Thursday, January 24, 2013


It's cold out this morning. Minus 9 degrees Fahrenheit cold. Mornings like this have a strange calm about them, with an early-light grayness that is vaguely disquieting. Especially when that light is reflected by the sightly dirty crusted snow. This morning I woke from a dream. I've had the dream a few times over the last couple of days. I'm busy doing something - exactly what I can not tell. Held between my lips are several nails and/or thumbtacks which I am using for some project. As I get to the last one, I am overcome by a sudden panic that I am going to swallow it. This morning in the dream I did just that - it was a thumbtack today. My first thought was a hearty "Oh, Shit!" (excuse my language). Then I wondered if I should go to the hospital, or if I should just, well, let it pass. I was wondering what damage it might do when I woke up.

As I toddled towards the coffeepot (yes, I'm officially old enough to toddle in the early mornings. And evenings. And points in between. And...) my coffee mug slipped from my hand and shattered. I liked that mug - it was emblazoned with a graphic reminiscent of an old fruit crate label (one of my interests) which proclaimed "Radio" and had an appropriate graphic. It was a gift from The Hussy. Every now and again, names fail me. One such day, when wishing to refer to someone in particular, I searched for her name but couldn't access that part of my personal gray morning matter data bank and simply blurted out, "You know - The Hussy." I believe I was speaking to the proprietress of Austanspace at the time, and she knew immediately just whom I meant. As did everyone in town.

So it's mid to late January, very cold, and I broke a favorite mug - a perfect time to get grumpy. ("Did you wake up grumpy?" "No, I let him sleep". Ba da dum.) Since I'm about to return to the subject of the internet meme, I should probably make that " - a purrfect time" to get grumpy. You see, if you spend much time on the internet, you will run into cats. Hundreds of cats. The effect is multiplied when one is on Facebook. On Facebook, you "friend" people, whose posts you then see on your "wall" like so much over-applied graffiti on a 1980's New York City subway car. Many people post pictures and videos of cats. Stupid cats, funny cats, silly cats, bizarre cats, allegedly cute cats, punny cats (although no cat o'nine tails - at least that I've seen). Cats who seem to think and talk in some bizarre and insulting pigeon English redolent of minorities in older Hollywood south sea island movies. There is even a song about internet cats, but I won't post it as it is even less amusing than the onslaught of cats, although it is easily better than a certain musical based on a T. S. Eliot poem.

In the final months of 2012, there appeared one of those ubiquitous internet memes I referenced in my last post - a grumpy cat. Normally, I'd find something of this nature to be sufficient cause to "unfriend" someone (which I probably wouldn't do, even though it might be well deserved). Something about the grumpy cat, however, resonates with me. In my late teen years, I worked very hard at preparations to eventually be both a dirty old man and a gloriously grumpy curmudgeon. In those days, I was young enough that I didn't expect to live past my early twenties, so I figured I should work it while I could. It's odd then, that I have ended up as a cheerful optimistic old fart machine. (And I hope my friends disabuse everyone of that notion.)(Or at least the cheerful and optimistic part). Heck, I've managed to reach a point in which I'm not even wondering if there is a meaning to a dream in which I swallow a tack, and then break my radio cup. At any rate, for some horrible reason, I find that the grumpy cat makes me smile. Maybe it's because I recognize a fellow traveler when I see one.