Silence….and Cicadas

Silence….and Cicadas


What follows was first written in June, 2011.  I came across it this evening and realized how far I’ve come since then.  Moose is still gimping along, but Echo has crossed the Rainbow Bridge.  I still haven’t started that book, but I’m writing here.  Baby steps.  My funk has lessened, and my smile is no longer absent from my days.  I still loathe cicadas. 

So, it’s been awhile since I wrote a note, and I know y’all miss hearing from me. (I’m smirking as I type that.)

Truly, I write for myself. It’s cathartic for me, and it saves my family and friends from listening to even more of my rambling about things that aren’t really of any significance to them…or me…..or, really, anyone. I just ramble. It’s like a mental walk through a park that doesn’t have any marked paths. You’re headed for the nice big oak tree with your picnic basket, then get distracted when you spot the lake with the ducks swimming in it, and end up on a bench eating your sandwich while you watch squirrels play. It’s not what you had in mind when you started, but it all works out in the end.

Much has happened since I wrote that last note on March 27, none of which I will write about here. That’s not much fun, is it? You’ll have to trust me that it’s not a story any one would want to read. The aforementioned park has been more like a disaster area, with bombs and snipers and snare traps instead of ponds and squirrels and ducks. I think the only relevant thing is that I have been in a bubble this Spring…..withdrawn, discombobulated, disoriented, befuddled. Not like me at all. (No smart comments from the peanut gallery! I’m in NO MOOD!)

For those who questioned my unusual silence and detachment, I told them that I’m fine, just busy. I think I was trying to convince myself more than I was them.

I decided today to inject a moratorium on my funk, so be aware that today’s wandering dissertation is a result of that choice. (i.e., this may well be completely incoherent…..and I don’t necessarily care.)

A common theme when one is in a funk, and I am no exception, is to become exponentially more introspective than normal. In my case, that equals epic introspection, because I am a natural over analyzer to start with. What epiphanies did this self absorption give birth to, you ask?

1. I truly, deeply, genuinely, and desperately want to write a novel…..and my fear of not being able to achieve that is as intense as my desire to do it. Will I forge ahead anyway? I don’t know. I think I may be too much of a weenie….and that is not something that I like to admit.

2. I am getting old. The years are flying by, and my bucket list is getting longer instead of shorter. I had always envisioned a mid-life crisis as a time when people buy convertibles and start hanging out in bars again. Although I’ve spent my share of time bellied up to Alex’s bar these past couple months, it really has been only to hang out with him….and there’s no (running) convertible in my possession. My crisis seems to be taking on the persona of a never ending anxiety attack, coupled with ZERO emotional control. I stare at the clock at 2:30 in the morning, trying to decide where my life is going. Oh, and the neverending emotional roller coaster? I cry when I hear Sara McLachlan sing on the animal rescue commercials……and I have also started yelling at other drivers. With my windows up. Yes, that’s right. I’ve become one of THOSE people.

3. My priorities, thankfully, are straight. Put one in the “win” column.

4. I want to live long enough to become an embarrassment to my family. I am debating a tattoo, and already horrify them with my complete lack of clothing style. On my 70th birthday, I am going to start smoking cigarettes again. Menthol. Probably Newport. Oh, and at 60 (or maybe tomorrow), I’m going to start putting Bailey’s in my morning coffee.

Now do you understand today’s moratorium? I’m a rambling nut job over here.

I went out with my dogs today, and that’s when I decided I had to pull myself up by the bootstraps. Even though I don’t have boots. Actually, I wore flip flops today, and it’s not even possible to pull yourself up by your bootstraps if you’re wearing flip flops. Did I mention that I just got my first pair of (fake) Crocs, and they have Canadian flags on them? OK OK OK OK, back to hanging out with the dogs….

Moose is getting old. He has health issues. He’s in pain a lot. He limps and gimps and cries, and he has hotspots on his fur, and bumps on his skin, and severe allergies, and just finished a course of antibiotics for an infection. He’s seen better days.

It was hot today, and that heat is probably worse for dogs wearing a fur coat than it is for me. So I’m outside with the gimpy dog (and Echo, the needy dog, too…but her behavior isn’t relevant here), watching him limp around. He went to the chicken coop, tail wagging. The chickens hate him. He makes them very nervous. That’s probably why he loves walking around the coop, so he can watch them get riled up.

He checked for critters under the trailer, scooting his front 1/3 underneath, butt up in the air, tail wagging.

He came up on the porch, slowly, painfully, and started to sniff the cicadas, which are everywhere.

Let me interject here. I loathe cicadas. I know they’re a necessary part of the environment and yada yada yada, but they’re creepy. And crunchy. And loud. And creepy. And abundant. Did I mention creepy?

Moose began eating the cicadas. Munching away like they were little tiny Milk Bones. Nudging them out of the cracks between the boards on the deck. Digging them out of the little votive holders for the outdoor candles. All along the deck he walked, crunching away, tail wagging. When he had cleaned up the critters, he came over to where I was sitting, and slowly lowered himself down to lie next to my chair, finally settling with a big groan.

He keeps doing the things that make him happy. He finds new things to enjoy, even if it’s eating disgusting (creepy) insects. Even when it hurts.

I need to be more like my dog.

The Old Man



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