Creative inversion

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Tiger’s sickness continues. She is phlegmy and coughing. And whatever she has I think she gave me. My throat started tickling this afternoon and I’m feeling lethargic. Hopefully it’s a recurrence of hypochondriac-itis and not the start of yet another cold.

Tiger is in bed sleeping. She skipped most of her nap this afternoon. The transfer to the car did not work as her coughing woke her. We debated leaving her in the warm car but decided against it. A mistake. I drove her around the island on two occasions trying to get her to sleep. The first ended in the failed transfer, while the second ended in Tiger climbing out of the car fully awake and ready to play. I’m a failure even at chauffeuring.

Dinosaur is in the bouncy moaning a bit. He was a good sleeper today as he slept in the car seat when we went out to lunch this afternoon, and took two long naps later in the day. Hopefully that doesn’t mean a long night for the Doolies.

I didn’t have my afternoon caffeine. I know that because I drove over a traffic cone while leaving the lunch place’s parking garage. The cone was supposed to guide me through a two-lane to one-lane merge. It failed in its job. Or maybe I failed in my job of not-driving-over-the cone. I didn’t realize that was such a hard job. I did learn what happens when you drive over a cone, however.

After you drive over a cone, you shouldn’t think that the cone magically disappears from under your car. It does not. It goes along for the ride. You will continue driving convinced of the magical properties of the cone until the scraping sound and the burnt rubber smell forces you to accept that the cone has not disappeared. Once you move past the first stage of grief, you should pull over to the side of the road. Ensure you’re safe from traffic, and then look under your car. You will see a very bent cone wedged under your car. Do not panic. This is normal and why you should avoid driving over traffic cones. You will spend the next ten minutes manipulating, pulling, cursing, and pushing until the cone pops out from under your car. The cone will not snap back up. It will be a sad version of its former glorious cone-like self. Do not fret. It is best to leave the warped cone by the road and drive off quickly lest you meet the wrath of the parking attendant. You will lose karma points but later, when you return home and reflect on the afternoon’s trial, you will tell yourself that it was all for the best, as a worse person may have driven off with the cone in their trunk as a trophy.

That paragraph exhausted me. It’s Sunday again and that means back to work tomorrow. Not sure what this week has in store for me. I’m anxious to find out.

I had two more ideas for Inner Tirade comics. I had hopes of starting on one tonight. That is not going to happen. The disease that is making its way through my body combined with the needs of the children to exhaust me today. The best I can do is sit here at the keyboard and type a few words. You can’t expect artistic genius every night. Or any night, for that matter. And forgot about during the day. You should stop expecting anything. It’s better that way for everyone.

We’re watching and listening to Tiger on the camera trying to determine if she’s coughing while sleeping. So far so good, no coughing. She hasn’t moved since I tucked her in. She must be very sleepy. She did end up coughing once during my writing session. She changed position and is still sleeping.

I finished the George Saunders book. The last couple of stories almost redeemed the book. They were more optimistic, in that they ended with the possibility that the main character was going to do the Right Thing. GS never took the final step to inform the reader what did happen to his characters, but seeing as all the other stories ended in unabashed tragedy, I’m going to assume that these stories miraculously ended well. That way I can read another one of his works. He does remind me of DFW in his stream-of-consciousness way where characters think too much and share the entertaining minutiae of those thoughts. It’s the style I crave and probably should stop attempting to imitate. You know, because I’m not good at it.

The weather inversion should end on Tuesday. That’s jargon for cold air near the ground and warm air in the atmosphere, opposite of what it should be here in the Northwest. The inversion brings cooler-than-normal temperatures and stagnated air. The rain should return next week and the air should clear and the temperatures warm.