Fear is not necessarily a bad thing, though it seems so when it visits the heart. It keeps a person motivated, one step ahead of the lion. Times wasted on false fears are wasted times. That fact of life came clear to me recently.
. . . . . . . . . .In July I decided to move a sturdy, relatively small rotating rack for hanging hangared clothes from the laundry room to my bed room. It had been in my home since I bought it. I was using a more conventional braced bar for hanging clothes fresh out of the dryer to settle and finish drying, and the rotary arrangement in my bedroom would allow me to place attire planned for wearing the next morning in easy reach when I’d be in a rush to dash into the new day. Days later as a load of dirty duds agitated merrily in the Kenmore (so to speak), I decided to move the rack to my bed room. Only one problem: I could not find it. I looked everywhere in the basement. I even looked into corners in my bedroom. Heck, maybe I had brought it up and forgotten about it already. I was totally stymied.
Flashback to January 2012 in the days following my fall from slipping on ice on my front porch and the surgery that returned my separated upper quad tendons to my kneecaps where God had intended them to be. Some wonderful friends spent a lot of time and labor (after one picked up my house key from me at the hospital) arranging furniture, moving my bed from my bedroom to the living room, closer to the television and La-Z-Boy, so I could better respond to visitors and ambulate to and from kitchen with my lower extremities “caged” in full leg braces during a period of critical in-home recuperation. This July, more than a year later, it occurred to me that maybe one of my friends had taken a liking to my rotary clothes rack in the basement and “liberated it.” Of course, I made no mention of my suspicion to my friends. They had truly proven their friendship and saved my bacon in early 2012. I don’t know how I would have made such an astounding recovery without them. Still I wondered, silently; didn’t feel angry, just sad, and I missed the clothes rack.
About a week ago, I was removing the last vestiges of my aviation collection from the basement, preparing to take it out to the airport museum when I stopped in my tracks in a seldom-visited part of the laundry area . . . and found myself staring at my rotating clothes rack precisely where I had put it probably three years ago! Funny thing is I decided to leave it in the basement; no need to bring it to my bedroom after all. But if I change my mind I will durn-sure remember where it is!
. . . . . . . . . . .Soon after my father died in December 1994, I discovered a colorful sport coat in his closet. It was a perfect fit for me, and I began wearing it to events where I recited poetry and played guitar. People complimented me about it, asked me about it. I’ve always felt that “the Entertainer” engaged for an occasion should not be mistaken for “the Caterer” or “the Furnace Repair Technician.” So the “amazing Technicolor sport coat” served me well. . . that is until it disappeared. I had played some songs and recited some poetry at a downtown Springfield arts event in July, and hadn’t given a thought to the sport coat until I was asked to play/sing for an Alzheimer’s association fundraising event in late August. When I went to my closet to set it out in the living room a few days before the big event . . . I could not find it! Had I left it downtown? I posted the news that I had lost it and if anyone had seen it to let kn know on Facebook. No one responded. DANG! Suddenly I felt like Sampson must have felt after awakening one fine morning to discover Delilah had shorn his hair from his head; rendered it BALD and him with no power. This was not a major crisis for my performance. Everything went great. BUT it sure “put the kibosh” on my creative writing. I was sad. I missed my sport coat, and that — plus some other unhappy action that relieved me of two friends I had cherished for decades, convinced me I would never write another poem or song. And I MEANT that. No more poetry or lyrics from me, dammit! Straws that broke my camel’s back? Hell NO! BRICKS and SLINGS and ARROWS and TOIL and TROUBLE that broke my camel’s back!
A few days ago, I found my sport coat under a long winter coat in the corner of my parlor. Result: end of paranoia about my talisman. I still haven’t written a line of new poetry or lyric, but I am blogging more, and that’s a good sign. I am reasonably confident poetry will follow.
Most recent paranoia . . . A deletable expletive I’ve named 666 who has been a hellish . . . . . . . .”problem renter” in my upstairs half of my duplex for the past few years, parted company with the domicile and the lease agreement without giving me 30 days’ notice, leaving me with a vacant and significantly DAMAGED living quarters I must repair and re-rent ASAP. I spent three days following her exit picking up trash and debris from her star-crossed residency, and was ready to spent time a fourth day when I could not find the new keys made for the new locks last Friday. MAJOR SHOCK. I had returned home early Tuesday to work on the place in waning dusk light. For about an hour I looked in every place I could have possibly put the keys. It also occurred to me that I MIGHT have left them in the front door when I finished a very productive Sunday upstairs. I IMAGINED that 666 might have returned to the place Monday, found the key in the door gone upstairs (she knew I’d be at work) and further damaged the place, perhaps knocking some holes in the walls, rubbing more excrement into the carpeting and breaking more floor tiles . . . . it was a very unhappy vision, created whole cloth from my paranoid imagination. A call to the local lock specialist arranged for him to visit the duplex while I was at work and make/install three new locks . . . . . that is unless I found the keys where I had misplaced them at the aviation museum, I would look and call him if unsuccessful. I looked, was unsuccessful and called him. He said he’d be over in about two hours to change the locks. GREAT. About an hour later, I arrived at my employer and, just to be sure I’d covered all the bases, parked a few spaces away from where I usually park, exited vehicle, started searching the lot . . . . and FOUND the keys to the vacated upstairs! I rushed to the phone inside, called the locksmith and cancelled the service call. He was happy and so was I.
Wednesday after work I did some more cleaning upstairs before dark, but before that I attached the upstairs keys to my key chain with the other keys.
WOW! Resolutions to three totally unproductive paranoias within the span of a single week. There are none waiting for resolution now; few significant conflicts either.
It’s nutty being older. My ears are not what they used to be. I hear things only slightly sometimes. I turn at my desk at home and catch the sound of something indistinct. I let it ride. I probably brushed a pen off my desk with a wayfaring elbow. I’ll look later. Maybe it was an envelope with a bill. I’ll look later. I get out of my pickup truck after arriving at employer and hear something hit the concrete: probably a few pennies fell from my change pocket; not a big deal . . . unless they’re not pennies but keys to the upstairs.
So many of life’s paranoias come from not paying attention. I don’t pay attention because so much of my life doesn’t matter any more. I understand that it should matter more. A re-thinking and re-focusing of my waning expectations of life seems to be called for here.
not that it would matter
Live long . . . . . and proper