the other day someone shared their fascination over the precision required to install a new bathroom inside an already very large hospital, all the plumbing pipes that had to be arranged in such and such a location to link to the bigger pipes and all the electric wires having to do the same.
i felt old standing there so cold, so numb to all of life’s plumbing and electrical wonders. it just didn’t fascinate me, but it was good to hear someone else so captivated. he was like a little kid visiting the giant aquarium for the first time.
i walked on and saw a familiar face in the neighborhood. he’s a chain smoker. i see him often. when i walk to the grocery store, there he is. when i walk to work, there he is. when i walk to the beer store, there he is. and every time i see him, he’s shuffling his feet and smoking and he doesn’t inhale every few shuffles nonchalantly looking fashionable no sireeeee, he sucks out every last morsel of that tobacco with his entire being and the way he smokes and the way he shuffles his feet seems to take a lot of precision too or at least it fascinates me.
over the past few years,
i’ve spotted two sets of bleachers in the seemingly middle-of-nowhere.
i say middle-of-nowhere. because they weren’t overlooking a field where teams compete.
there were no goals or sides.
maybe the bleachers were put there to be like a park bench,
to entice more people to become observers,
as opposed to competitors?
i liked the refrigerator i grew up around, the air conditioner too.
we played video games on matell intellivision.
we made basketball hoops out of buckets.
the streets were dark and more often than not – empty and scary.
it was a little bit like a horror movie walking home at night.
there were owls, crows, rabbits, squirrels and gas stations open 24 hours.
i liked my life growing up among all of this.
i’m glad i survived.
that way i can watch a spider crawling in a bathtub today.
at first i wonder if it’s struggling to reach the top,
but then it spins a web or it dreams a web and well,
i think maybe that spider knows more than i do…probably.
is cement dead?
i mean if you put a slab of it under a microscope, is there all that crazy dancing of cells and protons and what not? squash is on special today. it always is this time of year. i could buy some, maybe a butternut squash, and chop it into cubes and freeze and store silo it for a winter december soup to be, but fuck it! the cement streets and sidewalks are everywhere and i can’t hear what the birds are trying to tell us. are they trying to tell us something? probably more than the nightly news anyway. i should do what the doctor says and breathe, stretch, exercise, and read, but i’ll drink some wine instead and think about old Hopi days and maybe get a little closer to what’s underneath the cement and then it will maybe feel more like today.
my uncle tried to learn one new word every day.
he said it was the little university he imposed on himself,
to keep his brain cylinders spinning,
maybe to offset the onset of a stroke?
unfortunately, he didn’t live forever.
he didn’t even make it to 85 and the last few years, he couldn’t do much.
most of his mental faculties broke down.
i looked up the word catenary yesterday.
I thought of my uncle as I did it.
catenary – “a wire, rope, or chain hanging freely from two points and forming a U shape.”
i thought about a horseshoe and then at dinner,
i shaped a pasta strand into a U-shape and felt younger.
i looked up which is not something i always do
and there they were,
21 pigeons across a telephone wire
heads tucked into their bodies,
perfectly still and silent,
i looked down and
there it was,
a worm squirming its way through blades of wet grass,
then a crossing guard waving his hands,
a dog’s nose in quivering madness,
me counting pigeons docked on a wire,
the earth spinning
everything and everyone spinning,
in perfect meditation.
a cow sits in parlor recline
waving its tail like a drunk antennae
it has a bell around its neck.
i think of the cheese and milk and music it makes
what a wonderful relative!