the pathway to cheese

A tug boat chugs its way across the sound and everyone is still asleep except for me and the dog. I spy on him from the balcony. He’s a different creature here on the island. So bristly snorty and happy. He is carefully navigating his way down a grassy slope, blind, deaf and pretty much at peace with his limitations. His tail wags as he approaches the beauty berry. “Well, hello old friend, I think I’ll piss on you. Just in case the squirrels have forgotten: you belong to me.”

My mother-in-law is here: a well read, sharp, gregarious and generous lady. She’s a retired nurse who used to head up the thrombosis unit of a hospital, if I have that right. We have our days together here as the kids are in school and my Fellow is off saving lives at the firehall. I really enjoy my morning Judy. She’s well traveled so she has all sorts of tales. Today it was about Oslo, a train, and an unfortunate choice of beef tartar while pregnant. We giggle over our poached eggs.images

She devours best sellers on her Kindle while I make notes on brand new work sent to me to dramaturge. We periodically interrupt the quiet whirring of our minds to percolate some coffee or throw tuna into a bowl of greens. Between plays, I look up the metaphor “albatross”. Oh yes. I had forgotten. The albatross was always thought to bring luck when following a ship, but the ancient mariner shot it. I forgot that he shot it.

I think about the albatross choker I’ve been wearing all year. It’s time to pull it off. I’ve taken great care to nurse it to health. I don’t know how it’s going to fly. I sign its beak, tuck its feathers into a Priority Post, drive into town in my gumboots and courier it off this morning. I feel the curse and the luck of it.

What will my life be now that it is no longer around my neck? It will slow to a reasonable pace. Maybe I’ll be able to sleep through the night. I can’t believe it. Maybe my health will return. I catch myself ruminating about it again. I run down the familiar obsessive path in my brain, digging the groove deeper with a new train of thought. I stop. I feel compassion for the other people involved in this legal matter. Boy oh boy. None of us want to think about this again. My dear dear ones. I pray for white feathers and clear skies for all of us.

I replace the thought with the image of fluffy red blood cells bounding through my veins. Health. Health. Health now. Does this visualization thing work? Can I lower my blood pressure and still eat cheese? Fluffy red blood cells. Fluffy red blood cells. Fluffy red blood cells. There’s a nice aged cheddar waiting for me.

I stop to pluck away at my guitar. (my step son is teaching me) I butcher Viva la Vida time and time again. If Judy minds, she doesn’t show it. God bless her. Some say the lyrics are about God being a lie, others say the song is about Napoleon. I choose to sing about the little French man who is trying to be God.Unknown

I continue reading across the sofa from Judy. By the afternoon our eyes are tired so I go out to the garden to lug large rocks down the path to create a walkway through the garden. My cilantro is up. My radish. My peas. I chat to them as if they are inarticulate infants just waiting to chat back, “Well hello little you, welcome to the world, aren’t you beautiful?”

I pull California poppies out from the paving stones and chuckle to myself, remembering a pack of seeds for them in Figaro’s garden on 7th and Victoria. Who would choose to pay for and to plant weeds?

Gee. I would. I would.

Obsessive path – no.

Fluffy red blood cells.

Fluffy red blood cells.

Fluffy red blood cells.



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