June 27th, 2003


Breathe Now, Scorch Later

I must be developing night blindness. I've noticed that it's taking my eyes considerably longer than it did even a year ago to adjust to the darkness outdoors after I've been looking at the monitor or reading, and I'm seeing fewer stars even after being outside for several minutes. The loss of the stars might be in part due to increasing light pollution in the area, but even taking that into consideration, I know that my vision is not what it was. How annoying.

Now that the weather is so warm, the smaller of my two cats is insisting on spending almost every minute of the night outdoors, coming in only for the occasional snack. The other cats in the neighborhood are taking advantage of the summer, too. She has gotten into fights with them on each of the last three nights. She has no idea that she's getting to old for such behavior. I'd keep her indoors, but she's very, very good at dashing out unexpectedly when the door is just being closed. Too clever for her own good, she's bound to get in trouble eventually. This morning, she's nowhere to be seen. The birds had best be on guard.

Everyone is so taken with the news of Strom Thurmond's leaving us that I have seen little mention of the fact that another relic of the bad old days, former Georgia governor Lester Maddox, has also departed this vale of tears. How sad that the two of them just missed their chance to legally sodomize one another at W's Texas ranch. Fate is so unkind.
caillebotte_man at his window


This evening brought me a brief case of hiccups. I've always found hiccups to be disturbing. Although they are a minor disorder, if they continue for an extended length of time they begin to take on the characteristics of water torture. When I was very young, I was told about a Pope who had the hiccups for something like a year. I don't know if this is true, or an urban legend, but if true, he must have abused a goatload of altar boys to deserve such a punishment. At any rate, the story made me gun-shy about hiccups. Every time they started, I'd experience a terrible anxiety rooted in the fear that they might not go away. The longer they lasted, the more intense the anxiety would become. Even now, the second or third hiccup in a group will set my palms sweating and increase my pulse rate. I suppose I'm hiccup phobic. Fortunately, it's been years since I've suffered a bout of hiccups lasting longer than two or three minutes. But I honestly think that if the sole remedy for hiccups were to tongue kiss Carrot Top, I'd do it.

Today's dose of Hell was about as intense as yesterday's, and once again I've resorted to air conditioning for relief. Even with that, Sluggo has been reluctant to keep an Internet connection for more than fifteen minutes. I swear, in the heat this computer passes out faster than an Iowa Baptist lady who has wandered in to a gay porno theatre. Now it is almost ten o'clock, and outdoors the temperature remains above 80o. As the last glow of sunset was silhouetting the trees, the scent of roasting flesh floated through the air -- from Friday evening barbecues, I'm sure, not barefoot boys walking the hot pavements. But I can't guarantee it.

As a fruitless gesture to placate the sun, a poem from 1930:


by Yvor Winters

Hills red and brown
and matted
springy with scruboak
the dust and sagesmell
a stifling cloud
rose at the touch
leaves fell to ash

more heat beat from
the earth
than from the sun the
was hot all night

the coral snakes
rolling over smoking rock
in sluggish agony
in search of sleep