March 10th, 2009

On We Struggle

By 7:15 today, I had showered, brewed tea, broken a ceiling lamp (I think it really broke itself; normal on-turning shouldn’t result in it shorting out like that) and written two letters. By 8, I had read two short stories, gotten dressed, and decided that the skirt I’d chosen didn’t really go with my sweater. When I tried to take it off, I discovered that I’d done up the hook and eye wrong (again, I’m thinking not really my fault–who know you could go wrong with those?) and *couldn’t* get the skirt off. This was the point at which I considered going back to bed, but five extremely despondent minutes later, I was able to change skirts (I still don’t know what went wrong). Keep in mind that neither skirt was the right answer to most questions fashion could ask: the one I had on was made of sweat-wicking technical fabric and slightly too big (but not big enough to slide over my hips or shoulders while fastened, we learn), and the one I wanted to wear is extremely elderly with the pockets completely torn out, so that things placed in them reappear immediately on the floor.

By 8:30, I was dressed and out the door, downstairs filling out the repair-request for my broken ceiling lamp. When it was done, I went over to the super’s mail slot and inserted…the two letters I’d written! I looked down at my repair request, still in my hand, and was sad, but put that in too; why not? Then it seemed like a good time to spend a few minutes staring at the wall, thinking about my retirement villa on the moon. Will I be allowed to have pets, I wondered. A kitten seems like such a good companion for the elderly. But how do felines react to zero-gravity?

Finally my super arrived, and I told him my sad story, at which he nodded unhappily, because he does not understand English. He has never admitted this to me, and he appears to read and speak it fine, so I keep talking to him and he keeps nodding. Aural English is tough to master, I know. Finally he opened his door and I pointed to his mail basket. He pulled out my repair slip and stamped and addressed letters and I said, “Ah, those are mine,” and we both regarded them thoughtfully for a while. Then I very gingerly took them out of his hand and said, “Thank you! I’m so sorry!” He smiled a little, and then broke into a grin when I said, “Goodbye!”

I still think today could recover and be a good day, but it will take some focus. Think about how people are really pulling together over the proposed funding cuts for literary journals and other mags with smaller circulation. Think about weather in positive degrees. Think about kittens.

And if all else fails, there’s always poets.

Now everybody kiss

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So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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