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Postrapture Post May 23, 2011

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

I am still here. Sue’s daughter apparently graduated. She’s the only one of her family I’ve seen on Facebook, but I imagine that if any of the rest of them had been taken up in the rapture that Katie would have noticed and made some sort of announcement.

I hope you are all still here too.

Because of course, rapture or no rapture, not everyone is still here. On Friday, my neighbor rushed to her dying father’s bedside, where the prognosis was “two hours to two days.” I got the call on Saturday afternoon—while attending an almost-Thanksgiving–themed party—that he had died at 2:30 that day. I sat on the sunny porch, taking in the magnificent view, talking and crying with Lynda, then tried to depuff my eyes and nose before returning to the boisterous and joyful gathering of friends who had already polished off the devastatingly delicious mashed potatoes.

And this morning the news of the tornado in Joplin, Missouri,* where the death toll at this hour stands at eighty-nine.

Not everyone is still here.

Every day people are taken up or taken away. And to many of us who are still here, it feels like taken away.

*Coincidentally mentioned in today’s Writer’s Almanac as the town where Bonnie and Clyde, killed seventy-seven years ago today, “were nearly caught at a rented apartment . . . in 1933.”

The Weight May 20, 2011

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

I stepped on the scale yesterday. I hardly ever do that. But I figured it was time to check in.

And I saw a number I haven’t seen in years. A number I like. A number that’s a couple less than the low end of my average range. I stepped on and off the scale several times. It held.

Given that my waist is expanding (I was forced to measure this week for mail-order purposes), I was even more surprised. I was expecting the opposite news.

That this low number showed up on day 4 of an alcohol fast gives me mixed feelings. Sunday night, after a weekend of imbibing, Tim and I pinky-promised that we wouldn’t drink a drop of alcohol til at least Thursday night. Yes, we actually pinky-promised, mimicking and mocking two people we had just seen on TV. The pinky part was a joke. The promise part wasn’t.

I didn’t really miss my happy hour til Wednesday afternoon, when I both (a) began to fantasize about having a really great glass of wine with dinner and (b) was feeling extremely depressed (likely because of four straight days of clouds and rain) and was ready to self-medicate.

But I resisted. I didn’t have wine with dinner. I didn’t have any of that fabulous beer in the basement. I didn’t have a martini or a bourbon on the rocks.

And yesterday I weighed less.

Maybe it’s coincidence. It’s probably coincidence. Even with the massive reduction in calories, I couldn’t have lost a couple of pounds that quickly. It’s a fluke. A low fluctuation. I’ll be right back up tomorrow.

Maybe I have cancer. Unexplained weight loss is one of the signs.*

I like this number. I also like booze.


It’s just a number.

*For the record, I realize that a couple of pounds doesn’t count as “unexplained weight loss.”

The Rapture May 19, 2011

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

Saturday, as you’ve likely heard, is the rapture. Christians will be taken up with Christ. If you don’t happen to be taken up, you will be here for the end of the world in 2012. At least this is my understanding.

Yesterday I called my friend Sue, whose daughter graduates from college on Sunday. “What if she’s taken up in the rapture?” I asked. “On the day before she graduates? After a couple hundred–plus thousand dollars, wouldn’t that piss you off?”

“If she’s taken,” said Sue, menacingly, “they better take the whole family.”

I do not expect to be taken up. For those who remain, are we all doomed to hell?

I’m hoping that some of you will be around after Saturday to keep me company. I guess if you are taken up in the rapture, I will have to be happy for you, but I will miss you. Let’s meet here on Monday, OK? I want to find out who’s still around.

My Last Cigarette May 13, 2011

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

I’ve been working on updating a client’s quit-smoking pamphlet. This exercise reminds me how greatly relieved I am that I don’t smoke. I can’t imagine taking all that shit into my body all the time. Worse, I can’t imagine having to quit such a strong addiction. It sounds impossible. (My job, of course, is to make it sound possible.)

I don’t mean to imply that I don’t have vices or addictions. I have different ones.

And it’s not as if I’ve never smoked. I’ve smoked a few cigarettes. I’ve smoked other things, too: the occasional pipe, for example. The annual fishing-trip cigar. Parsley, once, when my sister and I were teenaged and bored and desperate and thought, what the hell? You know. Other things.

