Wally’s Great Adventures (2)

good morning everyone. it’s week 2 with my new mom and dad. i’ve had so much fun. but let me first explain why i’m hiding under the chair. dad said big boys don’t wear sweaters…and that i’m not going to grow up to be a circus monkey. and he warned me not to get him torqued up on this gender thing. but i was cold, and mom saw me shivering, so she put on my sweater and i hid under the chair so people wouldn’t see me being a monkey. back to mom, she is so nice. and warm. dad told mom she was creating something called a dependency. i don’t know what that means, but i never want to leave mom’s lap.  2 nights ago, dad lifted me off her lap grumbling about me being a mama’s boy, i tried to wriggle out of his hands and i fell to the ground from way up high. it hurt a little, but not too much, but i was limping trying to shake it off. mom started to cry. that lit dad up about her being at fault because i can’t be away from her for 3 seconds. and then she yelled back at him saying ‘you’ve got to be kidding me.’ he didn’t look like he was joking. and then he mumbled something about needing pet insurance. i barked at him and told him i didn’t plan to run away, that i love it here.  mom told me she was going to yoga today and that i had to stay with dad and i needed to be a good boy.  i went upstairs with dad to his office and he was on a zoom call with work friends.  i was bored sniffing around his office so i piddled a little bit on dad’s white carpet, ok, maybe more than a little bit. dad turned to look, and he didn’t look all too happy, pointing at me and telling me not to move. i sat there like a good boy staring at the big yellow spot on his carpet. it looked so pretty, i can’t understand why dad was so upset. dad said he had to end his call early to clean up my mess, and if i wasn’t so darn cute, i’d be in time out like forever. so that’s about all for now. it’s lunch time. and just wait until next time when I tell you what my dad does for me for lunch. he can be nice when he wants to be. dad said he may take me to a magical place this weekend called cove island park. i can’t wait! tgif everyone! have a nice weekend.

Wally’s Great Adventures. Day 1: Noah’s Ark.

here we are. my new mom is holding me. we’re outside of something called noah’s ark, or new ark or newark. i look around and this sure doesn’t look like a salvation ship to anywhere, but my new mom told me not to worry. but i’m scared, i’m shaking. i left my two siblings and my mom and dad behind. it made me sad to leave them and fly alone. and what’s worse, i didn’t get anything to eat, because they were worried i would go poopy on the plane. mom whispered to me that “your dad is so cheap, i had to fly coach on the floor, and i shouldn’t complain as i’ve already cost him an arm and a leg.”  i looked at him and he seemed to have both still attached so i didn’t understand. my dad is yelling at us to get in the car as N.J. cops are circling the arrivals area. wow, this is my dad. what have i got myself into here?

i look over at my dad as he drove. he doesn’t smile much. he mumbled something about “getting a puppy at this age warrants some form of sanity test.”  mom pulled out a little baggy with kibbles in it, and i licked them out of her hand. boy, they tasted so good.  dad noticed that I was licking my lips and told mom that i was thirsty. that dad of mine is so smart.  mom bought a little dish and filled it will water. i slurped it all up and looked up at mom. she poured me more. i slurped all that up too. dad said that was enough as it will be coming out my other end all over the car seat and he “wasn’t stopping for nothing in this shit storm” of something called rush hour.

my new mom held me the entire car ride home. she said that she bought me as a birthday gift for my dad, but she’s holding me so tight, I don’t think she’ll ever let me go.  we finally get home, it was a long car ride. and i held my wee wee the entire way because i didn’t think dad would like it if i peed in his car.

so, i ran around the house a bit to check things out. i couldn’t go up the stairs or down the stairs because dad said i was too little, i would take a header and he didn’t want to pay to take me to the hospital.

it was such a stressful day that i needed to take a little rest. here i am in my new bed. i like this bed a lot. it makes me feel safe. between the bed and all the new toys my mom bought for me, i think i’m going to like it here.  i’m learning that mom is a real softy and i know she loves me. (she still hasn’t let me go.) my dad, on the other hand, seems to be a project.  he said that until i can make myself useful, and join him on his morning walks, and walk on the slippery rocks by myself without falling in, i’m practically useless.  i didn’t think that was a nice thing to say on my first day home but you just wait. i may be little, but i’ll show him.

so that’s it for today.

oh, btw, i’m walter, or wally for short. i’m 6 lbs and 11 weeks old. my dad said i can have my own column here on his blog as it might lighten things up a bit. so stay tuned.

have a great sunday!

