It’s raining here in Atlanta, and the groundskeeper is on his mower clipping away at the campus green. I’m watching from my office window and having no feelings of adoration, which is odd because I’m always adoring something: a pile of dry leaves, a robin’s nest, a neurotic squirrel. Yet today, I feel no love at all for the great clods of wet grass lying in clumps on the lawn.
A friend came by to fix dinner the other day. “Let me go through your cupboards before I draw up my shopping list,” he said. I tell him that all of the exotic spices he bought last time are still in there because, unlike him, I don’t need 20 different spices to make a pot of chili. “You’re out of butter,” he says. I join him at the fridge and point to a pound of Land-O-Lakes butter on the middle shelf. He smiles and says, “Butter goes in the butter dish.” He lifts the plastic door and puts the butter inside. He cooked a wonderful meal. Today the butter is back on the middle shelf.
“It’s our inaugural event,” she says in an email, “and we’d love to have you as a panelist.” I fill out the form confirming my attendance. I know nothing about Manhattan… or New York. But I’m going anyway. I tell my friend who lives in the Bronx, “I hope I don’t get mugged in Central Park.”
“Are you planning to go to Central Park?” She asks.
She pauses. “You watch too much TV.”
I’ve traveled from Atlanta to Chicago six times this year. This weekend will be the 7th. I tell Deacon that I’m bringing him some new outfits.
“What’s wrong with the clothes I got?”
“They’re old and busy,”
“Don’t waste your money,” he says. “I still have the suit I wore to your graduation in ’83.”
I don’t remember the suit, but I can still think of a million things that are wrong with it.
I went whitewater rafting on the Ocoee River last weekend, five miles of class 4 rapids. It was rainy and chilly… and difficult. The river was engorged and trying to row through the heavy rapids was like rowing through blocks of cement. On at least three occasions, I took refuge on the floor of the raft to keep from being tossed. The river churns between two, high walls of tree-covered peaks, the tops of which are shrouded in mist. They’re not called the Great Smokies for nothing. Today, three days later, every muscle in my body feels as if it’s been beaten with a rubber mallet.
But I have my priorities. Right now I have a trip to make. There’s possibly a paisley, pinstripe, or purple plaid suit that needs replacing.