I’m outside smoking a cigar and reading Charles Bukowski. I’m drinking a beer but I would much rather have a whiskey. There are chipmunks running on the rocks in the backyard and my kid just striped down and is completely naked. He’s playing in a small pool on the deck. A man handling an excavator was here all day working on our land; we didn’t worry about social distancing. He had his place, we had ours. This pandemic is here and there and everywhere. Let’s play, and be, as long as we can and either we’re fine, or we’re not anymore and the wind couldn’t care less.
I got the dreaded call from Gavin’s school today. He’s the youngest in the entire school. His teacher told us that he’s very smart, has an incredible vocabulary, and is brave.
“Hello is this, Matt? Gavin has been in the nurses office for about an hour. He’s OK, but he did bite his tongue and it won’t stop bleeding.”
While on the way to the ER, Gavin, fell asleep. I watched him in my rear view mirror knowing blood was filling his mouth. Eventually I could hear the blood interfering with his breathing. I asked him to wake up and swallow. He did, while half asleep, swallow the blood.
I parked outside the ER and grabbed paper towel. I reached back toward Gavin. I woke him up, with the paper towel ready to catch the blood. It took a moment for him to wake, but when he did, he wore a worried look and I could see he was active with his tongue inside his mouth. “It’s OK, just spit it into this.” Gavin opened his mouth and a clot was on top of his tongue. He spit the clot, along with more blood, into the paper towel.
He never once cried.
The ER doctors opted not to cauterize the laceration. They didn’t want to cause Gavin trauma. Megan held ice to his tongue all evening and finally the bleeding stopped.
And for some reason unknown to me, Gavin bounced his way up to ‘Alexa’ our digital-voice friend whom many of you might also have and said, “Alexa, play Charles Bukowski.”
Seems Gavin will be just fine. But I’m not.
I love to read.
Yesterday I purchased two used books from a very used bookstore
Hemingway and Steinbeck
I lazily tossed both on top of a shelf in my office
Maybe I’ll read them at the same time
One cubby hole down sits Bukowski
which happens to be next to a few books that I’m published in
and on the floor, near my right foot, The Unabridged
Edgar Allan Poe. That’s literally the name of the book
In back of my chair is a box that I have yet to completely unpack
In the box are a number of books, books, books.
On my desk sits Final Harvest, Emily Dickinson
It’s impossible for my person to become bored
oh, and I just found Papa, A Personal Memoir written by
Gregory H. Hemingway, M.D. in back of the monitor
I could clean my office but the life would be sucked out of the
otherwise very empty room
I don’t think I’ll do that. Hell, I haven’t even mentioned what’s in the dry sink.
Personal space is a beautiful thing, if we let it be.
Bukowski just called, told me he didn’t
want to talk and hung up.
Hemingway is in the barroom drinking
whiskey from a half gone bottle, cleaning
a rifle. Not caring who just called.
Vonnegut is on the porch smoking
cigarettes while looking at a dead
raccoon in the road and repeating, “so it goes.”
Steinbeck is petting Charlie in the living
room. Calm. Collected. Ready to go.
Emily is standing silently at the top of the stairs.
Frost is outside beckoning for everyone
to join him. It’s beginning to snow.
I’m sitting alone with my family wondering
who these people think they are.
Thanks for reading
‘Where is the vital place in a living blanket?’ -Charles Bukowski
My kind of writing. Enjoy your blanket.