Number One: Climate Change. March was named after the God of War for good reason. March is evil and cold. In Colorado March is the snowiest month. So it was wrong that I knelt in the yard, weeding around blooming tulips and daffodils with a mist of sweat moistening my back. It was March. I should have been huddled over the glow of my laptop, watching snow swirl down, making a pot of stew. If this blog post is late, it is climate change’s fault.
Number Two: Time. Where does it go? How did it get to be 4:30 p.m.? I got up. I just had breakfast—no, wait—I had lunch too. How did that happen? Why haven’t I accomplished anything I meant to do today, like getting my taxes organized? And now I have to think about making dinner?
Number Two Explained, Number Three Embedded: It was Sunday, I slept in. There was the Sunday paper to read, the latest Prez 45 outrages. He’s at Mar-a-Lago again, like every weekend. Do you know what that costs us? Thirteen golf games in his first 70 days, as opposed to Obama’s ZERO games in the same period. Email, Facebook, weeding flowerbeds in unusual warmth. That’s how 4:30 happened. Zip.
Number Four: Money. Our tax appointment is tomorrow. Because we hate everything to do with money unless it drops into our hands with no effort on our part, we put off dealing with it as long as possible. I at least reconcile my checking, so that part of the tax record is download ready. Phil does not, so for the week before doomsday I endure his grumbling and we can’t go to the movies because he’s buried in tax prep. He does this every year, says he must like the stress.
I also scramble for records of this or that deductible, because I don’t track such things. Is it about money? My mind wanders to an Agustín Cadena quote I want to translate. We’re artists, for goodness sake. We don’t have the skills to deal with money. Someone should handle that for us so we can concentrate on our art.
Number Five: Sleeplessness. The inability to stop listening to my mind is worse than the not sleeping. When it comes to your own head, earplugs are useless. Normally, after lights out, within minutes that seem like seconds, Phil starts snoring. Usually it’s a quiet snore and I go to sleep anyway, even though I resent how quickly he goes to sleep. I fall asleep after tossing and turning, changing the pillows, discovering an odd lump on my leg, remembering several things I meant to do, and attempting to regulate my inhale/exhale cycle to a count of five to eight. This takes twenty minutes to an hour. Then I go to sleep. Normally.
The sleepless night isn’t like that. My eyes keep popping open. There are sharp objects in the bed and invisible things crawling on my arm. If it’s winter my feet are frozen; if it’s summer, I can’t cool off. I’m thinking about building a garage and suddenly realize the side of the yard I’ve always thought it should be on is where the sewer pipes are. My eyes widen again. Is that a problem? I envision sewers having to be accessed through the floor of my garage.
Phil’s snoring accelerates from the purring stage to a Harley Davidson rumble. I snore too, and loudly, I’m told, but I can’t hear it, so who cares? I’ve been lying here for eternity. Don’t look at the clock. It makes it worse. Noise. What was that? Someone’s on the roof.
I squeeze the extra roll of flesh at my belly. My hands are obsessed with it, can’t stay away. Should never have eaten that cake, how can I get rid of this belly if I keep eating cake. And exercise. When’d I go to the gym? I skipped Tuesday and never took the walk I was supposed to take and—just feel this gut—it’s huge.
Number One, Two, Three and Five:
April opens with a hint of snow—back to normal, however briefly.
The passage of time is a nightmare of a different color when you’re listening to your idiot brain at one a.m.
Prez 45 seeks to destroy our environment, promote ethnic and religious hatred, allow corporations to do as they will, take from the poor and give to the rich. At two a.m. I composed a furious message to send to my senators.
Number Four? I can’t remember what that was about. Oh, the quote. In reply to the question why write in these times, Agustín Cadena said:
“Times of crisis are when writing is most needed. To write is a kind of activism, an action, a political act, even if one doesn’t want to be conscious of that. Just the testament to life that writing represents is already a declaration of principles.”