Wilhelm’s mausoleom

I stopped by the dry cleaners, then the car wash — vacuumed out the pollen, the cottonwood, pine needles and dandruff, the nail clippings and dirt, then gathered wood to make a fire later, shook off the spiders from the logs, cut up kindling, found a spot under the maple tree to sit and do nothing. The cottonwood was back on the grass and garden beds and had the look of laundry lint. Spent $70 on CDs, music I already owned in other formats or on Spotify, so I could play it in my car. Made small talk with the cashier, a girl with a retro dress and under arm hair. Stopped by a bottle shop on my way back to Loren’s and put on John Fahey.

I set up Brian Eno on my laptop out back, but I think it attracts strange birds. In the morning I went back up Cougar Mountain but spent most of my time thinking about getting attacked by a cougar. The ears curling back, coiling to strike. Took the Quarry Trail past my favorite tree, the one with a face, though dead, twisted, blackened at the base, notches where the eyes and mouth would be.

Had some profound dream with loss in it, linked to my mom. Got sentimental with the kids and made sure I said goodbye to them both and then gave Dawn a good, long hug. Took care picking out the CD for my drive back into work.

Walked during lunch but it was cold, Seattle “June cold,” and I could have used a jacket. Turned the heater on when I got home and warmed the house to 67, cooked pasta, used the last of the basil plant mom got when she was here, got tired trying to keep it alive, the sad look of it right there by the sink. So many other things on their sides outside, relying on us.

Used the last of the spinach before it went off and gathered up the laundry, scrubbed the kitchen island, said goodbye to the kids (off to dance), started cooking, realized I had half an hour to sit down and write.

Went back over my notes from Portland, but the photos that came back from the mausoleum weren’t as good as I imagined, as Loren described. He said they only open it once a year, on Memorial Day, and he and his neighbor were going, with Arthur. It was ruinous, with strange light coming through — numbered vaults, family urns.

Maybe like the Testament record in his local bar it wouldn’t show as well taken out of context. Maybe it went with the overall mood of the place, and belonged there. Maybe there was a place for these moments I was trying to trap and keep alive here with air holes, and pieces of grass.

Painting by Nicolai Astrup, “Martzmorgen.” Wikimedia Commons.

Categories: death, Memoir, musings, prose, writing

Tags: , , , , , , ,

18 replies

  1. You only get so many pestos out of a basil plant.

    Which (of the many) Faheys?


  2. “I set up Brian Eno on my laptop out back, but I think it attracts strange birds.” ~ that’s a keeper

    Liked by 2 people

  3. love your description of the tree, long since dead –


  4. At least they’re live traps, so humane.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had to think a while on that, thank you! I like puzzles in the morning, helps me wake up.

      Liked by 1 person

      • One of the top rules of journalism is if you make your readers pause to figure out something unclear, you’ll lose them. Good thing I’m not a journalist anymore.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ah, well, I am so not that. I suppose I “journalize” my life but I prefer an impressionistic, sometimes abstract point of view (to make it more interesting?). Not sure. I lost you by now probably.


  5. I also loved the tree description. And the idea of Eno attracting strange birds. I’ll try it on the Commons, see what turns up. Pigeons strutting to George Clinton, reggae sparrows, vultures croaking along with Mahler Kindertotenlieder, could be interesting.
    I always felt bad when someone brought a basil or rosemary to my parents’ house, knowing the next time I saw it, abandoned behind the toaster, it would be brown and withered. Very engaging post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha. You are the king of comments, my friend. Flip side of the Police single, King of Pain. A little black spot on the sun today…the same old thing as yesterday…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Boy, I could sure use a piece like this at The Disappointed Housewife … We’re short on essays, and this is a beaut.

    BTW, didn’t someone just get killed by a cougar up that way? And you’re boldly walking on Cougar Mountain? Maybe lightning doesn’t strike twice.

    Liked by 1 person

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