Monday, July 8, 2024

Best Laid Plans

Sunday, day 3 of my breaking routine.  I lingered too long in the morning, perhaps, but eventually I got underway.  

But. . . it was hot. The streets were dead.  Tires were melting off the rims of cars.  I drove.  And drove until I was in the industrial district.  It changes but is always the same.  A school bus turned camper, I imagine, parked under a tree that was once a hobo encampment, windows blackened, some sort of big wooden structure attached to part of the roof.  Spooky.  The bus looked to be in bad shape.  I drove slowly by but didn't stop.  

Same old pics.  

And then, the air coming from the a.c. was warm.  It stayed that way.  I turned it off and on, but the compressor was not kicking in.  Windows down, I drove toward home.  Son of a cracker, I was back to being the hillbilly nig I was born to be.  

Home, I didn't feel very well.  Was it the heat?  I pulled a chicken thigh I'd cooked the night before from the fridge and put it on a brioche bun.  I opened the canned Michelada I'd bought for Sunday, just in case.  I put small red beans and pork in the InstaPot with yellow onions and garlic, salt, black and red pepper, and poured in half a bottle of white wine.  

My movements felt odd.  My coordination was off.  I was sleepy.  I went to bed.  

I got up at four and showered.  I remembered that I had no auto a.c.  I went out to check the fuses.  There are three panels, one inside the glove box and two under the hood.  I looked at the interior one.  It was a mystery.  The schematics made no sense to me.  I tried to remove a fuse, but as I had read, it takes a special tool.  Why?  I could tell nothing.  I closed up the panel and went back into the house.  I'd just have to take my car into the shop on Monday.  

The day before, I looked up flights and hotels for NYC.  Usually, something expensive happens after I spend money on a trip.  That has been my lot in life.  This time, it is happening before.  If the problem with the a.c. turns out to be something inexpensive as a fuse or a switch, I'll book a flight.  If not. . . . 

Do you believe in curses?  Oh. . . I know some who do.  


Sometimes, I think. . . . 

I took the beans and rice to my mother's at five.  She had not made rice, so we set that up and went out to have a drink "on the porch."  We chatted away, my mother always remarking on the rain and the liars at the Weather Channel.  She is very snarky about it.  

She had charged two of her devices she hasn't used in I don't know how long, an Amazon tablet and an iPad.  I had bought those for her years ago.  She told me she couldn't do anything with them, that they needed a password.  It wasn't a question, so I didn't say anything.  I simply nodded my head.  

"What's your password."

"I don't know.  I haven't been able to get in since you changed it."

"I've told you many times that you need to know your passwords."

"I have them written down but none of them work."

She began to recite them to me, simple things like my father's 1st name and birthdate, etc.  

"I don't know.  I'll try them after dinner."

Dinner was good, of course.  Afterwards, my mother went to her desk and brought back a sheet of passwords.  It was in her writing.  There passwords crossed out and new ones ascribed.  I tried them all, but none of them worked.  She used to be able to watch Netflix on the Amazon tablet, but my account has changed and I don't know the password without having my laptop.  I was getting irritable.  

"I can't do anything more right now," I said putting everything down, shaking my head.  It's not my mother's fault, really, though I know she doesn't even try to keep up with this stuff.  I should never have bought her so many electronics.  It has been a misery for me.  

Back home, I realized something.  The passwords were probably all on her computer in her office.  I'll check that today.  I should have thought of that while I was there.  Makes me wonder about my own efficacy.  Am I losing brain cells?  

Probably.  I think so.  

I'd fed the cat before going to mother's, but she was waiting for me when I got back, so I poured a whiskey and lit a cheroot and went out to join her.  

"Poor kitty.  It's hot.  I need to get used to it, too."

I lived as a kid without a.c.  I didn't have a car with working a.c. for years.  My cars have always been on the margins of things.  How had I stood it, I wondered?  I felt an irritable lassitude about me.  There were reasons for the stereotype of the stupid, lazy southerner.  This heat sucks the life out of you.  How did Faulkner do it?  Hemingway?  

I will need a new car one day sooner than later.  My Xterra is almost 20 years old.  I love the thing and would keep driving it, but at some point maintenance becomes as expensive as a purchase.  I don't like cars.  I would buy a Ford F-150, but prices are high.  It is not a good time to buy a car, new or used.  

So I hear.  

The cat has gotten better looking, I think.  Maybe it is because she relaxes more when I'm around.  My every little move used to make her tense.  Now I can walk around and she just stays still.  Cats are inherently pretty.  She looks like a feline Egyptian statue when she sits.  Now that she stays longer after she eats, she naps, one leg extended on which she rests her chin.  I need to take lessons from her.  She moves with much guile.  

But. . . I am lucky to move at all.  So they say.  To which I always respond, "Do you think so?"

Dusk coming on, I say goodnight to Scar and go inside.  Move the laundry from the washer to the dryer.  Check my email and cook up a couple of photos.  I was not so productive on Sunday as I would have liked, though.  

I sank into the couch and turned on t.v.  I've been watching "Babylon Berlin."  It has been suggested to me for awhile, but it is in German and I am like a kid when it comes to reading subtitles.  But I had nothing else. 

Oh, boy. . . this is dark and weird and German, and it gets better with each episode.  But. . . 

I think this has been the reason for my terrible crazy nightmares.  You don't know about them because I have deleted much that I have written in the past three or four days.  

Again. . . you're welcome.  

But they have been the worst of my life.  Really sick, disturbing things.  And the same cast of characters are in my dreams each night.  That's the really weird part.  

Other people's dreams are boring, but I'm speaking of their effects on me, not the dreams themselves.  I'm pretty sure, though, that the weird German show is responsible.  

Oh. . . it is set in the '30s just before Hitler comes to power.  Commies, Bohemians, and the coming reich.  If you like such things, it is a history lesson of sorts.  

Too late, I go to bed.  I will call the repair place in a minute and see if I can get my car in.  Then. . . Uber.  

For some reason, the t.v. show made me think of this song, maybe as an antidote to the evil portrayed in the show, the evil that lurks in the hearts and minds of men.  

Singing nuns.  It's a weird world.  

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