Hoodlum. Lawbreaker. Deviant. Hooligan. Scofflaw. Criminal.

Yesterday would just as well have been left in the calendar to rot. It began early, as rotten days often do, but went south from there. At 10:45 a.m., as I was on the way home from grocery shopping, checking the mail, and buying discounted wine (Tuesday is the day for that), I was ticketed for driving 41 in a 25 MPH zone. I have no idea what that will cost me; it’s possible the penalty for 16 MPH over the limit is crucifixion or a date with the guillotine. The officer did not know. He also did not seem to know that he wrote me the ticket in the morning; the ticket notation said “10:45 p.m.” But the description of conditions at the time of the infraction said “clear” and “daylight.” It’s never daylight in Arkansas as 10:45 p.m. Frankly, I question what else he might have gotten wrong. I was speeding, there’s no doubt, but I sensed I was going 35 or so. I could have been going 41, but I rather doubt it. And the ticket, which has a spot to indicate how the officer determined the offending speed, was left blank where it could have indicated the measurement was by “radar” or “pacing.” Perhaps I should challenge the ticket. But if I did, I might be targeted by our local police; they might consider me a troublemaker. Yet I hate to think what this might do to my insurance. The fact that I haven’t been issued a traffic citation of any kind since I was much younger and taller should count in my favor. But it probably won’t.


This morning (by noon, they say; I should be there waiting by 10 a.m.), my wife will be discharged from the rehabilitation hospital. I’m looking forward to it; having her home will be great. On the other, I don’t know how much support and physical assistance she will need and I am doubtful I have sufficient physical strength to provide physical assistance. Although she will have periodic home healthcare provided by nurse(s?), it will be infrequent and of limited duration. Time will tell, as I always say when I am perplexed and unsure of myself and the world around me.


Speaking of rot. Today began, in earnest, when I awoke at 2:45 a.m. I remained awake for most of the ensuing three hours, though I did not get out of bed until three hours had passed. I know I slept at least a wink during that time, though, because I had an unfortunate dream involving a mystery shopping industry issue that occurred at the same time as a repair was being done to a house I apparently occupied. The repair was hideously ugly and unprofessional; I was hideously ugly and unprofessional in my interaction with the person who did the work, a person I know well. Dreams always intrigue me; I will forever wonder whether they carry messages to our conscious selves, messages I can never quite understand. And what does my lack of understanding convey about my personality and/or intellect?


As I look out my window, I can see ample evidence that a creature (perhaps an armadillo? a skunk? a mole? a family of moles?) has been routing about in the thick layer of leaves on the forest floor. I wonder, what disturbs the leaves so thoroughly that they appear to have been roughed up by a forest fighter?  I may have a children’s story forming in my brain, a story that would explain what occurs each night to displace the smooth bed of leaves: the wooded areas hereabouts are home to forest mermaids. These mermaids do not swim in the ocean. They swim through the sea of leaves created when the leaves fall from the hardwood trees every Autumn. The swirls along the forest floor are created when they swish their tails to propel them along. This is just a budding idea; it is far from finished. I have to determine their motives for swishing through the forest. I must understand the conflict in their story, as well as how the conflict will be resolved. Nonsense! The “rules” of writing that require story arcs and the like were created by people who need structure to keep their thoughts within the bounds of sanity. I need no such rules; madness is a perfectly acceptable state of mind for me. At least that’s what I would like to believe.


My coffee has cooled and so has my passion for finger exercise. I shall rest my phalanges now.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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