July 7th, 2019



I have lemonade. I put seltzer in it to cut the sweetness. It's not bad, but it won't fix my broken schedule or my inability to keep tack of time. Still, it makes the heat less onerous, and that's something. The ice clinks pleasantly in the glass, which fits nicely into the new chair's cup holder, and I can sit in the darkness of the back yard listening to crickets, and to passing trains that sound much closer than they are, and to airplanes and helicopters overhead, and to trucks on the nearby freeway, and all is not entirely wrong with the world. Lemonade obviously has healing powers, though rather limited.

This evening I used the current last of my $2.00 bonus coupons from CVS when I bought three of those little packets of ready-to-eat tuna they make now. They were already on sale at three for three dollars, so I got them for a buck, and used one to make a tuna sandwich for dinner. The cost of the other ingredients (which I had on hand) brought dinner to about half the cost of the bottle of beer I had with it. If I could do that every night I'd soon be the Croesus of my block. Or at least the Scrooge McDuck.

Lately I've been coughing whenever I use dairy products. The cough can actually grow quite intense. I had chronic bronchitis, which was aggravated by dairy products, when I was a kid, until about the age of thirteen or fourteen, and it's most distressing to have a childhood illness recrudesce like this. I suppose it won't be long before I'm wetting myself and will have to start wearing those adult diapers. Then I'll be forgetting how to talk, but by that time I probably won't care anymore. I never did it very well anyway, so no big loss. I'm really going to hate forgetting how to use the computer, though. Aging is such a drag.
caillebotte_man at his window


A slight breeze has come up tonight. It rustles the small, dark red leaves of a tree down the bike path and makes it sound as though soft rain were falling. The crickets continue to chirp furiously in the warm air. A jet, lights flashing, passes far overhead, but near enough that its sound can be heard above the rumble of the freeway. The only other light in the starless sky is the crescent moon. I have a sudden fancy that I am hearing sounds from some other time, as though I were eavesdropping on the past. It must be someone else's past, as I can't recall any moment of my own quite like this.

Now I'm trying to imagine the river. It's only a few miles west, but I've never seen this part of it. I've seen it at Sacramento, and at Woodland, at Red Bluff and Anderson and Redding, but never here. It suddenly strikes me a odd that in all the time I've been here I haven't even given the river a thought. It's out there, carrying last winter's melted snow away, the moon's reflection glinting and wobbling on the rippling surface. In the back of my mind thoughts about things borne off by floods, but I can't make them come clear.

The thing is that I have no clear idea how I fetched up in this odd place, when it could have been so different. Doing one thing rather than another, changing a decision, or doing nothing instead of something, and I would be somewhere else, or perhaps nowhere at all. I doubt any changes would have landed me in any of the lives I have ever imagined, as I certainly never imagined this one, but it could so easily been something other than this. I wonder if I'd have been as dissatisfied in any of them as I am here? Maybe dissatisfaction isn't the consequence of any decision, but just what I do. I've never been all that satisfied anywhere I've been, but I don't recall ever having been quite as dissatisfied as I am in this place of displacement.

I just realized that I forgot to eat dinner tonight. That, among other things, is probably making me cranky. I guess I'll go heat up a can beans. I wish I'd remembered to put out some butter to soften. I wish I'd gotten to Safeway this weekend to buy some fresh bread. I wish the night wasn't so full of Chico. I wish my brain wasn't so full of me.

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