Thursday, September 26, 2013


so the distance i walk to my office is like five city blocks, it's not so far at all, but i have to cross nineteenth street, which is ten lanes altogether, any of which might have somebody in it who doesn't see me. so i've taken to wearing a big visible hat and bright ties; it's all about nineteenth street, is my new motto. the sun blazes down and the days are clear-blue, dry, cool at night, by some accounts perfect. i water my baby tree and my vegetables; the jalapenos love it. i live on jalapeno and black coffee. i eat other stuff too, but the jalapeno and black coffee stick with me throughout the day.

there is some question about whether sanded paint badly influences garden vegetables. that is, if the painters sanded thoroughly, and it was in small enough dust particles, do those go down into the roots of the jalapenos for example, or the basil, and make them bad eating. they didn't have lead in the paint after, say, about 1950, but who knows what they might have sanded off our old house. the color they put on it is like a pink, though not a bright pink, more of a terra-cotta light tan pink, but nonetheless i'm bragging around town that i've painted my visible house pink, and people have noticed. living right here on flint and twentieth, i have found that most people are familiar with my house. that is an interesting and unusual position. people come up to me and say things like, i've noticed you've done your windows. yes ma'am, we sure have. and now it's pink.

today at flint and nineteenth, in broad daylight so to speak, a big accident, somebody being loaded onto a stretcher. it appeared to be a bicyclist because a twisted bicycle was nearby. people were explaining to the policeman what they saw; emergency medical folks were all over the road. i wanted to ask but you don't generally ask in those situations, though you can if you have to. one of many bicyclists who use flint regularly and cause us some grief as we try to pull in and out of it. i however have sympathy for the bicyclists. the other night at the local small-town grocery i saw three or four bicyclists pull in from all directions to get their one or two items. but some guy had parked a huge whopper double-cab truck there, right where i parked, and left it on, and it had this enormous exhaust, it would have taken an alaskan potato to plug it. it was spewing so much diesel into my window that, though my trip was short and i myself was only buying a few things, i had to shut the car up completely. and the guy was still there when i came out. i thought, he's undoing all the good all these bicyclists did all put together. and the bicyclists put all that danger and risk out on the road with them. it's like, dusk, you have to be careful in this kind of time.

broad daylight, at flint and nineteenth, is the problem itself. when there are ten lanes, nothing above, just a few scrubby trees on the side, the sun takes over and you might not see all ten. all you have to see is the one right in front of you, but that can be hard enough. a lot of times i miss the walk sign, because the order sometimes alters according to whether every lane is full, turn lanes and plain lanes. you sometimes have to run across it while looking back over your shoulder. a green light is no guarantee of survival.

i'm about to start my walking campaign again. ideally i'd be swimming laps every day, but my afternoons are taken up, checking on kids at school, soccer practices, etc. then my foot split its skin open for some reason, and i limped around for a while while at night, fan on, windows open, house quiet, i tried to figure out what had happened. no telling. things happen quickly. a single rock in my shoe can do it. what i like, though, is to head out to that green park, walk around it, and get a shower before i even sit beneath the fan and do facebook.

on facebook all kinds of things are happening: one guy got into north korea, and is taking pictures for all to see. another has moved to canada, phone out, taking pictures. people are getting better at making those "memes" and all kinds of clever stuff pops up. quakers get into huge arguments concerning online rudeness and inconsiderateness. various kids go dancing across the pages as you scroll down and you get to keep up, generally, with everyone's growing child. some friends move to new york, or to nagoya, or visit korea, bali or phuket.

i'm of a mind to conserve, though; i figure, the fewer trips here to there, the better. the other day i forgot my glasses and had to come back across nineteenth twice more. now i remember my glasses; i don't want to keep having to do that. if i can limit my trips anywhere and everywhere, i'll do it; makes sense. i don't want to become a hermit, afraid of the outdoors. just keep it down. it's the busy season; there's too much traffic. some days there are ambulances in several directions. i just want to make sure, none are for me. i've become a little paranoid.

then again, the painters are still at the house. this means they're talking right outside the window, radio on, rotten boards from the backhouse porch falling (they are repairing that as well), pink going on the old house, even as some of it is being repaired. such a racket, this makes the dog nervous, and she sleeps better when i'm right nearby, blogging and ignoring the sound. but i can't ignore the sound forever. a minute or two, i'm out of here, have to go to the school & look into the progress of one of the boys. the school is back over by the little grocery, in the neighborhood of the green parks, away from nineteenth. i'll go that way every time, stay away from that wide, sunny, shiny, ten-lane airstrip as much as i can.


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