Sully’s Great Adventures (VI)

5:45 a.m. Grandpa had to roust me from bed this morning. i was so sleepy. it was so warm under the covers. while he was getting ready, i crawled back in my little bed in his office. Grandpa picked me up and took me downstairs and put on my rain jacket.

i ran into my crate hoping he would change his mind about this walking thing. it’s way too early. Grandpa never changes his mind. he is always right. so, off we went. Grandpa took me off leash and told me “if there was any funny business, i would be locked in my crate all day.” I looked up at him and gave him my sad eyes. He would never do that to me. i went running down the beach ahead of Grandpa. Grandpa saw me limping and asked what was wrong. i tried to pull out the thorn that lodged itself in my paw with my teeth. I couldn’t get it. Grandpa grabbed my paw and tried to pull on it. he asked me if “it was a thorn or a body part that should be attached.” i told him not to be silly. i barked at him to tell him to pull harder. Grandpa reefed on it so hard, i thought he tore my paw from the rest of my body. i walked a bit and didn’t feel the needles pricking at me anymore. i felt great and i barked at Grandpa to tell him “good job Grandpa.” i love my Grandpa. he’s my hero!


For more photos from this morning’s walk with Sully, click here.

Sully’s Great Adventure (IV)

Grandpa was moving slowly this morning. i could tell that he didn’t want go to the park. it was so cozy under the covers. i didn’t want to go either.

Grandpa then went pee pee. I sit right in front of him when he’s on the toilet. he said “it would be nice to have a moment or two of privacy” so I just sat there, turned my head so i couldn’t see his private parts, and licked his toes.

Grandpa then stepped on this black thing on the floor. it must be very mean because Grandpa gets so mad at it most mornings. he just keeps staring at the numbers yelling “it just can’t be right.”

we drive to the park.

i get out of the car.  there’s 3 deer eating grass! they have such white, fluffy tails. i felt Grandpa pull on my leash: “there’s no chance I am chasing you all over God’s Creation, not today, no sir.” i was so sad — the deer stared at me wondering when i was going to come and play.

we walk into the park. Grandpa usually walks very fast.  i usually have to move my little feet so fast to keep up.  and he’s constantly yanking on my leash. it’s a good thing i have a thick neck or Grandpa would have detached it from the rest of my body from all the yanking. “Do you have to piss on every f$&cking shrub in the  park?” i look up at him and tell him that my friends wouldn’t know i was here otherwise. but since Grandpa has no friends, i understand why he doesn’t get it.

today, however, i noticed that I’m pulling Grandpa, and he’s moving very slowly. [Read more…]

Sully’s Great Adventure (III)

i had trouble getting to sleep last night. my tummy hurt.  could it have been the peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich Grandpa and I shared last night?  or the so-sweet, so-juicy chunks of watermelon. i tried to jump up on the chair at the kitchen table to beg for more, but Grandpa pointed at me and told me to get down as “even he had limits.” i didn’t understand this limit thing because he doesn’t seem to stop snacking.  and when i gave him my sad eyes look, which usually works, he said: “i’m 5x your size, so get down.” so i sat back down on the floor and pouted.

at 2:30 a.m., I had to go poop.  i barked at Grandpa because he wouldn’t get up, and i just couldn’t hold it any longer.  he mumbled “good boy Sully for not pooping on the bed, because Grandpa doesn’t know how to wash the sheets and put new ones on.”

i ran out in the rain and did my business and then came back and cozied up to Grandpa under the sheets. my tummy feels so much better.  i tucked right under Grandpa’s belly, it’s so warm there.  i saw Grandpa was reading something on his phone…now he can’t sleep. maybe he should go outside and go poop too.

