Friday, September 17, 2010

got out of work today, and started riding the bike; it was a stunning day, again, bright, clear, beautiful. it rained a couple days ago, and this morning there was a chill in the air and a fog on the ground, as the water from the rain presumably was just evaporating in front of my eyes. but today, getting out of work, it was all burned off; it was sunny and bright, clear, beautiful.

it rarely rains in september. people who mow for a living work frantically through may & june but by september they're on vacation, not quite ready for what happened: the grass absorbed the rain so quickly that it went to seed in days, and now the town is full of pollen and it was so clear, i could practically see it blowing off of the top of the grasses. various lawns across town, including ours, went to seed almost immediately, as if they'd been waiting for a little moisture all summer.

i came home and played some online boggle; this is a sick habit i've gotten into, that has overtaken me badly even on a beautiful day. here i am, by an open window, worrying about whether things like hee, tor, gaw, or gae are words...who cares? i rarely finish in the top half but it somehow relaxes me, like sudoku, a kind of mental swimming. i rarely read, even the blogs in the template here; i'm like the young people i teach, and the americans they talk to, who are too busy to read anything except their own facebook, and possibly a study sheet for a quiz...and i know it's ironic; i can't expect others to read anything i write, if i myself read virtually nothing...also, i have collections of stories; some of them come from this blog; others here; yet, i don't wrap them, put them in a cover, distribute them; why? too busy playing online boggle. it's like i'm avoiding the whole mess.

at work, the papers are flying: midterms, grades, assignments, writing, words by the millions. it's like grass going to seed, like so much pollen in the air, or at least, it feels that way on a friday. i'm way behind; i step out the door on maybe my fiftieth hour of a week, and can't even say i'm caught up. i did however get over to the pool a time or two, just for sanity's sake; behind the pool, in a tiny glade, is some grass that is way-over, gone to seed; they have trouble getting a mower in there, and again, they were caught off guard, i'm sure. right there is a pine tree that has a rich smell too, so that, even though you are in a back courtyard, a tucked-away place with a potter's kiln and a blacksmith's patio, where it often stinks of things associated with those, it now, on a calm and peaceful day, smells only of the pine. right there, i often look way up at the clock-tower, which has become the symbol of the campus; the pool is more or less directly under this tower, way down in the basement; but, it's the kind of place where they put a lot of energy into the front view, and often forget about the little tucked-away courtyard; in winter the steps there can be treacherous, until somebody remembers that it exists, and comes back and salts it. my favorite place, though, in spite of its general disrepair, and the fact that i'm probably allergic to all those grasses.

early in the morning, i've taken to drinking my coffee, by this very open window, very slowly, as the sun rises; my cell alarm has been stuck on a very early time for a little too long, and it's too much hassle to change it; besides, i love that early time in the morning, where the cool air draws up the moisture from the ground, and you can wear just about anything you want, and be comfortable. a few joggers pad by, tap-tap-tap, and the birds sing with reckless abandon, but the car noise is pretty minimal. it's a kind of meditation, since, at that time in the morning, there is almost nothing in my head except the faint memory of whatever i was dreaming when i woke up, and the coffee, bitter, fresh and aromatic, slowly goes to work. it's really the last peace and quiet i get until about now, at after ten at night, when almost everyone has gone to bed and again, left me alone. only now, there are faint signs of people out there partying; it is, after all, only ten, very late if you get up early, as i do, but not late in the big picture; half of this town is only now getting started. sirens and ambulances can be heard in the distance. i realize one thing though: crazy as life was, today, i never got in the car, even once; in that sense, i've kind of let the world drive around me; people with their windows shut, in a hurry; it's the busy time of year here. some of this activity, i suspect, is like the words on a boggle screen - barely worth the points you might get by successfully typing it in the little box. if i don't win, and i don't have any particular message in my name, then i just go down in history as one more futile player in games of about 80-100 that finish every three or four minutes. what is it worth, in the end? i feel, sometimes, like the pizza-sign guy; this guy stands at a busy corner, on my way home (usually); he waves that big orange pizza sign in people's faces as they drive down the hill, and they pay him minimum wage, i'm sure. but i'm also sure that he's sick of the message on the sign, and watches the cars themselves, for the most part; you can learn a lot, from license plates, and the grumpy faces of people on the town's busiest road, all heading somewhere very intently. for six bucks you can get a pizza, but you might have a hard time telling it from the cardboard box it's in; excuse my attitude, it's not that bad, but sometimes, i'm just real tired, and though sometimes a job like that would appeal to me, reading license plates and all, on a day like today; however, it's also possible that i would get out there, shake that sign, and some guy would come down the hill that thought i owed him $20, and would start yelling at me out on the street. you would be somewhat vulnerable out there, holding that sign, and it's also possible, that there's someone out there that i do owe $20. so i'll apologize right now; it makes me tired just thinking about it. i'm going to bed; i wish everyone a good weekend, a gut yom tov, a prosperous new year.

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