This morning was a little better. I went to the 8:30am Weight Watchers meeting and their scale says I've lost more weight. I walked Buddha down the trail along Colby Lake in Woodbury and it was pleasant weather-wise, although I forgot my hat and we both got hot on the way back. Working up a sweat is a good thing, but when I do the mosquitoes come out of their lair and attack me. Mosquitoes like me. I usually have my own personal swarm.
The afternoon sort of fell apart. The loneliness had stepped back a little in the morning. I felt successful at Weight Watchers, and that felt good, plus I had bought a large coffee with steamed half and half. But in the afternoon, maybe when the mega-coffee wore off, loneliness stepped forward again. It's never far away for long. I had to run bitsy errands and it seemed that every store had only one lane open manned by a cashier who wanted to be somewhere else. I wanted to be somewhere else, too. Unfortunately, when the cashier is moving in resentful slow motion, nobody gets to be somewhere else. I tried to be grateful for payday and the ability to buy, for example, pieces of rebar at Home Depot to prop up the cobbled-together fence in back. But knowing that I would be spending Saturday night alone with the dog just as I spent Friday night alone with the dog just as I've spent every night for so long...it was like impending doom and it settled upon me. Loneliness sucks the oxygen out of a day like black landscape plastic smothers grass. Besides, "grateful to be able to buy rebar"? Judas priest. I suddenly felt like such a loser, trying to be consciously grateful to be able to buy four pieces of rebar to prop up a makeshift "fence" in the backyard of a house I don't own.
I find myself crying often, especially in the car.
My final act of the afternoon was to break in half the Toro Edger/Trimmer that came with the house. Most of the stuff in the garage was just left out and on the floor. I don't know why people in the recent past couldn't be bothered to hang things. There are nails all over the garage walls, just where you need them to hang things. Whenever it stormed here and when the snow melted in spring, the garage had water up past my ankles. Tools and such were left lying and frozen in that ice. Obviously, I've been hanging tools on every available nail, but some things were not repairable or fixable. I don't know much, but I do know that you need to clean off metal tools at the end of the gardening season, coat them in WD-40, and hang them so they'll be ready for you to use again come spring. Who the heck leaves tools and machinery lying on the floor of the garage through successive freeze/thaw water cycles all winter long? Gosh, you should have seen the rusted-through, melted, ruined stuff I had to throw away. Senseless waste. Of course, the garage itself needs work, too. The gutters, etc. But you could at least hang the darn trimmer on a nail. I've been fighting with the Toro trimmer since winter ended. An essential plastic bit had been broken off, so the cord wouldn't stay on the outside. So I would have to unplug the extension cord, turn the trimmer upside down, twist off the cap-thingie, pull the blue cord out a bit, put the cap-thingie back on, plug the extension cord back into the handle, use it for 2 minutes or fewer, repeat process. Very frustrating. Like so many things in this era, it was made NOT to be repaired. Well, this afternoon, I had just said, rather loudly, to the Toro trimmer that it was a piece of crap and that it was made in China (same thing), and so it broke in half. Such is the power of verbal abuse. Also, when it broke in half, I wasn't expecting that to happen so my thumb was still pressing the power grip-thingie, so the cord sort of whipped out and slapped me on my upper inner thigh. Yesterday, I bled all over my shirt and the chair I was sitting on at the clinic because of the killer nosebleed. Today I bled all over my shorts, socks, and the sedum plant on my left because of the Toro trimmer breaking in half. After I took the bandanna off my head and stuck it in my undies to stop the bleeding, I sprayed my blood off the sedum. I still don't know if human blood, untreated, is a good fertilizer. But I thought it might attract mosquitoes. Bats? Anyway, it's a beautiful sedum and my blood detracted from that. My thigh is still bleeding slightly, but I now have a piece of duct tape wrapped over the bandanna and around my thigh, so I think it should stop soon.
I pulled up a lot of vetch out of the raspberry cane patch in back. Despite my best efforts, the vetch has grown tall and has flowered. It seems like I pull vetch for hours, enough to fill 4 compost bags, and it makes no difference. There's always more, just as tall, showing off their lavender flowers, seeding more. Damned vetch. I can't believe in the spring that I thought it was pretty and took some to Bachmann's to find out what it was called. Invasive plants are such heartbreakers. Face it, unless I follow Mr. Next Door's lawn guy's advice to burn the areas front, back, and sides of the house, and then put down Round-Up by the gallon, this vetch will be here, flowering merrily, long after I'm gone. Of course, I'm not going to do the poison. There's the dog to think of, and there's the world to think of. I don't own a bottle of Round-Up, much less gallons, and I will keep it that way. But burning it out is awfully appealing. I haven't the faintest idea of how to do a controlled burn, but, boy, is the idea appealing.