i heard Grandpa get up out of bed. wow, i must have fallen asleep for a long time.  Grandpa is putting on my rain jacket. i hate this rain jacket, it is so itchy. i won’t lift my feet because that makes it harder for Grandpa to put the jacket on.  he curses at me, and I bark at him to tell him that it is not nice to curse, and that he curses a lot.

we drive to the park. there are no people here.  Grandpa seems happier when there are no humans around.  it is blustery and raining. the stupid rain jacket is itchy, and it is chafing my armpits because Grandpa doesn’t know how to put my clothes on. i miss Grandma. i hate this rain jacket.

i run up to the point at the park.  there are lots of rocks here and i can smell so many cool things. i hear Grandpa yelling, but then it gets quiet. it has gotten very quiet. it’s not like Grandpa not to be yelling at me every 3 minutes.  i run back up the hill, something is off.

[Read more…]

Sully’s Great Adventures (II)

Grandpa and I went on our morning walk this morning.  I had so much fun.

After I did my do-do, Grandpa let me off leash. I can sense his anxiety just before he lets me off-leash…so much stress. I don’t understand why he gets all worked up. Oh, wait. I smell Geese. A lot of geese. Has to be over 100 of them snoozing in the dark on the open field. Have you ever heard 200 wings slapping at the same time?  You can’t see the Geese, but wow, what a sound. Whoop! Whoop! Whoop! Oh, here comes Grandpa running across the field. He’s so proud of me; he’s waving his arms in the air. Good Boy Sully, Do that Again! Or maybe it was, GET BACK HERE!

I walked into the lagoon chest deep. My boobies got cold so I ran out. And there’s Grandpa again: Good Boy Sully!  Or maybe it was, Don’t you Dare go in there!

I then watched Grandpa creep up to ~50 egrets. There was soooo many.  They are soooo white.  He was tip toeing to get closer.  I couldn’t understand why he was poking along so I raced by him and flushed all the egrets up into the sky. I heard Grandpa yell something like “Good Boy Sully! Great Job“. Or maybe it was: ‘You’ve got to be f*cking kidding me.” I think he was proud of me for getting them all up at once.  And oh, those white wings, against the clouds and sunrise. So, Beautiful!

And, oh, I almost forgot.  I didn’t puke once in Mom’s car. He seemed happy about that.

Can’t wait until tomorrow’s adventures!

Nap time!


More pictures from this morning’s Cove Island Park walk here.

Walking. With Sully. (Part 1.)

4:45 a.m. Here we go again.  Cove Island Park Morning Walk.  Well, not exactly.  Sully and I are driving Susan to the airport, and then we’re off to the park.

The House will be cleared out. For an entire week!  Sully’s parents are on Honeymoon.  Sully’s Grandma is going to visit her Mother. It’s now just the Boys, batching it for a week. Nobody nagging us on excessive treat consumption. Or our roughhouse play. No need to pick up our toys.  Just the Boys, Home Alone.

We’re five miles from home on our return from the airport.  I glance to my right, and Sully doesn’t look right. He’s staring up at me, his big brown eyes signaling distress. Oh, no, Sully.  Not here. Not now.  We’re on I-95, no exit for three miles.  Sully, please, just hold on. We’re almost home.

Sully now has the dry heaves.

We’re two miles out.

Sully, good Boy that he is, jumps down into the footwell, because he’s done this before, got yelled at, and he’s learned you just can’t puke on the car seat.  Footwell is ok, but not on the seat.

I’m watching him and keeping an eye on I-95.  He’s trying to get his footing, the car is moving 65 mph, his Grandpa is racing to get home.

One mile out.

Out comes the vomit, a thick stream of a white foamy, chunky substance, which begins to ooze up and down the floor mat. Thank God this is Susan’s Car.

Sully gently lifts one foot and then the other as the vomit coats his little foot pads.

He looks up to the car seat, and then to me, preparing to jump back up onto the seat.

No! You stay right where you are.

Sully turns his attention to the vomit. Sniffs it. Paws it. And then sniffs it again.

No! Don’t you dare eat it.

He’s frozen in place, as we take the exit ramp home.

Home Alone.

Boys’ Week.

Batching it.

Right.


