Friday rolls around again. If this coming evening wasn’t the beginning of Shabbat, I wouldn’t know what day it is. I observe the passage of time by Shabbats and doctor appointments. The rest of the time it is mere days, and each day rolls seamlessly into the next.
How time creeps along for youth! It was an æon between my 14th birthday and my 15 ½ when my state would let me have a learner’s permit. It was another æon from then to my 16th birthday when I could upgrade that license to a minor’s license. It was yet another æon until my 18th birthday when my license was an adult license, and I could drink 3.2% beer.
But now, seven decades, almost three quarters of a century later, the days go by like a car passing a picket fence. I want to yell “slow down!” to the fleeting of days. Each day is a day to be savored in my retirement. Each day is a day of rest.
I have read the book. I know what the increasing drumbeat of outraged voices in the world means. The time of peace is over, and the time of strife is beginning. And like every generation of youth from the beginning of time, the youth cannot see the storm clouds gather. It is all grand marching music and promise to them. They have no time to compare their lives with history. It is all new.
So, I sip my coffee, munch a couple of sugar cookies and watch the sun climb into the sky. Today brings sufficient evil into my life. I need not seek out more. And with that thought, I finish the cookies and turn my thoughts to preparing for the Shabbat.
Wednesday morning dawned a bit misty and humid, but by ten the mist was burned off by an intense Texas sun. I staggered down to the studio with the coffee mug and cookies, plopped down in the chair to go through the morning mail and news.
A lot of political posturing dominated the news, and I just scanned the headlines, not worrying over the details. Wokees outraged by this, Critical Racers outraged by that, and people in the middle outraged by the outrages.
I can’t hold on to outrage very long before life intrudes. Mowing my lawn is more important than what the Academic Marxists are teaching the kids this morning. Coffee sippin’ is more current that a leftist bad boy killed by a cop.
I am in outrage overload. Maybe today I’ll just pick up my own cross and carry it. I can’t carry all the others.
It has been a while since I have written much of anything, other than some snark on facebook and such. My vision is so bad these days that I am unable to see the words clearly, and whole sentences appear to have huge vacant gaps in them, making writing and proofing a major chore.
Driving is completely out of the question. A black car in the shade on black asphalt is invisible, and I cannot work on my tractor because it is painted black. It is all one big black blob. My brother was able to repair a broken idler pulley for me that was in plain sight for a someone that could see. Even when I do mow, it is very difficult to see where I have mowed previously.
I really became discouraged when I failed the pre-op exam for cataract surgery. I didn’t handle that so well. I was ready to just lay down and die. In fact, I sort of did start abetting the dying process. I just don’t want to sit around and wait for lunch for the rest of my life.
I told the doc I was done, and that would be my last visit … I wasn’t seeking out anymore medical attention. He then told me he thought I could get the surgery after the cardiologist was done with me, so I gave it one more try. After the usual things, EKG’s, stress tests, echocardiogram, imaging and such, the cardiologist said he wasn’t concerned about the surgery.
So … back to the ophthalmologist. Next up, measurements, another pre-op exam, covid test, left eye, covid test, right eye … and I am back to my old obnoxious self. I’ll be able to write long passages again, drive, tell Snookums how to drive, and see where I have mowed.
My spirits are up again …
“So how do you tell a story without telling the story?” I ask as I sit down to write.
A friend wrote today of family humor and an incident at a funeral that evoked guffaws. It got me to thinking about my own sense of humor that is warped. Gallows humor it is called. Mirth in the face of a tragic and hopeless situation.
It is always inappropriate, but there it is. I once remember a scene in a movie where a man goes into the confessional booth to confess his sin, then shoots the priest so there were no witnesses to his confession. I guffawed in the darkened theater over the irony of the scene and got a passel of disbelieving white eyeballs staring at me. That only made it worse, and my date at that time finally had to give me a hard elbow in the ribs. She never went to a movie with me again.
I have been hard on modern day comics and their substitution of snark for humor. In defense of my gallows humor, I do think snark generally springs from an unentitled sense of superiority, and shares that sense with their audience.
One of my favorite cites is:
Robert-François Damiens, a French man who attempted to assassinate king Louis XV, was sentenced on March 26, 1757 to be executed in a gruesome and painstakingly detailed manner. He would first be led to the gallows, holding a torch with 2 lbs. of burning wax. Pliers would then be used to tear his skin at the breast, arms and legs. Then his right arm, which held the knife he had used for his crime, would be burned with sulfur. The aforementioned areas with ripped skin would then be poured upon with molten lead, boiling oil, burning pitch, wax, and sulfur. His body would then be dismembered by four horses, the members and trunk consumed in fire, and the ashes would be spread in the wind. After hearing the sentence, Damiens is reported to have replied: “Well, it’s going to be a tough day.”
