Friday, October 09, 2015

While Rome burns.

Last week, the historian and I said we would start writing letters, after Oregon. We haven't started writing them yet, but we need to start. I could write here about what I found in my purse or on my desk or the beautiful pink cosmos that stopped my breath, just about, this morning. But some days, even if I want to, I just can't.

I know people, friends, at Northern Arizona University, but then, that's not really the point. It could be any one of us. It could be people I love or people I don't know. But it shouldn't be any of us. By 'us,' I mean 'anyone at all.'

My friend Lynn said, I'm writing to the president and congressmen and the mayor and anyone else who strikes my fancy. This seems to me like the only thing to do right now.

Here's how to find your congressman's address.
Here's how to find your senator's address.

You'll have to find your own mayor.

Sometimes, you just have to write a letter saying, enough is enough. I promise you, that is what I will do.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Extra hours.

I know, that title (^) is entirely misleading, because (wait!) there is no such thing as extra hours. Hours are, like, the very definition of scarcity, the supply being insufficient to meet demand, not enough to go around, and so on. Except we don't have time for these synonym shenanigans! We're wasting the hours, the hours that there are not enough of!

Speaking of wasting hours: I can waste hours with the best of them. I can waste hours on the internet. I can waste hours not grading, for instance. I can waste hours looking at my list until it turns me to stone with its Medusa-like gaze. I can waste hours coming up with metaphors for my list and the semester and so on. But we don't have time for metaphors! We're wasting the hours!

I told the historian this morning that I needed five extra hours in the day, so I would have time to feel my feelings. I was still in bed, under the covers, but I felt gratified that he laughed, and I, in fact, laughed--at my own joke!--but seriously: seriously, if I had five extra hours every day? I would first of all cry for one of those hours. Sometimes you just need to. Would I cry every day? Maybe. Maybe I have a lot of crying to make up for, you know?

If I had four additional hours every day, after the crying, I would send copies of my book to all the people I've promised them to, and a few more, and I would write sweet notes in the book. Because I am sweet like that, and thoughtful, and diligent, especially when I have four extra hours every day, after the crying. I think this would take two hours, or maybe all four, but let's say two, because I have additional plans for those extra two hours.

If I had two extra hours every day, after the crying and the book-sending, I would hands down spend them sleeping. I would sleep two extra hours a day, easy. I could probably do this for a year and maybe by then I would come close to evening up my lifetime sleep deficit. What can I say? I never go to bed.

Okay, I need seven extra hours every day. Because I need two more hours for writing.

Obviously, no extra hours will happen. Hours happen to be on a very strict ration. So I'm just going to have to cry when I should be grading, or--wait!--cry while I'm grading. Write while I'm sleeping. Send my books out when I'm dead. Like that. You know, multi-task. I'm super good at it.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

A few beautiful things.

I want to find a way to see these. And also to live like these artists.

My friend M said we should go see this. Oh how I want us to.

I would go to Australia to hear this concert. Who's with me?

I would like to address a work of art in this way.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Theme and variations upon a hospital.

After they take your son to the procedure room, you'll have hours. You know you'll have hours. That sunny window, looking over the valley--that's a good place to spend the hours, because you can watch the big stacked clouds shape shift in a sea of blue. You can look up and see the furthest mountains in the west, and the inland sea.

And you can just stay there looking out that window, looking up to catch the sun glinting off your face, your glasses. Because if you wander far from the waiting room just outside the procedure room, how will they find you? Even if they have your cell phone number, what if there's no reception? What then?

You will have brought your work with you. But the hospital is not a great place for work. There is so much worry and conspicuous soothing and lots and lots of waiting.

That music from the lobby below, made on a variety of pipes? Is that supposed to help?

So many white-haired people, couples, waiting.

The best part is when they tell you everything went better than fine--when the person at the front desk is on the phone figuring stuff out, but then you see the doctor coming optimistically toward you, with a lift in his step. That's one best part. Another best part is when you go back, and your son is awake and already funny again, and they're bringing him ice water and then crackers.

And then they tell you he can go home that very night.

You can text everyone. You can fill the prescriptions. You can go down the patient elevator with the wheelchair guy. You can leave the hospital, just drive away, as if you will never come back.

Monday, October 05, 2015

Open letter to my oven.

There you sit, in the oven-corner, blank, white, with no expression. I know, that's only because I pulled out all your wires, the ones that gave you a clock face and the ability to register heat and control the cooking, and so forth. Also, those wires powered your manic beeping, so, you know, I guess I kind of had to kill you.

But you were totally asking for it.

just sitting there like
a son of a bitch.
What's annoying, now, is that I make the categorical move--dinner--and think of things that I could bake. Or roast. In general, things that require a working oven. Well, too bad, because I pulled your wires, so no more baking or roasting or things that require a working oven. It's all stovetop now. Nothing but noodles and stir fry.

I feel like a character in an Edgar Allen Poe story, and I don't like it. You and your tell-tale beep.

Oven, you are there and not there.

Oven, I can't quit you, but you are getting on my nerves. You can't do one damn thing except be there, taking up oven-space in the cabinet built specially for you, and enacting the form of an oven but with no function.

It's like your tiny corner of the kitchen is a model home made out of broken things. Where are the cookies and casseroles of yesteryear?

Ugh, I have got to go to Lowe's,



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