119. Too Bad Aboutcha’


You know your biological clock is run down when you begin talking to your alarm clock as if it had a brain and a soul…”Just ten more minutes. Please! I beg you.” The cat is meowing and the dog is whimpering because they obey their biological clocks. ‘It’s time to eat and pee outside, the normal routine with or without a time keeping device.’ They don’t say this but I’m sure they think it in their puny mammalian brains. It is light outside uncurtained windows, but back in my bedroom, under layers of heat-keeping covers it is not yet 7 o’clock, and dark and warm, toasty, deliriously delicious….mmmmmmm.

“MEeeeoooowwwlllll.”

“Hymmmm, hymmmm, hymmm.”

Drat their circadian rhythms anyway. I’ve made my bed, now I should be able to lie in it. Or is it “I’ve lain in my bed, now I should be able to make it”? Who says “lain” anyway? British guys on the telly who say “shall” and “shan’t”. Why do I think of stupid things like this when all I want to do is fall back asleep? Yes, Sleep, the opiated captain of my queen-sized submarine bed, the SS Ambien sinking through warm turquoise Carribean waters….  down into the darkening groggy aquamarine….mmmmmmmm.

“Meeeoooowwwwlllll.”

“Hymmmm, hymmmmm, hymmmmm.”

Oh dog gone it. I might as well just get up. “Out with you, both of you. Roam the great 1/8th acre of  landscaped wilderness.”  Now as I climb the stairs to our kitchen for the coffee ritual, I know Johnnie the dog will bark twice to be let back in for his morning food ritual. If I don’t respond quickly, he will repeat the two bark drill. The cat will sneak in with him if she cares to. Why? Because he’s a good dog and it’s a misdemeanor to kill a domesticated cat. Plus, Johnnie is protective of the cat, Annie. He attributes super powers to her and she allows the myth to continue. Well, I’m not sure of this last bit, but it’s a theory I’m working on.

Okay, coffee in the basket; water; push the button. The day has begun with or without my permission. Gonna be 57 soon. My body reminds me of broken bones and ripped muscles earlier in life. They come along with you in the form of aches and pains when you have not slept well or maintained proper hydration. Check with PiperWellness.Com for more depressing news about being alive. Gary can’t eat nuts in his cream of wheat without worrying about excess calories, high blood sugar levels, cholesterol, weight gain, obesity, morbid obesity and then stroke or cardiac arrest followed by a most awful death. And yet he remains cheerful in his pursuit of healthy living. It’s annoying like a smiling funeral director who knows he’s gotcha.

Okay, direction and purpose for the blog post. I need to get into something meaningful, which means I’ll likely just run down a tangent until it collapses under the weight of global bombast. The grandchild is due tomorrow. Wow, life as we have known it is going to change again into something even richer. I remember getting married 33 years ago. Life switched powerfully in a new direction. Getting a dog was a small adjustment later on. But having our first child was like having an identity reassignment surgery. Boom, nothing was the same. And then again, complexity grew with each additional child.

Something is hugely different with this new step, though. I suppose that is because the work and responsibility do not fall on me and my wife. The expectations of love and joy, amazing amusement, and a fascinating adventure lie ahead of us. I can’t imagine the downside. Another season of life has come without trepidation. I actually feel ready, calm, and sure. I suppose most grandparents do. All my friends who are blessed with grandkids love it. I think I’ll be no exception. The little girl’s little name is Leah. I’ve been singing Roy Orbison’s song since getting the news. Mind you, I am not blessed with the vocal range or humility of Roy Orbison, so my version sounds like a cow being branded while tap dancing on thin ice above great arctic killer sharks. It brings terror to the trapped listeners. But it brings me some mild anticipatory pleasure, thinking of rocking her smiling face to sleep.

Maybe that’s the missing link with the animals in the morning– I am not their kin and I know it. When they whimper or meow, it does not resonate deeply in my limbic brain. (I am reading about this lately so I am both reinforcing new knowledge and showing off here.) In any event I suspect that I’ll be ready to leap up to the meow of my new grandchild and comfort her little whimpers when they come at any hour. There is no other option. I never knew my grandparents, and I want her to know me deeply and love me just as deeply as I love her. I can’t wait. Amen.

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