Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I never seem to get anything done anymore...

Yesterday, just after 12 noon, I made my way to the corner across the street. There is a faded gray green mail box there, the kind that the post office uses to drop off bundles for distribution by what the civil service exams used to call "clerk/carriers". Next to the mailbox is an old metal pole. In old pictures, it used to have a sign hanging from it that announced the Episcopal Church a few feet away. I leaned against the pole. I'm a leaner. In my mind's eye, I cut a dashing figure as I slouch against the pole, a world weary sophisticate primed for any danger which might arise. Breathing a sigh for no particular reason other than the fact that I could, I began searching Putney Road for signs of the bus I intended to take to the supermarket. As I breathed in I noticed it - that scent on the air. The leaves on the old sugar maples by the church have been turning orange for weeks. There it was, the scent of autumn. It's a bit early for it, but I wasn't surprised. It was simply an old friend who had arrived a little sooner than expected.

How has so much time gone by? It's been more than a month since I last posted anything here. There have been several things I'd intended to write about, pictures to share, whining in which I expected to indulge. Somehow, I've avoided it all. If I opened the blog in a web browser, the phone would ring, or a friend would stop by. Since I get few calls and almost no one visits, I should have seen these events as a sign, maybe called in a soothsayer. But no, I'd sit myself down, open the blog, click on "new", reach towards the keyboard - and catch the wafting scent of fresh coffee. Succumbing to the temptation, I'd go get coffee, notice that I'm almost out of sugar, realize that my memory isn't what it used to be and decide that I should start a shopping list. Now where did that little note pad get to? A half an hour later, frustrated that it wasn't in my coat pocket where I thought it was, I'd created quite a mess through my searching (it will have to wait until later to get cleaned up) and given up, using a piece of paper snatched from the printer to start the list. I noticed that the printer is almost out of paper, and opened the closet to get more. Something fell out on top of me, of course. When one lives in a tiny space, the only closet is so packed that Fibber McGee would turn green with envy. Well, at least gray green. After cleaning up the mess, as well as some of the mess from the note pad search, I sit down, reach for the keyboard and realize that I should take something for the headache I was developing. Then I remember that when I'd gotten coffee, I had taken out an aspirin but hadn't taken it - I'd left it sitting on the counter by the sink. Three steps later I have the pill, but find no clean glass at hand - or to be more precise, no clean glass that I wouldn't have to spend 5 minutes moving things in the cupboard to get to. I decide to wash the few waiting dishes. There are still dishes in the drain board; they need to be put away first. It would have been easier to spend the 5 minutes moving things around to get to the clean glasses. The dishes put away, I head back to my chair, sit, stretch my hands towards the keyboard and notice that I'd set the aspirin on it so I wouldn't forget it. Shaking my head in utter resignation, I go to get that glass of water. I still hadn't washed the dishes. As I take care of that chore, I notice that the sponge has gone past its prime and entered old age. I open the cupboard under the sink and have to move out the trash container to get to the box of cleaning supplies. The trash falls over. At least the dustpan is in the cupboard under the sink and within easy reach without the trash can's being there. The broom, however, is in the closet which houses the water heater. There is trash in front of it. A half an hour later, the trash cleaned up, bagged, taken to the cellar, I reach for what turns out to be the last of the trash bags. Better write that down, too. Now - where did I put that note paper? Several hours later, I reach for the keyboard again. I realize I'm too tired to write, it's dark out, I haven't eaten; I decide to go to bed. And so it has gone, every single day. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit, and yes, I making much of this up - more or less. It is typical, though. I can't tell you what I've done all day. If I said I'd puttered around I'd feel better about it. As it is, I feel like I've spent weeks in obsessive compulsive attention deficit hell. Today, however, has been different. I reached forward to the keyboard, and nothing stopped me. Except now, the scent of autumn wafts in through the balcony door, it's like an old friend arriving for a visit...

A little over a week (or was it two weeks?) ago the Savings and Loan held its annual free hamburger and hotdog customer appreciation lunch in front of its building on Main Street. It's the first time I've been able to go in years. As I bank at the S&L, I went. They owe me. It amuses me to no end that many of the people scarfing down the free feed are landlords, trust funders, and the wealthy.

See the guy just beyond the tent with the big moustache? That's the bank's current president, out there flipping burghers. He and his wife used to frequent my line when I was a cashier at the supermarket. Whenever I'm in the bank and he sees me, he waves even when he's in his office and in conference.

One of our local commercial radio stations was broadcasting live reports from the event. The well respected newsman saw me and announced to the world that I'd arrived at the Savings and Loan luncheon.

As I wander further along Main Street, I stop at my friend Wendy's cheese shop just to say hello. At least, I think I did. Maybe it was another day. Sometimes, when one is retired, things blend together.

A block further south I find myself in front of the local art museum. It used to be the local train station. Currently, the main exhibit is by artist Red Grooms whose work I enjoy. A couple of pieces are outside where they can be enjoyed by all.

I also stop at the radio station, mostly to peer out of the window at the scaffolding going up across the street around the Brooks House. Its been boarded up for well over two years now. The resurrection from the fire is finally about to begin.
The next day, two large signs were put up at high traffic locations just off Main Street. They aren't really signs per se, they are large chalkboards. Buckets of chalk are there, too. Your participation is requested:

It's a little hard to read, but how many times in one's life does one get to stand in a circle of awesomeness?

As many people will tell you, not very much happens in our little town. Sometimes I really like living here, even though I don't seem to get much done anymore.


Delores said...

Aw who cares about getting stuff done anymore? We've been there and done that. I'm all for standing in that circle of awesomeness and just enjoying life. Hurray for retirement I say.

sdt (a.k.a. stevil) said...

Hah! Delores, you always crack me up. I didn't say I cared about not getting much done, btw. I do notice it, though.

Geo. said...

Thank you for this delightful ramble from approaching autumn to urban calcography and just about everything in between. Also pleased to see Brooks House getting unburntdown --it's a grand old pile deserving of restoration.

sdt (a.k.a. stevil) said...

Geo, glad you enjoyed the post. I enjoyed your note - and learned a new word; I had to look up "calcography". Well done, Sir!

Austan said...

It is impossible to get anything done anymore. When did life become this endless box puzzle? OTOH, I'm grateful for Red Grooms. His art uplifts me.