Not the delicious dairy product that makes Thai ice tea so tasty and addictive. Not even living at the middle of the world. Well, kind of about that. It's partially about night and day sharing equally...all year long. I live only a few minutes (latitude-wise) north of the equator and because of that, the sun rises and sets at pretty much the same time every single day. No more early dark cold winters in eastern Washington, but that also means no long, languorous warm summer nights there either.
I suppose it means that I live in two different worlds as well. Six months in South America and six in the States. Just when I'm getting used to one, I shoot off to another. In my early college years, I used to imagine myself to be a true fan of change. I loved demonstrations and political debate, lying across I-5 and hitch-hiking and experimentation. All things new. No measly 50% in those days. But then I met my wife and my future daughter and those percentages changed. Became diluted. Good old selfishness went by the wayside. Ninety...eighty...seventy....sixty....oh God, fifty. And it all dipped way below the equator when our son was born. Filthy little charmer/manipulator that he was/is.
So half and half possibly could be a step up in the numbers. Like George W. Bush's second term popularity numbers, mine have been pretty low since becoming a parent. Maybe it's time to let the children go. They are, after all, 46 and 35. I notice I'm biting my fingers as I write this. Can they make it on their own? Who's going to raise the grandchildren? Will they ignore us and say, "Thanks for nothing."? It has always been "fun" being a parent. Even the vomit and losing the big game and midnight calls from worried parents and boyfriends who have no interest at all in soup. But parenting an adult. It's like being only half a parent. As in being introduced as "the wolves who raised me". So if I'm now only half a parent, then what's the other half? I suppose it means being a normal human being again. But having never been a normal human being, how would I know? It's not exactly going back to being a pre-parent. Which was a whole hell of a lot of fun, if I am recalling correctly. But then I currently only have half a brain working.
It seems the actual reason for writing this particular peripatetic post is to distract myself from the real task at hand. I will get this current manuscript finished. I will. I will. It's way more than halfway done, much like its author. I feel a need to finish and finish well. I can always re-write and edit and make it more like I want it to be. The manuscript, I mean. Not my life. No re-writes there. Grammatically speaking, I've lived a pretty good one. I wouldn't delete much of it. Well, maybe that one thing, but it wasn't my fault and they can't prove anything. I've certainly had plenty of editors in my life , who have given me advice on how to live it. "Of course, you're always the final judge about whether you want to make these corrections because it is, after all, your life we're talking about." This should sound familiar to other authors.
But I have always been a morning writer. Normal mornings. Not half and half mornings. Sun's up at 6:00 a.m. here. Much too early to think about sitting in front of the computer. I need coffee, some generous sitting around time (thank you, Maria Bamford, for that phrase), some decent arguments, a few worker type interruptions and missing Oxford commas before I can expect to do my real work. By that time it's close to noon and I can start thinking/wondering about lunch, which should happen around 2:00 p.m. And then after lunch, which is at, say, 4:00 p.m., there are only a couple of hours of light left in the day. And I need that time for reflection.
It's not easy being a not even close to famous author, what with all the hoping and dreaming interrupting the flow of genius, but it's a job somebody's got to do. And just maybe, I'm already halfway there.
I am in an apartment now because the workers on our house cannot seem to reach the point where we can live/work in harmony together. This apartment is across the street from a Franciscan Nuptial Hall, whatever that means. Not that I have anything against St. Francis, what with his affinity for animals and such. No, it's just that the place seems like a sad anachronism when you take in to account everything that's going on around it. And maybe that's always been the case with the Franciscans; there has always been something potentially distracting going on around them through the centuries. I guess for the purposes of full disclosure I should now report that I am not Catholic, have never been a Catholic, although I once wore a St. Christopher's medal for about a month, and it is not my intention to offend anyone who is or might be thinking of becoming one. I only have two affiliations with the Catholic Church: (1) I once had a roommate who was a convert, who whooped it up on Saturday nights and then quite piously visited the priest sometime the next day. And (2) There was a period of time when I conducted psych evaluations on prospective priest candidates from Latin America because I happened to be able to communicate in Spanish.
Garbage trucks play music here. You can hear the innocent voices of children lifting from afar on a recording that repeats itself twice a minute. Their song implores us all to be ecologically minded and to separate our trash: set out our inorganic materials on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; our organic on the rest of the days of the week. Being able to hear this song from afar gives me plenty of time to hustle around the apartment and collect whatever type of trash is on tap for the day and get it down to the street, tied on a fence up high so the street dogs don't get to it, before the garbagemen arrive to take it to some unnamed, but I'm sure perfectly sanitary location. I like to hear the voices of the garbage choir.
But today, for some reason known only to God or to the Department of Sanitation, the Franciscans decided to chant, and not just chant, but chant at the same time that my beloved refuse truck was approaching. I am not opposed to things Gregorian, calendars or otherwise, but I have to tell you, a good old fashioned serious dirge-like chant just does not go well with a garbage-themed children's tune. I tried desperately to make out what the chanting was all about, but sadly failed to decipher even one single word. Perhaps it was a chant about the need to separate other types of garbage and to place it in the hands of some other higher power besides the Sanitation Department.