DK Photo: Sully on Breakwall. 46° F. 6:30 am. October 10, 2022. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.

Walking. With Ennui.

5:25 a.m. Here we go again. 849 consecutive (almost) days on my Daybreak walk at Cove Island Park. Like in a row.

I gather my camera gear, sleep walking through the ritual now. Insomnia rages, 6 days running. No, I haven’t taken your suggested witches’ potions — that is, banana before bed, tonic water, melatonin, magnesium, and all that other voodoo shit that I can’t seem to even try. What’s the definition of insanity? Doing the same shit over and over again and expecting a different result. Well, here we are. On the 5:30 am Insanity Bus to Cove Island Park.

I get out of the car. I reposition the pack on my back, then the camera, all of it, heavy, unsettled, unsettling.

I walk.

I’m woozy, stewing in a brew of vertigo and fatigue. Brew…Brew…feelings brewing. I’m at the opening of Maddie Mortimer’s Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies: “Feeling brews itself in different locations, depending on the body. A man’s most honest impulses may begin in his hands or his heart, his toes, throat, fingers or thighs. Lia felt most things first in her stomach.” There’s nothing spectacular going on in this body right now. Spent immediately comes to mind. I slow my pace to get a grip.

I walk.

Mortimer goes on to use the word “ennui“, a Lori-word. I had to look it up…a feeling of utter weariness and discontent…world-weary sensation…soul-destroying fiend.”

I walk.

Adding to the ennui is an “off day” for photo taking. We’ve got the 3 impeding elements: (1) No cloud cover of any type. (2) High tide and (3) Humans. With sun rising later, the tourists are out. In force.

I walk.

I turn off the shoreline, finding nothing enlightening, and move to the walk path.

Man, tourist, adult, not a regular at Cheers here on the Daybreak walks, approaches. He’s shouting into the speaker of his smartphone. He’s FaceTiming. The participant on the other side of the call shouts back. And the back and forth continues, shattering the silence of daybreak.

I move left on the path directly in his lane, thinking this may jog him in lifting the receiver to his ear, or better yet, ending the call. No such thing happens. He shifts to the other side of the path to avoid me. I glare at him, he smiles back and continues his conversation. Idiot, oblivious to the world around him.

My irritation bleeds off, and I walk.

[Read more…]

God Found in Ōita!

2:30 a.m. Here we go again.

I’m up. Three days, back to back to back, at this God-awful hour. Three days, standing in bare feet on cool grass, with my camera pointed up, trying to still my hands, trying to still my arms, just trying Still everything damn it, from the shakes — and then, if that’s not enough — my eyes are tracking the moon, aka a bright, yellow blob that is spastically jumping up and down in my viewfinder. So, now I have the shakes and vertigo.  Has to be the lack of sleep. Has to be.

Rattled, I walk to the driveway, slowly, feeling my way through the dark, with jagged stones piercing the souls of my feet. Need to resurface this damn driveway. 

I lay my arms on the roof of the car, and point upward. Why 2:30 a.m., and not 1:30, or 3:30, or even 5 am, like at least 10% of Humans? God, again, only knows, if there is a God. And I’m thinking maybe there is a God, because Someone wants me up to see Something at this hour.

I look back into the viewfinder. Sh*t. This isn’t working.

I place the camera down on the roof of the car, and let my arms rest.  Sky is clear. No risk of missing the shot with cloud cover. Take a minute, re-group and go at it again.

I look up and down the street.  No one else is out in their Jockey sleep shorts, their short-sleeved, white V-Neck, lurking around in bare feet waiting for their hands to stop trembling like a frightened kitten.

I lift my palms and look. Everything appears to be normal, on the surface.

I take a moment to re-check camera settings. Then I move to the lens settings. And here I find that I somehow turned off the automatic image stabilizer. Ha! It’s not me. I just knew it couldn’t have been me.

I snug up tight to the car, the smooth steel, cool against my chest. With the ship now anchored, I lift the camera and point.  And, there, there She is, in all of her Glory.

So there is a God.

Just has to be.

Sitting @ Canon in Ōita, Japan.