I have used that phrase often when faced with an impossible set of circumstances and must ride it out to the end.
So with those thoughts, Shabbat morning unfolds. I feel like I am on a runaway train with my government, and there is no way to get off. There is noting I can do about it but watch the horror unfold. It cant be good.
And yeah. It is going to be a tough day.
The protests have become hollow and stale
The politicians posturings become trite and melodramatic
The press reportings a parody of seriousness.
Let them bleed on someone else
I am beyond care
Update on Annie-Annie:
Annie seems to be responding to the CBD oil, though her front legs are getting weaker and weaker. Her appetite is still good, and she sometimes forgets she is in so much pain and leaps around in excitement at treats.
But she has her bad days where she just sleeps and welcomes her treats that are brought to her. She is unable to get up on the bed any longer and has to be lifted up on it.
I do think the CBD oil is helping with the pain, and I am so grateful to the generosity of Sanchia, another rescue warrior who provided the oil. We thought we would be making that awful decision by now, and I am hopeful she will continue to have a reasonably good life right up to the end. May it be a while.
We have been giving it to Jenna as well, a 70lb who knows what that has epilepsy. She too appears to be doing better. A couple of times we spotted a pre-seizure aura, but she didn’t go into a full icktus.
I sure wish there were more medical studies on CBD oil. It is difficult to know if the improvement is due to the oil or simply coincidence. I am going to go with the oil mitigating the ravages of disease.
I almost never endorse a business, but I am going to make an exception here. Support it if you can.
I have been violently ill over the last five days or so. I seem to go into stasis when I am ill, and time becomes meaningless. Lots of time on the toilet. Lots of time in the netherworld doze wake doze. Every day I would set on the edge of my bed and think that I would pad down to the studio and write, only to diverted to the bathroom and back to bed for some more wakey-sleepy. My strength is largely gone, but the signs are that the disease is loosening its grip. I hope.
I was surprised by the number of messages in my inbox, far more than I can respond to today. Write this, sip a cup of chicken bullion, and then it’s back to slumberville for me.
I think my family realized how serious it was when I asked for a bowl of graveyard stew. A concoction apparently only known to Texans. It is simple, really. Toasted bite sized pieces of heavily butter toast, warm milk and a tablespoon of cream. It is made for infirm people who cant chew or eat strong foods. It did help, and that was encouraging.
I am mainly posting this to apologize to people for my not responding to their posts. I don’t know when I am going to be up for that. Soon, I hope. So don’t give up on me yet, and if you have the time, shoot off prayer for quick healing.
Sunday rolls around a bit cool and sunny this morning as I process the turn of the country towards authoritarianism. I do believe the neoliberal establishment has won the battle of the hearts and minds of the American people, and now it is time to treat them for the boor and bully they are.
I am no longer confronting it. My rebellion is going to be passive, to quietly throw sand in its gears when I can and then disappear. I don’t want to be in the vanguard of this resistance. That is where hero’s die and are remembered for their heroism, and I no longer care to die with my boots on. That is a young mans glory. Old men’s glory is their white hair and peacefully dying in their sleep.
Gray Rocking is some sort of psychological term for dealing with boors by being neutrally responsive to them nor engaging them in any way. I am applying it to the neoliberal left that has split off an declared me the enemy. I am done dealing with them. I’ll deal with them at the ballot box. My vote is still secret, and as long as it remains a secret, I will vote against them. I will quietly but resolutely resist new taxes, new property controls, and not tip my hand in advance. I leave the political sites and comment sections to brash and foolish people.
So goes my patriotism, my love of country, and my legacy to the following generations. I got mine, throw yours away if you wish.
There. That is out of the way.
Annie-Annie, our adopted stray labradore and something else, is still limping along. She has her good moments, and her bad moments. Sometimes I wonder if I am selfishly prolonging her life, and at other times I am glad when I see her offer her toy to me for a gentle game of tug-o-war and playful bites when I try to grab it from between her legs. Still, that gray muzzle and gray eyebrows let me know that this is not going to go on forever. The day will arrive when I have to make that hard decision and that day seems to be approaching faster than I want it to. But perhaps it is better this way so that when the day arrives, I do the right thing.
Bucephalus, my aging Dodge Grand Caravan is inspected for another year now. I admitted defeat and let the mechanic install a new taillight assembly because I couldn’t figure out how to unhook that new-fangled plug from the old one. The mechanic reached in, unplugged it, and popped the new one in and told Snookums there was no charge. Now if I ever get the cataracts done, I’ll drive for a short while longer. My vision is so bad now that I am having difficulty in writing, and I have all but given up on reading.
Soon warm weather will arrive, and I will move to the porch, shooing the feral cats away. They think they own it now, but I am human. I am bully. I am neoliberal on the porch.
So the rota of days goes.