Music: Lucette Bourdin Rising Fog(2008)
There are strangely small flying creatures on my patio tonight. I have brought out a table lamp and, with the help of an extension chord, illuminated a table in sore need of its annual weatherproofing. Small flying creatures are drawn to the light—to the pages of the dissertation I am reading under the light. One creature was white, solidly. Another, lime green, solidly. As they landed my skin began to itch—on the forearm, a calf. I’m sure there was no reason to itch other than the thought that bugs were there, a thought layered onto experience, and an experience that did not actually entail bugs landing on my forearm and calf. The creature that (who?) landed now on this white page could be mistaken for a mosquito, however, it has a rather long, Y-shaped tail, which it wiggles in a strange dance of detection. I do not know what it seeks to detect, or even if it is detecting.
I learned in these past minutes I should blow these creatures away, if they were disturbing. They hover over periods, sometimes apostrophes. But I can still read the writing with them there. The last time I tried to flick one it offered me the gift of death, in the form of wet insides, that have now crusted upon my computer’s track pad. Of course, “gift” is a euphemism.
Reflecting, a colleague related a story today about a philosopher who encountered a kitten in his bathroom as he was about to disrobe, and the confrontation there—I imagined it was a tiled there, and probably brown and beige tiles, or blue, since the philosopher was French. The philosopher mused on his confrontation with the consciousness of the animal, and what recognition means, beyond—or just prior to—the cognition. The story played on nakedness, the denuding of interpersonal encounter. Except it was an interspecies encounter. And Peter Singer aside, such encounters are never certain.
I read for a while, just now. Smartness. I am caused to reflect on the Bush administration, and how I have so quickly packed away the horror of those years; this is what Freud termed afterwardness. Did we really live through that? I guess we did. The recession is, in some sense, a reckoning with the evil under our noses.
I remember the freckles on her shoulders.
I remember leaving the parking garage. I have to add on an extra fifteen minutes to my commute to and from the university, since I park there now. One must drive, loop after loop, searching for the empty spot. But at five miles an hour—ten tops. Yesterday someone almost ran into me hurrying in the parking garage. You cannot hurry in a parking garage. Such structures demand a kind of patience most of us are not accustomed to. “Most of us” meaning the sorts of people who people a university. Not the sorts who people Afghanistan.
After reading about Kabul, I’m not so sure there are parking garages in Afghanistan. Or at least not in that city. I’m probably wrong about this.
Facebook reveals someone for whom I have deep affection is losing a loved one, and while the sadness is degreed—the dying is not someone whom I know very well—there is sadness nonetheless. Sometimes prayer is not a petition. Sometimes it is wishing to be with someone to witness their grieving. At a distance, there is a tinge of guilt.
I am annoyed in my wanting to find grace and poetry in my mundane, in (my) publicity. And yet, I still write about it.
I have turned out the table lamp, and not-so-miraculously, the flying creatures are gone. My dog parades under the table, “snarking.” It is a “backward sneeze,” and it sounds terrible. “Inspiratory paroxysmal respiration” is the official term, I think. “Oh, all small dogs get that,” I remember the rescue person explaining. Still, it makes me worry about him. I don’t want to give my dog a half benedryl, as was recommended. I know what that drug does to me (it’s called “sleep”).
There is now good news. My friend’s mother has pulled through, against odds. Hope explodes on status statements. The support network has gone cyber, and affect swirls around nodes (of what, I’m not sure) spread across the country. And so we, the friends, can go to bed with a hopeful thought. But there is that knowing bottom, as it were, that there is a new greeting in the morning. This is the basis of our worrying.
Inside and outside, through the door, Charlie Rose brays (he does, even in his hushed and humbled tones) with an expert about the salvation of the iPad—book publishers are relieved Amazon.com’s strangle on electronic books has been loosened.
My arriving neighbor’s car needs some sort of axel repair. As he arrives, his vehicle squeaks loudly. He drives too fast. I worry sometimes he will swing into the alley and mow over another neighbor’s toddler.
Two cigars were spent.
It’s another Friday night in adulthood. The dishwasher is on. I have not yet examined my navel, although the temptation is there—in jest, as a joke—but I cannot bring myself to look. The dog is now curled behind me on the bench, sharing my couch pillow (which I’m using as a cusion). I’ll check some email here in a moment. Floss. Then brush. Then curl up with a comic before turning out the light.
I’ve been reading the hardbound special collection of Sandman, a comic. I’m just now to the point where he goes to hell to reclaim a talisman from a demon.
It’s starting to rain, so the moment has arrived to go inside.
I came and went here, back and forth, reading and writing over some hours. Blogging is such sweet conceit.