I’m now living the life I imagined I should. I get up, spray the plants, feed the cats, make the coffee, and write. It used to be harder to get out of bed. It isn’t, now.
I have two horseflies in the house. They are horse-sized, but as you may not know, I live in part of a very large house. So they fit.
One set up shop in my bathroom. I searched for a New Yorker. Magazines are the best. I followed him with my eyes, my head. Took a swipe. No. Another. No.
Now he might be wounded, and he was flying a little crooked. Or do they always?
I covered my ears. Suddenly I was afraid he was going to fly into my ear. Is that a thing that happens?
He landed on the wall near, but not on, a painting. Bam. Got him. The memory of stalking and killing flies in our New York City kitchen came back to me. I got much better at swatting flies. I became, for short periods, obsessive.
Scrubbing one’s things, one’s objects, and one’s floor, an act of claiming, and care.
And now when I get on the floor to do yoga, I see the littlest bit of schmutz, and I run for the broom and dustpan. Usually I’m more of a clean-enough person. It may not look perfect, but if it’s clean enough, I’m good.
Nothing really ever made sense, but we were better at pretending it did.
I had a giant pile of boxes and plastics, recycling that I told myself I might use for some art project that, once Mardi Gras passed, was definitely not happening. I got out trash bags and loaded… several. Like, a lot. It takes a party or a pandemic to make me take recycling out. Especially because our one lone, tiny recycling bin is often full.
The fly fell onto the heating vent in the bathroom. A horse fly has the heft that some insects have, which carries additional grossness and horror.
I don’t remember removing its corpse for proper disposal, but maybe I did. Or maybe the cat ate it?
Doing what you can. That was always the case, but sometimes we pretended it wasn’t.
I wonder about the ethics of getting deliveries. Some Amazon order were my big things to look forward to this week: popcorn, contact solution, Michelle Obama’s book. It gave me a reason to go downstairs. I’ve been careful to have plenty of food, including things I wouldn’t normally buy (brownie mix, pop tarts, Rice Krispie supplies), to keep my spirits up.
When I was in maybe third grade, I made a dracula out of construction paper. I ended up using him as a puppet, like a ventriloquist dummy, sort of. I put on shows for my classmates. I made props for him. It’s a time in my life I have connected forward to seeking attention, and getting laughs, in a very healthy way. People liked my work.
I have on my desk now one of those props. It is “Blood Basics,” by Count C. Dracula. I assume the “C” stands for “Chocula.”
It’s made of the art teacher construction paper, thicker than the kind you use at home.
Though I set out to win a Pulitzer prize (seriously), knowing that I can contribute some distraction, some laugh, some consolation, as people read, is good. I can easily spend time fretting about how I should have, or should, get my writing “out there,” and how I will finally get a book published. This makes the blog seem less important.
I’m not sure it is.
Just getting to make something of my day, and use words, rhythmic, fussy, slippery words, to show what’s happened to me, and in me, that is a lot.
It’s a strange time to mention it, but one of my favorite Kurt Vonnegut quotes is, “I urge you to notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.'”
Writing here is nice. Seeing people have read it is nice. It makes me happy.
2 thoughts on “A Murmur”
What a fine journal you’re creating though these posts. Maybe the seeds of s book!