October 14, 2018 (Sunday)

Sadly, I let myself get too annoyed often and it cut into my enjoyment of life. We rode in the Pilot to the pumpkin patch, all six of us, and I reminded Loren and Lily to look up from their phones for the views: country scenes on a sunny Saturday afternoon, small towns with names like Carnation, Fall City. By the end of the week we were all compromised and tired and starting to feel the tug of the Northwest that makes it hard to motivate this time of year. We set traps for the fruit flies and cleared them out every morning. I let the last of the blue cheese sit out under glass for two days and then I finished it off with a toasted bagel, mustard, Canadian bacon, and raw onion. I complained about the kids triggering the sensor on the plastic bat by the back door, that’s a good two feet tall and makes screaming sounds when it goes off. I got annoyed with Loren’s six-year-old when he didn’t thank me for toasting his almost-vegan marshmallow, insisting he wanted to do it himself. I went inside and pouted and made myself another drink. I completed my first full-length project at work, a messaging framework for a tech marketing campaign, finding the right words to evoke emotion from the driest of content like finding one grain of sand on a beach that sparkles if you catch it at just the right light. I felt the past pulling away, on my walk with the dog around the block. I felt it being replaced the way sand shifts when the tide pulls out and it looks just like it did, before. All the houses in our neighborhood have the same problem with zombie infestations as they did last year, with tombstones and hands coming out of the ground. I thought for a moment I understood the James Joyce book Ulysses, but then it passed. Something about a whole life compressed into a small space of a day, if you look at it right. And I thought, what does the distance do to our hearts? Does it make us stronger or weaker, or just more comfortable with the cold.

Categories: Memoir, prose, writing

Tags: , , , , , , ,

27 replies

  1. It sounds like melancholia may be seeping in. It is here, with productivity the first to take a hit. We got our first snow of the season today, all of us staring glumly out the window – let the six months of winter begin. That deck won’t get finished until spring and we have a sick cat and sick parent and it makes time seem simultaneously immutable and fleeting.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I felt the past pulling away … yes, one of the fundamental conundrums.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. my favorite line was the one about thinking for a moment that you understood ulysses and then it passing.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Being able to find the single sparkling grain of sand, in a beach-full of dry content, sounds impressive, and also like those Greek legends – Sisyphus (had to look up the spelling) rolling his boulder up the hill every day.
    Or whoever it was with a sieve, trying to carry water, or bail out Hades’ basement, or whatever. Punishment for a Pastafarian I guess.
    I cannot imagine why you’d find a screaming two foot bat to be annoying (I think I’d find a baseball bat and tell the kids it’s a piñata). Is it ok to distance yourself from some things? like zombies, screaming bats, gray weather, and not let them fret away your time

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha, good one Robert. Yes to the distance and the piñata. I think I jammed in a lot of stuff in this here target, for hittin’…enjoy the day, the week! The colors! The distance!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m fascinated by your bagel concoction. It sounds completely awful with the potential for being wonderful. Did you invent that?

    Why so upset with humanity? It would seem to me you’ve got all the proper ingredients for a satisfying morning, noon and night.


  6. The summer’s here are so lovely I used to think that was what made me tolerate the winters. Now, as you indicated, the opposite seems true. Winter waits in the distance with yawning black hole of a mouth to suck even the memory of those days from us. Be of good cheer Bill. There will be beauty in the snow on the hills, the mist on the grass, and the ice crystals on the evergreens when illuminated by your headlights. Drink some good red wine!


    • Be of good cheer is great advice, you too Ilona! Thank you…always happy for encouragement to drink good red wine, thank you. With this weather the past two weeks, it’s been more like white and pink, right? Cheers, Bill

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes! Big fan of the Pinot Grigio! And I heard yesterday that we may be having a warmer than normal winter. But let’s hope the snow we need falls where it needs to, and all will be well.


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