I just poured myself a prize. The last cup
of my morning coffee in my thermos.
Why a prize? Simple. I deserved one; to
celebrate that I shredded the huge pile
of waste paper in my home office. You
know the box that file folders come in?
Well, I use one of those as a to-be-
shredded paper bin. It sits on top of the
dusty seldom used record player in front
of my desk. The pile has been overflowing
long enough. It took me about an hour to
shred it all. I had to dump the small
shredder bin four or five times. No secret
stuff; mostly junk mail trying to sell me
medical or life insurance or trying to get
me to sell my house to them. Junk just
the same. A year ago last summer, we
realized the yard company had our water
system turned up to water too often so
they could justify coming every month to
trim and clean very little. Anyway, we fired
them for more than that over a year ago
also hoping to bring our water bill down.
She looked out the window yesterday and
remarked, “The plants are dying. They
weren’t dying yesterday, but they are dying
today.” We walked out back. Our backyard
isn’t much bigger than our car; one of the
smallest in the neighborhood. She was
right. I watered by hand yesterday and
tested the irrigation system today. I turned
it back on to the old settings. It is a drip
system. One hour from five to six in the
morning every other day. I have not been
able to get a straight story on desert plant
irrigation for seven years. Everyone you ask
has a different solution that requires more
math than I’m willing to apply to the task.
That is why I checked, saw the old settings,
and just turned them on. Maybe too much;
maybe not. You can be sure of one thing.
Our water bill is going up. Just another
reason why I’d be happier living on the
eleventh floor anywhere. Remember, I’m
color blind. Dead or alive the plants look
about the same to me. Not my thing. I have
no idea what is supposed to flower or not.
Fall in Indiana meant only one thing to me.
Leaves fall. And I had to pick them up. I’ve
been telling people my whole life, I’m a city
boy, and I’d love to live in the city. That
eleventh floor dream is still with me! Streets,
sidewalks, buildings, people, crowds. Someday.
I can dream, can’t I? Don’t get me wrong, I’m
thankful for our sweet home and love it. Yet,
there is a part of me that misses the sites and
smells of the city. I confess—I’ve always
loved the smell of diesel. Trucks, tanks, APCs!
And downtown. Downtown any town smells.
Meanwhile, my coffee is about gone. Not so
with the antibiotics. Day five of ten. (I’ll
spare you the laundry list of drugs that
started with a shot of Prednisone last
Wednesday.) Thank God for my NP who I
got in to see fast. (Over the counter always
fails. Why do I still try it?) Looking out the
window, the wind is picking up, so I’ll wait
until about six to take the garbage out so the
cans don’t blow down the street. I wonder
what the wind is like downtown on the
eleventh floor? May happen, may not, but
my mind is on the eleventh floor today.
I need to listen to some of my old records,
too. Good stuff. Good jazz. Good classical.
Great vocals, etc. Why did I stop doing that?