|May 21 2012|
" In Everyday Existence...Still, Some Small, But Flickering Light to Heaven-If Looked For-May Be Found; Even, If Its Name Be: Pepperoni "
To my ever-dear, and caring friends, and constant readers,
I suppose that there are times when we all feel weird; our medications make us feel strange, not quite ourselves. We're either too tired or disinterested to attempt anything
meaningful; we're cranky and unsettled. There's absolutely nothing to do that doesn't-somehow-involve concentration, or physical effort. There is never anything on TeeVee (in my case, understandable, as I have NO TeeVees in my home, beyond the computer screen).
We can't decide if we are hungry, or just too nauseated, or too lazy, to go on a safari of the kitchen cabinets to see what's left that we can just eat out of the bag, or box, without actually having to cook; I know I sometimes have made a dinner of cookies with a glass and a half of milk, until I was full; I still counted it as having had supper of some kind.
Even the microwave seems incomprehensible to our blurry eyes. Forget the stove of oven, for the many, tiny dials seems as complex as those on a 747; never mind the timer and the clock, lest-in such a stupor-accidentally leaves an element on the house burn down.
Our thoughts-unformed-are miles, and miles away. Practically, anything that moves in the house makes noise that hurts our ears. There's nowhere that we want to go, for that would require a shower, and of digging-through piles of clothes to find ones that are the most fresh, and acceptable to wear.
For the time being, anyway, we have succumbed to whatever illness we may have, especially if pain destroyed your night, or filled it to brimming with frequent wakings, and/or nightmare. or broken by a hundred cares, or bathroom calls; we may roam-through the house, in what I can only describe as something of a ‘ghost-like' manner...one that seems somehow detached, or with (at best) a ‘third-person-interest'. No surprises there, or we may briefly see what our kids or pets are up to, while making our nightly rounds, when the rest of the house is quiet, and our equivalent weight in ectoplasm-were we true, disembodied spooks-is not enough to stir the house, although it might disturb the family cat. Nope, the house is as empty as a crypt.
By day, which often seems as pointless, and as long, again, a different sort of quiet descends upon the house. For everyone is at work, at friend's, or at the Mall, a place you haven't visited in years. Too many cars. Too many people (who apparently have lots more money that have we), for when most of the bills, at last have been paid, and dreaded groceries bought to keep all from starving, we feel somehow made noble, justified in our staying in, for frankly, our agoraphobia prohibits spending sprees. And besides, often, we would rather be in our underwear or nightclothes, depending upon habit.
We don't want visitors, particularly ‘ buzzingly', happy ‘ ones...those just intrude upon the quiet, make our heads hurt, while their ‘ too silly, joyous, foolish, stupid voices', are like pneumatic drills upon our ears, and if we cannot wish them dead, then we wish them gone. Swept-away like the noxious pixies that they are.
"No", I said, "goddamn it, I don't want to subscribe to ANY of your vapid magazines. Neither do I want to share your rant about this politician or that, for, frankly, they ALL should be shot." And with ever growing ire, as you feel a migraine coming on, "So...please just go away. I don't want to hear about your life insurance or, invite you in (amid the clutter of house) to discuss your skewed, religious literature at length, or for even five seconds, which-strangely, enough, is the time I'm giving you to stop annoying me."
"Please don't try to justify my pain, until you've had some. Now shoo, ‘teachers of the word', as I will tend-somehow-to the edification of my soul, myself."
But I think the Johnsons down the street would just love to have you in for coffee and cupcakes....Besides, Rover, who is sound asleep over there, is attack trained. Wanna see?"
Oh well, that took all of five minutes. What shall we do next? We see its time for another pain pill...or two. And so, we have, for the moment cupped our spleens of their considerable venom, as we wait for the pain pills to take effect.
Many of us stagger to the counter to make yet another pot of coffee, for right then, a cup of coffee seems the way to go.
And while others-so inflected may ‘sigh', or ‘cry', or, even, wonder ‘why?', we've made those trips before, and, besides, we lack the energy to even do that. Why bother? The house is super-quiet, and maybe, our hands tremble slightly as we try to carry a mug of life-giving java to the counter.
Its hard to even muster up regret, as that would imply we give a shit, and for a goodly while, are empty, ‘wuzzle-headed', lacking focus and direction; that twenty-some percent of pain that never, ever goes away-despite the pills-is just another botheration that we must deal with?
