Contemplating The Transitory

How does that sound? Is it pretentious enough? I’m watching trains and, between Amtrak runs, I’m contemplating how established and solid the world of 1921 appeared to be.

Despite a catastrophic war, the British Empire was sputtering back to normal. The Irish and the Indians were making noises, but it looked like the Empire would stay intact.

France was beginning wave after wave of political turmoil, but there was a new modern culture being created, of Picasso, Joyce, Ravel, where word and image and sound were not like that of twenty years ago.

In America, great businesses dominated the economy. United States Steel, Westinghouse, the Pennsylvania Railroad, and the New York Central Railroad were more powerful and wealthier than many foreign countries and many American states within the Union.

Today, there is only the British Empire of memory, held together on Cricket ovals, and bankers and financiers in the City.

Modern art has descended into self-immolation, burning whatever aesthetics it tenuously possessed, in its slash and burn migration toward The Modern.

And America? The Pennsylvania and Grand Central are now remembered for their architectural remnants. United States Steel? Westinghouse? All this “power“ has vanished, just like the Preacher of Ecclesiastes said it would.

And people out there want to “cancel” this culture. They desire to reshuffle the cards of learning, politics, religion, and biology and deal anew. People had such ideas a century ago. They forecast their novus ordo mundi would last a thousand years. One lasted twelve years, another about seventy-five.

The curse of freedom is that the ignorant have gravitas because they can vote. And the Faithful and the Pious must endure without supporting evidence until the faithless and impious sandcastles vanish in the surf of their own hubris.

Anyway. Trust, but verify.

Day Sleeper, Nightmares

12:30PM J just had a nightmare, where she screamed in her sleep about something.

“Honey, you’re having a bad dream.”

“Yes I am!”

“Well, I’ll just leave you alone then.”

So it went. She desired no reassurance that she was simply dreaming, that she wasn’t alone. She went back to sleep. I came back downstairs to trains, blogging, planning, experiencing that aching loneliness of my nightmare called waking.

She will sleep two, three hours longer. I will go swimming. I need to go swimming, at the Y, where I will see my friends, revel in the cool sensual experience of swimming.

Meanwhile I will drink coffee, while watching a trash train passing through Ashland, trash all stuffed in big green boxes. For relief , Amtrak #79, The Carolinian, speeds through, headed to Charlotte.

As quickly as that passing train enters and leaves the camera’s view, my enthusiasm for a swim vanishes. I want to sleep again. Or maybe eat. Or maybe just cry.

Lifting Fog

Feeling “helpless” keeps that Dysfunctional Fog I wrote about close to the ground. I started with a shift in perspective and attitude. Things are being accomplished.

I cleared the dining area table of junk mail, political circulars, cemetery plot offers, hearing aid offers (If it looks like I’m gonna die soon, why invest in a hearing aid?), offers to listen to an insurance salesman, if I eat the steak dinner he provides., catalogs. And more catalogs.

I prepared a sirloin tip roast, with a mushroom/onion cream sauce, and corn wrapped in parchment roasted with the sirloin. I had a fresh pear for dessert. This is my kind of meal. J liked it too.

I’m back on the porch with coffee, watching the birds, listening to aircraft engines, motorcycles, automobiles. The birds sing. My tinnitus provides additional background noise. It’s cloudy, cool, and I need to put my canvas logger’s shirt and shearling slippers back on.

J ate in bed, fine by me, because her night work schedule puts her at loose ends when she has a night off. I do enjoy her company, it’s really hard to expect a shift in her habits for such a short time interruption.

A little tidying up will occur, maybe a movie, then I’ll fiddle around some more with the Mac, hoping I can move more data over from the Windows PC laptop. That would be nice but maybe I can just network the two, like some nerd, who lives in his parents’ basement, while he works remotely at his Help Desk job, would do.

So right now, a load or two of laundry will get my attention. Later, y’all.

The Fog of Dysfunction

I didn’t sleep well last night, not long enough, at least. We had to take J’s vehicle in for scheduled maintenance. That means I had to get up at a set time.

I’m tired. I look around the house and evaluate the mess, readily fixable, yet I resist putting in the work. It is early afternoon. J’s CR-V is ready. We have to drive down to pick it up. Then I can come home, sleep perhaps.

I should have been a cowboy. Or joined The French Foreign Legion.

Hobby Needed

And no, masturbation does not count as a hobby.

I know what the hobby will be. It is my dream. This blog is like salted pistachios in the shell. I crack the shells open to get to the flavorful kernel, just as I put these words on paper. These words are like those kernels. They satisfy briefly, but aren’t a meal, just as these blog posts aren’t a story.

