September 11th 2018
The “Quiet Passion” of Emily Dickinson
Gradually the list emerges. You know how it goes. Things around the house need repair. The first glimmer comes in a mere, imperceptible repetition. Flushing the toilet twice. Closing the door, again. Turning the light switch ’round a second time. Slowly these becomes little habits. “Just flick three times” and your home is working again. Invisibly it devolves into dysfunction. It’s not working. But then it does again! So it’s NOT broken. Or is it? The problem silently whispers itself onto the ever present “To Do” list churning just behind the conscious mind. Until, ta da! In a fanciful moment one day you midwife the problem out onto an actual piece of paper in broad daylight. A real “To Do” list, in the flesh! Then, wait. Life happens. Where did that list go? So I write it on the mirror with dry erase marker in plain view. Impossible to overlook. Right? There it stays however, naked. Without a plan. When, really, will this very minor problem ever become an actual priority anyway, with so much else going on all the time?
Well today I am in the Boxing Ring of domestic cleaning and organization. The bell dings and I am gasping in the corner. taking water to my face. All the little disrepairs swirl around my head, expectantly. Are they mocking me? I am outnumbered. Powerless to redress them all within any foreseeable time frame. Then something happens. Out comes the pen:
Toilet. Toilet? Toilet! Looks like toilet. Sounds like toilet. Not acting like toilet. Why don’t you want What we have to give you? Toilet. Toilet? Toilet!
A simple poem. A super dumb poem. Soothing. So cathartic somehow. Healing even.
Sink. Sink? Sink! Looks like sink. Acts like sink. Does not drain Well. Pretty gross. Kinda depressing. Sink. Sink? Sink!
Arriving home later, Dear Hubsand sees the poem for the window first:
Window. Window? Window! Looks like window. Yuge, glorious window. Opens like window. Shuts like trap. Scares me. Window. Window? Window!
He immediately explains to me in detail exactly what is wrong with it and what part we need to find in order to repair it. Although I don’t want him to feel stressed, if the poem spurs us to action, so that is a great outcome. In addition to the more immediate outcome in the sense of serenity I now feel around the problem, having so crassly laid it bare with measured, if obnoxious, attention.
All this apparently before the Dear Man has even gone to the bathroom, because when he goes in there he bolts right back out, exclaiming frantically; “The toilet is a $600 fix!”
Later I explain that these utterances are not directed at him. That I am not trying to complain, but merely NOTING the problems, and soothing my otherwise frustration with humor. That I think it’s funny and I’m sorry if it offends. He accepts what I’m saying, even with only modest comfort.
These are not a referendum on you, my beloved Manmeat. Here I think I am so clever yet meanwhile my husband is trapped in a tribunal of mockery. Who knew that innocuous little imbecilic poems would strike terror into the heart of a magnificent family man?
How perennial is a man’s urge to FIX! And infernal woman’s to express. Therein lies the eternal divide.
I will SAVE you from the scourge of this… FAULTY WINDOW!
Meanwhile my son thinks it’s hilarious. (“Ha! Awesome,” he says upon seeing them, laughing.)
Manmeat goes back into the bathroom so I pen one for him:
Poetry wife. Poetry wife? Poetry wife. Some say, “Awesome!” Others say, NOT. I did not marry a Poetry wife. Poetry wife? Poetry wife!
And you know, “Nevertheless she persisted.”
Lamp. Lamp? Lamp! So home made and Beloved are you. Here in the darkness. Lamp. Lamp? Lamp!
Ninja ball. Ninja ball? Ninja ball! Ninja’d to the sky and disappeared. But for your extremity. Stuck on the ceiling. Ninja ball. Ninja ball? Ninja ball!
Bathroom door. Bathroom door? Bathroom door! Used to close But not anymore. Thanks a lot Bathroom door. Bathroom door? Bathroom door!
Electric kettle. Electric kettle? Electric kettle! How we have depended on you With your cool, blue light. But now it seems We cannot make Our coffee without a fight. Electric kettle. Electric kettle? Electric kettle!
Black cat. Devil? Cat! Looks like cat. Acts like cat. Eats like monkey throwing feces. Black cat. Devil? Cat!
Ninja parts. Ninja parts? Ninja parts! Thought you were good At Martial Arts. Flipping ’round our walls. But now all that’s Left of you is Sticky ninja balls. Ninja parts. Ninja parts? Ninja parts!
To be continued I’m sure.