt my back and it has prevented me from doing any work. For the past four weeks I have been limping my truck around with only two gears left in the transmission. Well yesterday the lack of funds and the mechanical problems came together in a perfect storm. I barely got the truck home and when I got there I found a letter in my mailbox from the DMV. In my lovely pain med altered state of mind I failed to pay my insurance and for some reason never got a statement. Either that or it got tossed out with the junk mail. Any way I turned the tags in today and I am on foot, which is why I won’t be coming to the library very often to check my email, or post a blog. (I think I will go home and set the truck on fire and dance naked around it till the firetrucks come) Also after tomorrow I will not have a cell phone. It has all of about 9 minutes left on it now. If you want to call after nine I can talk till midnight on the 6th.

I am not saying this for sympathy or charity; I simply don’t want anyone sending the cops by my apartment to find out if I drowned in my soup. However if you know where I live (no I am not dumb enough to post it here someone may come by and steal my truck…. On second thought I live at 1125 Sc@&#^da@*&^le Dr.) feel free to drop by. I am not sure how long my shoes will be my primary mode of transportation, but unless Ed McMahon drops by with one of those huge checks or a Brinks truck turns over in my yard it will be a while. I will get online as often as I can drag my carcass to the library. After walking here today my collection of aches and pains is having a reunion and partying in various locations throughout my body. And I have a beautiful blister on my right foot. I will send you a picture of you are interested.

And for those of you who were wondering, yes I went to the doctor today, No he doesn’t know what is wrong with my back, but if I had more money to pay more doctors they could find out. my back, but if I had more money to pay more doctors they could find out.

Monday, April 03, 2006


Out of the darkness
An Angel
Lowers a gossamer thread of hope.
It waves tauntingly in the dark.
Not strong enough to support my dreams
Barely tangible enough to hold my sight
It mocks me, hanging just outside my grasp.
Light glimmers down its length
Bringing illumination to the depth.
Slowly it comes lower into the gloom
I touch it; it shimmers in my hand,
My lifeline to the world above
Not enough to lift me from the abyss.
Silently another glimmer appears.
Another thread slithers down from above.
My hopes cling to their tender lengths.
Another and then another, hope comes to me.
The threads I weave together
Painfully slow they thicken and form,
Into a shining lighted braid
Slowly they take strength from one another.
Hope brings new hope and new hope brings more hope,
Expectations of freedom rise from the chasm that imprisons me.
The cord, still far too small to pull me upward,
Gives me hope and comfort that
One day
I will stand in the sun and know joy again.

Music and memories

This morning, for whatever reason, my little eyeballs crawled open at about the same time the sun came up. I lay in the bed for a while and listened to the rain as it fell softly on the window, then finally decided that it was time to start my day, whether or not I wanted to. I staggered into the kitchen and started my first cup of coffee then poured myself into my favorite chair – the one at my desk. As the heating pad warmed against my sore back and the computer reluctantly came to life the power went out. I suppose that somewhere a light pole got knocked over. For a few minutes it flicked like a lethargic strobe light and finally went off all together. Finally it came back on and I started my morning over again. The coffee brewed, the heating pad warmed, the computer booted up, and I turned on the stereo. The memories began to pour out of the speakers.
Lee Anne Rimes began to sing, “How Do I Live Without You?” When my ex-wife first got married we went to movies frequently. One of the first we went to see was Con-Air. The thing I remember the most was the song. There at the end when Nicholas Cage finally got to see his family. It is a beautiful song. I remember singing it to her. Those days were happy ones. No kids, not worries, and no infidelity yet. That question rang in my ears. “How do I live without you?” She was the first gal I ever dated. I was 26 when we got married. She was 19. When I met her I didn’t realize how young she was. She looked older. After we had dated for a few weeks she told me that she was only 18. I was stunned. I thought she was at least 21. She had been home schooled and had graduated early and was in college. I remember that when we got married my car insurance almost tripled because she was considered to be an inexperienced driver.
Her dad had tried to talk me out of marrying her. Not because I was bad for her, but because he said she would be bad for me. I didn’t believe him. Those were the days before reality reached out and slapped me. I believed anything was possible. I thought the power of love would conquer all and we would be happy forever. If I had only know then what I know now. All my friends told me not to marry her. I still have a friend who teases me about it. It was like buying first class accommodations on the Titanic. It was great for a while but we all wound up getting wet.
I sat and drank my coffee and listened to the poetry of the song. I closed my eyes and I could feel her next to me again. I could smell her hair. I could feel the darkness of the theater surrounding us. Then the words pulled me back to reality. How do I live without you? Well the answer has been a struggle -sometimes an uphill fight and sometimes a terrifying downhill tumble. But how do I live without you? Pretty well. Thank you very much.