December 2nd, 2019

caillebotte_man at his window

The Soggy Sunday

The rain has never fully let up since last night, and I never got out of the apartment, except when I went out to see what the commotion was this afternoon when several of the other tenants gathered on the driveway. It turns out a water pipe broke, and the whole complex lost its water for a few hours. I had noticed that pressure was low earlier, but hadn't used the water since then so had no idea it was off. It's back on now, so I can wash the dishes.

It's still expected to be rainy tomorrow, and it's possible I won't get out again. But Tuesday through Thursday the chances of rain are only 20%, so I should be able to get out at least one of those days. There are things I need from the stores, so I hope we have plenty of well-timed dry spells. Being stuck indoors all day today was pretty dull, and I'd rather not have many such days this winter. My brain turns as soggy as the ground. It is nice looking at the reflections of the lights in the pavement, though.

One little pool is situated so that when the raindrops hit it, the water ripples and the angles of the ripples reflect a porch light so that the pool flashes and flickers, fast or slow depending on the number of drops falling. It's rather hypnotic, and as this is a slightly warmer storm than the last one it's not too uncomfortable to stand under the eaves by the front door and watch. Of course I'd rather be watching English people murder one another, which was long my Sunday evening ritual, but I guess I have to take what I can get.

I've also noticed I'm not hearing as many trains at night as I was earlier in the year. I think they must have been trains carrying away various crops that were being harvested then. Now that the harvest is mostly over there is no need for so many trains. I miss hearing them. They livened up this dull place.

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So posting a few hours late, since I lost Internet from letting the battery run down again, and then fell asleep waiting for it to charge. I wonder if I'll be able to get back to sleep tonight, or not until the grey, wet morning noses its way over the horizon? It's all too strange. Can I have a do-over?

The Semi-Rainy Day

I can barely keep my eyes open again this evening, but I think it's already too late for a nap. It would have been wise to pick up a burrito for dinner, as I doubt I'll be coherent enough to cook. After nodding off and almost falling out of my chair several times I've gotten desperate enough that I've heated up half a cup of coffee, which could turn out to be disastrous. I'm considering taking a bus to one of the Safeways tomorrow, despite the inconvenient scheduling on that route, as it has a Rite Aid nearby where there's something I want, and the post office is not too far off where I need to put in another change of address, since I've still been getting my magazines delivered to my brother's house, which is inconvenient. To make that trip I'll have to sleep well tonight, and get up pretty early tomorrow. I hope the coffee doesn't interfere with that.

Today a break in the rain allowed me to go to CVS and Trader Joe's, and at CVS I bought one of those gel-filled cold compresses. I used to have a couple that I got from my chiropractor, to use on my neck when it gets out of whack, but they sprang leaks long ago and could no longer be used. They'd have burned in the fire anyway, of course. Then I stopped at Trader Joe's for milk and a giant chocolate bar. Naturally I checked the Goodwill store for books first, and found another paperback Rex Stout twofer (Too Many Cooks and Champagne for One,) plus a copy of Salman Rushdie's Haroun an the Sea of Stories, a book I've been wanting to read since forever, by which I mean since it was first published, in 1990. I could have saved forty cents by waiting until tomorrow to buy them on senior discount day, but I was afraid they'd be gone by then. God knows what I missed by not being able to get out Sunday.

The coffee seems to be kicking in, as I haven't nodded of in a few minutes, and remain firmly ensconced in my chair. I have to say I'm not impressed with the flavor, though. It's Starbucks, pre-cold brewed, from a jar. If the stuff in their coffee shops is as unimpressive as this then it's just as well I've never gone there to be disappointed at a very high price. What I would really like is a cup of Huggins Young Mocha-Java, the brand I preferred ages ago when I brewed my own coffee. That was good stuff, but I don't think they've made it in decades. I don't think the brand even exists any more. When I was making coffee in Paradise several years ago I had to settle for Folgers, which was not as good as Huggins Young but still better than this Starbucks.

Despite a steady drizzle this afternoon, the mockingbird visited my yard and sang for several minutes. Later, the rain was replaced by a fine mist, which ceased altogether around three thirty. That's when I went out. I would have enjoyed walking in the fine mist, which is one of my favorite weather conditions, but I would most likely have ended up damp, as the stuff does tend to accumulate on clothing, and that would not have been good for me. It's not as cold out as it was last week, but it's still too cold for me to be getting wet, at my age. I'm afraid that not only my rain walking days but my mist walking days are behind me. I'd mind that less if I could get some Huggins Young Mocha Java, and sit with a hot cup, watching through the big glass doors as the rain fell softly in my back yard.

Oh, something else I found at the Goodwill store today. There was a beat-up hardback copy of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Sonnets from the Portuguese, but I didn't want to spend three bucks on it, so I left it there. But while I was leafing through it I found, as I sometimes do, that a previous owner had left a piece of paper in it with writing on it. This piece was so odd that I had to have it, so I put it into one of the books I was buying. This is the bit of fascinating doggerel that is on one side of the scrap of paper:
          Earth is my Body  
          Heaven is my Home
          Don't throw out the Baby
          All roads leed to Rome
It's unlikely I will ever know who composed this startling bit of verse, or how long it has been secreted in that battered copy of EBB's heartfelt, pseudo-translated love poems, but I am utterly delighted by it. I imagine Gertrude Stein penning it when she was perhaps three years old, and as yet unfamiliar with free verse, but already possessed of an avant-garde sensibility and, somehow, has undergone a brief flirtation with Catholicism. It is evidence that, even in this improbable mini-metropolis, in the waning days of western civilization, the world still has the capacity to turn up random bits of quirky charm.