Saturday June 17, 2006
It’s entirely my own fault, of course. I should know better than to wish for a period of quiet idleness because when I get it I truly don’t know what to do with it. The time may come when I learn to fold my hands and watch the world go by but for now, even on an idle day, I still measure the effectiveness of my use of the time by how much new stuff I’ve learned. Or created.
And today, no matter how diligently I rewind and scan my memory tapes of it, I can discover nothing new in my head from another twenty-four hours of living. There are no matters arising.
I can attribute the cause of it to the limited intellectual horizons of my situation—living in a caravan between houses, with no books, no Internet, and a cat who, while entertaining in her own way, long since consigned the concept of intellectual horizons to the list of things you can’t eat, can’t kill, and can’t sleep upon. Useless, in other words.
I’ve tried explaining to her that intellectual horizons are my equivalent of the catnip mouse, something to play with, something to cover in drool, leave to dry out and moulder a little, and then rediscover in a slightly musty but interesting miasma of mummified odours. I count it a significant failure of communication skills on my part that my efforts have resulted in less than no success. Unless you count an impatient feline snort as a measure of success, that is.
I poddled up to the bar to watch the sun go down over a glass of brandy and dry ginger ale [I still haven’t managed to discover why we call dry ginger ale ‘American’], hoping that the last little rosy blink as it sank beneath the waves would give my brain cells a kick in the right direction. Didn’t work. I even went so far as to hold out my glass for a refill, thinking that a second slug of brandy might have the desired effect if I sipped it while watching the transistion of the sea and sky from silver to indigo. That didn’t work, either. Just made me feel a little buzzed, and added slightly to the roll in my gait as I waddled back to the caravan for my dinner.
I munched my way through a plate of meatballs, mashed potato and green peas with considerable enjoyment, washed the dishes, and then sat down to watch a movie on TV. There were three of them, broadcast simultaneously on different channels. I flicked idly from one to the other, found nothing in any of them to spark my interest, and slipped into a comfortable late evening doze until Graham came home shortly before one o’clock in the a.m.
“How did your day go?” I asked as I made him a mug of tea to go with his meatballs and mash supper.
“Nothing special. How was yours?”
“Oh, much the same.”