In the mornings I find myself standing in the closet looking at a row of button-up, long-sleeved shirts wondering if I am a paper doll in a book of paper dolls, with half already torn from the pages. Then I am turned off by my own ennui, and sit down on the carpet, roll a pair of socks onto my feet until my back shoots daggers down my side, and I lay flat and look up at the ceiling and wonder again if I am just a paper doll with badly worn out parts.
There is not one ounce of wasted space in my chest. Since the Enchantments, I have tried to run on a regular basis and there is some dam blocking all of my willpower, and it is backing up like an edema of age old neglect. The roads here are nothing like my old lake trail, and in keeping the shoulders neat and trim, the municipal mowers seem to do little more than expose a years worth of trash, shredded into polluted confetti. At least there was beauty before, whenever I hit the wall. Maybe if society were in a better place, I could at least see the color in the garbage. Not these days. What a sad, divided playground this has become. There is sand in all our clothes.
A 40 year old father died at the Alpine Lakes Wilderness the other day, from the town where until recently I worked for nearly 10 years. He was hiking with his 9 year old son and fell down the boulder field. He sent that poor kid on to find help, and it is hard not to think about what that means for both of them, all that torment that is so easy to imagine. Summer ends in a few days, and I'm not mourning its passing. The world will not end in 2013, but I won't be unhappy to see it fade into memory.
My wife nearly succeeded in killing me twice on Sunday. She mixed up some food that I wasn't supposed to eat, and an hour after nearly choking, I went upstairs to see she had for some reason draped my metal eyeglass chain over a phone charger. It had slipped back between the outlet and when I tried to yank it out the whole thing exploded, breaking the circuit and leaving a charred mess on the wall. I joked how surprised she was to see me when she returned from school supply shopping. It was a nice moment to cap an otherwise dismal week.
Not saying goodbye doesn't prevent the parting. I am for better or worse very good at ending things without actually saying things have ended. And because of that for better or worse sometimes things that should have ended wind up going on. Memento mori.
Post script. I ran today. There is a forest trail next to the college where I work, at the bottom of a steep hill. The last few times it has tried to convince me that my warranty has expired, but I must have fueled up with a higher octane. I crested and walked to my office, glancing from side to side wondering if anyone just witnessed the miracle. Memento vivere.