I remember when I was working for the big insurance company, calling on businesses out in the farm country of Virginia. Tobacco was the big crop, or was, at one time. As I drove down the two lane country roads, I would see derelict curing sheds where green tobacco leaves were “flue cured” in log curing sheds, the space between the logs chinked with dried mud. A slow wood fire provided the heat. And tending the fire was necessary to keep the temperature constant and prevent the fire from going out of control and burning down the shed, along with the crop. The farmers were switching over to metal sheds and propane fires, safer, but not as beautiful. I would photograph the sheds and store buildings of merchants gone bust, the store buildings left to decay and collapse over time. The Coca-Cola signs lived on, giant red versions of the old bottle caps, with “Coca Cola” in script emblazoned in white.

Cigarettes are dying. Coca Cola lives on. My insurance days are over. Coca Cola lives on. My dreams live on, to photograph and write about the world around me and the people who live within it.

Hobby found.

Short Post

It took several hours for my headache to go away. I’m sitting on my porch breathing fresh air tinged with the lingering scent of cedar wood incense.

My neighbour, who wears headphones and talks exclusively to his German Shepherd, walked by, oblivious to me, only five meters away. I have scheduled a swim for tonight. That means I must slice J’s fruit and prepare her lunch. She is sleeping still.

I scheduled a dental appointment for 28 September. The dentist is concerned about bone loss around my lower teeth.

We have a different letter carrier this afternoon. From thirty meters distance I see a person, obese, their shirt untucked, most likely a male, with dark complexioned skin, perhaps a South Asian, perhaps a Latino. Just a temporary change I’m certain.

I hold this computer in my hand and press letters on the keyboard, in lieu of writing in a journal. This computer world is not the real world. One of Bezos’s minions just delivered a package next door. I see the interplay between virtual and concrete.

The World Of Things dominates. Janet is getting out of bed. I could and will go back inside and leave this tranquility of buzzing insects, breezes, and sunshine for later.

Wednesday Mittwoch

Today did not go as planned. I did not get to the pool, but I had a long and pleasant lunch with an AA brother, just talking about how we got to sobriety and sober living.

I’m working on the changeover to my new Mac and I needed some Ethernet cable for the task of transferring files, etc.

Today was unseasonably cool, occasion for my allergic response to something out there to kick in. The antihistamine makes me drowsy.

I am ready for bed. J is at work. Chad called me today a couple of times just to talk. Nice, makes a Dad happy

Sitting. Eventide.

Well we are having a full-blown Petrol Panic around here. Lines around the block, etc. But I bought my gas around 3:30 PM before things got really gnarly. This gasoline issue should be over in a few days.

I went swimming, shopped at BJ’s, then had tacos with J at a neighbourhood sports restaurant. We then drove around to check out the petrol lines and get her a sweet iced tea at Dunkin’.

Now I’m sitting in my porch rocker, with patchouli incense burning, contemplating how glad I am to be retired. There’s very little road noise, plenty of birds singing and insects chirping. Either it’s insects or tinnitus. Doesn’t really matter, does it?

I have to ask my neighbour if I can put seed in the bird feeder in her crepe myrtle tree. Also if I can put a hummingbird feeder there.

As days go, it was pretty good.

Monday, Not Blah, Not Blue, Just Monday

The day began rainy and cold. I awoke, far too early, but obsessed with the thought of a dental appointment, four hours almost from my unwanted wake-up.

I went through a list of trivial chores that needed doing, like emptying the dishwasher of clean items, making coffee, checking on the status of the frijoles negroes in the slow cooker.

I was in the mood for huevos rancheros. Rather than serving the beans and eggs over a tortilla, I heated some leftover French fries from 5 Guys. Since they give you more than we can eat in one sitting, they were a prime subject for an alternative use.

I added some pieces of linguiça, the spicy Portuguese style sausage from the New Bedford area of Massachusetts, I enjoy from time to time. Breakfast completed, I determined that tortillas are a much better substrate for the huevos part of the meal, but the fries are gone, at least.

I still had another two hours to kill before the appointment. Bear in mind, the sleep deprivation made me a zombie, but I had to drive on.

The dental appointment was anticlimactic. I received kudos from the hygienist and the dentist on the state of my chompers. The dentist was particularly pleased how the extraction of the two rear most molars had halted the receding gum issue I had.

On the return I bought J a large sweet iced tea at Dunkin’, along with the cream cheese-stuffed mini bagels she likes.

Then I came home, slept for a couple of hours, awoke for a couple hours, then slept some more, falling asleep to my current musical crush, Joan Armatrading.

Now I’m awake. The sun is out, birds are chirping and cool breeze makes the outdoors perfect.

Dinner, fixing J’s lunch for early this morning, and swimming will round out the day.

Life is good.

Headline In Newsfeed

Controversy Over Elon Musk’s SNL Gig.

Controversy over an appearance by a Tech plutocrat on a has-been TV show. They must put events on a wheel, like the one on Wheel Of Fortune, spin the arrow and if it lands on the event, then said event becomes news.

I don’t care about Musk, the Gates and their divorce, Trump’s Facebook ban, and most of all, Caitlyn Jenner and their entrance into electoral politics.

I’ll bet you don’t care either.