November 15th, 2004


The Horror!

I have never been a fan of scary movies and television shows, but lately I've become obsessed with watching the scariest show ever made for television; House Detective, on the Home and Garden channel. It is terrifying! Dry rot! Termites! Faulty wiring! Carbon monoxide! Asbestos! Toxic mold! I watch each episode with mounting horror. Despite the feel-good endings they slap on these shows ("You're probably looking at no more than $15,000 in home repairs, Mrs. Grundy") I know that the minute the cameras are turned off, the inspector, the host, the crew, and Mrs. Grundy will all be buried in an avalanche of failed timbers, bursting pipes, sparking wires, exploding appliances and crumbling concrete, and that those few who may be pulled alive from the smoking heap of rubble will inevitably die of their exposure to some horrible toxin within days. It makes me want to go live outdoors, and take the risk of being eaten by cougars! Why do I watch? These are things I never wanted to see! It's madness, I tell you!

Fortunately, my house is still standing, for the moment. Thus, I am freezing only a little bit, from having the windows open for the sake of Sluggo. In fact, it has been slightly less cold tonight, to which fact I attribute two views of a blue screen (Sluggo's fits) and one spontaneous re-boot (Sluggo's out-of-body- or box, I suppose- experience.) This left me a bit of time to go out and watch the reason for that slight warming, the clouds which have returned to hide the stars and hold in some residue of yesterday's heat. I smelled pine burning in a fireplace somewhere. I heard a raccoon climbing a fence, and more leaves falling from the trees. I have listened attentively, but have heard no more geese calling. I am bored with this night, and will go to sleep, hoping that the house does not collapse.

Too Nice

Cloud-shrouded, the waxing crescent moon back lit a screen of pines, turning my act of taking trash cans to the street into an Event. Sometimes, the scene is much to grand for ordinary tasks, and I grow dissatisfied with mundane existence. That moonlight was meant for something more than providing a dramatic backdrop to the discarding of refuse. There ought to be music, and feasting, and the rustle of silks in forest glades. The autumn night should be perfumed with something other than last week's coffee grounds.