Photo – Waning Gibbous Moon (57%). 2:38 a.m. August 19, 2022. 63° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. More photos from this morning here.

T.G.I.F.


Source: poppins-me

Guess.What.Day.It.Is? (Volume Up)


Notes:

Walking. With Birdie.

4:55 a.m. 823 consecutive (almost) days on my daybreak walk at Cove Island Park. 823 days, like in a row.

I walk.

It’s hot. Like 76° F and it’s not even 5 am yet.  It was Eugenides who said: “It was one of those humid days when the atmosphere gets confused…you could feel it: the air wishing it was water.”

Yet, there was zero confusion here. I’m wearing long pants and a long sleeve shirt — because, I’ll be damned if I’m going to be scratching myself for the next two days from gnat bites. I would rather suffer through the heat, and b*tch about it, than let those pesky SOBs feast on me. DK 1, Gnats, no bloody chance.

But, it’s hot. On top of the long pants, long shirt, and the white, just-under-the-knee sweat socks, I’m dragging this backpack around, just in case some miracle of a bird sighting will require a long zoom lens. Take 1 day off, you obsessive, compulsive, maniacal idiot, or is it manic?… and leave the bag in the car.

I loosen the straps on the backpack, and shift the load a bit to rebalance, thinking this will help. It doesn’t.  Why is it so bloody heavy? [Read more…]

Walking. With Raspberry Syrup. (Part 1)

4:35 a.m. I pull into the parking lot. It’s been 805 consecutive (almost) days on my daybreak walk at Cove Island Park. 805 days, like in a row. 800 days from now, will I still be doing this? 

Ingrid Rojas Contreras’ “The Man Who Could Move Clouds: A Memoir” is pumping into my head. “The grooves of thought that surfaced, the tracks our minds insisted running on, catching always at the same places.

I strap on the backpack.

I walk.

There’s a deep pull in my right calf. What the hell is that?  I keep walking. Stop. Reach downward, feeling the back of my leg, careful not to let the weight of the backpack tip me over.  It’s tender.  Wow. WTH is this?

I walk.

But, I can’t shake it. Mind scurries in search of the root cause of This. Ah yes.

Leg cramp, 1 a.m. Deep leg cramp, that just won’t let go. I roll over, but it won’t release its grip, tightening and tightening. I struggle to get up, then get upright, then apply full pressure through the grip.

It begins to ease.

I sit on the edge of the bed, breathing heavily.

I replay yesterday’s intake:

  • Couldn’t have been the 4 pieces of Susan’s birthday cake.
  • Couldn’t have been the 4 packages of Welch’s Mixed Fruit Gummies. Yummy gummies, fruit juice coating my teeth and tongue, slithering down my throat.
  • Couldn’t have been the 3 bottles of Zero Sugar Snapple Lemon Tea. Zero-Sugar. Right. 
  • Couldn’t have been the heaping bowl of Vanilla Bean Häagen-Dazs ice cream topped with chopped nuts and Stonewall Kitchen Raspberry Syrup. Flashback, way back, to the DQ Sundaes, dripping with strawberry sauce. But this Stonewall stuff, this syrup, is altogether at another level. If there was a God, there is no doubt he bathes in this.

So, back to the leg cramp. I turn to slide under the covers, and there she is, sleeping. She’s got her eye mask on.  She has her ear plugs in. She hasn’t shifted, she hasn’t moved, her soft snore continued uninterrupted through it all as she dreamt about bunnies playing in the grass or some sh*t like that.

And here, like 2.5 feet from her, a mere 3 minutes ago, her husband of almost 40 years is freakin’ dying.  I’m mean DYING.  He’s rollin’ around moaning, I mean MOANING.  It could have been a heart attack for God sakes. Take all that bloody sleep gear off, get your ass up and give me CPR or Something.

I listen to her soft snore.

Till death do us part.

I was seconds from that.


Notes:

  • Photos: DK @ Daybreak. 5:15 am, July 19, 2022. 71° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. More photos from this morning’s walk here.

T.G.I.F.


Source: JFF Book Publishing (via Nini Poppins)

Walking. With Memoir (or Musings) of a Madman.

