They said animals might behave strangely on the day of the total eclipse.
But truly – we couldn’t tell whether the dog was affected at all by the eclipse …. because acting strangely was sort of her ‘thing.’
At least she was awake for the event, which gave her a slight edge over the teenagers in the house.
Today she didn’t feel like really working. But the good news was that she had a full day of meetings ahead of her. These apparently counted as work – even when they were unproductive nonsense. She just had to train herself to be still and quiet during them. Kind of like napping with her eyes open.
She had a few precious minutes alone to think and write – but anything pithy she had to say left her brain when she stepped in the dog’s daily pile of vomit.
My social circle gets smaller and smaller every day. Soon it will be me and the dog. And I’m sort of ambivalent about the dog.
It was quite possibly at least half true that she shopped online so that her personal email inbox wouldn’t look depressingly void. Spam was becoming her new friend.
My mother never talked about her past and I knew almost nothing about her.
She was this person who seemed to let life’s accidents shape her – and I was just one of the many mistakes that occurred during her lifetime.
Then she developed Alzheimer’s and was doomed to live in the past all the time.
By then, she only spoke in this strange dialect of her own – skipping every two or three words, misusing the ones she did say out loud in her thick accent. I would close my eyes to catch every word and make sense of it – but too many pieces were missing and I never puzzled it out.
Trapped as she was in her own past, she still didn’t share it, and nearly all of it died with her.
She was trying to combat stress by meditating every day.
Granted, she did it with her eyes open. During her morning commute. While stuck in traffic snarls.
But it was her only available free time.
First, my housekeeper started putting the dog in my clothes. My really nice clothes.
And now she has launched an instagram account for the dog.
Still wearing my really nice clothes.
At least the dog is fashionably dressed.
Her escape fantasies intensified:
New job? Why not a new profession. Or she strikes it just right somewhere with a combo hardware store / bakery that also sells industrial art in the corners. Specifically: Dirt would form in permanent half moons under her nails and her cakes would be slices of pure comfort on a plate.
New house, maybe. Better: new town, in a different state – or maybe a different continent. One with no people….where the news was really just about the ever-changing weather which she also tried to capture in photographs.
To keep herself in her seat, she would tell herself that “new” could also just mean different feelings of failure and inadequacy.
And when that started sounding just fine, she would know she was truly in trouble.
Currently she was haunted by a song, the words to which were mostly indecipherable – hummed notes slurred into half words. It was the music, really, that captivated her…a gentle wistful entanglement with her heart.