Saved by old times

Like a Greek myth that punishes its subject to suffer the daily pattern of futility as recompense for some trespass with the gods, so it was: not the recurring monotony of the pandemic but instead just getting our kids to put their shoes on the rack and not leave them willy-nilly on the floor where everyone walks. One of the many, many things I had to let go of as a parent but never could. And that was one of a handful of small patterns I could not break that would age me spoonful by spoonful, day by day.

None of it felt real though all of it was. I sat on the chaise lounge with my eyes closed and the cat beside me, the birds, and nothing more. The sun, an angry eye squinting through the trees. The season receding and the scraping of trash can totes up the gravel. The yucca fronds leaning upwards and out, the hummingbirds’ strange peeping sounds. Our stamped patio was slanted and the rhododendrons drooped. I had two more weeks of work for the year, maybe a little more. Then in a couple months I’d be 50. We had a lot of wood to burn and time to go still. I’d spend it focused on lighting candles at 4 and growing my beard out more than before. Life reduced down to a postage stamp and worth collecting, saved in a book.

Categories: parenting, prose, writing

Tags: , , , , ,

33 replies

  1. Surely you’re putting these posts into a book of sorts – some day your kids will be amazed – and grateful for the gift of “postage stamps” reflecting bits of life they were part of. [Tho they may still leave shoes in the middle of the floor even in their sixties … ]

    Liked by 2 people

  2. There’s a lot to unpack in this little gem. Truly lovely. The sun was is an angry pink eye blinking through the thick haze. Hope you are breathing easy up there Bill. Are you going for the ZZ Top thing now?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! The ZZ Top thing! Gosh I never would have seen that in my future…thanks Ilona. It’s not going to end well (the beard). Like the ponytail phase, maybe I just need to try it once.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sisyphus with shoes, and a new slant on “Forever” stamps. Wait a minute wait a minute Mr. Postman & I have measured out my life with coffee spoons. I can never remember who is was in the legend, that had to spend eternity filling a sieve with water, or in my case, carry a cup of tea across the room without spilling it.
    Nice! Handsome compact writing, definitely one for the album.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That Sisyphus! Too close to VD, that name. Nice to hear from you again and happy you enjoyed, I like the phrase “compact writing,” thank you. Tidy like a CD, fits in the glove compartment or a sleeve. Be well Robert.


  4. Hope is the thing with Velcro.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. For some reason that I can’t quite put my finger on, that second paragraph feels huge. Epic. Or maybe it’s that something epic is about to happen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kind of story of my life and likely, largely unwritten. Ha! I saved your comment for the end of my work day and now feel like the dog after she’s just gulped her dinner and looks hungry again. Story of my life, again. Cue the Lips album and let’s have a virtual hang.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ah those shoes forever littering the entrance… When I get into a frenzy berating everyone in the house and they ask why do I get so bothered about the little things… Because when you can’t control the bigger things, like grey hairs sprouitng and candles crowding out the decorations on the cake, you try to control what you think you should be able to?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The sun, an angry eye squinting through the trees.
    Fabulous. Turning stasis into poetry.

    Liked by 1 person

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