fractured neck

My father-in-law fell and fractured his neck.

Face busted and stitched.

Right hand not able to move.

Laid for a long time in a pool of blood.

Luckily, it appears he’ll recover with no particularly lasting effects.

Unfortunately, that might be a while, so we’re relegated to helpers again, much like last year when my mother-in-law went downhill and into the hospital, before succumbing to a combination is Alzheimer’s and COVID.

It’s The Summer of Sad, Part 2: The Depressioning.

I feel like a boxer, punched out in the twelfth round, unable to mount any credible offense, unable to really defend himself, somehow not falling as the blows to the head and gut keep on coming…

Of course, it could be worse. I could have a fractured neck.

Perspective is key to avoiding the KO.

Target: 1400 words

this is my life now

On Thursday, I went to cut the grass, in anticipation of visitors and the fact that it’s rained like Genesis lately and everything’s getting very long.

Instead, I got have a row, about fifteen feet done, before a piece of random metal got caught in my lawnmower and killed it dead.

This morning, I went to bake a hash brown casserole for my stepson and his wife, and that adorable little pixie of a granddaughter of ours, and my tempered glass casserole dish cracked. Not the whole thing. It wasn’t dropped.

Just, at some point in the baking process, the corner just kind of… fell off.

And out the egg and milk mixture went and burned to the bottom of the oven, stinking up the joint, ending the whole process and ruining two separate dishes.

I sometimes believe in synchronicity; events like this are the universe reminding me that I’m an idiot, and the face of order in existence only hides the chaos out of which it’s inevitably bred. We see patterns in the pandemonium; they exist in such multitudes as to make chaos inevitable, like a centrifuge filled with random junk and overclocked by half, about to spin off its axis and fling us all out toward destruction.

Being kind to oneself isn’t hopelessly romantic; it’s critical to our survival and any potential we have for joy.

Target: 1400 words
Written: 1303 words, novel: Father Lightning

end of everything

I think, for the first time, watching the smoke roll in from forest fires thousands of miles away, listening to the news go on and on about this fascist nut or this racist piece of garbage, and none of it pushing back, not effectively anyway, and knowing that this authoritarian menace is not going away, not until the rest of us start imposing real, actual consequences, and climate change is just another buzzword when in reality, it’s killing us all, and all the dystopian stories of my youth are real, real goddamnit, and this is it, this is really it, I think, and for the first time, I truly, truly believe… this may be the end of the world.

The end of us all.

We are in fucking hell, and it’s our own making, as all good hells are.

It’s the end of the world and not just as we know it, because we know this world. Near-future sci-fi writers have been screaming at us about it for the better part of a century or longer.

William Gibson is a prophet; Blade Runner is fact, yet to happen.

These are the end times, as Jonathan Hickman would write. We would tell you to pray, but it wouldn’t do any good. You have earned what is coming to you.

So, I write, and maybe the survivors will one day read my stories, and know that they were written in the hope that one day, they might be read, and not destined to the ashes.

Target: 1400 words
Written: 1211 words, novel: Father Lightning

jane’s addiction

Man, I did not know how much I needed Nothing’s Shocking today.

Sometimes, the best way to get out of a funk, or get focused, or wake up a little, is to get totally immersed in something beautiful.

And that nailed it today. Now For Plan A is probably next, maybe jumping back a little to A Northern Soul and some best of Alice In Chains.

Still. Jane’s Addiction, man. One of the best.

Target: 1400 words
Written: 1487 words, novel: Father Lightning

not feeling it today

Today, I want to sleep. Today, I want to lay down and do nothing but get sucked down a rabbit hole, or get lost in music or generally, just get lost – in silence, in distraction, in presence, in screams.

Today is a bad day.

As always, music can make it better. Books can make it better.

Silence can make it better.

Solitude can make it better.

May I rest in peace.

(Today only. This isn’t that kind of thing. I’m depressed today and down, but I know how to manage it. I’ve been doing it all my life.)

Target: 1400 words
Written: 1838 words, novel: Father Lightning

welcome back

Tinnitus is pretty bad, but I can hear again today, after spending an entire day wallowing around in the sound of silence, where everything got to feel like it’s underwater.

I can enjoy Fiona Apple again! Yay!

And I slept, sort of. With heavy drugs and a double dose of NyQuil.

Hopefully, this is me on the mend.

The dog loves my nieces. You should have seen her. Prancy dancing around the living room and foyer like she’d never seen anything more exciting in her life.

And yes, we have a foyer, but that’s because we bought a Chatham icon’s old house; the author of Romantic Kent built the place with servants and no plumbing. A hundred years later, it has plumbing, a secret set of what we call murder stairs beneath the shower and an endless stream of problems.

A money pit, really.

Bukowski would hate me, but we’d have some good times. We could talk about cats.

Target: 1400 words
Written: 415 words, novel: Father Lightning