Monday, June 23, 2008


I've been awake since 4AM which would be enough by itself to have earned feeling tired. But I also made the walk to the library again today. That was the second time since the flu knocked me flat in March. The first time was last Monday. It took as much if not more out of me this week as last week. Maybe because I was walking with Ed and trying to keep pace with him. Also talking and walking. I also developed a nasty blister on my little toe which had me limping the last fifteen minutes which threw off my stride and could explain some of the joint pain in my hip and knee. But I don't know how to explain the terrible pain in my neck this time. Last week I blamed it on the fact I was pulling the wheeled bag full of books but this week Ed pulled the bag and yet I got hit with pain and stiffness in my neck that is much worse than last week's.

It was in the mid eighties again this week and possibly a degree or two warmer this time. Or it could have just felt that way because there were fewer clouds and I had direct exposure to the sun for several blocks. Not long enough to cause sun burn but it sure heated me up. And to make matter worse, I forgot to take my water bottle. Last week I was able to unpack the books right after arriving home and have their bib slips made or hunted out of the file and the books shelved. This time the books are still sitting in the bag.

As if all that isn't enough, I took Merlin out to the back yard and sat with him for an hour while he ate rose petals and chased bugs in the grass and watched the rowdy kids playing in the park's pool just on the other side of our fence. On the way back in the house he darted between my legs as I was opening the back door. There wasn't room on the tiny porch for both of us plus the door. At least not until the door is fully open. He knocked me off balance and I pulled the door across the top of my foot. My bare foot. The corner of the aluminum strip along the bottom of the door sliced across the top of my little toe. The same toe with the fresh blister. The cut missed the blister which is up by the nail but it continues a tad past the base of the toe onto the top of the foot. Between the two--blister and cut--I won't be wanting to put shoes on again for a few days.

And there I was chattering away on the walk home that I would make the walk back on Thursday to pick up the rest of the books I'd ordered for this Saturday's Read-a-thon selection pool. Among those I left behind are several very short children's novels and a Rold Dahl anthology--a four-hundred page book containing several of his shorter works like James and the Giant Peach, some poetry and letters and excerpts for the longer stories like Matilda and the Wily Wonka stories. I was counting on those for the homestretch--those last three or four hours when vision and brain power are wavering. With a cut and a blister on my toe I'm not sure I can make that walk again so soon.

Turns out though that Ed may be more than willing to do it. He finished one of the books he brought home today already! Now he is afraid he didn't get enough to last him through next weekend. Our branch is open only Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. He has tomorrow off again. So maybe.

He should be joining the Read-a-thon! He finished a 300 or so page book between 5pm and 10pm, with breaks for dinner, news and visiting. Imagine what he could do with 24 hours. But he won't give up the races for it. Plus he has never been too keen about giving up his sleep. Whereas going without sleep often seems as natural as breathing for me.

Early in our marriage I used to try to keep him awake by keeping a conversation going only to discover that he'd been asleep for awhile--often as long as an hour or more. His eyes had been open and he'd taken his conversational turns. In fact he'd often have more to say. But oh my! The content. It began to have the flavor of dream-logic, phantasmagorias of fever dreams.

The first time it happened we had been trading ghost stories and he had transitioned from repeating old classics to telling of encounters with ghosts and other bizarre phenomenon in the first person. He told about half a dozen of these. The next day I asked him a question about one of them and he had no idea what I was talking about. Those stories are still quite vivid and skin-crawly for me nearly thirty years later. He remembers none of them. I wish I'd been taking dictation or recording that discussion. I used to tease him that he was as much of a storyteller as I was.

I think I long passed the zone of rambling into the zone of babbling. If I don't stop and post this, I'll be writing in my sleep...

One last note. The above helps to explain why I've still not posted a snippet into the shell I put up Friday. That plus the fact Ed was using the laptop all day Sunday and then I fell asleep at 8pm instead of writing my snippet and poem as I'd planned. Then this morning I wrote and posted the poem and instead of going on to finish the snippet I went visiting the other Poetry Train riders until it was time to get ready to go to the library. I'm hoping I can wake up in time to work on the snippet before noon as I've promised Ed use of the laptop for the afternoon as he loses access to the PC when his Mom get home from work. But I won't have my wits about me in time if I don't get to sleep.

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