When I took a recent phone survey, I fell into the category of “less than 100 cigarettes in my lifetime.” I’ve never bought cigarettes. But sometimes I’d smoke in bars with my friends.

I remember my first cigarette. I was completely disinterested in them, but I was smoking another thing at the time, and I was told that the menthol in a cigarette would give a boost to the experience I was attempting. It took some convincing to get me to give it a try. I don’t remember any boost.

I remember my last cigarette too. Well, I thought I did, anyway.

For a long time, my last cigarette was one in a bar with my friend Kim. I smoked about four, and my mouth tasted like an ash tray for more than two days. I swore them off. Not worth it.

But then one night, the old gang of eight was at Craig’s house, and we all went outside, possibly for a lunar eclipse or some celestial something. We were out in the streets for awhile and ended up in the front yard. Ramberto began to smoke. One of the rest of us, a nonsmoker, bummed a cigarette. Soon we all had, and we shared this sweet smoke together in the warmth of the night. And that was my last (and lovely) cigarette.

Except, according to everyone else, this is a false memory.

First, I checked with Craig. I asked if he remembered it. I said maybe Dewey and Maria Elena had been there as well. He replied, “It was a lunar eclipse, though I don’t remember the smoking. I’m pretty sure Phoebe was there too. We stood in the middle of Clara Street, where we could get an unobstructed view of the sky—the trees were too close in my yard for a clear shot.”

But Phoebe couldn’t have been there if it was the eight, because Phoebe never met some of them. And Craig says Dewey and Maria Elena were never at his house.

I asked Sue (another of the eight) if she remembered the incident, and she replied, “I don’t know much, but I do know this—never happened. The only eclipse I experienced with Ramberto was ‘the total eclipse of his mind.’”

Obviously, she and Ramberto have since had some issues. So I’m thinking that maybe, then, she blocked the memory—after all, I’ve been known to purposely do this when someone pisses me off.

Next I asked Tim if he remembered. He did not. Not at all.

If Tim doesn’t remember, that might mean that he’d already moved to Vermont, in which case the Phoebe-being-there thing is more likely to be accurate. If Sue and the gang of eight were there, it was the early 1990s; if it was Phoebe and no Tim, it was 1995. I think Craig must be right on this one.

What astounds me is that this particular memory—one I’ve held onto as warm and cozy and dear, the memory of my very last cigarette—is in fact cobbled together from bits and pieces of this night and that one, this person and that one. Perhaps it became addled by this martini and that one.

Because I swear I’m not smoking something else.

Imperative May 10, 2011

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

Get the mail. Greet the neighbor. Face the music. Make a list. Tidy the office. Sort the laundry. Edit copy. Find the money. Call the repairman. Work out. Smell the roses. Sweep the porch.

Send the letter. Make the bed. Pack the clothes. Put out the trash. Wash the dishes. Water the plant. Call the parents. Hang the painting. Bike the trail. Go fishing. Mend the line. Kiss me.

Clean the basement. See the doctor. Rock the Casbah. Drop the pilot. Flex some muscle. Turn up the volume. Dance all night. Box the gnat. Defrost tamales. Rush to yoga. Screen the call. Take that off.

Jump into water. Climb that mountain. Nibble an earlobe. Lick a cone. Make a joke. Take a chance. Change the message. Plant a seed. Dry off. Go to sleep. Draw conclusions. Enter here.

Be careful. Stem the tide. Mind the gap. Fill the tank. Change the tires. Pay the man. Read the fine print. Balance the checkbook. Turn the heat down. Walk the line. Jump through hoops. Touch me there.

Take a hike. Break a leg. Take a load off. Hide the candy. Sing a song. Feed the birds. Raise a glass. Bring it on. Balance and swing. Rinse and repeat. Wait for me. Be sure.

Lose the attitude. Blend in. Write the piece. Meditate. Grill cheese. Ice cream. Count chickens. Plan a party. Set the timer. Guess what. Hide in the attic. Never mind.

Chill the wine. Take that pearl. Turn a cartwheel. Laugh a lot.

Feel this heartbeat. Breathe deep.

Watch this.