Archive | October, 2013

Things I can’t Keep Up With

1. Mail

I have piles of it, some dating from last Augustm probably earlier. I know the proper way to deal with it: break it down into smaller units. I even know the units I shall start with: Bills, and Everything Else. I deal with all my bills online. I shouldn’t have any paper bills at all, tree-hugger that I am, but I don’t trust corporate America to setle for what I will pay them electronically. I have them send m,e itemized paperwork, so that I can check their numbers against what they claim to be my indebtedness to them. Of course, I don’t check the totals. The bills remain stacked, in their envelopes, on every surface in my house.

I have a stack of magazines four feet high next to my kitchen table. Modest, you might scoff. Only, I don’t subscribe to any maazines. Nor do I buy any off newsstands, nor filch any out of waiting-rooms.Four feet mo magazines I didn’t pay anybody for and didn’t order, they just came to me as part of the mail I don’t pay any attention to. I don’t collect them, they just collect.

One of the problems I have with my mail is that, in the little town where I live, we don’t have mail delivery. That’s right. Here in America there are, I’m, told, about ten thousand towns – that’s ten thousand zip codes, without mail delivery to our houses. Hard to believe? Nobody said it’d be easy. Yet another incidence of Things You Don’t Have To Believe Because They Exist. I personally know of two other towns in New Jersey like this one. This is not west of Bismarck, ND, not east of Tubroot, Alaska. All this means to me is, I have to leave my house and go get the shit and bring it home before I don’t sort it and don’t file it.

I just brought another four inches of mail into the house with me two minutes ago. I immediately sat down to write this because I knew, if I sat down instead to sort that mail then and there, I would fall deeply asleep, probably miss Game 2 of The World Series, and then be up from 2 to 7am, wide awake but without even this stuff to write.

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2. Subjects

The title of this offering implies more than one subject. “Subjects of Diatribes” will have to suffice for the other one currently causing offense. As a subject it is entirely worthy, I can tell you that. But I would rather have it third or fourth in the row rather than right up here, almost in front.

If you’re like me (and I’ll bet more of you than want to admit it are), there are too many times when you’ve got two juicy ones lined up, But life, in its rude way, presents you with only one time line to pursue. You can only tell one story at a time. So, you pick one. You tell it – it’s not so good, doesn’t have the punch you thought it had – so you start to fall back on the other one – *and it’s not there!* Try as you might, you can’t come up with it. What a pain in the ass.

Can’t keep them corralled, can you? Neither can I.

Unlike quandary #1, there is no solution here that I’ve found so far. I’ve tried mnemonics (you cook up some kind of memory trick to remind you what the second thing’s all about), or you tell the second one first (your brain just switches which one you can remember). I’ve even tried ignoring both and changing the subject, but that feels like swallowing a belch, and you want to find someone with a bung-hammer to drill a hole in you and let it out.

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That’s only two out of a herd that covers the Great Plains. Soon, others will step up and identify themselves, I’m sure. They regularly do. I’ll let you know.

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