I like dogs, I like the word dastardly, and I really don’t like January. So there you go: an essay title explained.
And I know these gabby ditties I write are more of the blog post genre than true essays. But I’ve never been fond of the letters B and L snugged up together like that. Blasphemous, blizzard, blarney, blogger. And what a weird sound crammed into one phonetic little blip: Buh-Leh.
Stick a proper vowel in there and take the time to actually pronounce it, and I’ll change my tagline to “a blogger unlike any other.”
That’s where this ramble should end, but it’s been a while, and I’m sitting at a huge section of log turned into a community table at Starbucks, where the guy to my left put a privacy screen over his laptop as soon as we sat down, and the woman to my right has really cute purple reading glasses.
I’m amongst people, folks. That’s what I’m trying to say. I don’t do people much these days. Nope. Don’t like them.
But the new brakes and calipers we scrambled to fund for the truck a few months ago, they’re having problems — and so here the husband and I sit, two blustered bumps on a log, doing our best to pretend we’re not eavesdropping on other people’s conversations.
Behind me, hushed whisperings. The topic: What am I going to do with my life? Here, let me tell you.
You’re going to spend the next twenty years sitting in Starbucks, saying these same words. The only thing that’s going to change is your age, your hair style and the waistline on your jeans. Can waistlines go any lower than they are now? Where does the jeans industry go from here? Maybe you’ll talk about that, but then you’re going to loop right back to the same old doggy dog track and declare, maybe a little more emphatically this time, “What am I going to do with my life, already!”
I’m going to be forty-eight years old this year. That’s a lot of tacos. Maybe not as many as what’s in your bag, but I’m not lagging too far behind. It’s so weird how older women I’ve known tended to forget their puppy years and behaved as if right then, that age, was all they’d ever been, and treated me as a forever duckling (“lucky young thing!”) with bits of shell still stuck to my feathers.
Hey, come take a look at that duckling now, ladies. It ain’t getting pretty, so suck it up and trust you’re not alone in this spiraling galaxy of ours and how physics time warps everyone to the slippery side of lucky.
And now about feathers.
Oh, do I have a lot to say about them things these days. Chicken feathers to be exact. So much to say about chicken feathers. How I ever got to be half way to ancient without feathered friends in my life, I don’t rightly know.
But this here essay is a griper about getting old — haha, I’m not really griping; I love the new version of me that keeps rolling out as I age — and that dastardly month of January, where bones seem to ache a bit more, and gray hairs look downright ghostly (okay, maybe a teensy wiener of a gripe), and Christmas is but a wee speck of cheer at the other end of a very long year that’s only just barely begun to hatch.
That last word is a clue. Hehehe. But to what?
Anyhoo, obviously the dog book didn’t get written. Remember this? The world’s shortest essay I promised to post as soon as my book was ready for some eyeballs?
Roll me in feathers and feed me a beefsteak! The moose has written herself a bonafide, gosh darned book!!
Yeppers. I love public declarations. I’m just glad I didn’t stand up in Starbucks all those months ago and shout, “Dogs! Book! I’m doing this danged thing!!”
But words are indeed getting plunked down on paper. Just not doggy words, not yet anyway.
On the horizon for the New Year? Feathers. Gobs and heaps of feathers, folks. And it’s already well under way. You’ll see. So brace yourselves for a tidy chunk of tarred and feathered essays, tucked between the endpapers of a bonafide book, and based on the most unexpected and rather heart wrenching of experiences, as documented here:
But entirely new content, and me thinks I just dropped a tad more than a smattering of a clue. I do ask for patience, though. It won’t be ready for a good couple of months.
The truck should be just about done, and we have quite a walk to get back to the repair shop. Before I wrap this up I want to say a very sincere thank you to the privacy screen man, who, as it turns out, is a doctor. We sat in silence at the community table for almost an hour when he leaned forward and took a close look at a large, misshapen, perfectly smooth mole on the top of Rich’s head, and said, “I’m really sorry to say this, but you should get a dermatologist to biopsy that.”
It was startling and Rich looked bewildered. A customer at the store where he works mentioned something about it a few weeks ago, but it took a complete stranger, who just happens to be a medical professional, to scare us in just the right way. The mole meets all the criteria for something to worry about, and we shouldn’t delay getting it looked at. He even recommended a good doctor.
So, thank you for your bravery and courage to reach out to strangers, with no words wasted, and tell us what we needed to hear, uncensored. You, dear sir, are of the old school variety, where kindness isn’t on the clock and your good work isn’t confined by walls.
And on that note, you can expect another blatherskite of an essay soon. Adieu.