Sugar for the pill

Loren, and the deep weirdness of Portland, OR

I left work, got in the car, turned up the heat. Stopped at Whole Foods and spent $59 on sushi, beer, incense, an organic squash and head of garlic. Caught myself chewing the hair that grows beneath my lip driving home, thinking through work scenarios from emails I read at the traffic light, glad for the flexibility as a contractor I can just come and go…pictured myself getting home and changing, lighting a stick of incense, lying on the sofa. I closed the windows and turned up the heat, put Bach on Spotify and dreamt about fall. Felt it coming on, fantasized about it the way I do at summer’s end when I’m sick of all the light and need an edge to things again, the coming dead.

I went back to my book The Snow Leopard to try to awaken myself again and feel, to feel some inspiration to write, which I rely on from the best books. The author was on the edge of a snow bowl in the Himalayas at risk of getting snowed in, the pass closed behind him with no way to get back, all this in pursuit of a rarely seen wild animal, to learn more about its habitat, and what human folly is that: what beauty and recklessness in humanity.

I got a text from Loren wanting to talk about his favorite songs from a new record out, took my sweater off, it was just me and my wife beater now, the dog and cat and a whiskey, the rain coming on, starting to animate the rose bushes and limbs outside—and I went out in it and stood on the edge so I could get a little wet and smell it, wondered why I couldn’t feel it yet, the desire to write, and knew I’d be better off without a drink, but wondered at that too—if the goal was to feel less, and therein the appeal.

Categories: music, writing

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

16 replies

  1. “Caught myself chewing the hair that grows beneath my lip driving home”
    Glad to know, I’m not the only man who has found himself keeping himself entertained, soothed, and calm as a result of facial hair. I have often said that if I didn’t have a mustache or beard to play with while sitting in class, there is no way I would have ever made it through law school.

    Regarding your last paragraph — that’s the rub right there. I need to study that a little bit more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Mark, thank you. I think the beard stroking, well…I won’t say anything on it, I’m not really qualified. I just find myself fidgeting often and that’s a good place to fidget I guess, for king midget? 🙂 Thank you for reading. That’s the rub right there.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m a fidgeter as well, which is why facial hair comes in handy.


      • They now have toys for fidgeting kids that are overtly called that (fidgeting) and my daughter Charlotte has, and needs them. Like puddy, for example. Funny. The energy inside us sort of runs to the finger tips and runs out of place to go.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. There’s that goddamn incense jacking up your WF bill. You guys have to start hitting up the 98 cent store for that stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha, right Justin….even said the same with the cashier at WF. She said as much. Utter dumbness all around, I’m the worst at that. Good on you for catching that eagle eye. Bill


  3. Inspiration to write… I hear that. And maybe whiskey and incense help, who knows? All I know is, you have a writing brain and a writing brain won’t be held back.


  4. I’ve observed and even celebrated that beauty and recklessness in many a human life. This post has a little of both, a good balance. Very nicely expressed.


    • Hi Ilona! And happy Saturday, thank you…I sense what you speak in the story you wrote a few weeks ago for my blog, the friend you lost. Also saw you’re a friend of Michelle Green; she was one of my first blogger mentor types so to speak, still is. Enjoy your weekend. Bill

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you Bill. Michelle is one of my favorite bloggers–so precise and honest in her writing and she always makes me think and often says what I’m already thinking in such a profound way. Really dynamite writer. As are you Bill. Your prose is something that never fails to move me and I so look forward to reading your posts. Hope we get some spring weather soon and that you get to enjoy some quality time with your family.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Right on, here’s to that…..


  5. I’m such a literalist, but I have to ask. What does the title mean? I understand the idea of sugar making medicine go down or a sugar pill being a placebo, but which meaning, if either, were you aiming for. Sorry, but I really want to know. (Brain worm.)


    • Hi Kiri, thanks for asking…OK to be a literalist but sorry on the occasions I frustrate you! It’s just the name of a song by the band Slowdive I like a lot. It just came out recently…I don’t know if you know them, but they pretty much coined the term ‘shoegaze’ in the 90s and this is their first record in 22 years! And it’s super! My good friend Loren was texting me about it, which I think I put in this post, so I named the title after the song. And thought it loosely correlated to the subject matter, on alcohol-attachment…pills and sweets. Thanks for asking. Loved that post Michelle reblogged of yours recently, and think about it periodically when I’m tempted to complain about trite, small things in my parenting life. That really touched me. — Bill

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for the background. It adds nuance to know the “Behind the Music” influences. My husband was a huge music geek and he’d drop tidbits like that throughout conversations. It takes me back to those days. Thank you for the kind thoughts as well. Son is into puberty right now and, boy, can it be rough. Pretty much boy+puberty=rough is the equation of the day.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Anytime Kiri (on the background), I’m just grateful you read, think about it and check in with me! I hide sometimes in the fog…

        Liked by 1 person

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