IT WAS FIFTY DEGREES JUST DAYS AGO
While I’m curled up waiting for this pinched nerve to resolve itself, I’m making random judgmental thoughts.
One is about those who say loudly, “Can we help you?” They mean well, but what they are after is to impose their standards on me. They won’t even know they are doing it because their way is to them the ONLY right way and that’s what they mean by “help” — conformity to community standards.
People do not listen. I go to the doctor and am trying to explain my symptoms but she is busy making a list of the meds I brought with me, though I already handed her a list of them. I think it makes her anxious to pay attention to me, but it feels safe to just make a list no one can argue with.
Around here I’m seen as a person who “reads a lot.” Actually, I don’t because there’s not enough time. This is the way they handle the difference between what I read — which is theoretical but not philosophical — and what they read, which is pop fiction. They will say admiringly and maybe nervously, “I know you read a lot.” It always irritates me because the reason I don’t have enough time to read a lot is that I WRITE a lot. The whole point for me is to WRITE, but they don’t read what I write either. They do not write, themselves. Not even letters.
When they get hold of the idea that I’m friendly with Blackfeet, they take me in their minds to this giant elementary school category they cherish, and “participate” in my “love” of Indians by sending me every clipping and passing news story about all kinds of “Indians” from every possible angle. I thank these thoughtless people and throw the stuff out.
When I first came, I had an honest conversation with a woman here. I told her I’d come looking for a quiet place to live until I died. She said another woman had come with the same purpose a few decades earlier. She had asked people not to interfere with her, so they didn’t and finally she died.
While I was trying to get organized for real winter weather, I gradually realized that my boots were missing. I bought them in spring when they were cheap, but all I can find is Crocs. I ordered some new boots online only to be told at the end of the transaction that delivery might likely take a month.
I keep forgetting the name “sciatica” which is at least partly what I’m struggling with. I can’t drive anyplace and Valier is too small to sell boots. There is only one grocery store and one service station. I can’t walk across the room without hanging onto the furniture. When I need to remember “sciatica” — like now — I go to YouTube where the web scrapers insist I watch a dozen episodes about exercises and so on. They are so loud, fast, and full of jokes that I can’t watch them. But I can see how to spell sciatica.
When I came twenty years ago I was determined to be solitary so that I could laser-focus on writing. The dark side of that is that I have no circle of friends I can call on or even people who check to see if I’m still alive. I’m sure they watch to see if my lights go on and off.
I do NOT want anyone to come to this house. It stinks (not as bad as the Supreme Court) and the cats knock everything off the tops of furniture and then strew it. I’m keeping up with the food, but not the litter. It got real bad real fast. I’d better be able to deal with it soon.
I cut off all email chat people except one. Gradually we both realized that she had devoted her life to being safe, not causing trouble, supporting admirable people, and other such values. I was getting more and more out of sync and she finally withdrew. I thank her.
At the other end of the continuum is a writer I admire very much. He doesn’t have much time left but I save every bit of his writing. It is dangerous, ironic, indecent, and all the things that the slasher writers pretend to be.
There are a couple of inches of snow. It’s four degrees f., very still. The usual small flock of birds I watch is missing The high for today is predicted to be 25. I don’t believe it. But then, what can anyone believe now?
Just as I thought, it can’t get worse, the big tomcat who runs around the house like a speed derby, often smashing his head on a wall, the one I intend to get to the vet to euthanize ($50) came racing across the bed and ACROSS MY FACE. Half an inch higher and I would have lost an eye. But I merely have a slasher scar like a Prussian duel survivor. That’s not so bad.