Today I almost skipped writing a blog post. And why? The air outside in Texas is gray with smoke from fires in California. It makes it hard for people like me to draw breath. I know it is important to practice going without actual air to breath in order to be prepared for the future. But I guess I am too much of an addict to fresh air to go too much longer in a de-regulated future where you have to be born wealthy to afford air.
And COVID still has me down. My son has returned to the job of guarding the prisoners in the jail of the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office where he got infected once already, and may be risking re-infection. And my wife is back in the classroom now with students who have no other options than to go back to the brick and mortar school. She has diabetes. They may be infected but have no symptoms. Nothing to worry about, right?
But writing is like breathing. Once you’ve developed a metaphor-making gland in the primitive part of your brain, you have to be able to let it out. If you only breathe in by reading and watching old movies, and never breathe out, your lungs will at some point explode. Or you will drown in your own similes which only writing something can be a ventilator for.
Don’t get me wrong. I live for reading good books and watching good movies. But I don’t feel really alive on days when I don’t write anything.
So, the result is a post like the one for today. It is writing something… but it seems slightly off, slightly askew.
I have been watching a mega-binge of Don Knotts movies, and other old movies that I haven’t seen in some time… some since childhood. I have been pretty much isolated and alone in my bedroom since March. No more Uber driving… ever. No more substitute teaching. Not even taking someone to school in the mornings on school days.
And my father is dying. He is in hospice care, suffering from dementia when he’s awake, the result of Parkinson’s Disease. He is sleeping most of the time now. They don’t know when… but they think it will happen soon. And I will be stuck here in Texas while he’s in Iowa. My sisters in Iowa and Missouri are planning to take care of Mom and most of the arrangements are already done. But it is still going to be very hard.
For right now, things are a little off. My full-color, technicolor life is in black and white for the time being. My computer is crashing once a week. I am having to re-type the letter “o” so often it becomes a habit to type “oooo” and then delete any extra “o”s that may appear. But taking a day off from writing does not seem to be an option.