Inside a broken clock splashing the wine with all the rain dogs

The rain now is that rain we associate as November rain in the Northwest. It has its own aspect, like no other. It is not a rain to be fucked with, and comes on hard and fouls up the roads, turning everything to slush. Last night we watched it pool off the gutter but on the inside of the gutter (against the house), remarking how glad we were not to live in that old place in West Seattle that always flooded.

Then I had a flood dream, in a house I’d never seen before with a bunch of people and water gushing down the steps, starting to make stuff float. One of the senior managers from my last project appeared and I was trying to get something through to him and he was stroking his beard (a Ulysses S. Grant beard) wearing those BlueTooth, wireless ear buds. I told Dawn about it in the morning and realized the symbolism, the flooding juxtaposed with work.

These mornings are charmless and dark. Today, I put the Tom Waits CD Rain Dogs on, for obvious reasons. It starts right off with the Kurt Weil inspired goose-stepping staccato, and Tom’s lyrics about dwarves, hookers, and drunks. Our friends Jim and Heather live in a town near San Francisco (Sebastapol) where Tom also lives, but say it’s uncool to approach Tom if you see him around town. I’d have a hard time resisting.

Not far from work there was a smudge of indigo in the sky suggesting distant sun, and like I always do, I turned the stereo off as I exited the freeway. I’ve been the first one into the office for several days now, turning the lights on after badging in. And then I set my laptop and mouse down, my tupperware for lunch, my headphones, like a concert pianist with no audience. And I catch myself in the mirror and think how old I look, and bat back that feeling by sitting up straight and spewing out what testosterone I still have left in ways probably no one but me notices. So much of work is in the appearances.

Throughout the week I’ll remark what percentage done we are, and text that to Dawn. Like, Wednesday at noon is 50% exact: end of day Thursday is 80%, pretty simple math. Remarkable how fast it goes. I send her the percentage with a thumbs-up emoji, but she’s stopped responding. It’s the time of year it all goes into a dark slush, a waiting room between fall and spring that doesn’t have any openings until January, at best.

 

About pinklightsabre

William Pearse publishes memoir, travel journals, poetry and prose, and lives in the Pacific Northwest.
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30 Responses to Inside a broken clock splashing the wine with all the rain dogs

  1. kingmidget says:

    So many things here to respond to, but I’ll stick with this …

    “So much of work is in the appearances.”

    This is so true and what is becoming harder and harder for me to maintain. Putting the costume on, and the mask, every morning to trudge into the office and play a role, make an appearance, be the thing I’m expected to be. I act all day in this role and don’t get the opportunity to live naturally in my skin and in the way I’d prefer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pinklightsabre says:

      Ah, you’ve only a few years left lad, right?! All the more hard, for that. The last mile, the hardest mile. And the appearances…

      Liked by 3 people

      • kingmidget says:

        Yes. I could go in less than a year now. But things may not work out quite as well as I’d like, so it may be another year or two after that. And I’m learning that the last mile is indeed the hardest mile.

        Like

      • pinklightsabre says:

        It’s because you know the finish line is there but can’t see it and your feet are freaking beat. Or I don’t know, a lot of other things too.

        Liked by 1 person

      • kingmidget says:

        No, you’re right. Having the finish line so close makes it more and more difficult to deal with the crap – the stupid co-workers who want to avoid work and responsibility, the ever-growing complexity and dysfunction, and the need to show I care, when I really don’t – because I refuse to be one of those who check out as they get close. Hmmm … maybe I do care.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Small world. We used to live in Sebastopol, though we never ran into Tom. I always heard he lived out in Valley Ford, so whenever we drove out that way I always hoped to find him hitchhiking with a trombone slung over his shoulder. Never did. Maybe that’s why we moved …

    Liked by 3 people

  3. kirizar says:

    I gripe about winter, but I think that’s not just the ever present cold weather talking. I have to remember it’s also the excuse to stay indoors and read that book I’ve been waiting for. It’s snuggling under blanket and watching a British mystery. It’s the smell of baking suffusing the air with yeasty warmth. And it is the joy of being done with plowing the snow and ignoring the fat white flakes that start falling the minute you put the snowblower away. Yes, I prefer hot summer nights and the smell of a blooming garden…but there is also winter’s small pleasures to cultivate. I hope you can find yours when the bleak rains pass.

