fredag, april 13, 2007

The Delicate Ballet

I slept only about 90 minutes last night. The Delicate Ballet, which is my financial system of survival, was performing thunderously in my head as I await the call that will tell me I can finally pick up my taxes and send them off to the feds and the state.

I was casting about numbers for the money that's departing on Monday--maybe, I don't know yet how much--the money that's coming in (so long as those three invoices are filled), the potentially disastrous mistiming that could occur, ways of sidestepping that timing problem, the secondary troubles that could result from that sidestep, etc.

A payment system emerged in my head, coupled with a work plan I've long delayed throwing in motion, and showed me how to be debt-free in two years. Ha! Was I delirious?

I took a break to think about square roots: 12 x 12 = 144 and 12 + 13 = 25; 144 + 25 = 169; therefore, 13 x 13 must equal 169. Again: 13 + 14 = 27; 169 + 27 = 196. Therefore, 14 x 14 must equal 196....And so forth. This is what happens in a head. Some heads. This head, at least.

Do fish itch? Ever? Or suffer dry-eye? Or feel cotton-mouthed?

I'm not sure if my feet are quite touching the floor today. The system of weights and measures in my head is off-kilter. My personal avoirdupois is all out of whack. The back left side of my head feels heavier. My face is thinner.

One summer while bussing tables at the country club the hostess, who was about 60, and who wore off-white clothes and had frosty-(and slightly yellow)-looking swept-up hair, and who used make up that gave her face a hint of a sparkle yet matte texture (just a ghost of a cousin of her muted sparkle lipgloss), asked me in a hushed tone if I thought that she had fatter calves than the 60-ish woman who had just sat in the dining room.

Diane had a way about her that made me think she kept a very clean home and always had full dishes of white mints.

With a look of incredulity on my face I said, "No." That put an end to it and Diane seemed happy.

This same woman once asked a guest--former Bears safety Gary Fencik--to sign an autograph. It was during a golf tournament barbecue. She handed him a paper plate.

And I'm sure I've mentioned this before: at her home, she kept the corpse of a departed bird, a parakeet, I think, in tupperware in the freezer. And from time to time she would peek in and remember.

Much as I do these people from the past. They are playing in the mist of my mind today.

When I was a child I loved standing outside while my mom or dad put gas in the car because I liked to breathe the air around a gas pump. When cars were warming up in winter, I liked to sneak back into the exhaust cloud for a moment. That lovely monoxide, you know.

(I was admonished for this habit, please know. I may be an idiot, but my parents aren't.)

Fumes, indeed, but intoxicating ones. I'm running on them. And my brain is on fire.

I want to send out article pitches but know I cannot do that in this state. Must sit with the article I'm working on. Be patient. Stay with it, this coughing baby. Sit in the steam beside the bath. See it through.
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