4:05 a.m. I step up to find that my digital scale is still on the fritz. First a lost wifi-connection, which I fiddled with for 30 minutes yesterday.  And now, it just flashes and stares at me. I step off and on again, but it will not read out my weight. Now if that’s not telling you Something...I stand on it, staring down at it, a few body movements away from heaving it out the 2nd floor window. I step off, stare at it again, and leave it alone (for now). I’m not done with you yet.

Here we go (again.) 799 (!) consecutive (almost) days on my daybreak walk to Cove Island Park.  Like in a row.

Humid. Breezy. 72° F. Low tide. 25% cloud cover. Few humans. Magnifico.

I walk.

And, there she is. A Black-Crowned Night Heron. For some reason, I’ve being seeing these birds everywhere. Like they are plants by Someone or Something extraterrestrial trying to send me a message. Look at her dummy.  Pause. Wait. Stand. Look. Watch. Contemplate. What’s the rush?

She’s certainly not my spirit bird, the cormorant.  But the anti-me. So patient. So stoic. So calm. Standing there in water up to her ankles waiting for breakfast.

So, I do. I stare at her.  But, there’s something else gnawing at me. It’s that super thin, long white plume growing from the back of her head.

And the question is why?

Who decided it needed to be white? And not blue, orange or black.

Why super-thin and not a feather?

Who decided there needed to be a plume at all?

And, of the billion things to look at this morning, why are you locked in on this plume?

Flaubert continues in Memoirs of a Madman and November (1901), and he didn’t have Google or the internet:

Madness is the doubt of reason.
Perhaps it ‘is’ reason.
Who can prove it one way or the other?


Notes:

  • Photos from Daybreak walk at Cove Island Park this morning, @ 4:52 am. to 5:45 am. July 13, 2022, 72° F.  More photos from this morning here.
  • Post title inspired by: “But for the man who watches the leaves trembling in the wind’s breath, the rivers meandering through the meadows, life twisting and turning and swirling through things, men living, doing good and evil, the sea rolling its waves and the sky with its expanse of lights, and who asks himself why these leaves are there, why the water flows, why life itself is such a terrible torrent plunging towards the boundless ocean of death in which it will lose itself, why men walk about, labor like ants, why the tempest, why the sky so pure and the earth so foul – these questions lead to a darkness from which there is no way out.” Gustave Flaubert, Memoirs of a Madman and November (Hesperus Classics, 2003)

Walking. In Pursuit of Stalker.

4:40 a.m. Daybreak walk at Cove Island Park. 788 consecutive (almost) days. Like in a row.

Yesterday, Eric (#1 Son; #1 on most days) and I were at the kitchen table having lunch.  Popeyes Spicy Chicken Sandwiches (and Cajun Fries). If you haven’t tried it, it is absolutely the best.  (And yes, it easily tops Chick-fil-A, Shake Shack, McDonald’s and Wendy’s. I know.)

Now, what isn’t as easily digested, are the calorie counts.  Chick-fil-A @ ~ 500 calories.  Popeyes sandwich tops 1200 calories. Add 800 calories for the fries, and what you have here is FDAs maximum calorie intake for an entire day, in a matter of < 10 minutes.

So, I step on the digital scale this morning…flashing, flashing, flashing, measuring, measuring, measuring, weighing, weighing, weighing…an interminable wait, that couldn’t have been more than 2 secs,….Then boom it locks in: + 2 lbs, day over day. WTH!

Mind races through yesterday’s meals.  Ah yes, Popeyes. Plus, 1760 mg of Sodium in the fries.  Another 1460 mg of sodium in the Chicken Sandwich = 3220 mg in < 10 minutes, a whopping 1000 mg over what FDA recommends daily.

That’s what we have here. An, old, fat, nearly retired, giant Salt Lick.  Disgusting.  Disgusted. So, was it worth it? You work so hard to cut weight and then blow it all up in < 10 minutes of food porn lust. 

I think about this while I’m standing on one leg, balancing, wondering if I have another 5 years to live. Yep, I’d have Popeyes again today for lunch, identical order. Saliva builds.

