Monday, April 3, 2023

Work, Eat, Sleep, and a Feeling Called the Blues

I'm getting depressed.  There is more work than I want to do.  I want to have done it, of course, just like I want to have read "El Cid" or "Don Quixote."  I just don't want to do it.  

Yesterday began with me getting tools to fix the fence that has been in disrepair for a very long time but more since the two hurricanes last year.  I needed to make a brace for attaching the bottom of the fence boards.  Should be easy.  

First I dug out the ground where the fence met it.  Actually, because all the yard guys do is blow shit around, the fence was a bit buried, so I dug down quite a few inches to reveal the bottom boards so I could pull and straighten them.  Once done, I measured and cut the brace (o.k I don't have the terminology for this stuff), and of course, my measurement was off.  Still, it would work.  So I got some three inch screws to attach it.  But they wouldn't go in.  I tried and tried, but all I was doing was stripping the screw heads over and over again.  Are they called "screw heads"?  That sounds like a derogatory term.  All this was being done  at the bottom of the fence, so the bending and stretching had my bad knee was screaming.  

It is already getting hot here, and after an hour I was soaked in sweat and ready to cry.  I am ready to cry a lot lately, and often do at the silliest of things.  It was only then, though, that it occurred to me to look at the bit in the screw gun.  It didn't match the screw heads.  WTF?!?  I limped across the property back to the utility shed to see if I had any other screws, and sure enough. . . . 

I went back to the fence.  Bingo.  Suddenly I was screwing like an old rich fuck with a wad of hundreds on a Saturday night.  Sorry.  I was trying not to say "hooker."  I guess I could have avoided the simile altogether, but now that it's out there. . . . 

Move a board and screw.   Move a board and screw.  I was as excited as an old rich fuck. . . . Seriously, such a silly little thing.  I'd looked at this broken fence thinking to pay someone to replace it for a long time.  I am not a tool guy.  I am not a worker, remember?  "Look at my hands, Sugar--I'm a thinker!"  But once you start this stuff, you wonder why you hadn't done it your whole life.  

The whole thing was hard on my knee and back, so when I had all the boards attached on the front part of the fence facing the street, I called it quits.  It was mid-afternoon.  I had planned to paint, but it was getting hot and I hadn't eaten anything, so I put my tools away and washed my hands.  I had leftover t-bone, potatoes, and beans from the night before.  I plated them and put them in the microwave and quickly fried two eggs.  I opened a Dale's Pale Ale. That's the way a cowboy eats, I thought.  It was good. 

When I was working on the fence, I'd seen something very nice in the garden.  

I had a big ole caterpillar gnawing away at the milkweed.  So nice. But wait!

There were more.  Lots more.  There must have been close to twenty.  They were decimating my milkweed plants, but that is what the milkweed is there for.  My oh my, I thought, I will have butterflies galore soon.  I will be looking for the cocoons and maybe catch one chrysalis bursting into full butterfly mode.  My oh my indeed--the miracle of nature.  

After I had showered, the afternoon was wearing away.  I needed to get some things at the grocers including Scotch tape so that I could splice the disintegrating 8mm films.  Yea, yea. . . I know. . . but I don't have any splicing glue and I've used tape successfully before.  It will be fine.  

It will be. . . if and when I get around to it.  Maybe I will get some done today, but first I have to go to the gym and then I am going to work on the rest of the fence.  There is still a lot of painting to do, but tomorrow the 14 yards of mulch gets delivered.  The maids come tomorrow, too, so I have a lot of putting away of things to do before they come.  That includes my 8mm project which is spread out everywhere.  

As I say, I'm about to cry. 

After the grocery run, it was time to head to my mother's house.  I hadn't been there for two days.  I needed to fix some things on her computer. 

"I can't open my mail.  I don't know what's wrong.  I've clicked on it but nothing happens."

When I got there, I was beat.  My mother and cousin were sitting at the dining room table chatting with a neighbor.  

"I'll go look at your computer," I said.  

I shut it down and turned it back on.  Then I updated her OS.  

"Everything is good," I told her.  

"How did you do it?"

"It was complicated.  I restarted the computer."

I sat and listened to the talk until it was time to go.  It had been all I could take.  My nerves, for some reason, are shot.  I think the constant pain in my knee is part of the reason.  Part of my depression, too, I am sure.  I haven't been able to walk for months.  I'm losing my cute little butt and getting fatter by the day.  

"Fuck it," I said to myself.  "I'm getting barbecued ribs."

And that is what I did.  Takeout.  And oh, boy were they good.  I was greased from head to toe.  Crispy fries and baked beans.  I was ready for a whiskey and a cheroot.  

That's the life of a suburban cowboy, kids.  I haven't a creative thought in my head.  I won't for some time.  I work, I eat, I drink.  I've a growing appreciation for the people who are not like me.  That would be all the people.  But working, being busy. . . it changes everything you think.  I have that, and I have pain.  

And I've got a feeling called the blues.  

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