POST HASTE

I’ve been sadly remiss in posting of late. I have many excuses. My back went out again and I was flat for a week; I was busy preparing art for a show; I had nothing to say, or more correctly, I was unsure of the value of what I had to say; I was crabby; I got a new computer and had to break it in. Take your pick. All of these are true and not-true.

Once discipline is broken it is hard to get back on the wagon, to mix a metaphor. Writing creates more writing. Not writing creates more not-writing. Yesterday I wrote a small post for the art site (www.marietaylorart.wordpress.com) and that greased a few of my writing joints, hence this pecking away today. Just to bring you up to speed, here’s what’s been happening.

In the last couple of weeks, summer has been trying to pry open the door, sending in a few scorchers to wake us up and a few cloudy days with rain to remind us what is being left behind. A few of the morning birds start about 4 a.m., later followed at sunrise by whole choirs of chirpers and warblers.

The little Mexican man with the umbrella chair and table who sold oranges and strawberries on the corner this spring is now selling cherries and watermelons. For a brief period there was a second, younger, small man on the diagonal corner hawking cherries but without advertising the price. The unremitting squinty-eyed stare of the veteran plus the suspicions of the local customer base finally forced him out.

The neighborhood dog walkers have grown in number but the schedule has been changed to early morning and dusk to accommodate the heat. Sweetie Pie, the cat, is shedding her winter fur and coughing up hairballs like nobody’s business. She carefully deposits these in hard to reach places like behind the couch or under the table.

Two friends of mine I don’t see very often came to visit last week. We used to live at the same apartment complex. One lady is my age, the other just turned 100. Yes, you read that right. Maggie had her 100th birthday in April. She still has her teeth and hair and her mind is as bright as her eyes.

When I first became ill a few years ago, Maggie would come to my apartment twice a day and take my dog for a walk. She is still going strong and, needless to say, still walks a whole lot better than me. When I asked her how she felt, she said fine although her medications sometimes bring on diarrhea. “I never thought I’d live this long,” she added, reminding me that my Aunt Lucy at 97 recently said the same thing.

How long do any of us think we will live? We hope our money won’t run out first. We hope that we will be healthy enough to work if we need to. We hope that the end, when it comes, will be quick but nobody knows how many sands are in their personal hour glasses. Years ago when I was 30-something, I went to a psychic who told me I would live to 72 – which at 30 seems like a fair amount. Now I am just five years short off that doorway and some nights wonder how accurate her prediction will be.

The other day I was talking to my old friend Frank on the phone and he brought up the name, Richard Brautigan, to which I immediately replied, “Trout Fishing in America.” Now I hadn’t thought about that poet in at least 40 years but the title of his book came instantly to mind – and I never even read it. On the other hand, I’m not sure what I did last Saturday.

Time, time, time. Was it Heraclitus who said you can’t step in the same river twice? It is not the river that changes but ourselves. Therefore, I have been turning over new leaves by looking up recipes for fruit salads and thinking about exercising.

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