And, while we drink our coffee (which for me, means having several cigarettes) we somehow lose ourselves in that reflected steam. This has become our new reality: that now this is about as happy as we're ever likely to be. Did you know that? Besides...a couple cups of coffee help extinguish hunger pangs. Don't worry, they will resurface later.
There's still too much of the damn month left, and yet, we're already too broke-even-to order out, though the thought of pizza has its allure.
Just where the hell is that mailed flyer that offered ‘two large, one item pizzas for $8.99? It was just here three days ago, and nobody threw it out, we think, for suddenly the entire concept of pepperoni sounds wonderful, delivered right to the house, for just a buck and change tip.
Now comes the ‘free-fall' realization of, "Do we even have the $12.00?" The change is not hidden in the sofa cushions, as we've looked there before. But wait ! Have we scrounged the washing machine, for any change that might have fallen out?
You know your wallet maybe has two tired, and wrinkled singles in it, among-somehow-tickets, scraps of paper, receipts that are month's old, gum wrappers, and dead moths.
For suddenly, the thought of pepperoni, and NO dirty dishes, sends one into a frenzy of collection; as each kid gradually trickles in, you stand there like a palace guard, with hand outstretched, still in your nightclothes. "Gimme'', you say, before they can seek refuge in their rooms to fire-up their X-boxes. Until hunger drives them out, its probably the last you'll see of them, today.
Not even one's poor spouse, who arrives home late, tired from a slave job they're over-qualified for, but shit... a job's a job. In stepping in the house, they could hardly expect a strip search, as efficient as that at any airport; first, the pockets-all pockets are emptied out, with various change falling, rolling to the floor.
Then comes the wallet, turned inside out revealing cards, pictures of the family during better times, and voila! a dollar bill is found, peeking out, and....mercifully, one finds a fiver hidden in the back. And while spouse may not quite understand this, your merely growling the word, ‘pepperoni' will clarify all. This is the most animated you've been all day, and besides, you missed both breakfast and lunch, and are starved.
We're on a mission, now, to scoop up all the pennies, nickels, and quarters, plus the sorry, sodden paper money off the floor, to pile it roughly on the countertop. Spouse is too tired, and too experienced to argue, for ‘pepperoni' has become a sacred mission from God.
Then there ensues that anxious and hurried divvying up the loot. Is there enough? And what about the tip? No one else is asked what they might want; it really doesn't matter at this point.
The scattered change is stacked into discrete piles, much easier to count that away. And as one nears the ‘magic' goal, the more excited one becomes. Its like a reverse countdown of a Shuttle, only, more important.
And suddenly....you have it!!!!!! You do a little celebratory dance-inside-as your body hurts too much.
At last, you sigh, and with that sigh, half the weight of the world is removed from your shoulders. Success ! Success ! As you guard that money with your life. Spouse may shake head, but, secretly understands, for they know how much this little treat means to you.
And when, in short order it is called for, and delivered by some also, ‘slave-job', twenty, some-odd, year old driver who's also over-qualified, but who lives on tips; just the smells coming from the box make one heady with anticipation.
In time, the kids will smell it too, and wander from their dens to behold-before them-two perfect, pepperoni pizzas. Now one can relax. The deed has been done, the quest has been accomplished, the day's former idleness forgotten, as plates, and paper towels, and almost fizzed-out colas are retrieved from the back of the ‘fridge'.
Each glorious slice of pizza dangles from mouth like a second tongue; and yes, you eat the crusts, because to not to is first waste, and secondly because-it too-tastes goddamn good. This is the best you've felt all day; not poor, nor with any thought to the dirty house, or piles of laundry, or, a-hem, an unmowed yard. The ‘here-and-now' is all that counts.
Another, little triumph. Another, little success; but-maybe-not so ‘little' after all, for it would seem the various joys, and treasures in our ordinary, and invisible lives do not involve the so-called ‘Fate OF Nations, over which we have NO control, and-in our frequent agonies-have less interest, but rather consist of smaller successes that both gladden and sustain us. We frequently measure up our days, and calculate our worth by small, and seemingly insignificant steps.
Our road to Heaven is assembled stone by stone; it may well be the measure of what we have done, fully as much as who we are. Particularly among those of us who are so very ill, and so very poor, that we occupy a stratum all our own. And who's to say that winning some foreign war is more important than the collection of simple currency, sufficient to order pizza? Or that our singular, ever upward search for Heaven is not necessarily perfumed by myrrh or rare spices, but by the wondrous smell of pepperoni?
Please always know I love you,
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