Second Round

Except during rare periods in which I purposely post at least twice a day, I infrequently post twice in a day. So, this is an infrequency. Maybe it’s because I suddenly realized half of 2021 has evaporated into the mist of history. Maybe it’s a response to the speed with which my life seems to be accruing memorable moments. For whatever reason, here’s a second post, made just a day after the first half of this year disappeared, never to be recovered and lived again. The first half of this year was our one and only opportunity to experience the six initial months of 2021. I look back and wonder whether I made the most of it. No, I don’t really wonder about that. I know I did not. I wonder, instead, whether that recognition and realization will spur me on to make the most of the second half of this year. Time, alone, will tell.


I made something of the first morning of the second half of the year. In the absence of a housekeeper for a few weeks, I decided to do a bit more than the organizing and sorting I normally do during the housekeeper’s “off” weeks. So, I dusted and vacuumed the living room, kitchen, dining area, guest room, guest bath, and study. I left the master bedroom for the Roomba; the creatures does a nice job without supervision in that one room. And I cleaned both toilets and did a bit of sprucing up around the sinks. I could have and should have done more, but I felt the need to be moderately lazy for while.

After doing the light housekeeping, I drove to the dump on Minorca, where people like me (who forgot to put out their trash on the day it was to be picked up) can get rid of bags of trash. When I got home, I felt the need to do a bit of “cooking,” so I made a salsa consisting of roasted tomatillos (which left quite a mess on the parchment paper on which they sat while broiling), blackened serrano peppers, a bunch of fresh cilantro, a touch of Kosher salt, and a splash of vinegar. It has a significant afterbite, which I like; foods should feed the fury we attempt to starve into submission, all the while knowing we have neither the mental nor physical wherewithal to do it; all we can do is to let them know we enjoy the rage they foment.

My yard guy arrived just before I left for the dump. While I was away, he did quite a bit of work, despite heavy rain and significant amounts of thunder and lightning. Between squalls, though, he got the work done. After I returned and when he finished, I offered him a beer while I wrote the check in payment for his work. Nice guy. We talked a bit while he gazed out the back window at the black clouds of an approaching storm. He has a three-year-old son who he’s taking to Padre Island in Texas in a few weeks to introduce the boy to the salt water of the Gulf of Mexico. I think he’s a guy I could enjoy conversing with, over a beer and a joint.

I barely heard him knock on the door to let me know he was finished and ready to be paid for his efforts (I drank a beer for lunch which, along with some salsa-doused chips, made me a bit sleepy.  I answered the door and invited him in while I wrote the check. He made a complimentary comment about the aroma of the dragon’s blood incense I was burning. That’s when I mentioned to him that I had been drinking beer and chilling to the scent of the incense and offered him the beer. He took the beer with him, planning to drink it in the cab of his truck while he at lunch in advance of his next job.

After he left, I instructed Alexa to play music by Andrea  Bocelli. She obliged. I love Bocelli’s voice and much of the music he sings, but some of it leaves me absolutely cold. Such is life, I suppose. So, I then instructed Alexa to play some Dire Straits. I love me some Dire Straits.

Eventually, both Dire Straits and opera left me ready to scream, so I made a radical shift. I am, as I write this, listening to Gregorian chants. At the moment, I am listening to Introit Benedictus Sit. performed by the Monks of the Abbey of Notre Dame. I wonder where they gather today, in the aftermath of the horrible fire that destroyed so much of Notre Dame? Oh, the next piece is underway: Kyrie Eleison, performed by the same group.

Gregorian chants can be incredibly calming. But after awhile that calming effect morphs into a desire for the music to stop. And when it does not, the serenity that flows from the sounds begins to change into an angry rage, putting the listener (me, in this case) in the mood to strangle chanting monks and throw their corpses into a fire fueled by wooden church pews and ecclesiastical vestments. Not really. Just kidding. I probably would not strangle the chanting monks.

I have been alone for most of the day so far, as my IC opted to go clothes shopping, something she insists she will not do in the presence of a man, When she left, I decided to wade through various chores alone. Which I did. I should have taken a shower long ago, but I have not done so. I will, though, because tonight is the night for trivia at Beehive. Even though the Beehive is an informal venue…a pub…exercise shorts, flip-flops, and a t-shirt worn over a sweaty body is inappropriate bar-wear. Real clothes are expected. And a reasonably clean body under said clothes probably is desirable. So I’ll shower, shave, and otherwise try to make myself look and smell presentable. This discussion of appropriate bar-wear gives me another opportunity to advocate for public nudity. We should all wander around without clothes. Soon, the titillation and embarrassing erectitude would melt into normal adult acceptance of the desirability of pure, unadulterated comfort.

Twice today I have felt the need to record the meaningless drivel that escapes through my fingers. I’ll stop now, happy that my second post has not yet prompted someone to murder me. I’ll do the drill now; wash, brush, comb, and clothe. And then I’ll drive to my IC’s house, where she’s visiting following what she apparently thinks was a too-long absence.

About John Swinburn

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