Made up dreams

Charlotte's Mind

Charlotte’s Mind

The plastic hummingbirds that glow at night seem a lifetime ago since I gave them to my mother-in-law and she hung them on a hook off her deck. There’s even a sense of fall in the air, that dry rattle as the night comes on, and the dead lawns have us all confused what month we’re really in, what day it is, whether or not we really need to water.

I wriggled my way through the shitbarbs of self-doubt and loathing, what kind of writer am I indulging in these 800-word wanks, editing what dissolves like cotton candy on the tongue, and why?

But then I screwed myself up and said Go on, and I did. I wrote more, and it came out the way puss or vomit can — so much more than you’d think would be in there but true, and self-satisfying in a way.

And I got to thinking I surround myself with this mopey-dopey droll music, some guy noodling on something or other that’s got him down, it feels good until it doesn’t.

Or why it was important for me to have closure with work, to try to make arrangements to see my boss and say goodbye, but nothing’s come of it yet and why should it, he’s said goodbye already. How it’s more just a transaction me leaving, and the truth can hurt if you let it, so don’t.

Why no one wants to hear what you dreamt about unless you dreamt about them.

Wore pants with socks and took a hot shower today for the first time in weeks, temperatures barely out of the 70s, some here starting to complain it feels cold. Northwesterners get tweeky about the weather, prone to whine if it strays too far outside their comfort zone which is slim, we’ve got low tolerance.

On my walk to see Cowboy the steer and Cruiser the horse at the ranch over the hill, we pick up some apples to throw over the fence in hopes they’ll come see us. Apples coming on sooner than normal, this time of year. A hint of ominous in that, like it’s the beginning of the end when the apples start falling in July.

Lily’s eyes look hollowed-out when she asks for the computer, where it’s gotten. I hid it under the bed. We’re having to hide the devices from our kids now. With no schedule and three TVs in my mother-in-law’s, we had to impose limits. The new, “10-10-2 policy” has a corporate ring to it that’s easy to recite: up by 10, in bed by 10, 2 hours of screen time (“10-10-2”).

I spotted a bunch of guys from the corporate HQ pooling around the meat counter at the grocery store, the butcher out addressing them with good posture. Lots of nodding, necks made out of plastic, have a nice day.

In the tent it’s me, Charlotte, Lily and Loren with our heads opposite one another’s feet, utensils in a drawer, each of us in our separate cabins waiting for someone to pull us out. I let an ant have unrestricted access to my body, track its movements across my skin, send messages to my hands saying don’t move, I’ve got this, but I don’t, I want it off me.

Charlotte cries before bed, says she doesn’t want to go to Germany — and why can’t we go back to our house now and just have a normal year? I put my hand on her knee and say, someday we’ll look back on this and be sad it’s over.

Categories: travel

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10 replies

  1. I will never write another blog post again without thinking of it as an “800-word wank”. A perfect description for those of us with delusions of being published offline, procrastinating in blogland.

    I’m more of a bridge-burner than you, always finding it awkward when former employees would show up to say “Hi” or email me out of the blue for coffee. The word “closure” is in that category of words, like balance and reparation, speaking to something subjective and only attainable to any true measure in one’s brain.

    Envying you the cooler temps. We’re heading into another heat wave.


    • OK I just reread what you said about closure and will have to reread it again Michelle – thanks for that, wow. Yeah, feels like a wank but sometimes that’s just the ticket, too. Sorry for your impending heat…I’m hoping Germany gets it out of its system before we arrive next week.


    • I’m obsessed with keeping my posts at 800 words. I get angry when I go over. Who’s got time for that?! I thought I was alone in the desert. Now I feel somewhat normal. Not normal. Just somewhat, which is good enough for me.


      • If you think you’re normal you’ve got lots of company in the desert and I’m not sure they’re ‘all there.’


  2. The kid stuff just guts ya doesn’t it? And monitoring the screen-time, feels so awkward to be the daily and constant buzz kill. What a devilish little dirty trap to catch families in, you know? I think children are smarter, in ways, than they used to be. I have a five year old son and sometimes his voice seems to carry more authority than my own. “Out of the mouthes of babes,” and all that I guess. As always, pleasure to read your writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A devilish little dirt trap indeed, well put. And yes, I feel like the state cop I always hated. But cops play important roles too. Very important. Glad you enjoyed it and thank you! I am all about the pleasure. – Bill

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nothing brings out that fiery Old Testament authority like watching one son picking on the other, so yeah I definitely sense that need for control and leadership. What’s really hard is controlling and evolving that sense of authority, because in hindsight historically, sometimes it can seem so brutal and harsh. I’m deep into Steinbeck’s East of Eden right now, which touches on a lot of these themes. Families and generations harbor evidence of the hand of divine, I think. Yeah, East of Eden is something else…

        Liked by 1 person

      • I could do me some Steinbeck too, might way til fall…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s a nice gaggle of thoughts. I’m going to steal 10-10-2 because my daughters are in the fast lane to screen addiction.


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