In news reports about this horrible murder of the two on the news crew, there were bits about Flanagan's claim that the newscaster he gunned down, Alison Par...
Saturday, September 17, 2011
The awful news came just as I began a week's substitute dog-walking for a friend. After working out the kinks in the schedule to my pace, I've been walking from 7.30 or 8 until 4 or 5 with a one-hour break, with a couple of evening walks to finish out the day. It will save my ass for a minute when I had counted on it to act as a bridge until I started teaching near the end of the month.
And then my courses were canceled.
I had to make the Call.
You know the one. "Hi -- [snivel] -- Dad...."
Is there a more humiliating call to make?
Yes. The next time I have to do it.
This week has, until the break of Saturday, saved me from worrying too much about it. There is always a sudden dog to go board with, I reasoned as Daisy & I packed off to do so. I found 43 cents on the sidewalks yesterday. At least I've caught up with other things that had dropped to new lows: doggie bags, dishes. At least I'll have a good three weeks to write five chapters.
I have to say that I am tired of having a bad year. 2009 was a bad year. My mother died. 2010 was a bad year. Two months in a cast, my book bombed, Zoloft went funky on me. 2011 has been a hard year. A difficult student during winter quarter, three quarters in a row in which I haven't taught, always countingcountingcounting (Blitzen is six walks this week and four next...150 dollars...can I pay off that Visa yet?).
But this piece of bad news is the worst because I have absolutely no savings. I was planning to pay a lot of bills this fall. I was looking forward to the occasional movie or Chinatown back-rub. I was finally going to be able to relax
well, once I got my book turned in.
I still have that little chore.
Ever have a good idea for a book & then see it? That happened to me yesterday via Twitter.
And I have so few ideas for new books.
Still. I am holding myself very tightly to focus on what's going right. I can actually (with the help of a few drugs) DO the walking. One of the dogs did not hide in the fireplace when I picked him up today. Beanie, a shy Lab, comes quite briskly to me, her owner says. I'm ten days abstinent and the weather went from warm and clammy to cool and dry which means I had to put on my favorite salmon pink corduroy jacket. The sleeves are roomier than the last time I had it on. I have to be out & about in a way I haven't been in years, visible & accountable. I'm enjoying my iPod at last & feel intimate with the music. The world is full of strange things -- loose change, fragile Christmas ornaments in the gutter, overheard comments like, "Urdu, Urdu, Urdu -- shit, man."
I need to get back into the Rooms but this time I want to change the emphasis in the Serenity Prayer from "accept the things I cannot change" to "courage to change the things I can". That prayer fucked me up with the initial emphasis on acceptance. Give me a test for post-traumatic stress disorder and I pass with flying colors from the women I worked for a decade and more ago. I survived by clinging to acceptance. I was even graciously accepting of having my courses canceled ("This must be so stressful for you," I wrote my department head). Several times a week I dream about those women, about begging for my job back at no pay or other scenarios.
I want to close out 2011 by being able to say it was a hard rather than a bad year. I want to change things. I want to have normal nightmares about werewolves and falling and fire. I want to be the first to have a good book idea.