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Serial Phone Murderess

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

It was a day. I awoke at 3 AM, never to fall back asleep again. I think the medical term is "sleep maintenance insomnia." I can fall asleep every night at 11:23, letting a book slump to my chest, but 3 AM comes around and my body, for reasons all its own, decides it's morning. It's a drag, and I know it's the artifact of an overactive mind, darting about between stressors. I think about one for awhile, and then go over to another, more upsetting one, and then to a third, and a fourth. And I run around those miserable bases for the next three hours, until Liam comes clumping into the bathroom on the other side of the wall at 6:07 sharp. And my day begins, whether I'm ready for it or not. Today was cloudy and mild, and another ten bazillion ladybugs decided our house was where they wanted to spend the winter. Every time I went outside, I came back in with at least six on me. I've taken to swatting them like mosquitoes, smacking them as hard as I can as they bite my neck and arms. I know there's an insect rights advocate out there just waiting to spank me, but that's what I do. I will invite any IRA to spend the winter here, and guarantee that he'll be smacking them by Christmas without giving it a second thought.

Being of no real use to humanity today, I decided to keep my hands off two in-progress bird paintings, and instead to put away four washing cycles' worth of clean laundry that had stacked up in baskets while I painted and drew. I was just sharp enough to decide whose socks were whose, and no more. Of course, by now there were two more baskets full of dirty clothes to do. And so, because I was in the midst of calling my two Witches for support, I took the cordless phone handset downstairs in the laundry basket. I threw the darks in the machine and came back upstairs. Looked for the phone: not in its cradle. Pushed the PAGE button. No friendly beep in response. Trudged back down the stairs, plunged my arm up to the shoulder in the washing machine, and came up with the cordless handset in one try. Like the Titanic, its lights were still burning down there under the sea.

Mind you, I had already drowned the other handset late this summer, when I was outside talking on the phone in the rain. That was OK, but then I heard a little plupping sound from my rainbucket, and found a juvenile common yellowthroat about to drown. I put the handset down, saved the bird, photographed it, released it and went inside smiling, leaving that phone out on a plant bench in the rain overnight. It was lit up, too, when I found it the next morning. It lay in state for a week, all lit up, and then began to decompose.

Now we have no cordless phones at all. Which is a problem for a family of hard-bitten multitaskers. Anyone who talks to me for long hears: running water rattling birdcage papers dishes being put away laundry being hung out beds being made feeders being filled aquariums being siphoned vegetables being chopped ladybugs being swept up things being sauteed and the like. Being on the tetherphone drives me nuts. I called Bill to confess my serial murder and he ordered another one just like it but with three handsets. I said, "Good, that'll give me two to drown and one to use for awhile, until I drown that one, too."

The best thing I did today was collapse at about 2 pm, my nose buried in Chet's shiny fur. It wasn't much of a nap, because he had two dreams about chasing bennehs, cats, or cows, hard to tell which. Muffled barking, clomping of jaws, much paddling of paws and rapid eye movement.
Still, lying there with Chet in my arms seemed to keep me at home plate.Look closely for cutelips. I wish to thank all those who suggested the alternate posting option of, and especially William Stiteler for teaching me a way to post photos again. Blogger, go sit in the rain until you light up.


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