1.17.2011

Backup

I wonder what cats think about the wind when they go outside? It's gusting into the 40mph range tonight; maybe it smells interesting to them. This has been a rough weekend for me from a physio-psychological standpoint. That would translate: my body hurts as does my mind. I swung a sledgehammer at some concrete for six hours on Friday. Over and over I slammed the heavy hammer into the concrete, measuring my progress by each new fracture in the surface and each chunk cleaved away to be piled up and hauled off. I was being paid money to transform my muscles into knotted clumps of pain and to bruise my hands until they didn't work. They still don't: my right thumb is tender and swollen two days later and I can barely turn a doorknob. I was too ignorant to realize that my humble request for a jackhammer should have been an absolute demand, but that's beside the point. The point is that I've been punished adequately. If I can make a fist in the next three days I'll be happy. My car wouldn't start today. I wanted to make a trip to the store. A shot of pain ran through my thumb as I turned the key gingerly in the lock, rattling it back and forth as is currently required by the quirky mechanism. Cold start valves, fuel lines and head gaskets all came to mind as the engine repeatedly struggled to start and dieseled to nothing. When it finally turned over, I had the foresight to drive around the block before attempting a more ambitious distance. The result confirmed my suspicions: half a block and the hesitant acceleration returned until a desperate bid to re-park ended in the engine sputtering and cutting out just as I squared off the parking job. I was back where I started, thankfully, as thoughts of stripping the plates and VIN numbers and setting the poor goddamn thing on fire had become more and more relevant at the thought of another towing bill. I've always liked cats. I drank a couple bottles of beer and walked to my friend's place in the late evening. I saw a couple of cats during my walk, as the breeze was picking up and blowing leaves and trash around the in the streets. Cats have a very intuitive way of emoting. What I mean is: they have an understated elegance in their movements and expressions that has always come across favorably for me. I feel a sort of understanding, you could say, with cats. On the way home, the moon was out in fits and starts between the fast, silent clouds. I saw someone open the door of a small house to let their cat out; with an unintelligible statement they closed the door again. Wind was blowing as I crossed the overpass at 50th, enough so that I was blown to a stop several times. Yesterday I didn't get up much from my chair. I read through the oft-frivolous miasma of the internet until my eyes hurt as much as my back and hands. I'll bet that If I were 20 years old I could handle the ridiculous hazing that happens when you start a job in construction. I wouldn't know better. I'd swing that fucking hammer and forget about it until the next time. Now I know better, but only after the fact. Ten years has taught me to attempt to recognize mistakes, just not always before they actually happen. Ten years and I'm still grovelling in the muck of bullshit work that always claims its pound of flesh, weighing it out heavier and heavier the older I get. Sometimes I know when to just laugh and turn my back on the whole goddamn thing, but that's not saying much. Cats, at least, are reliable in that: they live their lives their way. When they fail, they've got eight more as backup.

1 comment:

  1. When we fail, we have every moment after to get back up and start over. You just have to remember to get back up. Just remember it's what makes life interesting.

    ReplyDelete