Driving to the pub, I knew I wouldn’t like sitting at the bar as much as if my family was with me, but I drove anyway and felt the unease of knowing how I’d already feel while at the bar with my book. I parked and looked at the entrance to the pub. It wasn’t much to look at but I looked anyway. Inside, it was much as I expected it to be. The bartender asked where my family was. I told her that they ditched me. They didn’t want to come to the pub, this time. She smiled and said that our son was handsome and that he was always polite. I like that things don’t feel as good when I’m at the pub without my family. I ordered a Guinness and read from my book, Growth of the Soil.
And he had stayed while the rain came down; he had stayed while she sat alone, only a blanket provided comfort, and he looking out the window at the rain thinking about how he might need to leave or to maybe not be in the same place as her, anymore, and the rain came and nothing mattered about any of it other than the thinking of what to do and the thinking of what to do meant something needed to be done.
They said it was going to be grey. They said to wear a coat in the morning. I thought of my coat after not wearing it. A bit like I thought about how my feet moved forward on the concrete. Sometimes a foot would move just over an old piece of something, like gum, and then the other foot would fix the system by stepping on the next one. Of course this would be done in reverse to correct it all. A boy on a bike rode passed me. He didn’t look at me. I tried; maybe it was me. I quickened my step and stopped looking at how my feet made progress on cement, instead I found levity in the bridge ahead. Underneath was a smooth rolling river. If I closed my eyes and listened well enough I could hear the smallest of gurgling. It was nice to hear.
I can touch my head again. It’s nice being able to reach. Charlie, our nine-month-old 12 pound Maine coon cat, follows me around. I can bend down and pick him up again. I place Charlie on my shoulder and walk him to the window. Surgeon said I’m healing so well that I don’t need physical therapy. Soon I’ll have full range of motion. Maybe Charlie can help.
It was a stone like any other stone except it had a mouth and spoke of pine needles and quantum therapy and about how a few fingers could cross the world if only for eyes to see and a heart to feel It told about how the heavens rained down so hard that the stone’s eyes were worn away and while it admitted it never had fingers, it felt it nearly could have while sadly its soul drifted away, quickly even, then slowly as the rain lessened Eventually the stone lay still with a bit of sun and less self and more thoughts with less sight until it was found by a frog hopping around laughter lit by courage and carried by a young girl wearing a yellow hat She dabbed the stone with a dry towel and said
Arm is healing good. Taking a shower is a bit funny. Megan tapes a trash bag around my arm at the top of my shoulder. I do my best to stay in the same clothes for two days. Not ideal, but it is what it is. My follow up appointment is next week. I hope to see how long my new surgery scar is. I like scars. When my tendon ripped completely from the bone, it felt like a small Charley horse. I realized nearly immediately that I had just torn my bicep and that the tendon was tangling around somewhere. I felt very little pain. Although, I knew that I’d need surgery when I felt my left bicep, and it was up toward my shoulder leaving a gap where it normally was. The next day was Super Bowl Sunday. I shoveled the end of the driveway, drank beer and watched the game. Megan wasn’t impressed. The following morning I went to the doctors hung over, but happy.
Anyway, I still feel very little pain. Even after the nerve block wore off. And to Hell with the oxycodone they prescribed me. Don’t want it. Don’t need it. It was like this for me after my motorcycle accident. Had surgery for that one too. Fun times. Learned a lot. Wouldn’t change at thing.
I came out of that surgery like a sling shot! Wide awake and wanting all the crackers they could bring me. “Would you like water or ginger ale?”
“Both.” I sat up and was ready to run. I could have easily driven home. Going under isn’t always fun. Thoughts creep in. Are these the last faces I’ll see? I don’t want to leave my family over an arm. Alone. Covid regulations.
They gave me a block in my neck which has paralyzed my left arm. I feel like Wesley in The Princess Bride. I can wiggle my fingers.
This is fun though! I enjoy new scars and love new mornings.
This morning we waited in line to drop Gavin off at school. A light flurry had begun. The truck was running. We were warm. I imagined myself sitting at my desk wondering what to write. There were roughly 20 additional vehicles waiting for the bell to ring. Two teachers stood outside with their masks on. In each vehicle there were at least two people. Often times more. That’s a minimum of forty two minds. My musings drifted from the weather, to writing, to hoping Gavin will have a good and safe day. How many thoughts were ranging from lunch items to winter weather clothing? Or having feelings of anxiety for fear of failure, or being bullied. And now that I am, in fact, sitting at my desk writing and watching the flurries pack themselves into a quick moving snowstorm I wonder just how compounded everyone’s thoughts have become and exactly how many have there been? Hundreds of Thousands? Millions? It’s just one morning. What an unstoppable force.
Saw the old man at the dump today. I like that he’s old. He asked for my Christmas tree, for his goats. ‘Put it next to my rig,’ he said. He owns a 90’s minivan. I put that tree right next to his rig, drove down and around the bend to where two more old guys work. One runs the shack, the other the compressor. ‘How are you, buddy?’ Mo asked. He’s had a stroke and pushes his words out. I was feeling depressed today. I still am, but it’s snowing and I went to the dump.
It’s raining outside. A heavy rain. And with it a feeling of release. I just sat there feeling very little. No pressure to do anything, but write. Finally. I gave myself permission to write. I’ve been telling myself to submit to publications, but I haven’t. My cell vibrated and a half hour passed, and while still on the phone, a text came in from a childhood friend. He told me my step-mother needed to hear my voice. She’s doing better, though. I said goodbye, replied to the text, “I will call her,” and my phone rang again. Same family member, needed to say more. I found myself remembering that I needed to go to the post office and just like that I was in my truck. It’s a mess outside. The rain won’t let up. I decided to grab some beer for when I got home to write. Inside the little store it wasn’t busy and I was the only one at the post office. Now I’m home. Looking out the window. It’s 11:57 AM. Not sure who’s going to call next. I owe lots of people phone calls and I’m not sure when I’ll get to it. But for now, I think I’ll shut everything off, and again, give myself permission to write.