Sometimes, when I read blogs by people with full, rich lives, I feel steamrollered. Not a good or even valid response, but I have it. Then I read blogs by people with seemingly endless troubles and woes, and I think...yeah...why can't I write about that? These people write about their headaches and blown boilers and truly serious depressions, and they get all kinds of sympathy and replies. When I write about anything personal, especially if it's at all painful, the silence is deafening. I guess I'm not a sympathetic character. Better to stick with being the old curmudgeon. That's at least familiar.
But tonight, riding the bus, I was overwhelmed by the thought of....riding the bus in Washington, DC, of all godforsaken places. And I thought about myself as a 10-year-old fishing with my pals on the west shore of Lake Sallie...how we'd ride our bicycles over the gravel road around the lake and pull off onto this one area with no cottages. It was on a small bluff, with the lake and a slim beach about 10 or 12 feet below. We'd cast our baited hooks and wait....I don't think we ever caught a single fish. But it was FUN...different from our usual excursions with our fathers, who drove us in boats out to the good fishing spots, and where we almost always caught fish. But we didn't have to behave ourselves when we rode over to the west shore of the lake by ourselves. We could say what we wanted and act silly.
Anyway, there I was on the bus tonight...coming home from Safeway with TWO big boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios, my favorite cereal these days. And it seemed so far away from where I grew up, and so different, and so isolated. In the beginning of my life, I lived close to rivers and lakes in the Midwest. I had a family--Mom, Dad, John, Bob, Paul, and Gene--though only some of us were left at home. My three oldest brothers were gone fighting WWII. Mom did all the cooking, and my youngest brother, Gene, and I did the dishes on alternate weeks. I can't remember what we had for breakfast at the lake, but in the summer in town, we had Pep flakes with sugar and milk.
Now, tonight, I am an old lady buying my own cereal and going home to share it with Fiona, the landlady's dog. Fiona is nuts about Honey Nut Cheerios, too. I get enormous pleasure hearing her crunch the little o's and smack her doggy lips. I love it when she licks my fingers with her soft little tongue. I'm not supposed to be sharing my food with her--landlady's orders (requests/suggestions/unsubtle hints). The LL says giving her human food turns her OFF her dog food. I have news for the LL. Fiona's been turned off her dog food from day one. In fact, I was reading online about pet owners' experiences feeding small dogs, and I discovered that pretty much to an animal, little dogs HATE the kind of dog food the LL is trying to feed her. It's supposed to be very nutritious, and it's quite expensive, but Fiona won't touch it with a 10-foot pole except when she's desperately hungry. Apparently that event happens in the night when nobody is watching. I've never seen her dig into her dish at other times.
Anyway,...I was sitting there holding my Honey Nut Cheerios in the plastic store bag, and drowning in loneliness. I've never been afraid of loneliness, but sometimes I get so effing tired of hauling it around, that I suddenly feel overwhelmed and very sad--almost to the point of tears. I wish I could write hilariously about this--that is, write about it so it's hilarious, sort of, like Belgian Waffle. She has major miseries, but the way she writes about them cracks me (and dozens of others) up.
So I'm riding the bus thinking "despised as a kid, despised as an adult." Thus, I do lojong practice and send at least my small joy in the cartoon bee on the Honey Nut Cheerios box to everyone else in the world who is also feeling lower than snake shit.