With pen in hand
I sit and wait
Wondering what images
The Muse will deliver.
Some are bleak
And pain me so
But I write them anyway.
For in doing so
Releases me from
Demons I may not realize.
Or frees me of wounds
Buried long ago
Whether I share them
Is entirely up
The noise upstairs is
deafening and causes despair.
They’re fighting again.
I know you’re thinking, “What a strange title?” but to those of us with limited vision or a chronic debilitating disease, this title makes perfect sense. So many of us have to struggle to accomplish simple tasks like buttoning a shirt or even rising off the commode unattended that (if accomplished) we’d do cartwheels if we could!
Once there was a time when I’d get in my car and drive anywhere alone (even downtown E. St. Louis, IL which used to be like Ferguson, MO is now). I was never afraid because I trusted my car and my judgment, but those days are gone. Now I have to stay away from crowded cities because traffic moves too fast; (yes, even in little Ozark, AL) and my poor eyes just can’t adjust to the changes that quickly.
So today was a real treat for me. The daily rain had finally stopped; so I climbed into the car and drove to the Ozark Post Office. Traffic was north and south bound on US 231 so all I had to do was cross it and continue past Hardee’s to the post office. Hardee’s Mushroom & Swiss Burgers were so tempting that I used the drive thru and got one which I ate at the post office in a sort of “memorial picnic” like I used to have with my son, Bernard Jr, so long ago.
We used to drive to a fast food drive thru in Cahokia and then go to the park where we would “picnic” in the car and then he would go play with other kids on the playground. Since he was an only child, we did this quite often, especially if there were no Parents Without Partners’ family functions to attend. If it was a Sunday, I’d read the newspaper while he played and when he got tired we’d go feed the ducks and swans. He still likes to feed the birds and he and his beautiful wife, Alexa, still do.
I know this doesn’t sound very exciting to you, but the day may come when doing such mundane things will be a godsend and help trigger cherished memories that you never dreamed could become so priceless; so spend those moments making mud pies with your daughter or playing basketball with your son; take Grandpa to the park and watch him smile as he feeds the squirrels; or take Grandma to the beauty shop and then Dairy Queen like Bernie and I used to do for Grandma. Trust me, the day will come when you’ll be so glad you did! Onward…
I hope y’all will give me a cyber pat on the back because I finally finished the requested Social Security disability paperwork. It was quite difficult for me because I just couldn’t find a way to truthfully say, I sit on my butt most of the day because I’m afraid of falling when I go outside.
The question that baffled me was about what I did all day. I had to ponder that for 2 whole days, and finally wrote it up at 2:30 AM. Eventually I did get around to admitting my falling fear, and do hope it makes me sound normal if there is such a thing.
After mailing off the dreaded paperwork, I called the Mobile (AL) office to inform them (because my 10 days was way past due).
Nobody answered the phone and I couldn’t remember the rep’s extension; so I redialed and this time pressed “0” for the operator. The phone rang and rang. I stopped counting after 10 rings and finally hung up. Then I went rummaging around for something with the rep’s extension number. When I called back I immediately got her and we chatted a bit.
Now I can truthfully say I understand why people get so frustrated with the government bureaucracy. When I worked for St Louis’ OSHA office we spent $20,000 of our budget buying a computer phone system like the one I heard this morning, but weren’t allowed to really use it because our Regional Administrator wanted a live person answering phones.
I must admit that after this morning I can understand why people get so frustrated and mistrust the government, especially since I sometimes feel that way too. But I like to think that things haven’t changed that much in the 13 years I’ve been retired from government service, and hope that together we can make it better. Onward…
Walked to the mailbox and hoped to see a letter with happy news or some money.
Neither was found; just more bills to ponder and worry over.
No wonder I rarely venture out to the box. Just can’t stand the angst I discover inside.
Can’t help but wonder if that’s the reason why sending letters is so out of season!