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Stupid heart, stupid face

'Keep your mind on the task at hand. It helps with the pain.'

My son. I have had the pleasure of his company for 25 years. He has been a friend and a help to me, and to Mike for half our lives.

Tomorrow that all changes. We are off to drive up to Buffalo, to the college there.

Distance matters little, i know. We can text, we can skype. He is only going to be 8 hours from me. And it is time for him to go, it is right that he go. This is how the world is. But i can hardly breathe for aching.

Daughter is different. She has been indepenant from the day she could stand-- could toddle away-- could bat my helping hands away.

I have some time yet left with her at home, and i will treasure it.

You know how a carousel goes, up and down, and round and round? But then the music gets all wobbly, and the spinning slows, and you know it is almost over?  It feels like that here.

And it is still hot here, we went swimming yesterday. But the smell of the air has changed. The air is sharper, gold and slanted. And that is no help at all.

On a more concrete level, i am having an attack of trigeminal neuralgia. I only get it a few times a year,  but it is quite miserable. And that is why i am awake at this ridiculous hour. If i could get to sleep i would have a good chance of waking tomorrow without it. But right now it feels as if someone is driving nails into my jaw.

I will be on the road for the next few days. Maybe i will post some pictures. I will try to do that.

Thinking of you all. Off to bed now i think.

Picture of Sabir

He has been getting his longest best walk after midnight. The pavement here is dangerous midday. The heat is draining. So he goes early and late, with a long playtime at the park under the moon.

He can go off leash then and get a good run. He has made friends with a stray cat; an absolutely all black tom. When the cat sees Sabir he puts his tail up and comes over, he flopps and rolls. Sabir gives a deep bow. (Elbows to the ground, tail high. ) They sit together, or sometimes Sabir gets the cat to chase him.

During the day the cat sleeps under a trailor in a church parking lot. Don't think he belongs to anyone. He seems quite glossy and healthy though. And he has the sweet nature of an intact tom-cat.

Anyway, here is Sabir resting in the air conditionong...

Shuffling Off

What a pleasure to watch! That is a lucky octopus. She is very pretty too I think.

In my lifetime I have seen so much more respect and kindness for captive animals. I am old enough to remember the bad old days, when creatures were in cages with bars. Nobody thought so much about the fulfillment they might get out of life. Much better now.

Maybe you over-the-pond people have already seen this? If not it is a happy little vid.

http://www.seeker.com/watch-a-clever-scottish-octopus-return-to-the-sea-1971355513.html

I know I have been very much absent lately. We are going to take son up to Buffalo on Thursday, and drop him off. He and I are very close, I will miss him terribly. He did part of college during high school-- and lived at home. This is the other part. He was slow to leave, and we did not push him. No point in it until you are ready. Now is the time-- and I hope he loves it.

But it is bittersweet and strange.

Buffalo is an 8 hour drive North and West for us. 8 hours and we will still be in New York. New York is huge! Going South we could get to Virginia in 8 hours.

Daughter will stay home with Sabir. We should only be gone overnight. I think she is excited to be given the task.

I will let you all know how it goes. Maybe we will see a moose!

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Don't you just love it?

That relief when you have been thinking 'I cannot do this, it will never work,'

I get images first, or phrases. They bug me. They want to go somewhere. I have to figure out where, what they are part of. I always worry that this time it won't work. That somehow the trick of it will have dried up, the pool will be empty--or that what I have is useless, like reaching into the dark bag of scrabble letters and only getting T, X, and Q.

And the longer I put it off, because I am lazy, or busy, or sad, the more they bug me. For example, 30 years ago I got a young girl lying on a staircase, with her feet going up the stairs and her head down. I thought at first she was hurt. But no, she proved to be perfectly happy. It bugged me until 3 or 4 years ago. I finally put her into a fic involving William Bush, Basil Hall, and the artist Edward Gorey. I am not sure what Edward Gorey was doing in the 18th century, but it was the right place for the stairs girl. She was there on the stairs so that Will Bush could fall in love with her, of course she was. And he did, and she relieved him of a boyhood condition that he was quite troubled by...

