Monday, March 07, 2011

it's a busy time at work: end of term, papers flying, final exams being made, students visiting hoping for the light of my divine grace to save them from the certain doom that their lack of skills deserves. a wretched cold hangs over the land, unexpectedly late into the season, when usually we have gardens by now (and some people in fact do, but only if you can run out there every day with a plastic contraption to protect it from continual frost). the chill hangs around, refusing to budge, keeping the croci at bay, while the birds also nervously wait for something, anything, to break the spell.

the boys seem to do ok in this stuff. the temperature hangs around 32, a little higher, a little lower, and they know that by refusing to wear a jacket everywhere, they will eternally get more attention, people will think their parents are bad parents, and they will have 'won' in the battle to assert their will, and at the same time, live a bit on the edge, feel a bit more intensely, adjust their bodies to the variation. Avoiding the jacket, or better yet leaving it somewhere, becomes their goal in life, a way to assert their control over both their parents and their environment, their own little way of being in charge of the one thing they can. and, at very little price: they mostly go from the car to the house, and back, or little else. it's not like they're sitting on the stoop, watching the traffic. they're not. they're mostly watching mario jump up and bash bricks with his head.

i just feel that, if mostly what they do is mario, and watch tv, and eat, and walk around without their jackets, i'm kind of missing out on a rich part of life. time to get a whiffle ball maybe, or a horse. or a new set of bicycles. i could take them out ghost-hunting, but, then, lots of people would disapprove of that. maybe we ought to just become familiar enough with the nearby woods that we know when the water's high, when the path becomes overgrown, where the good hiding spots are. not sure they would follow me even that far; it's about three blocks before you get to the woods itself, and they aren't generally much for walking, especially in the cold, though you never know, now that the weather is finally about due to warm up a bit. somehow, i have to get them out to experience a critter or two.

a trip to new orleans looms; though it is now mardi gras down there, happy mardi gras, this trip will not be for another week and a half, or so, and the arrangements aren't totally made yet. my mind wanders. it's hard to concentrate at work. spring beckons, there, if not here. my spirit is restless.

what i really need to do is finish my novel, and stop messing around with three collections of stories that i keep trying to print myself in a feeble attempt to be my own printer, and get friends and relatives to give me positive comments. heck with that. i can't even make enough to supply the demand, and don't have time to hang around the print shop in my free time, running off little booklets. time to let the pros do it, and turn my attention to graphic arts. if the novel doesn't write itself, maybe i need more time, not less, to ruminate about it, and some motivational drive through mississippi to clear out the kudzu. i could get off the road in oxford, miss., home of faulkner, and see what shakes around some old tumble-down mississippi college town. could be, i could write about my own yauknapatawpha. of course, a mississippi jail is what would really shake me out of my slump, and that would happen if i forgot where i was and just stuck my foot on the gas ignoring miles of kudzu forest and hidden speed-traps behind the old convenience stores. time for cruise control, i'm sure, one way or the other.

up here, the freezing temps keep their lock on the stale brown grasses, and keep the smart bets hidden well underground before it really warms up and stays that way for a while. the way it works is, we get some stunning weather, but it lasts only about a week or so; there is some rain, but you get busy, you get inside for a week, and then all of a sudden it's stifling hot until october. you just have to give it up for about eight months, and avoid any real enjoyment of the outdoors, once you get to the back end of spring which arrives very quickly. you think, it's only april. but in fact, it's just about all over. and you've barely got out into it.

my eyes fade; my fingers threaten to get stuck on a single button and write ten lines of a single character. time for bed; more later.


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