So, back to yesterday’s lunch.  Eric tells me that his Buddy was chatting with a friend of his who happened to mention that she walks at Cove Island Park each morning to catch the sunrise.  Buddy proceeds to tell her about his best friend’s Dad and his daybreak walks at Cove Island Park.  Eric, continues, “I think she said something like: ‘You know, I see this older guy at the park every morning. Backpack. Camera gear.  Doesn’t ever say anything. Really keeps to himself. Strange guy.'”

“She said that? Exactly that?” [Read more…]

Walking. Bring out your Dead!

It all started with an article Susan sent me. This one or something like it: 10-second balance test could predict longevity. “The inability to stand on one leg for 10 seconds in mid to later life is linked to a near doubling in the risk of death from any cause within the next 10 years, according to research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.”

I try to ignore it. Put it out of mind. Impossible.

So, it’s 4 am, yesterday morning, and I’m standing in the bathroom, trying to balance on my left foot. Counting down 10-9-8-7-6… I reach for the counter.  You have got to be kidding.

I go at it again.  Whispering the count down, 10-9-8-7… I reach for the counter again. OMG. I can’t do it.

I pause, inhale, and while balancing on my right foot, I reach down for my sock and put it on my left foot. No problem. I got this.

I’m brushing my teeth, and my attention is drawn back to the sock on my left foot.  OMG, I put the right sock on the left foot. 

I rush back to review the article, to see if the study found any connection to Alheizmer’s. Wow, thank God for that.

Later that day, I tell Susan the story of the balance-thing and the right sock on the left foot.

She knows that I have sh*t for balance, unable to stand on one foot for any length of time before toppling. Barely able to navigate on two feet. Can touch my toes, but no more. Not bendy. Nothing there. Not going to happen.

And after 38+ years of marriage, you know, you just know with certainty what comes next.

And you think that an adult, a defined term for what I am supposed to be at this stage of my life, I can stand quietly, watch the performance, listen, smile, and say something polite: “Wow, that’s so good.” “Or that’s nice.”

She starts her demonstration. She’s standing on one foot. Think Karate Kid.  You know the Crane Kick.  Then she moves to Yoga. The Tree Pose.  Warrior Three Pose.  Then she moves to the floor. Downward facing dog. Up dog. Before you know it, she’s gone through her entire Vinegar Flow or Vin-Damn-Something.

OMG. Sorry. I can’t take it. I’ve seen this performance hundreds, maybe thousands of times, or 300 iterations of it.  She’s a retired high school and collegiate gymnast. Now amateur yoga enthusiastic. I just can’t take it.

She’s on the floor, rolling around doing her Dog Sh*t —  I turn my back and start walking away.  I know it’s rude, but I- just-can’t-take-it-anymore.  She’s mumbling something about Hare Krishna, my back to her, her voice fading as I make my way up the stairs. My God, JUST STOP. [Read more…]

Walking. With Frost’s Road Not Taken.

4:16 a.m. Day #774, consecutive (almost) daybreak walks at Cove Island Park. Like in a row.

I’m on I-95 heading North, mixing it up this morning and heading to Calf Pasture Beach.  It’s a big deal for this Plow Horse to shift one step to the left, or shift one step to the right, the plow cutting the same furrow deeper. No chance of surprises when one is going straight, and straight down.

Back to I-95. It’s me, the Truckers, and hopefully not the drunks.  I’m in the speed lane, a giant tandem tractor-trailer to my right, driver has his window open taking in the cool morning breeze.  I glance over. I do everything in my power not to pump my fist in the air with the trucker salute to prompt a blast of his air horn.  Apparently it’s a dying tradition. Jesus, how old are you. And for all I know, it could be mistaken for a proposition. Keep your bloody hands down.

I approach the parking lot, it’s full, and cars line the shoulder.  And this being 4:29 a.m.  Irritated. WTH is this?

I pull up on the sidewalk, shut down the ignition, and watch. High School. Graduation parties. Sunrise. God, how long ago was that for me? OK. This wasn’t meant to be.  Just go home. No, you came this far. Come on. Just take a few shots and then you can go.