So today I sat down and got some writing done on the Marlowe thing. Only a little, so far. But it still works. (Which is to say it is a pretty horrible first draft which I thank God that nobody need see.) I reached into the dark bag of story, and got something I can work with. Now I just need to look up the history of sandpaper...

Bugs and birds

The cicadas have come. I was worried we would not get them in the city, but they are here, that long throbbing trill is the sound of summer to me. Today I heard it, and happened to look up. It was not a cicada, but a mockingbird up on the powerline, singing cicada song! Quite well done too. Such clever birds...

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It bends toward justice

Some of us are kicking and yelling, but we are headed in the right direction.

Lewis and Milk, long may they sail.

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2016/0729/Harvey-Milk-s-name-to-emblazon-new-US-Navy-ship-in-salute-from-America

Hot duck

93 outside today, blacktop bubbling under the sun. Men standing in the highway median selling limes and cold water. Stopped by our little community garden. I am not a member. I would not eat veg grown in the soil here-- not since Sandy. But there chickens there i like to see. Today the chickens were fine, resting in the heat inside their coop. But there was a white duck shut outside the coop, away from the water. He did not look good at all. He was lying in the dirt,  panting. Garden was padlocked, i could not get in. I stopped police who said they would check. I will let you all know how it turns out.

I could not stay, i had an appointment today. But i will check on the duck on the way back.

Also i forgot to say there was an entirely naked woman changing her clothes on the sidewalk. We passed by just when she was stepping into underpants. An older woman with her was shoving the discarded clothes into a nearby stormdrain. No idea what is going on there. I hope the police do not get distracted arresting her for the nudity, and forget about the duck. Topless is legal in NYC-- bottomless is not.

Update: Duck is ok. Moved so it can reach water. Seems more alert.

This makes total sense

Chickens, when allowed to roam and do what they want, eat beetles, worms, and probably mosquitoes too.

We kept chickens when I was a child. They were robust intelligent birds. They went by themselves to their little house at night, where the nest boxes were, and climbed onto perches to sleep. I went out at dusk, fed them and shut the door. In the morning I got up early before school to feed them again and let them out. I also changed their water then and collected eggs. We had about 10 chickens. We had 2 acres of yard. They never left it.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-36854781

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Wasn't going swimming today anyway.

They are following the other confused fish, in the weirdly warm ocean. You can see where the fish are, by watching the birds. Birds means little fish, little fish means big fish. Don't swim where the birds are diving. Am I the only one who learned that from her mom? Probably not.

http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Coney-Island-Beach-Evacuated-Water-Shark-387473261.html

Maybe go swimming tomorrow though.

High summer

It is high summer in Brooklyn. The heat pours down from a hard blue sky, pins you to the heat rising from the blacktop. It is the kind of heat that makes your eyelids sweat. Our apartment is on the fourth floor, just under the roof. We are cozy and warm all winter; sometimes so warm we open the windows. But we are paying for it now.

We did groceries today, a whole family event, to drag them all up the stairs and put them away. We dozed all afternoon, and only now at nearly midnight, is it pleasant in the house.

Husband took Sabir for a good walk, and a swim. They rescued a horseshoe crab. Sabir saw his first police horse. Hazel never liked horses, but Sabir is much more mellow about things. He has a sort of confident curiosity that is just so admirable. I wish I felt that way.

Now that it is summer Sabir is not allowed on the beach proper. Dogs are allowed on the boardwalk only. But he can go to Calvert Veaux park and wade in the creek. (Also unlike Hazel he likes water. Hazel could swim of course, if you towed her out with you. But she would paddle angrily to shore the minute you released her. He will retrieve from the water and go in wading.)

I made churros tonight. Simple recipe, easy as pancakes really. Also cooked a chicken which will do for the next few days.

And now it really is midnight. I suppose I should sleep. Wishing you all safe and happy.

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