Thursday, July 21, 2011

the one where I think, "Crunch time," and then laugh because that sounds so dumb

Laundry spins in my washer. I'm tempted to hang the clothes out to dry on my back patio instead of using the dryer since our electrical grid is likely to be strained over the next 36 hours or so. I don't think my neighbor is home, so she shouldn't mind.

Not that she would mind, anyway.

I wonder, though, if the smell of her cigarette smoke would infest my daughter's jeans should my neighbor step out onto her back porch for a hot cigarette while the clothes were swaying.

I leave Saturday for the MFA residency. I'm not even kind of ready though I have pulled out my suitcases and have been organizing the clothes I will bring.

Two weeks is a long time to be gone, and I'm worried about my house and my cat, though people will be looking in regularly, and I plan to come home in the middle for a night. I hope my daughter feels free to be here next week as much as she needs to be during the day, though she's to go to her father's this afternoon or whenever she wakes up. I don't even mean just to pack up for band camp; I mean just to be here in her house alone, her house.

I must clean my house a little bit so that I don't faint when I return.

Because of the scorching heat, I've a feeling I'll regret choosing solitude in the dorms over air conditioning in the shared apartments. I have fans, though, and may bring a cooler, just fill it with ice and dip my face in it now and then, you know, because I'm cool like that.

I am trying to gather up things for my daughter to take to band camp, too, that first week in August. I worry that she will not be able to find things she needs in my messy house. I don't want her to stress.

Some kinds of stress are good for her, but not the ones I cause because I'm messy and disorganized.

*

My little city is a mess over the loss of the 14-year-old boy. I wonder if things would be less contentious if we didn't have such immediate access to each other, if we couldn't express our opinions instantly and sometimes anonymously. People point and blame and holler, don't take that deep breath designed to stop us from saying things we might regret.

Others simply keen with grief.

The school year will start on a dissonant note, and I feel so sad for the student body.

*

I think it is going to be so good for me to immerse myself completely in poetry for the next two weeks, to avoid the news and friends' Facebook pages and all the distractions of the Web. I will be frightened and awkward and sky and ugly and thrilled and tired and energized and focused.

I plan to be friendly and kind and open. I'm assuming everyone else plans to be friendly and kind and open, too.

I hope my brain doesn't explode from all the learning. I'm unaccustomed to learning in a formal setting. Self-taught poet. Self-taught teacher.

I nod.

I think I'm ready to be a manic packer/organizer/cleaner now.

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