I watch kids pour out of their cars. Boomboxes blaring Rap. Peaceful easy feeling. (Not.)

I walk down the street and around the crowd that’s building on the shoreline.  I take one shot. That one above, and head back to the car. Not interested in tangling with some drunk, testosterone raging teen. Just like the smart-a** idiot you were then.

I’m in the car and back on the road, and the mood sinks. Road less taken, turns to be a bust. Let’s go home. Eat half a dozen glazed donuts. That’ll bring some joy for a moment. Palahniuk: “A moment was the most you could ever expect from perfection. You wake up, and that’s enough.And then the mountain of regret torpedos you for the rest of the day. [Read more…]

Walking. Sunday Morning. DK Saves.

Let’s just get to the punch line of this story. (Oh, btw, it’s 724 consecutive (almost) days on my Daybreak walk at Cove Island Park. Like in a Row.)

There it lay.  At the end of my walk. An Atlantic Horseshoe Crab. Flat on its back. Nothing delicate or beautiful about this alien-looking thing. I’m sure its Mother loved it.

Its Telson was slapping back and forth. (Telson = Tail.  And of course I didn’t know that it was called a Telson. Googled it.) Creature was caught way up on the beach, tide shot out, and here we are. In Deep Shit. And you thought you were having a bad day?

I’m staring at the Telson (and yes, I’m going to keep repeating Telson like some career Marine Biologist)…and I’m wondering if its Telson carries electrical current. Or like a skunk, backs up its ass and spews sulfuric sh*t all over my camera gear.  Or like a Cephalopod, shoots ink all over me, seeping into my skin, and poisons me.

Stamford Daily reports: “Idiot found dead on Cove Island Beach trying to save Horseshoe Crab. Good News though, his death wasn’t for naught. It was notable that he was found flat on his back, like the Horseshoe Crab he was trying to save – – his mouth wide open, teeth blackened with Cephalopod ink, with his arms straight up in the air, because no matter what, the camera gear needed to remain undamaged.

Per NatGeo, Horseshoe Crabs have been around for 450 million years. And here I am, Human, around an eye twitch of that time, trying to assess the probability of being electrocuted or poisoned.  I could have pulled out my smartphone and Googled it to be sure…but this gives you a full measure of this man…not a lot of depth, prefers to let the mystery of life and its currents drag him along to the finish. And ‘hopefully’ that Finish isn’t this morning.

So, there I am. Staring down on Horsey.  His limbs and Telson desperately seeking salvation. [Read more…]

Walking. With Apophenia.

56° F. Heavy fog.

Daybreak walk at Cove Island Park.  723 consecutive (almost) days. Like in a row.

I’ve finished Amy Liptrot’s book “The Instant.”  A book where I wasn’t feeling it, not feeling it, nothing here, time to put this down, wait now, here’s a line, and now two, and then down the chute we go on the luge track.  Reminds me of a tweet by Tracie Collier after reading “Bomb Shelter” by Mary Laura Philpott: “She writes in a way that makes me want to hurl my laptop over a cliff.”

Back to Liptrot.  Who knew that I had Apophenia. Well, hold on. It’s not even clear that I’m adept at Apophenia. I’m probably better assessed by a psychologist (if I had one), as a lame, half-assed Apopheniac.  But we digress.  Here’s Liptrot:

Apophenia is the tendency to find patterns. It can be a disorder but, for me, finding patterns is sustaining. Unbidden, certain objects glow with relevance. I find the moon everywhere. This heart-shaped box contains not just a few shells but all the weeks and conversations and regrets of a friendship. We are meaning-making machines. I use all these little personal myths and totems to hold myself together: things to search for when I’m faced with overwhelming choice and freedom.

I use all these little totems to (try to) hold myself together. Yep. About right.

I’ve turned right at the Park, walking counterclockwise. Noting that I’m walking counterclockwise. Again. Did you know that you always walk counterclockwise around the park?  723 days, and you walk in the same direction every time.

I keep walking.

Have you ever seen anyone else walking clockwise in the park?  Come to think of it I have not.  Not one time? Not one time. Maybe because you are a half-assed Apopheniac.

I stop walking. [Read more…]

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