Yeah, I Know. I’m Immature…

Sometimes I just can’t resist, gang.

“Playtime in Pussyland!!” I just wish. But no, this pussy always has to work.

Okay.

Today has all the earmarks of being annoying. I’m already doing the laundry. I have to wash my hideous hair, then shave my legs, all that. Be indescribably presentable, even though I am always here by myself. Then I have to VOTE because it’s election day here in these fine United States. Then I have to drive 25 miles to the Honda Dealership to get my permanent plates, because my temporary tags expired two weeks ago and they neglected to tell me.  After that, I have to drive another 10 miles in a different direction and buy groceries because I’m down to one tomato, some arugula, a protein bar, and a bunch of dark chocolate-covered espresso beans. I have to do yoga, of course. And I have to vacuum — in the colder months, I have to vacuum all the time because the windows are no longer open and the accumulation of cat hair gets unbearable and I am actually allergic to cats (hence my dependency on Flonase for all my breathing needs).

And already, I can feel a new segment for In the Shadow of Narcissa creeping in at the edges of my brain, and daily, I get more and more intimations for Letter #5 (“Hymn to the Dark”) for Girl in the Night: Erotic Love Letters to the Muse (the section I began writing last week or something like that and then deleted because it felt too plebeian.) Neither of these can I pay attention to right now because I must complete the revised ending for Tell My Bones.

I hate when I have all these niggly little things to do in one day because it keeps me from being able to sit at my desk and focus for uninterrupted chunks of time. The actual “writing” might take only 2 or 3 hours, but there’s tons of hours before that where the words are trying to fall into place. So when I’m running hither & yon, my brain gets jumbled and time gets wasted.

Oh, and here at 9:30am, one of my ex-husbands is calling to chat. He lives in Seattle now and always gets up in time for the stock market to open on the East Coast. Today, he’s calling for our annual “Thanksgiving” chat. (We always chat around every imaginable holiday — yes, even the Chinese New Year because he happens to be Chinese. From Singapore, originally.) Well, I love chatting with him, so that’s not annoying or anything. He always makes me laugh. And we never chat for long because I guess the stock market needs a constant sort of “looking at”. But it’s just, you know. Another thing going on today.

Well, on another note.

Apparently Helen LaFrance’s 100th birthday was a huge & happy success. Wanda is going to be sending me photos from the celebration, which I will then have posted to the Tell My Bones web site. Plus, there are also some large Helen LaFrance murals in several of the churches in Mayfield, Kentucky, that people there are restoring. So donations can be made to that (in the event you would want to contribute) and I will try to have some sort of link for that on the TMB web site, too. Although, for tax reasons, I’m not entirely sure how to do that. But anyway. It’s a project that is underway. I believe the murals are 40 or 50 years old now.

Well, the remaining leaves on my maple tree are turning that golden-yellow color. It’s usually December before the leaves really fall off the tree — in one big sort of swoop, down they all go.  Some day, I’ll have to remember to take a photo of how huge this tree is. It is easily twice as tall as my house. It’s just huge and has, as you can imagine, tons of leaves.

I just love this tree, though. It means so much to me. And early this morning, as I sat on the side of the bed, with my cup of coffee, looking out the window, I noticed the leaves were truly changing now and it made me wistful. (All the other trees in town change their leaves long before my silver maple does.) But it also made me excited for spring to come again. And for the leaves to return.

I will only say, briefly — because I do not like to dwell — but when “the man” was still alive and we would lie on my bed in the dark. Well. It was the height of summer and so all the windows and the blinds were open. And the tree shielded us from everything. It was just beautiful. We could do whatever we wanted and it wasn’t as if anyone could see in. The tree is just massive. All those leaves made everything so private. That summer was just so lovely.

One night, in particular, will stay with me forever — and I try not to cry when I think about it, yet I do think about it because it was so monumental to me. It was like one of those moments in time that you feel  as if it’s all you will ever really need — you know? You can die after you have that moment. But of course, you don’t die. Life goes on, which is why you remember it and try not to cry.  But we were lying across my bed, naked, staring out the window at the night. He was lying on top of me, we weren’t doing anything, just sort of lying there, looking out. The night was so still & beautiful & quiet. The streetlight was coming in the through the leaves on the tree. It was dark in my room. We were listening to the live version of “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers — the best summer song they ever did, ever. And suddenly here comes the freight train. Just barreling through.

It was the most amazing moment. I begged him at that moment to never, ever leave me. And I meant it with all my heart, even though we already knew he was going to die. (Plus, he was married, for god’s sake. Happily married. If he weren’t dying, he wouldn’t have even been there to begin with.)

However. It was too poignant for words. And he did die. At home with his wife — in their bed, whatever that looked like. And a whole other summer came and went since then.

But my tree — you know, it shares my memories. It truly does.

And for some reason, I’ve stopped wearing my summer PJs, and instead of moving on to my winter PJs, I’ve gone in the other direction and started wearing a little black chemise to bed. I’m not sure what’s come over me. It means I have to crank up the heat! Because it really is getting cold at night out there — down into the 30s and even into the 20s Fahrenheit.  A chemise is not the thing to be wearing right now. Apparently, on some level, I still cannot let the summer go.

So, sitting there early this morning, on the side of the bed, with my cup of coffee, looking out the window and wearing a little black chemise… I did indeed see that the leaves were truly changing and that winter is going to be right around the corner here, any day. And I’m gonna have to get into those winter PJs or my heating bill will be a fortune!

I’m hoping my birth mom will come back in early December and help me decorate the house for Christmas. Last year was supposed to be my first “happy Christmas” in my new house, but I was grieving. This year, should be lots better.

Okay!! Gotta go. Phone will be ringing here soon. Thanks for visiting, gang. Have a terrific Tuesday wherever you are in the world. I leave you with the obvious, even though I haven’t played it in a while. (This is the best version of the song, ever. And now has more memories than my heart can contain.) I love you guys. See ya!

“Mary Jane’s Last Dance”

She grew up in an Indiana town
Had a good-lookin’ mama who never was around
But she grew up tall and she grew up right
With them Indiana boys on them Indiana nights

Well, she moved down here at the age of eighteen
She blew the boys away, was more than they’d seen
I was introduced and we both started groovin’
She said, “I dig you baby, but I got to keep movin’ on
Keep movin’ on”

Last dance with Mary Jane, one more time to kill the pain
I feel summer creepin’ in and I’m tired of this town again

Well, I don’t know, but I’ve been told
You never slow down, you never grow old
I’m tired of screwin’ up, tired of going down
Tired of myself, tired of this town

Oh, my my, oh, hell yes
Honey, put on that party dress
Buy me a drink, sing me a song
Take me as I come ’cause I can’t stay long

Last dance with Mary Jane, one more time to kill the pain
I feel summer creepin’ in and I’m tired of this town again

There’s pigeons down on Market Square
She’s standin’ in her underwear
Lookin’ down from a hotel room
Nightfall will be comin’ soon

Oh, my my, oh, hell yes.
You got to put on that party dress
It was too cold to cry when I woke up alone
I hit my last number and walked to the road

Last dance with Mary Jane, one more time to kill the pain
I feel summer creepin’ in and I’m tired of this town again

c – 1993 Tom Petty

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