In 2022, my life changed a lot. I retired from the unnamed university in the late spring after 35 years, the last few of which were torturous. The library system was in the clutches of a malignant narcissist and control freak, and finally, I couldn’t stand being an object any longer. I flounced off to my home and stayed there all summer, jarring peaches.
Retiring – no matter what anyone says – takes some fucking practice. Because I’d worked two, three and at one awful point four jobs most of my adult life, having free time feels like an elevator in freefall. The idea that I can just sit quietly and not berate myself for doing nothing is new, even now. Last spring, I started taking long walks around the tiny town, and almost right away realized I saw things I’d never noticed before each time I put on my sneakers. Near my house, a wisteria plant has eaten a garage. Fifteen years ago, this garage was in use. Now, no one who isn’t a lumberjack is getting inside that door. Behind me, as I took this picture, the wisteria is climbing an oak tree. One day it will interfere with Newark Airport’s flight path, and no one is going to stop it.
The other day, I woke up to a feline-based poopsplosion on two floors and because I am retired, I had time to mop. Then I had time to consider whether I’d missed spots. I then had time to advise Pete to change his socks and mop a second time. My house smelled like lemon-scented cleanliness and not pot roast and farts, like your house – unless you’re a vegetarian, in which case your house smells like kidney beans and farts. It’s December! Everyone’s house smells farty, but in any case, for a brief, shining moment, my house smelled lemony.
With Twitter descending into unmoderated Hell, I’ve joined a bunch o’ different social media sites, though I’ll probably narrow it down to one or two soon. Too much words! Too many talk! One site I can’t figure out at all. Anyhoo, the idea of writing again is one I had not considered until a couple months ago, and it seemed like if I’m going to do that, I should start here. Who am I anymore? Who is even talking? I both know and don’t know. Maybe we’ll find out at the same time.