    Liked by 2 people

    • pinklightsabre says:

      That’s a real pretty dirty there Kiri, and good to hear from you! I can’t complain about the weather (though I do), probably sounds that way but I do try to enjoy the unique qualities of the seasons. Grateful I don’t have the extremes you do…perhaps the rain is an extreme, but it’s really just November I think that the rain is especially bad here. Probably not unique in that, other parts of the world have the same. Here’s to cozy times though, for sure…lots to be said for that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • kirizar says:

        I think I was also translating something I watched yesterday. It was a video about understanding the hidden messages in British conversations. That talking about weather in England isn’t really talking about climate or seasonal effects, it’s a way to discuss your emotional state without putting it into so many words. I’m not good at remembering where I saw something, or I’d offer the link. I just want to share than the emotional upheavals of dark, stormy days, are eventually going to pass. It may take a while, but, I’ve had to hold on to that idea while I’m in the dull, low pressure zone of depression. I am wishing us both, sunny skies ahead with a chance of butterflies and tulips.

        Liked by 1 person

      • pinklightsabre says:

        Ah, that’s brilliant Kiri. I love that concept about the British, the sub-text. Likely true of those Russian plays too (speaking of banality and depression). Wishing you that warmth and light that will return sooner than we know it, hang in there sister. Bill

        Liked by 1 person

      • pinklightsabre says:

        I meant to say “pretty ditty “ earlier too, by the by 🤪

        Liked by 1 person

      • kirizar says:

        You know, I wondered. Spellcheck gets me into more trouble that way! I always blame it for my malapropisms.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. rossmurray1 says:

    What a great closing line, especially the final grace note.
    I watched the Buster Scruggs thing on Netflix, and the one with Tom Waits was one of my favourites, mostly because just watching him panning for gold and grunting was mesmerizing. I can just imagine watching him from afar in a supermarket would offer the same delight.
    We have so much snow here. It’s gorgeous. Good time to be housebound.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pinklightsabre says:

      Ah glad for the snow…pretty for about a month or so, right? Looking forward to catching up on your sitch and blog here shortly. Love his grunting, for sure…music for mumblers.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. walt walker says:

    The movie Down By Law was my introduction to Tom Waits, and the two songs of his that are still my favorites, Jockey Full of Bourbon and Tango Till They’re Sore, both off the Rain Dogs album, which is also my favorite album of his. A friend of mine described that start-off as sounding like a cross between a madhouse and a carnival. It’s been 7 months since I left my job and every time I start to look for something new “the appearances” rear up and I lose interest. Oy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pinklightsabre says:

      7 months! You’re in the zone man! I went close to 2 years. Don’t do that. Down by Law must be a good film with a soundtrack like that I reckon? Haven’t seen it. But agree about that album, it’s so good. Did you ever hear Real Gone? That’s up there for me too. I love that man. And he’s been sober since early 90s. Bone Machine record maybe.

      Like

      • walt walker says:

        If you like black and white independent American films of the 90s that feel like foreign films and star a young Tom Waits and that Italian guy who made Life is Beautiful, then you’ll like Down By Law. But I stopped recommending Jarmusch films to people when I realized I didn’t know anyone else who liked them. After Rain Dogs, I rummaged around the Tom Waits discography and discovered a lot of other gems, but I haven’t kept up with him since Mule Variations, but I’m so glad he’s still out there being Tom Waits.

        Liked by 1 person

      • pinklightsabre says:

        Yeah, there’s a garage sale rummaging quality to it for sure. Jarmusch, right…thanks for qualifying that, appreciate it.

        Like

  6. ksbeth says:

    my favorite line. I send her the percentage with a thumbs-up emoji, but she’s stopped responding. – says so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Enjoyed the post, Bill, and the comments too. Lovely stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A lot being said there Bill. Love it.

    It’s a rather dank waiting room some days. Others, not so bad. We take walks most days. Hope you get to do the same and find a little light where you can. Seattle is very pretty with all the trees strung with lights this time of year. I think it helps. Down here, Chehalis is very vintage, with garland and 50’s-ish candle decor strung on the street light wires. Very nostalgic, brings some New England Memories to mind…Hope you find some too…Seasons Greetings Bill!

    Liked by 1 person

    • pinklightsabre says:

      Ha…we passed through Chehalis today and yesterday on our way down to Troutdale, OR. How cool. Forgot you’re down there, thanks for the reminder and the imagery and the kind note, and for reading Ilona. Very cool…Bill

      Like

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