At three this morning an owl landed somewhere in the woods, nearby, and began to hoot. The Residents lifted nary a head but the Cousins decided to bark at the owl. I smelled it before I felt it and certainly couldn’t see it, but fog had arrived with the owl. It was an odd thing; I can already tell Marco Ladakh’s bark from Greyson Charlotte’s. Marco isn’t sleeping on the porch and that’s odd. Marco was already in the woods when the owl arrived. The residents finally go charging out and I go with them because sleep and I have broken up again. It was an uneasy relationship.
I have that thought, that very thought, about breaking up with sleep, or rather sleep broke up with me; I pursued her too hard and for too long, and that thought reminded me of a women I once knew a very long time ago that I pursued for a very long time and it was very hard. The terrible thing about the internet is that you can, in just a few seconds, summon ghosts. I can’t remember seeing, or not seeing to be exact, fog this heavy in many years and there’s a correlation to be run here, between trying to see at night in the fog and trying to sort out the past when it comes to women. I hear the owl take flight and I wonder if Marco is sleeping in the woods now. That dog loves him some trees and leaves.
And yes, I am sleeping with the windows open in August. It’s been ungodly hot during the day but the rain, the constant never ending rain, keeps things cool at night. I like the smell of the night in Summer with all its decay and heaviness there is a sense of strength and power of life. I’m going to regret not sleeping in just a few hours but I always regret not sleeping. Even when I sleep with regret.
Sometimes memory serves us very well, like when at work some critical number or date or fact falls out of the skull like mana from heaven. Then there are times when it works more like one of those pachinko machines where there’s a thousand different ways a ball can land and lo! There is it is. I just remembered, for no good reason at all, that I forgot to take the trash to the road yesterday. I don’t generate enough garbage to take my trash can with wheels to the road once a week but I take my neighbor’s for her and she’s ninety-five. It’s important. It’s a big deal. She frets when things don’t go the way they are supposed to go. I could just let it go this week and nothing would come of it, but suppose next week there’s a torrential downpour or locusts? Yeah, I’m more than a little OCD about this sort of thing too. I begin to fret and worry about getting the trash cans with wheels on them, and honestly, is there really a good noun for these things, to the road because there is truly some serious fog going on.
Speaking of nouns, I’m going to look up the name for those moths whose larvae invade anything not sealed in the kitchen. Rice, flour, sugar (yes, please) or even birdseed, is subject to their invasion. One lands on my arm during breakfast and I slap it. This means they’re into something and I can’t figure out what it might be yet. In the meantime the place on my arm that I slapped and brought down the moth begins to itch. Damn, the moth bit me. Moths don’t bite or sting and I know this but there the welt is. I know a moth when I see one so I know the moth didn’t leave that mark but still… I get to thinking maybe I got bit outside and it’s just showing up. Uh huh. Right. I got Killer Moths.
It’s not only foggy but the visibility is nearly zero. This is a hell of a time to be taking the trash out to the road and thankfully, the little crazy girl dog that sleep under my neighbor’s carport says nothing to me or about me as I load up the noun-less container of trash with wheels on it. Just as I pull away from my neighbor’s house my right hand catches fire. Now, there’s no doubt about the assailant even in the dark. Fireants, one of the few creatures in the Universe I would banish to total extinction without a moment of doubt or remorse. One, or more than one, has tagged me up proper in between my little finger and my ring finger, not that I would wear a ring on any finger, mind you. If someone were to tell me that Hell would be an inch deep in fireants and the only true path to salvation was through being a Jehovah’s Witness I would be knocking on doors and leaving Watchtowers like used condoms at a Drive In theater that shows porn all night.
Now I have the Creepies. I can feel things crawling all over me. I can feel every hair on my legs. I can feel the tiny, tiny, hairs on my head crawling around like drunk soccer fans doing the wave in the fog. Worse, far, far, worse, I begin to think there might be fireants on my legs, migrating fireants, heading steadily up, higher and higher, an army of them, mind you, mindless stinging machine squirrel-like looking for nuts for the winter. When I get to the end of the driveway the plan is to do as much dancing as it takes to get them off of me, if they are on me, and oh by the way, if I got more than one, I got them from the nameless wheeled devices whose function is to hold waste. First, my left leg heads off in a direction all its own. The end of the driveway is two inches thick in slippery mud. My groin muscles, such as they are, will remind me of this for the next month. I have to get both of the devices we do not name out of the back of the truck while avoiding fireants, trying not to slip in the mud, and wondering if a vehicle will come out of the fog and end all my theological questions once and for all.
All of this goes off without a hitch, I mean, any more than I have already hitched my groin muscles, but once back in the truck I realize there is a quarter of an acre of mud still on my boots. I stop, yes, stop, in the middle of the road and knock them mud off my boots and marvel that nothing has attacked me in at least five minutes.
Fog makes people stupid. They drive too fast, too close to the centerline, with their brights on and they tailgate more. Someone gets behind me and I feel like stopping, getting out, walking back to their car, and telling them, “You know, being that close to someone is a form of flirting in some places, but I’m really not interested in anyone who would be better off getting kicked out of the gene pool, would you like a copy of Watchtower?”
Once at the office I find two sting marks on me; one on my arm and one on my right hand. The swelling is pretty decent but there are no migration waves. I’m off the road, out of harm’s way, and coffee.
And finally, Friday.