The loneliness. I just don't know what to do about it. I didn't see anyone yesterday, unless you count the clinic staff who cauterized my nose. I won't see anyone tomorrow. Monday, I suppose the receptionist will say hello to me in the morning. It's just bleak, that's all. Bleakness. Although I am someone who needs a bit of alone time to recharge, I was not meant to spent my whole life alone except for the dog. Sometimes I think I need to be burned out along with the vetch. I have no plans to see anyone this week, or in the indefinite future. Bleakness.
I was thinking of submitting a couple of poems to this online magazine I saw mentioned on Twitter. I guess it couldn't hurt to try. The worse they can say is no, and there's no entry fee or anything unfortunate like that. A man on Twitter mentioned that three of his poems were appearing in this online magazine. When I clicked on the link, his bio at the end of the poems mentioned that he had published poems in several what I am old enough to think of as "real" magazines, i.e., print ones. He also had published a book of poetry. So, I took from that that he, a published poet, thought enough of this particular online mag to think it was not some tacky beneath-him thing. On the other hand, I looked at their submissions page, and there's no indication that they only consider published authors, so I think I will give it a try. I don't know which of my poems to submit, though. The submission instructions said to submit several poems at a time.
I was at Target today, and, as usual, I looked at the tags on all of the dog beds for sale to see if any of the dogs shown on them were my Buddha. It seemed like the photographers liked him when we went to that studio, and they took a lot of photos of him. We were there for hours. But, nothing. There's this lady at work who doesn't like me, well, none of them do, but she's an odd sort who likes to find grudges and keep them -- I think someone once told her she should have a hobby and she picked getting her knickers in a twist -- well, she doesn't believe that Buddha has done any modeling. I guess she'd never heard of such a thing being done locally and it was her opinion that I was making it up. I said she was odd. The organization I work at is a gossipy place, with an undertone of malice, and a number of people have gone out of their way to tell me what she's said despite me saying I didn't care and didn't want to hear. Anyway, Buddha really has done modeling. I just never get to have any proof. The animal agent doesn't get proofs or samples often, and when she does, it's never something Buddha was in. I have shown people people his professional shots on the animal agent's website, and they're wonderful. NO ONE else has professional shots of their dog sitting in a booth at Bev's Cafe in Red Wing with a plate of eggs and bacon and a mug of coffee in front of him! I was so proud of him that day. No other dog of mine ever would have been able to pose like that, with Wisconsin bacon in front of him. And he loves coffee. To be honest, I'm disappointed never to have any proofs or samples. I keep checking Target's products to see if he's on the tag or the sign. I actually would buy a dog bed if it had him on the tag, just so I would have the tag and I could scan it or snap a picture of it and show it off. I suppose it might seem suspicious to some people when I said Buddha was chosen for a photo shoot and we went off to a studio in Minneapolis or wherever, and then I never have any proofs or samples or webshots to show off later. It actually feels like another failure. Something else that didn't work out. Perhaps I ruined it like I ruin everything else. I radiate failure, I think.
I've been trying to read again. Lately, it's been hard to keep my mind on the page. I've mostly been staring at pages, flipping past, reading the same page over again, and giving up. I am now reading an immense book on the history of Egypt's pharoahs. I enjoy history, but I have amazing gaps when it comes to knowledge of timelines. Evidently, the first dynasty of pharoahs was 2950 BC, King Tut was 1332 BC Ramses II (and I always think of him as Yul Brynner in The Ten Commandments) was 1279 BC, and Cleopatra VII (I always picture Elizabeth Taylor) was 51 BC. Of course, I knew that Egypt's pharoah era lasted a long time. I just don't have a real sense of how long that long time was, and what else was was happening in the non-Egypt world on the same timeline. In other words, before reading this book, I didn't put together in my mind that there were more than TWELVE centuries between Yul Brynner and Elizabeth Taylor. I sometimes think the only historically significant dates I've managed to keep in my head are 1066 AD and 33 AD, both of which are pretty small beer when it comes to Egypt's history. We always studied battles in my history classes. Battles and more battles. The kind of history that interests me is what did they eat? what did they wear? how much did a loaf of bread cost then and what percentage of a person's weekly income was that?