This morning I was thinking, “Oh little neighbor girl! I wonder if you could sing ‘Let It Go’ INDOORS for awhile!”—and then I realized that might be the very reason she ended up outside. Okay, neighbor parent, I see your point of view and can take one for the team.
Also outside my window is a bird that is making me nervous. It stands on a branch with a small worm or bug in its beak, chirping a weird bark-like single chirp, over and over, turning back and forth as it seems to listen for a reply. I wonder if her nest was pillaged by a cat, and she is still trying to find/feed her babies. I got quite worked up and sad about this, and then I remembered a funny section of one of Augusten Burroughs’s books that addresses this sort of thing. He has us imagine that we drive past the scene of a car crash, and we’re haunted by the sight of a doll in the wreckage, and the sad fate of the little girl we assume must have been in no condition to bring the doll with her. Then he has us imagine an alternate scene in which no one has been hurt in the crash and the doll was an antique-store find and so on. He points out that since we’d never have known the real story, there we’d be in a therapist’s office, probably being instructed by the therapist to write a letter to the poor little girl. I imagined myself in the therapist’s office, writing a letter to the poor mother bird who lost her young, when it’s quite possible the bird is just loud and dim and maybe HAS no babies and is kind of a sloppy eater.
I am getting frustrated because the mammography center keeps sending me scolding letters about how it’s time for a mammogram, but then when I call them to make an appointment, I get an answering machine and then they don’t return my call. Then I get another letter in the mail. Pretty soon I am going to write back, since that is evidently their preferred method of communication. “Dear Mammography Center, I am writing to make an appointment. Do you have anything on Thursday morning? Write back soon! Love, Swistle”
Yesterday seemed like the perfect day to go to an antique store and look through boxes of postcards. But I’d misjudged it: instead of having a pleasant quiet-hobby feeling, I accidentally hit that mood of “This used to be someone’s treasured collection, and now here it is being pawed over (and rejected) by strangers.” Everything I looked at seemed pointless to acquire: Why, when soon we will all be dead and our possessions will only burden our children? Or perhaps I should buy EVERYTHING IN THE WHOLE STORE AND GIVE THESE POOR UNLOVED THINGS A HOME.