Guilty Pleasures

I have elected to stay home today, after getting the shopping done early before the crowds, to read. Just to read, a guilty pleasure anymore for some reason, I always think maybe I should be doing something more productive- exercising, volunteering, working. What the hell, life is short, and uncertain. Every now and then I go to look out the window into the back yard, where I’ve been hearing wren song. I see robins taking vigorous baths in the big cement bowl we got during the summer, and the wren flitting about, chattering to himself, and a lovely little bright yellow fall warbler. The bird book calls him a “confusing fall warbler,” I suppose because there are so many types of fall warblers. I wish our friend whom I visited in the hospital yesterday were here to see them with me. He knows them all, and delights in them as much as I do. The delight washes away temporarily the vitriol stored and saved over a lifetime in that mind of his that remembers everything he’s ever seen, read, heard, smelled, thought, and especially things said by others- a blessing and a curse it seems. I sometimes wish I had a memory like that. But I can enjoy his from the distance of a few feet- topics yesterday ranged from Rabelais and Kierkegaard to (as always) the f’ing Catholics to South Park. Today I will relish the cool air and birds and tea and wren song.

This is a squirrel eating a stale bun I put outside. My husband (God save us if the neighbors ever find out) has been feeding the squirrels, taking them old bread and other leftovers that would otherwise go on the compost or in the trash. Once he took out a cooked sausage which had been in the fridge too long, a big old German sausage. Mordechai (so Dennis says) found it and tried to bury it under a hosta in the front yard, but couldn’t make it fit into the nut-sized hole he’d dug. So he tried another place, and another, and another- I guess if we see him unearth a sausage in the middle of winter we’ll know he succeeded in planting it.

Yesterday as I left the house a cricket, poised in the threshold between the inner and outer doors, came in, seeking shelter from the winter. I made him welcome, I like having crickets in the house. I’ll need to strike a deal with Kitten Britches, though, that she won’t eat them.

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