Oh, this month's power bill arrived (it was sitting in the mailbox damp, because I forgot to go out and look for a couple of wet days) and though not as disastrous as it could have been, was disastrous enough. There will be no extra cash for luxury groceries this month. I did the appropriate triage on today's shopping list, so there is no new ice cream (which I'm sure I won't need in this weather anyway) and only cheap cookies from Grocery Outlet instead of the better cookies from Safeway. The Parmesan cheese got jettisoned, along with a couple of other enjoyable but nonessential items.
But it looks as though I will survive March. After that the weather should improve and things will get a bit easier, until summer's heat arrives. I'm expecting the fire insurance to be more expensive this year, since the companies will be looking to recoup some of their losses from last year's statewide floods and fires, so August could bring budgetary unpleasntry. But we aren't there yet, so no point in worrying about it. I'll just be a fiddling grasshopper for a month or two.
Making the Move
by Paul Muldoon
When Ulysses braved the wine-dark sea
He left his bow with Penelope,
Who would bend for no one but himself.
I edge along the book-shelf,
Past bad Lord Byron, Raymond Chandler,
Howard Hughes; The Hidden Years,
Past Blaise Pascal, who, bound in hide,
Divined the void to his left side:
Such books as one may think one owns
Unloose themselves like stones
And clatter down into this wider gulf
Between myself and my good wife;
A primus stove, a sleeping-bag,
The bow I bought through a cataogue
When I was thirteen or fourteen
That would bend, and break, for anyone,
Its boyish length of maple upon maple
Unseasoned and unsupple.
Were I embarking on that wine-dark sea
I would bring my bow along with me.