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.