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Saturday, May 6, 2000

Rainy Saturday

Once upon a time, I could sleep the morning away. In those days, the comfortable coziness of burrowing under the covers while the sun rose in the sky and the world went on about its business outweighed the guilt I felt for missing all that. It was even better when I'd wake up about once an hour and look at the clock, listen briefly to the activity of more industrious people, and then sink a little lower into the mattress.

I don't do that often any more. And for the last month I haven't had a chance to sleep in at all. There was always some compelling reason to set the alarm and get up, even on Saturdays. I spent all of last weekend cleaning up my old house so that I'd get my deposit back. After working all week, I was looking forward to a morning when I had no reason not to stay in bed and indulge my inclination toward lethargy.

I wasn't surprised to wake up at six thirty. That's become the standard time of first consciousness around here since I moved in. I definitely had no plan to throw back the covers and bounce around the house at that hour, so I dozed, off and on, for two hours. Then, for no good reason, I began to think about the morning paper, sitting in its usual vulnerable spot in the middle of the driveway that I share with two other families.

So I got up, pulled on some jeans and put on my hard-soled slippers. All I wanted to do was retrieve the paper and go back to bed. When I saw the heavy mist outside, I decided that sneakers would survive where slippers might not, so I changed footwear and got the paper. I dropped it on top of the bookcase just inside the door and went back to bed. For about ten minutes. Then I got up and stumbled through my morning rituals.

It could have been the interrupted sleep cycle, or it might have been the pissy weather. Something put me in a cranky mood that stayed with me all day. I was even more impatient than usual with the idiots and maniacs driving around the rain-slicked streets of Santa Rosa. And why would I pick this day to go to K-Mart? That's almost never a pleasant experience, and a rainy Saturday is possibly the worst time to try to fight through the narrow aisles and schlocky crap (or is that crappy schlock?)

my new lampThat's the one place I went today where I didn't find anything. I picked up Mom and she rode up the hill to the new Yardbirds with me to get the lamp that had been out of stock last week. I wanted something comfortable to sit in on my patio, should the real summer ever get to California and stay here where it belongs. Nothing appealed to my finely honed tastes at the first three places, but I hit paydirt at Raley's.

Yes, you can have your home improvement centers, I'll take the local supermarket. I'm more at ease shopping there, although it's mildly embarrassing to stand in the same line with people buying cartloads of essential comestibles, when all you're carrying is bulky component patio furniture.

There are times in my life when I would have meekly returned the items to the shelf, hoping no one noticed, and bought a carton of milk and a loaf of bread, just for show. Somehow I thought that if anyone noticed me doing something that no one else was doing, I would be singled out for derision. In fact, a lot of the time, I was arrogant enough to believe that people were looking at me.

I'm older now, and I've picked up a modest amount of wisdom, along with a wise measure of modesty. I still won't make a deliberate spectacle of myself, but at least I'll go through the motions of doing what needs to be done without undue regard for the opinions of people who aren't looking past their own grocery carts anyway.

Besides, by this time I really wanted this particular lounge chair. And someday, the sun will shine and I'll be stretched out on my patio reading Emily Dickinson, or the new Entertainment Weekly. It's now the most comfortable chair I own. Really, though, it's for outside, but not until I get a little table to set my Long Island iced tea on.

Loungin', May 6, 2000

I won't get many visitors on rainy days if you have to wade through this much standing water to get to my front door.

May 6, 2000

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