--YOU’RE ALWAYS LOOKING GOOD, BUT MAYBE THAT’S THE PROBLEM
…It’s raining a million lacquered fingers where I am. The lake is moving left at a heady clip, the surface looking like gray glaze atop a huge pie. A lone duck bobbles and wafts, letting the current take it where it wants. Somehow I kind of identify with that duck.
It’s Friday or Sunday or September. I don’t know. Maybe it’s none of those.
What matters is I’m breathing, you’re breathing. There’s plenty enough air for all of us.
The water we drink is the same water Moses and Napoleon drank, only regurgitated and reprocessed by nature.
Everything is a flat circle.
And now the rain sounds like a stampede. It has urgency, agency. It seems to want something, seems to want to do damage, yet it’s only water, it’s a scrawny little kid yearning to bulk up so he can defend himself, catch the attention of girls, not look so puny.
No one’s home across the lake. There could be a power outage I don’t know about. That happen often out here.
I wonder if everyone of us has secrets we’ve never told another living soul. Do you?
The clouds look like fog, their edges blurred, but they’re moving in the same direction as the water, like a convoy, as if on a mission or an attempt to secure their safety.
A few days ago I sat at a restaurant overlooking the river. It was moving fast, too, at least fifteen miles per hour. Logs and bunched up piles of heavy detritus floated by, looking like small islands. It was hypnotic and somewhat scary. I kept expecting to see a body float by.
When I was young, about eight or so, I used to spend a lot of nights in the bathroom, sitting over a heat vent, reading. I had insomnia at a young age and the bathroom, with the heat warming my legs, felt like the only safe place in the world.
There are reasons for living, but they don’t often come cheap.
Have you ever been to Iowa? A lot of writers go there in hopes of becoming better writers. I went there once for a weekend. I wrote and I wrote and I wrote. I think it was good stuff.
Can you detect a hint of melancholy? Of course you can. Sorry about that. Maybe I’m depressed. If you were depressed, would you tell someone, or would you hide it and therefore make yourself more depressed?
Children and babies are probably the best things in the world. Their eyes get so big. They coo and gurgle like a mountain spring. They kick their chubby legs and shake their flabby arms. It’s adorable. It’s something to think about, to remember, whenever you’re feeling blue.
I swam across this lake once. I wonder if I’ll ever do it again. Maybe this summer.
Death is such a strange notion, don’t you think?
My grandmother in-law died yesterday. She was almost 99 years old, so everyone thought she had a great life and her death wasn’t as hard to take as if, say, she’d died at 60 or so. But death, yeah, it’s kind of heavy and weird. It’s a little bit like God or the universe. What do you do with it? How do you reconcile it with what you feel and think?
I’m okay over here. Don’t you worry about me. And sure, I know I’m rambling, but it felt good. Now I’ll go downstairs and get some coffee and everything will be normal again.