Saturday, March 9, 2024

Is That All There Is?

I was cussing up a storm as I did the electrical work that had to be done. I turned off the mail power supply because I could not determine what circuit the broken outlet belonged to. It was a ceiling fixture that had broken, and it was in my closet. I was working with a flashlight in my mouth and trying to secure wires onto the terminal of the new fixture. It was brutally hard working with my hands above my head for so long, and it was equally frustrating because the wires kept popping out of the attachment. Oh, I got into a foul mood., but eventually I got it done and working.

The foundation work next door is well under way. Four fellows were working yesterday, and one of them has a large white Doodle, so I took her over to meet Bently. Dave came out to chat; it’s going to be a blast watching the yurt go up. I love being able to go over and see the progress and to have a little chat with Dave.

I had a theme song. No one knew about it because I told no one. It wasn’t the kind of song you’d want to identify for friends because it was a bit of a downer. So, I chose another song to be my public theme song. My public one is/was, Dancin’ in the Streets, by Martha and the Vandellas. God, I loved that song, but it was a strange concoction. The lyrics of Dancin’ are so upbeat, and it’s about dancing for God’s sake. But the beat is surprisingly slow for such and upbeat and happy song. I wanted Dancin’ to play when my casket made its way the aisle at my funeral.

But my real theme song was Is That All There Is? sung unforgettably by Peggy Lee. It remains my choice. I was 22 years old when it came out. It was like no other song I’d ever heard. It commanded attention. Peggy Lee spoke the first verse, and it was haunting.

I remember when I was a little girl
Our house caught on fire
I'll never forget the look on my father's face as he
Gathered me up in his arms and
Faced through the burning building out on the pavement

And I stood there
Shivering in my pyjamas and
Watched the whole world go up in flames
And when it was all over
I said to myself
Is that all there is to a fire?

I was 8 years old when Aleck came into my life. He was neglected by his owners, so he came to us when his family moved to California. I’d watched him live unloved outside, and my heart would break to see him pawing at a window, wanting to get inside, so when Mrs. Blanche came walking up our driveway with Aleck in her arms, I flew to the front door.

My first experience of love was Aleck. He stuck to me. He slept on my chest. He was the first love of my life. It was an intense and extremely strong bond on my part.

Later in life, I experienced lust and mistook that for love. Lust I could feel, but love was a mystery for me, except when it came to animals. I found love in a man, but not how you’re probably thinking. It was my friend Dwight., and he is a straight man. And from him, I learned that for me, love was only possible with unavailables. I felt born to be alone, and as each year went by unattached to anyone, I got better at living alone. Steve was a lust-based decision that soon went sour. I take full responsibility for that. He has become a precious friend for me.

When I was dating, whenever I went on a first date, I went to play tennis. By that I meant that I was going to be conscious of the balance of our conversation. I go expecting a single long wonderful volley between two people of equal talent. Sometimes, when I phone Steve, he immediately starts a long, long narrative. That’s who he is, and now I hear that monologue as proof of his love for me.

Dwight is the perfect tennis player. I believe I’m his closest friend. He was a loner like me, but in each other we found kinship. He is the person I turn to for help when I need it. This is love for me.

Dwight and Steve are my family. That’s as close as I could get with humans.

But Aleck opened the door to animals. I was born this way, but my first understanding of a bond with an animal was Aleck. My walking group jokingly tells people we meet on the trails and who have a dog, “We carry donuts to lure him back to us.” I have a reputation as animal mad, and it’s valid. I’m waiting for the ground to dry out to visit Romela’s donkeys. That is going to be incredible. This will be a bucket list moment.

Friday (fuck) started with fitness (fuck).  I will continue to go, but I hate exercizing. The people in the class are lovely and the instructor is a fabulous, wonderful woman. After the class, I came home to pick up Sheba to take her with me into the village so that I could enjoy socializing with some of the people in my fitness class. I knew the minute I opened the door, that there was trouble ahead.

Sheba, the poor girl, had diarrheal through the night. She would wake me to let her out. That’s how perfect a pupper she is. But she had an accident while I was at fitness, so I had to clean up the place before heading to Mad Rona’s for a coffee clatch.

When I got home, I fed all the animals and then did absolutely nothing all day. I was horizontal for almost the entire day, except for our afternoon walk together. The class took all my energy, so I did nothing. I didn’t even post here. My batteries were empty.

Today I’ll read and chill through the day. All I see in the forecast is rain, but it’s getting much warmer and this coming week should be nice and mild. Tuesday, I go to Vancouver. I loathe going, but John and Bunny won’t come over here, so what can I do other than bite the bullet and go over.

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