Thursday, June 12, 2014

In a Fog

Dense fog this morning, and then I was swimming in it. Lap swimming. Driving in fog is mysterious and weird, delightful and scary. Swimming in it is just like swimming without fog, since it's close up and just like the mist on other mornings when the water is warmer than the air.

I feel in a sad fog lately about the recent shootings. We know better than to keep on keeping on without enough gun control. Poor Emilio, in the wrong place at the wrong time. He loved soccer, his mother said, and now he'll miss the World Cup. A small, ironic shame inside a huge, horrific one. Shame on us.

How will we fix it?*

*Brazil.

My computer is in a fog, too, aka slow motion. I feared acquiring a virus from someone I communicated with recently in a professional capacity, so I cleaned everything, and the slo mo may just be the computer reacquiring all its cookies.

Or it might be fumes. Remember how my husband paints, lately, with paint thinner? Imagine my dismay, and the hilarity, of finding toxic fumes in Bark, by Lorrie Moore, the story called "Paper Losses." In this story, a woman's husband (shortly before a divorce) is building model rockets in the basement. She's talking to a supportive friend about her unsupportable life and the general lack of marital communication:

"I ask, 'What the hell are you doing?' I ask, 'Are you trying to asphyxiate your entire family?' I ask, 'Did you hear me?' Then I ask, 'Are you deaf?' I also ask, 'What do you think a marriage is? I'm really curious to know,' and also, 'Is this your idea of a well-ventilated place?' A simple interview, really."

I love Lorrie Moore. It's scary, as I said before, how much I identify with her characters and situations, wishing I could be half as funny, but I'm happy to report that I simply ask my husband to wear an appropriate mask while painting with paint thinner. I'm pretty sure he's not trying to kill us. Or himself. Summer is good. We can open the windows.

Yes, I got to the library, and they had Bark, and I answered most of my own questions. Yes, dogs. Yes, trees. Plus people barking at one another instead of communicating more gently and in human language. I'd have figured out the tree part if I'd looked closely enough at the cover image, but I was focusing on the words, fog colored.


4 comments:

Collagemama said...

Love the "Autobahn Society". I am feeling guilty about being in a fog. I can't keep up with the shootings because there ARE JUST SO MANY OF THEM, plus, I quit cable tv, and I'm listening to a really good audio book in the car instead of NPR. So I'm either in a fog or a bubble of denial, and I'm too broke to send Gabby more money. You, though, need to read "The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden", and also, "The Storied Life of A.J. Fikrey." And I'm adding Lorrie Moore to the Must-Read list.

Cathy said...

One of my favorite bumperstickers: "Wag more, bark less"

Marcoantonio Arellano said...

well expressed about Emilio and the issue of the ugliness of lack of gun control.

do you think painters/artists can create the way they do because of the psychodelics in paint thinner?
just ask'n?

being creative is ...such sweet sorrow.

feliz semana que viene

seana graham said...

I had been meaning to tell you how much I enjoyed your previous Lorrie Moore piece. I saw her at an AWP conference in New York a few years ago and she was a good reader for her own work. I have read a couple of her stories in the New Yorker, but I would like to get a collection.

The gun control issue is very depressing, but I heard some apt analogies that make me think that there is hope. Someone on a news show was pointing out similarities between Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and the antismoking crowd. The anti-smoking group has made perhaps more headway against powerful forces than the mothers so far, but that doesn't mean MADD won't win in the end. I am a bit amused and bemused by the extent that smoking has become illegal in Santa Cruz. Now even UCSC declares itself to be a smokefree campus. I think it is a bit unfair to start such a program in the middle of the year--students should know what they are getting into. And as one of my friends points out, the smokers just go off and hide in the fields and forests, which is not the best thing in a drought year.

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