Distractions

The unlit day was cloudy, cool, and windy as I wrote this. I knew these weather conditions from experience, because Bob already had insisted on going outside into the dark. I assumed he needed to relieve himself, but it seems he simply wanted to go on a walk. I’d only barely touched my coffee, so I rejected his demands after taking him out for a brief stroll. A moderate walk, about a mile, came later, but not until after daybreak. Still, he did not seem satisfied. He ate breakfast, slurped some water, and then behaved as if he was ready to begin again.

My plan was to write, before Bob insisted on taking over my morning. I think I may have to do what his former foster family did; put him in his kennel overnight and then let him out after they had sufficiently engaged with the following day to become servants, treating Bob like royalty. I have never fancied becoming a serf.

+++

Distractions, the ones impossible to ignore, wreck my thought processes. They redirect my thinking, turning it upside down and sideways. Even when I crave solitude, distractions can convince me otherwise, causing me to pack my schedule with events I would appreciate and enjoy another time, but not then—not when I need to carefully unwind the spiral spring steel that resides inside my head. Distractions hatch more distractions in a never-ending pattern until I can’t quite understand whether I live in this century or another one long since passed or yet to be.

+++

Desire can have the same effect as distractions. Desire can bend a thousand perpendicular, steely strands of thought into a twisted, garbled, impossibly knotted mat of fragile and incomplete ideas. Wishes tangled with wants tangled with hopes and thirsts and passions. That snarled mass of emotion transforms reason into ignorance; motive into blind impulse.

+++

The need for affection can decay into a willingness to accept the embrace of the nearest set of arms. Loss of self-respect cannot be far behind and, with it, the loss of any sense of purpose…even a twisted, gnarled, damaged sense of purpose. When affection becomes more important than life, that’s the moment danger wraps its ragged, skeletal hands around the neck and squeezes as if the end of life depended on it.

+++

My only reliable reason for living was my wife. We had plenty of difficulties and unmet challenges, but we relied on one another for love and a reason to be. Her absence leaves a terrible wound whose pain is being deadened with time, but the wound remains, infecting all the remaining tissue.

+++

A year ago I wrote about wanderlust, a desire to be on the road and to experience different landscapes and different relationships.  My mind produced these words: “My daydreams about hitting the road may be about developing new relationships without worrying about navigating around existing potholes. It may be easier to repair an axle broken by driving into a new pothole than repairing a relationship damaged by misinterpreting, as cues, messages that were never sent.” I can only guess at what caused me to write that.

+++

I’ll have lunch with friends today, then late this afternoon I’ll participate in a Zoom call with other friends who live far, far away. Before the day is out, I’ll try to arrange to pick up a loaner telescope from the library and I’ll try to submit a form to the State of Arkansas. How could I describe my “productivity” for the day? What value will I add to humanity during the next twelve hours? Hard to say, really. Impossible, actually.

+++

More groceries, plus household goods. Two orders from two stores. Little that’s truly necessary, but apparently it’s sufficiently important to me that I’ve willingly spent nearly  $100 to satisfy my wants. I pick up one order tomorrow morning and the other one very early the following day. I am reduced to talking about my grocery-buying habits. I have nothing else of value to say. Jesus! But the thing is I do not want to have to take ownership and responsibility for being of value (or lacking it). So it appears I will continue to bitch about being lazy, while wanting nothing more than to be lazy.  What a sour mood I’m in right now. And there’s really no reason for it.

+++

I have yet to shower or shave or eat breakfast. And I’ve had only a single cup of coffee. I am tired. I could sleep for a year.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Distractions

  1. Bev says:

    That’s excellent if Bob is trained to spend time in his kennel. That is a good sign as far as his background.
    The feeling that one’s purpose is sort of gone out of life, or that life doesn’t really make much sense after your spouse is gone, is actually something felt by many people. I have several friends who lost spouses over the past few months and that’s something I’ve been hearing a lot. I remember feeling that way for the first two or three years alone and I still have that feeling occasionally even after fourteen years. Our lives are turned upside down when we lose a partner. It’s not something to just shrug and get over with. We need to build a whole new infrastructure of meaning.

Please talk to me about what I've written. I get lonely when I'm the only one saying anything.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.