There was a time we used to just sit and watch our kids’ swim lessons at the Y and it was cute and sweet but that time has passed, and the last two days I take my laptop and wait in an adjacent room, work on a job proposal with Excel objects embedded in a deck, checking for font consistency, formatting graphics. Without the demands of paid work the benefits of down time lose their luster. I wake after Dawn, but she starts the coffee early (often by 5), and once I smell it I’m up. In between consciousness at night my mind works on the proposal, edits the slides, won’t let me rest, and rest without work doesn’t feel much like rest.
Trying to appreciate the small, in between moments with the kids and summertime but feeling as though I’m about to get on a flight and in neither place fully. At the Fred Meyer in Issaquah buying them new swimsuits and flip-flops, ‘Til Tuesday piped-in overhead, awash in fluorescence, 40% off. The seventh of July, narrowly missed having our health plan dropped due to a PO box inconsistency between what our bank has on record (provided by the insurer) and what the insurer tells me is right. Entering a 17-digit combination of Group ID and Member ID over the automated system on a phone where the number 1 sticks, routing numbers, authentication.
Running the food so lean in the fridge it’s down to a brown banana, some sorry-looking grapes, grilled meats wrapped in foil best left for the dog by now. Stalled out on settling in, out of gas on gumption. Riding the lawn tractor and self-conscious of being watched, hamming it up in fifth gear with sudden, dramatic moves ducking under low-lying branches that could peel my back open by an inch. Spreading the clippings in the nether lands of the back alongside the neighbors who are planning to develop, where the property lines get nebulous. Trying to nap in the hammock but like a guard dog alone with the kids, it’s hard to really nod off.
We’re not feeding Ginger as much as my mom fed her in Germany in hopes we can get her ribs to come out, so she eats ants that get into the house, which works out great for everybody except the ants.
In his memoir Self-Consciousness, Updike talks about his stammer, defines Maskenfreiheit as the freedom conferred by masks, on shaking one’s deep seeded self-doubt by assuming another personage to stop the stammer, which makes me think of blogging, and whatever it takes to get the words out.
The feeling runs out across the table and over the sides or escapes in the air when you open the lid: it’s there for a minute but vanishes, the spirit caught rounding the corner that moves me.
And down to the last unwanted slice of bread in the sleeve, the heel, I microwave the meat and fold it inside the bread, the last of the pulled pork sandwiches no one wants, that I won’t waste.