I have grown worn out with typing thoughts not my own, what with the tape recordings to catch up on. There were two meetings at work during the two weeks I was out of the office. I prepared for my absence by buying (from my own pocket, mind you, a recent local political debacle involving tape recordings making it inadvisable to submit a purchase order for such a thing) a Dictaphone. The nights that I was at home while the meetings were being held, I sighed with contentment: "There's a board meeting going on right now. And I am not there taking notes." Yes, but then I had to live through those meetings in real time to get the meeting minutes finished.
The notes and inspirations mentioned in that most recent post were random impressions that floated into my mind as I sat on the porch admiring a sunny afternoon. They appeared as twinkling sparks worthy of enlargement. Upon these several days' reflection I see that they, perhaps, are neither twinkling and sparky nor worthy of enlargement. But now I need to get something out there, so I can get beyond this and back into the routine of noticing what's going on in my own head.
MiMau and the Lazarus chipmunk
One late outdoors afternoon, MiMau came toward me from the tall grass. Her mouth looked funny. I squinted. She was carrying a chipmunk the size of her head. Having regained her good health she is now working at obtaining another parasite with which to endanger it. But that's what cats do: so be it. She sat in the driveway facing me, put the chipmunk down. I warmly thanked her for her good hunting skills. I thought the 'munk was dead until she patted at it with one paw, then the other. One hind leg made a feeble up-and-down motion. Ah: not dead yet then. Husband emerged from the barn and MiMau proudly stalked toward him, accepted her praise and lay down fifteen feet from her prize to bask in sunshine and her family's admiration. I went back to my book. A few minutes later, a sudden turn of MiMau's head caught the corner of my eye. Astonishment in every hair of her face, she saw the dead chipmunk roll over, get up, and run for the stone wall. She pursued, but the 'munk reached the rocks first. MiMau sat for half an hour on top of the stone wall, hyperattentively listening, but the 'munk had gone deep. I feel as if everybody won that one.
I recently read Jean Harris' Five Quarters of the Orange.
It's set on the Loire in the late 1930s and there are frequent mentions of eels. It reminded me of my father-in-law's story about watching a farm wife he had known beheading eels: "Hold still! I'm only gonna kill ya!" He would laugh as he told the story, laugh so hard he could barely speak.
I have heard that beheaded eels writhe and flop and bang inside freezers for hours and hours when any other creature would have accepted its demise.
All of it horrifies me.
The story reminded me of many things, not many of them pleasant. I thought it was a darkish, but intensely absorbing, book.
I am, at last, past the stage of having to wear the chest girdle, for which I thank the stars above, my Higher Power, all things great and small, Jesus, Mary, Joseph and all saints 'round. A fact of which many of you will be blissfully unaware: Wearing a girdle on one's chest is even less comfortable than wearing a girdle on one's abdomen.
Nothing, however is bad or good, but thinking makes it so. The fine thing about the chest girdle was that, using my mirror that showed me only my upper body, I appeared thin as an eight-year-old.
I always thought that a woman never looked fat unless her stomach stuck out past her chest. I'm in trouble there now. But if I never again look in a full-length mirror, I'll be a happy woman.
Language: Some people can't say "sausage."
This is one of those memories from my waitress days.
Canadians always asked for pizza "all dress," ate heartily (and tipped penuriously). I always loved it when Canadians asked for olives noir, because I was the only waitress who knew what that was. Some Canadians asked for sah'-oo-saj'.
"Sausage" was problematic for several ethnic groups; more often than not some people-from-down-in-the-heart-of-the-city asked for shaw'sheej. So much work of jaws and lips for two seemingly simple syllables.
I understand that Asian-speaking people have no "l" (or is it "r" sound?) and therefore cannot hear the difference. That's why there are jokes about the interchanging of those sounds when they learn English, for which they have my utmost admiration, as a second language.
It has to do with synapses.
I have mentioned previously that I like sparkly things, things that dazzle me with color. If I can get both characteristics in one item, I am (see above) A Happy Woman. Imagine my delight, then, at having won this shiny colorful item on eBay:
Look. I know it's crap, but it didn't cost four dollars. And it's pretty. Goes with everything. Reminds me of sunrises and sunsets and the iridescent insides of shells, and just thinking about it lifts my spirits. I figure this giving in to low-class highly-colored jewelry is one of the rights I have gained by having reached . . . let's call it Late Middle Age. It's my right and I'm going to enjoy it. And enjoy it I do.
Here's a question, a poll, if you like:
Dare I wear that bracelet with this blouse?
I vote yes!