Tuesday, April 05, 2016

turning 62 this month, and one sign of getting older is that the love of travel, even the desire to do it spontaneously with no warning out of the blue, has turned into a dull gray dread. i'm supposed to go to baltimore in the morning, and that generally means an hour or two in security lines, and some dead time at an airport gate, and the hassle of trying to connect to a shuttle, when i used to walk out of a place and just hitchhike and start asking questions. but now, i'm thinking, what can go wrong? i'll get stuck in some airport. some ticket agent won't have any record of my ticket. i'll spend a week in dallas.

a new issue of e pluribus haiku is almost ready, and this is a joyous experience after a year of slaving away to get 500 new haiku. i need to let go of it for a while. it seems to claw at me, to suffocate me, and it's not bad, to think in 5-7-5 and gather information, of all kinds, of the fifty states. but sometimes, and now is one of them, a person needs a break. a little time promoting the new book, and starting over, ought to be good for me. but who knows? what remains is for me to write the little blurbs on the back cover. my goal is to write the best "about the author" blurbs ever written. such that you read them, can't put them down, and buy the book just because the blurb is so good.

you can see that i have absolutely no compunction about this blog. no grammar, no full sentences, no capitals, no obligation to keep a paragraph about a single topic, no nothing. such is the nature of a dull gray dread. i'm here because i'm not packing, because i'm not making a list, worrying, collecting my essentials.

texas is hot and dry, with a little touch of humidity, almost unheard of, and plenty of wind, which is much more common. baltimore will be cold and rainy, and will require me to bring various rain-proof kinds of things that i don't really want to, such as umbrellas. i was planning on bringing the fiddle, so as to play with a friend, but i'm not sure, that friend might be too busy, and it's an enormous hassle bringing a fiddle, especially one with a delicate wooden case that doesn't close. such is the nature of dread. i could put that fiddle so close to my body that there's no way it could be pried away, yet i know they don't like that on airplanes, and might insist that it be on the floor, in front of me or even carried down into the hatch. i don't like that. don't want bedbugs in my fiddle. i don't even want someone else handling it.

these days my path takes me along boston avenue, where the sign tells me, out loud, to "walk like a dog across nineteenth street." cars are stopped and their drivers are staring at me. lots of college students cross that same corner; generally, the lights are fairly orderly and predictable, and i like that, it's much better than flint and nineteenth, which was just a little too unpredictable. the fact that i can rely on the light tricks me into a kind of haze of not paying attention, though, and i have to occasionally make sure that everyone, absolutely everyone, sees me cross. there are occasional pieces of car, littering the gutters. the road is very uneven, though the cars are stopped and its unevenness is not damaging them. i'm highly conscious of losing it, halfway across. but it hasn't happened yet.

i get home, make another cup of coffee, settle back, avoid all movement of any kind. since i've been walking barefoot, my feet and legs are now sore, and even getting up is a hassle. walking, at night, is glorious, but the rest of my life makes me feel like i should have never compromised, and started wearing shoes of any kind. having two different systems of nerves working to tell me what kind of pain is working its way up, is more difficult than just living with whatever compromise you made. i only knew one guy who refused to wear shoes. at the restaurant we had to give him unusual volunteer jobs, because he couldn't work in the kitchen or dining room. and we didn't always want to employ anyone scrubbing out the outdoor walks. but his feet were calloused, dirty, in good condition - and he lived the life of never having to compromise, at least not with us. i could do the same thing - make others live around my stubborn refusal to wear shoes. i'm not sure this pain would ever go away, though.

kids brought a friend home, to play on the trampoline and carry on after school, as is their wont. a little wildness, that's par for the course. you gotta watch out for dog poop around, you never know. dog poop and stickers, you can't let this world get to you. you gotta pick up your crab mallets, take a nice breath of rain and coolness, and let it last all summer.


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