Such a contrast on the penultimate weekend of the Monkey Year. "You're
always welcome here" countered with, more or less, you're not welcome
here, go away, sleep outside and come back tomorrow to talk about it.
Yes, when I got to the Black
Hole on Sunday evening, I was told I was
"suspended" because I hadn't responded to the questionnaire.
I assume they had put the thing into the mailroom, but if they had taken a
moment to look at their computerized records, they would have seen that I
did not want the mail option at the Black Hole so I naturally never check
for mail there.
Even if that was too much of an effort, couldn't they have just handed me
a copy of the questionnaire and asked me to complete it before spending
Too reasonable, I guess.
So I went first to the old GovSanc2 but at a little past midnight some
people wearing "Sheriff" jackets chased me away. Nearby I found a dark
corner spot where I could hide, and I've stayed there each night
since. No sheriffs or security patrols, but there is an early wake-up
call when the newspapers are delivered (the first one arrives just after
three in the morning).
My body is having some difficulty in adjusting to the reduced sleep time,
but then I was spending much more time than I really needed in dreamland
so it's probably for the best ... or will be, once I adjust.
Seasonly, of course, it's very bad timing because it has been almost
constantly gray skies and continuous rain or drizzle and it's quite cool.
I added to my wardrobe a
lightweight shirt, part cashmere wool (the first time I've worn wool in
many years), after the
Oh well, as Gilda so aptly said, "it's always something."
Grubby has been spotted. I think he must have gotten himself banned from
the mall again because he stays at the bus stop on the fringe and makes
quick forays into the mall to check ashtrays and trashcans in the early
morning hours. Joe Guam is still missing.
I listened to the State of the Union address, thought the highlight was
when the opposition said loudly, "no, no, no". First time I've heard the
United States Congress sound so much like Britain's House of Commons.
(You will no doubt have heard that the response was to Bush2's Chicken
Little attitude to the future of Social Security.) At least the creep
said that those of us over 55 can expect no changes. If one can trust
him, which is extremely doubtful.
Preface: don't waste your time urging me to see a doctor.
It seems quite possible that I had a mild stroke in my sleep on the last
Thursday of the Monkey. What is certain is that I suddenly awoke and had
to vomit. And when the newspaper man arrived and woke me for the new day,
my right arm seemed to have lost its strength. The hand has lost most
of its dexterity. I have great difficulty reaching into my right pants
pocket to get coins out.
If both arms and hands had been affected, I'd be in big trouble.
It would be very good if this is just some temporary thing, but in the
meantime I have to re-educate myself to using the left hand more often.
I hadn't noticed before what a weak grip I have with the left hand. Shall
I hire a boy to open my beer bottles for me?
How sweet it would be if the Dark Corner had a wider wall. It is so
narrow I can't really sleep too deeply for fear of tumbling off into the
surrounding greenery. So most of the time, I emulate the Duchess and
Well, catnap, anyway.
People. People who need people ...
A long-time reader made a rare visit to the mall on Saturday evening
to check, in-person, whether I was okay. Sunday morning, the Cat Lady
came to the Grove and we had a most amusing chat. She was delighted by
the "President story", shook my hand and congratulated me on meeting him,
something she hasn't yet managed to do. Later in the day, a man stopped
and asked "are you the guy who has been putting the books up there?"
(gesturing toward the former post office building). Indeed, I've long
made a habit of leaving finished books on a little sheltered counter
there. He gave me a book and thanked me for my contributions.
No newspaper delivery at the Dark Corner on the weekends, so I was able to
sleep a bit later. Although it is, without question, not as comfortable
physically, it is preferable to the Black Hole. The anxiety, of course,
is being discovered and evicted and then where ... ?
We have dozens, probably hundreds of habits, routine ways of doing things.
And when suddenly we are prevented by our body from following those ways,
it is quite disconcerting. It has improved a little. I've been doing
what would seem logical "rehabilitation" exercises, making a fist and
squeezing, doing elbow bends. There's so little strength. I can manage
to hold a cigarette between my middle and index finger, but if I should
drop it, I can't pick it up. My usual routine is to open a bottle of
beer, hold the cap in my hand while I also hold the camouflage bottle to
fill or re-fill it from the main bottle. Can't do that ... the right hand
will not multi-task. But at least I'm able to twist the cap on the main
bottle. For the first two days, that was a MAJOR task. I thought I'd
have to buy some kind of tool.
Perhaps most bizarre is the difficulty in brushing teeth. But with only
eight real ones left, maybe that's not important.
Most annoying, though, is that I can't use a pen without extreme
difficulty. I tried to write a postcard to Felix and gave up after the
first shakey sentence. Guess I'll have to use the computer, print it out
and paste it on a postcard.
Well, maybe it will get better ...
As I told the reader, if my body is going to start crumbling, please just
collapse all at one time, not do it bit by bit.