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Thursday, February 24, 2011

A moment in the museum of my muddled mind.

i gave it a week and got only one comment that said i think too much. i tried to ponder what that meant and how i could respond and then i just decided that was a little too ironic even for me. So i'm flipping last week the bird and driving on into the metaphorical sunrise of a new day. Today is all about today. New beginnings. A new gift. The present. Full of promise and vigor and clear, cold sunshine.

And that's all i got to say about that. Now lemme tell you what i thought yesterday. Well, you don't actually have to lemme. With one click of the mouse you could be somewhere constructive, like facebook or the New York Times or checking your bank statement or buying something you didn't know you couldn't live without until you saw it on Amazon. For those masochists who chose to stay with the tour group however, gird your loins and follow me into the yesterday exhibit... if you dare.

The light is filtered and faded shades of yellow like an old photograph. Or maybe it's just reflected from all the avocado green, harvest gold and burnt orange. The air is still. The dust and smoke from a cigarette in the ashtray don't seem to move. They hang, heavy and listless and their only ambition is to penetrate your nose and make you sneeze. Somewhere there is music. Low, slow and maudlin. It could be a radio or it could be the melodramatic tension of a soap opera. It's not the only sound but you wish it was for the only other thing to be heard is the ticking of a clock. It chimes every fifteen minutes but it never seems to get any later. There are no friends here. No family. Just a stranger who is paid to keep you alive until your mother gets home tonight. And that is as much as they care about you. They may offer some dry crackers or a little juice but it's only out of obligation. There may be toys but they're mostly broken ones that the stranger's brat will deign to allow you to touch. Or worse, the stranger may have all girls. If there's a window not covered with leaden draperies, you can almost see your house. You certainly know you could walk there but you are forbidden. A prisoner awaiting release. Waiting.
To go home.
To do something fun.
To be allowed to make noise.
Or play.
Or watch something happy on the television.
For an overworked mother who still has to make dinner.
But at least she loves you.

Having trouble breathing yet? Yeah, me too, let's get the flock out of the yesterday exhibit.

Whew! Okay, everyone's respiration returning to normal? Good. You may be asking, with good reason, "What the fact was that about?" i will try to explain. That was a composite memory of mine. i had many babysitters and a daycare growing up and time and distance have not dulled the experience but it has blended much of them into this exhibit i describe. The daycare differed only in that it was like being in school for three or four more hours everyday, right down to the flickering fluorescents. One with a fence around it. But i could still look through the chainlink at my house and neighborhood and the field where my friends and i used to play army and hope that mom came to get me before the sun went down but my brother and i were often the last ones to be picked up. So what does this have to do with anything?

i'll tell you later.


  1. Are you planning to start a daycare center for future writers?
    PS that was not very sadistic at all, try harder next time

  2. i wouldn't wish a day care on my worst enemy. Apologies to Happy Cat, but i have no love for them.
    i didn't say it was sadistic, did i? i thought i said that you'd have to be masochistic to follow me in.

  3. can't have one without the other

  4. Sadism is pleasure from inflicting pain. i derive no such pleasure. Masochism is pleasure from receiving pain, you can get pain anywhere so i'd have to say, yes you can have one without the other.

  5. This makes me so glad that I get to stay home with my children... Sometimes I really don't wnat to send them to school either, when the time comes. But that's a long story.

    I wish I could perk you up some, but I don't know what to say. I did have a very vivid dream once of being chased by an evil monster, that if it caught me would somehow mean eternal doom. There was a cliff and I had a guardian angel telling me to jump, jump... trust her, jump.... but I couldn't. And the monster (actually, an evil person, I thi8nk) got closer and closer and there was a timer that counted down the time till it got me, 3, 2, 1... and then the angel pushed me over the cliff, and I landed in the rocks and died. But then I was in heaven, in a wonderful kitchen, and they were preparing for a glorious feast, and the guests were coming in butterfly carriages (how's that for symbolism?) and it was all wonderful. But the evil person/monster was there too, but was unable to interact with anything, to touch anything, to talk to anyone, and that was a sort of hell for that evil creature, to see such happiness but not be able to partake.

    So what's the point? Um.... jump? You might be crushed on the rocks, and then transform into a wondrous new life?

    Or maybe you'd just be crushed. That's what my waking self seemed to think at the time. These days I don't have much jumping to do... that was all long ago...

  6. Wow, Katie, that is an epic dream! i don't think i've ever had one so symbolic or so complete. Butterfly carriages. (inpiration for a build perhaps? ;)

    Yeah, you moms seem to have trouble letting go. i think that's a good thing to a point. As a father i've always felt like it was my job to train and prepare my boys for the day when their mother and i let them go or were gone. i may have, like my own parents, erred on the side of independence. i guess i'll find out in future years when and if they come back to visit. Or if they are able to join constructive communities. Gotta teach 'em to fly on their own but within a flock or a gaggle or murder or whatever bird metaphor you prefer. We're not made to be solitary creatures and i think that's a large part of my problem. You always do cheer me up. And i'm not afraid of being crushed on the rocks, sometimes you gotta break something in order to fix it. i know i got some things that need breaking. Ain't looking forward to the pain but... that's, as you say, a different story.