Probably the last trip up Cougar Mountain for the year. Rained from start to finish, mud in the car now, the smell of wet dog. The trail a mash-up of leaves all brown and yellow, the maples are the last ones to fall.

I didn’t work Black Friday, didn’t shop. Went to the grocery store for a coffee, sat looking outside. The gray the color of cheerless snow when it’s got nothing to reflect off of, has been hanging around too long. Took a Vicodin Loren gave me and went back to the store Saturday, wandered the electronics, stood there like bait for the salesclerks looking at the smartTV’s, now $200. But no one came, so I wandered off to the books and clothes they had out on the tables. And when I got home I called down for Dawn (how did she feel about an early Christmas present?)—and she tried it on and liked it, and Lily smiled, we hugged—and then I went down in the den with a beer to read and nap but did neither, and upstairs the kids sang and made noise, and by 4 it was time to go out again for dinner—this time Dawn got a normal table (not one of the ones on a platform in the window where you have to take your shoes off), and afterwards they had to go to the Ulta Beauty shop for mirrors and hair product, so I went to the home goods store for a new tablecloth—and when we came home we all split up with our things and privately reconciled them, then met back in the living room to start a movie.

But it was so good on my back on the sofa with the cat and the last of the wine I didn’t want to get up, though Charlotte was thrusting her head and arms in each of our personal spaces including the cat’s, and only laughed at me when I said we’re trying to relax, just continued shifting her body from side to side, staring…challenging.

I went to bed without saying goodnight which I often did: it seemed there’d been some resurgence in their energy levels, though it was around 10. I got up to close the bedroom doors (the hallway light was still on) and tried either the Classical program or the Big Band one they have on Saturdays but the reception was bad and the CD in the disc player wouldn’t engage, it only squealed, and I slipped off to a faraway place, and when I awoke in the morning I felt some sense of loss I couldn’t name, the same that comes around from time to time but doesn’t announce itself though it knows where to find me, it knows where I stay.



Categories: Memoir, musings, prose

Tags: , , , , , ,

31 replies

  1. Your reference to your kids renewed sense of energy at 10:00. I see that in my kids as well. And I regret that I can no longer join them in their activities. But I can’t. By then, I’m done. Already in bed and likely asleep. And I wake up in the morning and regret that I wasn’t involved in whatever it was that they found to do.


    • That’s the same regret I have exactly. But at the same time, need some personal space: maybe that’s the strange conflict I’m trying to express here. Sorry for you you can relate but so be it, Mark!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Parenting and partnering involve a never-ending balance between those competing interests. I have always believed I can be a better parent and partner if I get my space as well.


  2. That reanimation reference also caught my eye, “it seemed there’d been some resurgence in their energy levels” almost is like an observation on Star Trek, monitoring alien life forms. Classical and Big Band not functional, Captain, initiate dormant state. I don’t have kids, and have been crashing before ten. I liked this piece and the way you concluded it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree; couldn’t have said it better!


    • That’s funny Robert, I like the Star Trek sidebar as it were…crashing before 10 is the bees knees. Happy you liked this little ditty, and thanks for reading. Bill


      • Personal space,the final frontier.


      • Bill, I do hope my flippant comments aren’t too irritating. This piece conveys a conflicted emotional reaction very effectively – but in my limited insight (only from teaching, not parenting), working with kids, it always hits me strongly when there’s also an element of anthropologist in our reactions – almost a sense of clinical observation/coming to terms with children as their own unique tribe, and that’s what prompted the Star Trek analogy, since that show had such an overtly anthro underpinning. And thanks for “bees knees,” I love the ’20’s, made my day.


      • Hey never, your comments are like, THE BEST, so don’t feel that way. I love the insights, makes all this really worth while. I was going for the conflicted emotional reaction, trying to capture some of the other dimensions of parenthood at least I’m feeling, the inability to be present with people we love…preoccupation with “things”…detachment from nature…never thought of Star Trek but that’s freaking awesome! 🙂 Enjoy the day, buddy! — Bill


  3. The sense of wandering (lostness?) was palpable. Some restlessness too – no peace even in the den. Loss, loss of ease, dis-ease.

    And no cheap CD players at the Black Friday sale.

    Last Friday (it wasn’t very black here) I bought Van’s Enlightenment (in the hope of transformation by aural osmosis). The last album of his I actually liked before the curmudgeon overwhelmed the mystic poet. But I wouldn’t play it back-to-back with Veedon Fleece; that would be too big a test.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. like a wandering soul, moving from place to place, trying to settle, but finding no peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Finally had a chance to read this and thought of the rain here yesterday that wouldn’t let up and kept the house so dark it felt like a cell. Winter (late Fall anyway) can really bring about that sense of loss you can’t name. Your home sounds like the perfect place to ride it out, though …


    • Hi Kevin, what do you mean “finally got the chance?” My god, I take days to read posts some times. I’m bad about that, you’re not. Yes, our place is good to ride it out…I bet yours is too. I’m looking forward now to taking off for most of December, leaving Saturday! Hoping to do some fun posts while we’re there. Enjoy the week, hope you get some breaks in the rain…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. On Nov 27, 2017 5:35 AM, “William Pearse | pinklightsabre” wrote:

    > pinklightsabre posted: “Probably the last trip up Cougar Mountain for the > year. Rained from start to finish, mud in the car now, the smell of wet > dog. The trail a mash-up of leaves all brown and yellow, the maples are the > last ones to fall. I didn’t work Black Friday, didn’t ” >


  7. Cat + sofa + wine = the sound of One Hand Clapping.

    Thx for the earworm:
    Stay, that’s what I meant to say or do something
    But what I never say is stay this time


  8. I know what you mean about “sense of loss I couldn’t name”, I had that yesterday for reasons I can’t name either. I actually spent Black Friday up in your turf; spent Thanksgiving with family in the Seattle area. On Friday we went wine touring with them, so our usual Sunday after wine touring in Oregon became redundant.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha, that’s funny: redundant wine touring, sounds like my kind of “circular reference.” We are off to Germany tomorrow for a month! Trying to calm myself from all the fussing with a beer now. Seems to be working.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This reminded so much of my Dad. He was always in bed earlier than all of us. I guess with six unruly kids he really needed that and it was the only away place he had. I was the one who stayed up late with my Mom and brother and watched TV and listened to them talking and I think I’m so much like those two now, it really was a pivotal part of an identity growth spurt at the time.

    That last line was killer. I think Dad used to wake up with it (sense of loss), because he was always up earlier than everyone else and on weekends if you stumbled out early he would be so happy and invite you to drive with him to the bakery and maybe down to the beach or around town, slowly, him puffing on his big cigar and filling the car with nauseating smoke, heh. WOW! Thanks for spurring all those wonderful memories Bill. It’s what keeps me coming back to your blog. Your words never cease to inspire me creatively.


    • Now that’s a nice series of scenes Ilona, thank you. I can see all that; it’s nice you see it too, that pivotal part of your growing up, as you call it. We’re just enjoying these special times now, as we’re in Germany with my mom for the month of December and arrived a couple days ago. Time takes on a different pace when you’re on vacation and traveling, we’re just savoring it. Stop back if you can throughout the month as I’ll be posting regularly and would love to chat with you some more. Hope you’re well! Bill

      Liked by 1 person

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