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:
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.Earth is my Body Heaven is my Home Don't throw out the Baby All roads leed to Rome