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.