Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Kitchen window

Living Alone

I finally have the incredible luxury to do whatever I want. My time is my own. I have no set schedule: can stay up as late as I wish, sleep in as late as I can, eat when I'm hungry, and don't have to worry about the needs of anyone who expects me to feed them, talk to them, listen to them, or to do what they want when I don't. I consider this a luxury. Others might consider it a lonely, sad, wasted life. For a writer, time to be alone with something to say is like food for the soul. Other's might find my solitary life dull beyond belief. I luxuriate in it. I have achieved my life's ambition--to live a quiet, peaceful, solitary life with time to write.

I have friends who come to visit me, but they all know that dropping in on me is not the thing to do. I need a little warning that company is coming. My cottage is not accessible without coming through a locked gate with Roscoe in the yard. Roscoe is the big, yellow Lab you've seen in photos I post on days when I have nothing to say and still want to hear from you. Some of you have commented that Roscoe looks like the sort of sweetie who would welcome anyone--this is not the case. Roscoe is the best guard dog I have ever known. He hates all men just on general principle. If I have scheduled work on the house, and have a strange man coming over, he has to call me when he arrives out front, so I can meet him at the gate. Roscoe will be aggressive toward strange men, so it is important that a man coming into the yard listen to my instructions. I say, "Don't look at Roscoe. Talk directly to me. As long as I seem unalarmed by your presence, Roscoe will behave. He minds me, but don't try to pet him. Don't talk to him. He's a guard dog. It's his job to protect. As long as I don't seem worried about you, he won't be aggressive. Some men will not come into the yard even after I assure them that if they follow my instructions they will be safe. I'm fine with that. Better they should be afraid to enter the property, than think they can ignore my warnings about Roscoe. And if they won't take my instructions about a dog, they won't listen to what I want them to do on the house, won't take me seriously.

Cyrus, though huge and scary looking, is the gentlest dog I've ever known. His nine years as a shelter dog has left it's mark on him. From his behavior, I'd say he probably had some very hard times. He wears the scars of battle with other dogs. He's terrified of any sound that might be gunshot. This coming month is going to be hard on Cryus. The occasional firework is popping off almost every night now. And in Utah we have two holidays that require huge fireworks displays and they are in my vicinity. He was probably kenneled most of the time. So, for Cyrus, my small house is probably like a very luxurious kennel with company. He has three beds: one by my computer, and one on either side of my bed. He is content to hang with me. The only time he willingly leaves the house is when I get up in the morning. I fix myself my first latte of the morning, grab my smokes and out we go. He does what he needs to do and then wants to go quickly back into the house. I fix his breakfast and give him his morning meds. Then usually I sit down in front of the computer.

I get email alerts from several news sources, so the minute I touch the space bar about six emails await my perusal. I check the blog. I check my heddaspam email. If nothing's urgent there, I turn on MSNBC and check the days news stories. Usually this is a huge disappointment since Contessa Brewer or Bruster or whatever the fuck her name is, is always annoying to me. I'm not sure what it is about her--maybe it's her voice, or her long hair, or her slightly vapid way of covering a particular story--but whatever it is, I find myself saying , "Shut the fuck up!" at least a couple of times every half hour.

I take a break from this strenuous schedule mid-day for a walk with Cyrus. He doesn't want to leave the house, but he is obedient. I say, "Let's go for a walk, Cyrus." He pretends he doesn't hear me, but when I put my straw hat on, grab a couple of grocery bags and his leash, he gets up and follows me out, but he will not leave the yard unless he's on leash. He walks well with me, no pulling or resistance. He's a good dog.

So, there you have it, my small life. Oddly, it is you I find most interesting. Your interests, your lives, your passions that are most engaging to me these days. I envy some of you your skills with this technology. Dcup, at Politits, has the most beautiful site. She not only writes well, she is also a terrific photographer and graphic artist. I have the feeling she does everything well. She's a wife, mother, writer, cook, photographer, artist and working woman. If that old Helen Reddy song, I Am Woman, applied to anyone, it is Dcup:

You can bend but never break me
'cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
And I come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer
'cause you've deepened the conviction in my soul