A Moment

tired-dogI’m working too much. I don’t stop because I love what I’m doing. I love being flooded with ideas, words and images. I love fashioning them like a seamstress to fit the page. I finish a piece of writing but there is no rest, my mind goes to the next and the next with excitement and wonder. I am a slave to the muse. I have kissed her face and eaten her ambrosia. I would follow her anywhere.

I stopped sleeping months ago. Midnight to three is typical, midnight to five is better. Today I slept from midnight to seven, which rarely happens. I envy the young who sleep for hours, needing to be called into the day. If I stay up past midnight my body decides it’s a new day and gives me a fresh burst of energy, then I’m really in trouble. 

Gib is working long hours as well. He plays tennis at eight, runs the pallet company until three, then leaves to coach at the high school. He comes home after dark with more work to do and too much on his mind. 

We live like spinning tops swirling in and out of the same circle, but sometimes as he lies on the couch looking into his laptop, and I make my way toward my own pile of work, I’ll pause near the edge of the sofa. His silver hair spreads out just enough to grab my attention; I remember, stop and touch.

I’ll run my fingers against his scalp, gently pull on his long hair and move my hands along his brow. That’s all it takes. His body moves to meet me, his eyes close and his expression changes from one of worry to a deep and welcome letting go. It’s only a moment, but it saves us. We remember and rekindle who we are together.

The moment is broken when I ask his advice, or shake my head in wonder as I glance into the kitchen.

You’re constitutionally incapable of closing a cupboard door, aren’t you?

He smiles, looking at the evidence of his absent-minded path. I never seem to learn, do I? 

My oldest sister, Mary Ann, once told me that men are like loyal dogs. I thought that was demeaning and offensive at the time, but the longer Gib and I are together, the more I take her point. A good scratch behind the ears and all is back on track.

My New Car

I bought my new car thirteen years ago, a Nissan Sentra, because it was red, had a sunroof, was good on gas and reliable.

I still have this brain freeze that allows me to think of it as my new car, even though it has become an embarrassment to friends and family. 

 The roof is caved in from allowing my granddaughters to stand on it, to better reach the yellow plums that line the driveway.

My hubcaps burst free after six months of ownership. I happened to glance to my right and there they were, in tandem, making a run for it through a farmers field.

The windshield cracked coming over the mountains, a gift from a gravel truck, lengthened by a defroster on the inside, meeting ice and snow from without.

My daughter broke my sun visor, but not on purpose.

The dog chewed through my seatbelt, definitely on purpose. (He was angry at being left in the car, while the rest of us went to breakfast. I don’t blame him.)

Someone did a hit and run job on the side mirror.

Ocean air has peeled the paint.

The seats are worn, no longer a comfort to my back.

I reversed into a post, which left a dent. I decided to repair that one myself… with a hammer. You can guess the outcome.

Long story short, I’m getting pressure to replace it. My friends in new cars say they are worried about my safety, a kind way of saying they are worried about my esthetic. I will replace my new car some day, but not soon.

For now, I’m going to drive fourteen hours south to LA, so I can have Thanksgiving with my son. And it will make it, because it runs like a top, although the outside might need a little duct tape.