Worn Pennies

This morning, when daylight begins creeping over the horizon and sunlight touches the treetops, I will drive to the car wash and give the Subaru a bath. The exterior, at least, will then be sufficiently clean to be presentable. The removal of a million bug splatters, from tiny through small and with a few large ones thrown in, will change the appearance of the car. I suspect removing the remains of bug corpses will reduce the car’s weight and improve gas mileage. And I will be able to see through the windshield. If I had the energy and discipline, I would clean the inside of the windows; but I have neither, so I will just deal with the reduced vision that comes along with windows coated with breath film.

After the cleansing, I may stop in at Walmart, if the store is open by then, and pick up some eggs. Somehow, I let the egg supply dwindle to dangerously low levels. I’m sure I could use plenty of other groceries, but I’ve been worse than lax about keeping track of what I’m using up. A more complete list will require more focus than I am willing to give to the task at the moment. Laziness fills every empty space in my head of late; that must stop.

I’ve made a deliberate decision about this morning’s ritual; I will not shave today. It requires too much attention and too much effort. I need that effort and attention to go toward washing the car and buying eggs. There’s only so much to spend. I think I will wash my hair, though. My beard is thin enough and grows slowly enough that a day without shaving is noticeable only to me and to anyone touching my face and neck. People rarely touch my face and neck, so there’s not much danger of my beard being noticed. My hair, on the other hand, needs its daily shampoo. If I skip that important activity for just a day, my hair looks like it has not been in touch with shampoo for several weeks. Not a pretty sight.

After getting the car washed and buying the eggs, I will return home for a while to have more coffee. My sister-in-law, whose coffee maker abruptly quit working earlier this week, will come for her morning cup of coffee and we will discuss the latest about her sister/my wife. And, then, I will head in to Hot Springs. My first stop may be at Happy Clips or whatever the haircut chain near Lowe’s is called, assuming I can get in without a wait. If not, I will take my unkempt head of hair to the hospital , where I’ll visit with my wife. If I can get a quick haircut, I’ll surprise my wife with a new, nicely-trimmed, look. And then I’ll let the day take me where it will.

My mood this morning is not awash in flippancy, despite the style of writing I’m employed in this post thus far. As forecast yesterday afternoon, I did not sleep at all well last night. I think I set a record for pee-break-interrupted-sleep. And I checked the clock roughly every fifteen minutes to see whether it was time to get up. Finally, at 5, I decided it was time to get up. At 4, I refused to get up, insisting to myself that I would, by God, get an hour of sleep before rising. I did not get that sleep. But I made note of the absence of sleep at 4:15, 4:30, and 4:45. Like clockwork. Haha. I suspect I may fall asleep in the chair in my wife’s hospital room, mirroring her naps during the day.

Hmm. Maybe I can tolerate unwashed hair for just a day. Perhaps I can tolerate the judgment of the washed and preened masses. Maybe I can endure their disapproving stares as they conclude I must be just another derelict; a sorry vagrant whose value can be measured in worn pennies.

Off I go.

About John Swinburn

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