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Archive for September, 2017

It’s This or Go Nuts

I turned 70 September 5. It was an important day for me. Probably my last “milestone” event if you don’t count my death, and I don’t expect to count my death.I am a pathetically lonely married mother’s lucky son. I see and talk with at least six people every day but I’m still lonely. I interface with the people I encounter the way I interface with the nice barn I see when driving 55 over to Jacksonville. I see them, maybe I say eight words or so to most of them, and life goes on.

In recent moths, and with increasing frequency since my 70th birthday, I’ve come home tired, durn-near shuffling-my-feet exhausted, from a day  at the airport where I’m developing a small aviation museum, then from  a part-time employer and perhaps three or four more hours at the museum. I eat a light dinner and nap. Often  I pirouette from my computer in my bedroom to my bed, and fall asleep in then minutes. I awaken, usually between 2:30 and 4:00, and spend an hour or two in silence, sometimes reading aviation history, trying to get back to sleep.  Tonight I drank two beers to help me get sleepy, but though it took the edge off my anxiety, it hasn’t helped me or motivated me to return to sleep. The last of the two I started about 4 am today will be finished when I conclude this post, turn off the computer, pirouette and return to bed.  I have thought about resuming regular posts here on Honey & Quinine, and that appears to be where I’m going.

A few weeks before my birthday party at my home I recognized alcohol “is not my friend,” and vowed not to keep any in my house. It was a noble idea and I stayed true to it about a week and a half, then found a way to be “true” to the vow on a technicality.  I began bringing home two “tall cans” of beer, one night a week and consuming every drop before going to bed, thus to “consume” without “keeping.”  There were benefits. Surfing the internet porn sites ceased without regret or frustration. I didn’t crave it when drinking beer, didn’t need it, and I felt better about myself as a result. For my birthday party, I purchased 48 cans of 12 oz beer, and the night of the party, guests drank four of them. They were “wine people;” not “beer people.” I am a wine person when I can afford it, but I’ve become a beer person since the party. I’ve consumed all but two of the 44 since the party, two or four every evening, usually two with dinner and the other two in the early morning hours as I’ve done this morning. I’ll finish the last two  Wednesday night after a model club meeting, and I won’t buy any more beer or wine to keep in the house.

I’m going to TRY to blog more regularly to induce sleep. I have a lot to say “for the record and to no one in particular.” Maybe I will. Maybe I won’t. But the way I feel tonight at 5:10 am Wednesday morning, it’s either this or go nuts.

Live long . . . . . and proper.

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Seventy Status Report

About a month ago, I reached out to people I consider “friends” in a way that most people I know would probably consider illogical and hare-brained. On my Facebook account I invited those friends to a party I would have at my home on my 70th birthday. Because I am not a cook, I announced I would by the Kentucky Fried Chicken, beer, plates and plastic cups and forks. I suggested that all who wanted to share a dish at the party were welcome to bring something.

My current way of living limited my invitation to people I like and respect via Facebook. I have ZILCH social life except for my appearances at poetry “open mics”
and the art gallery receptions. I’m on friendly terms with many people I encounter beyond Fb, but I rarely see them, and all are, at best, benign, respected acquaintances.

In the month before the party, things which hadn’t mattered to me for TEN YEARS, suddenly mattered very much because people I like were going to visit my house (!!!), and I was determined to not let them see the empty, neglectful, shell of a man I had become. For the first time  in probably 20 years, I vacuumed my house. The upright vacuum I had bought ten years ago was broken (it was broken when I bought it from a low-life acquaintance, but I didn’t realize the beater brush had ceased to function until September 2, so I cleaned the carpets, loose debris in kitchen and bathroom on hands and knees with a small hand vac with a long power cord. I trimmed branches . . . took junk that had accumulated under by back porch deck and in a distant corner beyond the line of sight to my  storage shed to my employer’s dumpster and deposited it there with his permission . . . cleaned up the basement, washed walls, doors, most of the dribbled liquid stains from walls of stove, refrigerator and kitchen cabinets. I didn’t get to all the dribbles cleanup. Somehow I thought it “in-authentic” of me to give the impression that I was/am a better housekeeper than I really am. If a few people deduced that I was having a hard time with life, that’s what I WANTED them to think, and if  they didn’t that was okay too.

The party exceeded my hopes. I didn’t drink a lot of beer and wine, I enjoyed talking with everyone. I recited some of my favorite Vachel Lindsay poems and sang a few of my songs — fewer than most folkss might have expected. This was no night for serious performing; not a “concert night” which would have arrested the repartee in motion. Many friends attended, those who did not because of unforeseen circumstances : well, that was okay. Those who made it showed me what I wanted to know. That I AM a man with some redeeming qualities, and good people, treasured friends, cared enough to demonstrate their shared affinity for me, at a time when dire circumstances, which I shan’t describe now,  impede my own affinity for me.

And on balance, this is a much better start to my new year than the hellish anquish that visited this house in early September, 2016. Fiends (I call them The OINKS) had vacated the upstairs duplex, stolen significant possessions of mine in the process, damaged the living quarters so there was no way I could rent it to new residents without major, EXPENSIVE  RENOVATION.  They left behind deep ruts in the front yard they promised to repair but  did not,  a basement full of household trash that I disposed of over months this past spring. For the first time in my ownership of my home, I endured a winter with no income from renters. The blistering disappointment from The OINKS was worse than any aftermath from any former residents. My standard of living and outlook on life in general, which had been “going south” over the past three YEARS began to improve as the weather warmed.

For the first time in years, I don’t have to carry jugs of tap water from my bathroom to my kitchen sink when I need to wash dishes. For the first time in years, my bathroom toilet can be FLUSHED. (I’ll spare you details, but it was not a pretty picture.) A 70th birthday party here last week would have been OUT OF THE QUESTION without a flushing toilet!  It appears I’m rising from a horrible run OF YEARS into a better future.

The party will take awhile to pay for with some help with a home equity loan from the bank. . . . . but it  was NECESSARY to, at least, delay an undesirable inevitability.
I am determined, and focused, as never before, to get my nose above the stench of yesterdays and into air where I will never find myself  immobilized in de-facto catatonia.  I feel mentally heathy — nobody’s out to “get me.” Unlike many, I speak and  write frequently with  forethought and complete sentences. I feel I am in almost-amazingly good physical health.

As the dust from the 70th birthday party continues to settle, I intend to post more frequently here at Honey & Quinine and write poetry  and songs more often. We shall see . . . .

Thanks for reading this post.

Live long . . . . . . . and proper.

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