Sunday, October 21, 2007

Dying of Waiting

I woke up unreasonably but seasonably miserable. It happens sometimes, especially this time of year, despite the fact that it's my favorite. Every thought feels tender, bruised; every memory reflects a series of mistakes committed months and years ago, mostly things I said and shouldn't have or didn't say and needed to. I can't repair these things, errors of insertion and omission. I try to outrun them.

There are a few inches of snow on the ground now, but before it fell I walked around town nearly every night. The cottonwoods are the last to turn, and from E Hill they appear to be giant yellow clouds come to rest for a moment in someone's yard or a park, shivering and bending, insubstantial. They might rise up any moment and float away again. The leaves are not fragile when they fall, they're still stiff and flexible and glossy. They settle into the grass on edge between the blades like bright yellow files in green folders.

We had about two weeks of proper sweater weather. Now it's on to coats. I use a down comforter year-round, but I'll be putting flannel sheets on the bed soon. Everything else in the house is without distinction, seasonally. The cats have on their winter coats and I didn't even have to do anything.

I whipped off my beanie at work last week and flung my favorite pair of sunglasses into the sedimentation basin. I watched them slide jauntily down the eight-foot-long stainless steel sheet, which is tilted at a 45 degree angle. I think I've had them for three years, possibly the longest I've ever worn a pair. I have a lot of photos of myself wearing them. Perhaps when we drain and clean the sed basins in the spring I'll find them. Who knows what condition they'll be in. They're just plastic, but they do have metal hinges.

I'm criminally uncreative just now. I finally have room to paint and I have only once, squirting acrylic primary colors directly on to a canvas and scratching them around with a palette knife. It felt good, but oddly alien. I haven't painted in earnest in over a year, for myself, for the sheer joy of it. The Renewal Ball painting was such a chore. I've started dozens of blog posts and jot down phrases or observations now and then, but nothing seems to come of those, either.

I'm waiting for everything to happen now. I don't eat enough one day and eat too much the next. Water dribbles out of the kitchen ceiling when the kid upstairs, who I call Shaggy, uses his shower. I think his name is Justin, and I'm surprisingly unconcerned about the leak, although I did call Kathy and tell her to send a plumber. She thanked me profusely. I put my printer in a plastic sack and set out some buckets.

I'm ambivalent and apathetic. I miss the annual Halloween Sweat'n'Toil. Heck, my costume's been ready for twelve years. I skipped Bud's daughter's Pirate Costume Ball Wedding last night, but the only thing I regret is not getting to see Bud dressed up like Captain Jack Sparrow. I'm not feeling my usual autumn social surge yet. Maybe it won't happen this year, and that will be just as well.

I should get more sleep.


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