Just Like Sex, Hair, and Zombies

This is the family donation bottle.

Friends of ours had a few in their garage when they moved and gave us one. I always wanted a such a bottle. It’s old-school glass and gets heavy with only a few inches of coins. I suspect it would explode from internal pressure if we managed to fill it; it would surely be too heavy to lift, even with all these chinups I’m trying to do.

We’ve been using debit and credit cards less, paying for daily stuff with good old filthy greenbacks. So I actually have pocket change every day, and it all goes into the bottle. I’m like a kid saving up for that Atomic Energy Lab with real uranium.

Except we’re using the money for causes we believe in. This blog is not especially political, and is in fact a partial refuge from politics, but it is about fighting gloom and so, yes, it must be somewhat political, just like sex and hair and zombie movies were in the 60s.

Allow me to gracefully suggest that the coins — Lincoln, Jefferson, FDR, and Washington — will be collected and molded into whacking sticks that noble organizations may use to beat back the lily-livered, dunderheaded, gloom-mongering creeps I didn’t vote for, and I will leave it at that.

Here’s This Song I’m Supposed to Share With You

This morning I was texting with a woman I met at a book fair last year. We’re not in regular contact but occasionally talk books, and then last Valentine’s Day my wife and I ran into her at a Pretty in Pink screening at a local theater, and we were all like subtle rock-horns about John Hughes.

So anyway, this morning we stumbled into talk about Into the Wild (the excellent book, the miraculous movie, the terrific soundtrack). And then tonight my favorite radio station, KEXP, played “Rise” out of the blue.

So I have to share it now, because the universe told me to.

Death by Falling Tortoise

Aeschylus — the Greek playwright and “father of tragedy” — visited Sicily in 458 BC.

Having received a prophecy that he would be killed by a falling object, Aeschylus stayed out in the open, away from trees and untrustworthy structures.

A passing eagle, mistaking Aeschylus’ head for a rock, dropped a tortoise onto his skull into order to crack the reptile’s shell. The impact was fatal.*

* The tortoise may have survived.


New Year Anxiety, Plus Star Fruit

Anxiety last night. Nothing grave but it caught me off-guard.

My wife Coley and our son have been home on vacation, and despite my persistent, fatiguing head-cold, our holidays together were fantastic and savored. We talked a lot, about things both serious and swashbuckling, and deepened our connections. Bones was thrilled to have us all together.

Then today: the split.

Coley back to work, our son back to school, and me back to writing a novel I haven’t glanced at since mid-December. We actually like our work/schooldays for the most part, and yet we all felt anxious.

Coley was preoccupied in the evening. Our son woke in the dark and his pinballing thoughts wouldn’t let him sleep.

Same with me. I went to bed at 11 P.M. and couldn’t sleep until 1 A.M. because… why? No idea. I wasn’t worried about anything specific, but suddenly there was the old “I’m going to die someday” disquietude. Stressors that hadn’t stressed me in weeks. Cinematic replays of 2016’s pains and failures.

Not to mention the reignition of, “Holy shit, that man is actually our president”, which in the night assumed a dreadful, fiery aura the likes of which I’d rarely felt since my childhood in the 1980s.

I suppose this is typical New Year anxiety, combined with a government that alarms me, and a novel-in-progress I need to finish soon, and sure, yes, the “I’m going to die someday” concern, the “someday” of which is 365 days closer every January 1.

We all slept eventually. We woke and faced our days. I made progress on the novel, and after dinner my son and I went to the gym, and then I was still feeling mildly anxious and gloomy.

So I ate some star fruit. Whatever works, you know?

P.S. Star fruit is highly poisonous to dogs, so Bones was out of luck.