They Keep Taking Things Away

Bleating to the gods here while inside dogs are bleating because Tommy is guarding his stupid little biscuit from the imagined predations of his friend Marco.  So Marco is bark-howling, or bowling, and Tommy is just howling as if to the moon.  I think Marco’s bowling is hurting his perky little shiba ears.  He should just give up the fucking biscuit but nooooo.

Inside my head is a similar duet.  Howling as my dying Dalmatian did once, howling to the Previous, the old life, the fun one where we were carefree and insolent, never innocent and we thought we could defy convention and go to France on a whim with the whole family and provide wine and a big house in the South with German appliances and a terrace surrounded by lavender an a cute pool boy with a Mickey Mouse Watch.  $10 thousand in American dollars, cash no problem.  Everybody understood the French tax dodge being perpetrated by the owners of the house.

We’re both at fault, my husband and I, because if just one of us was to blame we’d have to get a divorce.  We made an agreement.  Where did we go wrong, semi-interesting question that does absolutely no good to ask.  Did I buy too much yarn?  Sure. Did Willy take off too much time to get his books exactly right?  Yep.  Did Jann Wenner screw us out of $60,000 which we could have used about now?  Yep, and he did it while wearing a sarong, having just come back fro Tahiti or some fucking where with his then boyfriend.  One of the smart ruthless folks who make the world go round, while people drop off and off and off can’t hold on.

Nobody had a pension and I dreamed my way around the house and grounds falling in love with various poetic ideas that never got put down on paper or translated into anything useful to say nothing of lucrative.  I had an abortion when I was 16 (so, always a bad girl) and finally wrote about it for the Huffington Post which of course pays nothing.  The magaine where my husband works is not above decline, and self-protection when it comes to employees’ salaries, and my husband’s has just been cut by several thousand dollars a month, takehome.  This cuts quite a swatch through our plans for a serene old age, carefree except for the inevitable body and mind decline that leads to death, sooner now than later. The question “what the fuck were we thinking” has no relevance because it made sense at the time.  We have an unsympathetic and cluelessly narcissistic friend who, when we hint at this state of affairs, reiterates his wise savings plan that he also instilled in his wise children.  He worked for the government, has a pension.  His wife has a pension.  His daughter married the partner in a big law firm.

i notice that Casey Kasem has disappeared and it seems the only reasonable step to take when things are helter-skelter.  Take off for the weird wild mountains forests of Washington State where vampires and owls live side by side.  Get pecked on or sucked on or just wander around until a redwood or whatever those trees are falls on your head and takes you out, calmly and in tune with the spheres.  What a way to go.  But they found him and now the new wife and old kids are fighting over his disposal which is a good enough reason to wander away looking for home.

I couldn’t jump into the ocean but there’s something appealing about being on the West Coast to die, be eaten by shibas, limb from limb while the sun drops into the ocean.  They could make a cake out of my dead fingers, which was a part in a scary story we all told one night in Vermont, where the ghost include the exquisite pianist Claudio Arrau and his deteriorating list of progeny.

We are not deteriorating.  At least the family is not.  Willy and I are shredded, sliding down the slope, slowing to a stop, no carefree purchase of BMW convertibles for these old folks.  No more enjoying leisurely cruises and educational trips for the elderly.  What we’ll learn from now on will take place on a couch in the living room, largely with books we already have.  Willy will read about Beavers and the history of French linguistics.  He will read Mr. Piketty on inequality and while admiring his work and agreeing with it, he’ll say wait a minute, didn’t I say these things twenty years ago?  Of course he might as well be Arisotle who said kids today are no good.  Kids today are fine in my opionion, they should just watch where they’re going as they cross the street reading their texts.

Were we good enough?  Citizens, parents, employees, thinkers?  Maybe not.  It’s all about choices, they say to fingerpaint-covered bad kids in nursery school.  Meanwhile I would like to lie in a pile of blue flowers – doesn’t matter what kind – and inhale their fragrance while I take my last breaths.  Blue flowers.  I’m going to write a song.  Blue flowers, decline, death.  It’ll be a perky little song.


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