Sunday, October 25, 2015

a pea-picklin’ diary of sorts, because it helps

Sunday last the leaves rained down and I got carried away trying to capture it.

Sunday night the Cubs lost to the Mets 4-1 after losing Saturday 4-2.

Monday after walking along the river where fallen leaves were in some places three inches deep, up to Josie’s belly and softly rustling with every step, I sat on the island on a mat of pebbles and sand. An idea for a winter project came along. Now I need a typewriter. Back home, I got on the internet and

Tuesday morning I happened upon this typewriter with my name on it.


This is not the typewriter I will buy. I am thinking I might like the same typewriter I started with—no, not that really old typewriter of my dad’s that was all grey and green and bulky, always slightly musty and inky smelling, but my first typewriter, the one I got in high school that was all brown and yellow, a low-slung 1970s model.

Then I got carried away with taking pictures from the middle of the cabin, I worked on an order for candles from the food co-op, I continued to mull over that winter project idea, and I enjoyed a visit from a friend that entailed skipping stones and root beer floats.

From the middle of the cabin.

The Cubs lost 5-2.

Wednesday, a beautiful day, really, and spending a part of the morning nosing around the Goodwill and Vinnie’s, looking for a typewriter, then at a bulk and natural foods and antiques place on Highway 41, still looking for a typewriter, but finding no typewriter, just a lamp I surely don’t need. I bring it home. Written in magic marker on a piece of masking tape stuck to the base of the lamp: WORKS. But the lamp doesn’t work. I pull away the felt from the bottom to see the wires and see they have been cut. Odd. Very odd. Now what? Attempt a rewiring project? Return the lamp? Forget about it? Stash it somewhere? It only cost two bucks, so who cares? Except for the fact of that piece of masking tape with the word “WORKS.” Seems the lamp ought to work. No, I don’t need the lamp, but I do have a spot for it. A nice spot. And the lamp makes me laugh. For now, its fate in limbo, the lamp will sit with its cord wound around its base on the kitchen counter by the tin with the dog biscuits. No, not the spot I had in mind.

The lamp I don’t need but have a spot for;
the lamp sporting the word “works” that doesn’t work;
the lamp whose fate is in limbo.

The Cubs lost 8-3. And there go the Mets, to the World Series. And that is the world, as we know it.

Thursday finds me finishing up those candles for the co-op and getting into “Amphigorey,” a collection of stories by Edward Gorey. It was while on the morning walk with Josie that the image of Mr. Earbrass sitting on the floor in a snug room surrounded by scraps of paper, pieces of his novel, came to me, because I was thinking about this Winter Project Idea and how there is actually much to be done before the typewriter comes into play, and part of what needs to be done could find me sitting on the floor surrounded by scraps of paper. So, enter Mr. Earbrass. The sun, just rising above a low band of clouds, spilled across a field. Josie trotted on ahead.

Later, I read “The Unstrung Harp; or, Mr Earbrass Writes a Novel” and laughed so hard I nearly choked.

Mr. Earbrass.

Also in “Amphigorey” one finds “The Hapless Child,” which is just about my favorite of all the Gorey stories. I have a signed hardback edition that a friend who once saw Edward Gorey in New York sent me, and that is the one I look at Thursday. In 1998, after the Cubs lost the National League Division Series to the Braves three games to none, my dad sent around an email with the subject line: Principles of Cubness 101. Now, reading “The Hapless Child,” I think how if I were teaching this course called Principles of Cubness 101, “The Hapless Child” would top the reading list, perhaps to be read in conjunction with “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.” Then, a fascinating roundtable discussion would ensue.

By Friday I am noticing how the rustle of leaves underfoot has grown louder, I suppose because the leaves have dried considerably over the week. There is a loud crunch & rustle while walking that one part of the trail along the river that leads to the island, that part where all the maple leaves have fallen, remained, curled up, gone brown.

This part.

Saturday, rain. The drive to the farmers market is dark and rainy and I stay behind a school bus for most of the way and wonder where the kids are going, what sport they are playing, will they win or lose, are they sleeping in the bus or talking to each other, or maybe they are plugged into iPods or myPhones or yourPhones whatever, and I remember that a new season of High School Bowl—that great academic challenge that pits one Upper Peninsula high school against another until a champion high school emerges—has probably started on the local PBS station and I should start watching, be chagrined when some youngster answers a question I cannot, and then be amazed (perhaps redeemed?) when all stare blankly at each other in response to some easy question about an old (but famous!) Broadway musical.

Before leaving for the market I watched the ninth inning of the Royals v. Blue Jays, played the night before, and the Royals won, will face the Mets in the World Series, and summer is over, and seasons change, and the greatest change I have felt lately is this: no change at all. Except—I need a typewriter.