Today after the meeting I decided to go to various local bookstores during the football game and see if any of them had this:
, which I'd just decided I wanted, if it existed, which it does, so I could read through all the poems, in order. I decided I did cuz they're wrong who think he's not great plus who cares what I know is his fun came with heart, serious play, and I haven't indulged myself in it as much as I want. Then, lo!, it was at the very first store I came to. So I exchanged a large amount of capital for the thick book, took it into the library next door, and got started.
On the way home I bought (in Hollander's before picking up a coupla tomatoes at the farmer's market outside where yeah they still have plenty, and lookin good) a sheet of not-Mylar-but-close, but I think I'll use a paper-lined intended-for-dust-jacket cover hunk, like Lorne showed me how to put on a book, except not off a big roll. I'll use the sheet for some jacketless books, maybe. Soon my new cummings will have some smooth protectiveness on its lovely cover.
I read for an hour and didn't get to the end of his first book. I left off in a section of portraits, with ( this one.... )
I have the idea of writing Starnes a letter on my new old typewriter. She may need a magnifying glass, but she probably has a magnifying glass. I can tell her about my father's typewriter on my father's typewriter, and she had some firsthand experience of my father too. She knew the times. I suppose she's probably 15 years younger than my folks were? I don't really know. She seemed like an older adult when I met her, but I bet she was all of 40, if that.
Doggie wants to go outside now. The football people have probably pretty much cleared out. And it's nice out. And Siri sez the sun's up for another hour and 7 minutes.
I'm foggy and have a dull headache and my eyeballs are sore, but none of this is blocking my ability to feel gratitude. General gratitude to life, and having a place in this one.
I think it was Brené Brown on the radio yesterday, saying we shouldn't keep our eyes open for the evidence of how we don't belong, but should instead (no, not watch for how we do but) carry such a sense inside us. Access to the latter seems pretty iffy to me, or unreliable, at least, but I can see how I have the power to try the former. The not watching for the dreaded multiplex of nonbelongingness. Not that a body has to look hard. But, y'know, I take it it's more a matter of conscious directing of attention. When you can muster it.
Years ago I thought of writing here about my father's typewriter, but I never went through with it. I'd looked it up online--- easy enough, with its distinctive square green keys, and my recollection that it was an Olivetti--- and got all transported back to the time I spent with that machine.
It was a sensory wonder, my father's typewriter. Its compact weightiness sat on a dense gray foam pad on the steel typewriter table, and it hummed when turned on, via the strangely rocking-chairish angular power switch toggle. It vibrated too, a bit. And when it was in action, the combination of sounds was magic. Enchanting, you might even say.
Looking at pictures of it online, my body itself calls up the textures, the feels, the motions, the smells. The ribbons were cool. The little window the keys typed into was cool. The arc splay and precision of the orchestra of the striking metal keys. The space bar. The shift key. The half space. The markings on the paper guide, and the little grooves of the steel wheels against its flat front. And so square--- so 90-degrees right in so many ways, that machine. Its design won over some part of me, deep down, I now reckon. I'm sure it's a good part of why I like boxy cars, to this day. And of course keying, and typography, and words, and writing.
When my father spent a summer at the University of Texas when I was maybe 13 or 14, I wrote him letters, from & on his typewriter back home. I remember I played games with the right margin--- finding ways to make the words just the right length for each line to be one character longer than the last, for instance, for a while, and then go back the other way. Things weren't always so smooth when he was around, but, him at a distance, I could share the results of my playing with his typewriter, and maybe we'd both enjoy it. I would, anyway. Not that I was consciously thinking about any of it, then. I operated largely on instinct in those years. Instinct and fear.
When my father got back at the end of that summer, he brought me several UT gifts. T-shirts, a pennant, hats, I don't even know what-all. One would've been surprising enough. For years I had Texas-orange Longhorn stuff to deck myself out in, decorate my room, etc.
So the other night I was watching the movie of How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, partly cuz I wanted to see young Robt Morse, after his (surely related) stint in "Mad Men" (and its fond song-and-dance farewell to his character there), and there, on the screen in the film, was my dad's typewriter. Lots of my dad's typewriters. It was on many highly stylized desks, in its highly stylized way. It got me to thinking about that machine again, and wanting to lay my hands on one--- literally lay my literal hands on one--- again before I die. So I up and bought myself one offa the internet. Cuz why not. I'll be dead soon enough, but, with luck, it won't be before I get to play, again, with an Olivetti Praxis 48:
One of the thoughts I had, discovering a few years ago that this typewriter was considered cool by some of the rest of the world too, at the time, was that maybe it had been a relatively expensive typewriter. We were a financially strapped young family, and, if it was indeed pricey, was it something of a representation of how my father's desires were to be satisfied, as his emotions were valued, considered, even the ruler of the roost? I thought of his having had a motorcycle for a while, and other gadgetry, and the dark room in the basement he smoked reefer in with the grad students, and that beer can collection, and those trips to Europe (with students, but with extended romp sections too, it seems, reading the postcards he sent us back home). I hadn't thought of those things that way before. It had never occurred to me that sometimes whole families go to Europe. In fact now I'm remembering how there wasn't money to send me on the junior year abroad that my collegiate fellows took at some college in the tutory Tudory Oxfordery.
However little it was meant to, though, that typewriter gave me pleasure. It still does, in my head and heart.
I can already feel my fingertips sitting in the smooth hollows of those little squares......
But the sun came out, and it seemed warmer, and the map on my pocket computer suggested a window of opportunity, so we trotted back to the house and went over to the pool. We hadn't been there long when Juli appeared, sans canine, just coming by to enjoy the scene, and the dogs. Lu still hadn't leapt into the big pool yet at that point. Before long, tho, she was a-swimmin', fetching tennis balls and bringing them to "shore". She got some exercise today alright.
I headed back to the office while she slept it off, stopping to send some wrong-size hats back to sender. I'm going to get another size of one, but the other, unfortunately, just doesn't work for my head, I think, even if it were a size down. This is a shame, on accounta it's very cool, with Guatemalan fabric and a killer-groovy lining. Plus it's a Carlos Santana hat. Yeah, he has hats!
So that's the hat I won't be keeping. :( If you like an ivy/"driver" cap, tho, and are similarly taken with that one, you're welcome, go for it, wear it in good health, etc.
Anyhow, tonight I reheated lasagna and made some more dog nubblies and fed her a nice big meal too. Then she was playing with her well-loved BB8 toy and finally tonight got the squeaker out. It's only the third time she's harvested a squeaker, and this squeaker was the biggest yet. Happily I already have another copy of the same BB8 on deck for her. She sure celebrated that squeaker with some squeaking. She was doing upside-down dog and looking over at me proudly, upside-down, from the couch.
I see Juli just sent me some pictures she took today. I thought I caught video of Lu jumping into the pool, but I guess I hadn't hit record. I do have some of her swimming, however. The little drenched otter. Earlier today at work, and then just now here, pesky facebook tried to tempt me to re-post a shot from 5 years ago, at the same event. And then I ran into more of my heart, a thread, pulling at me. It does pull at me. Or something pulls me via the thread of heart, the swath of heart, loose and snaggable, always flappin' away. Oy.
Well, I thought the pup was out for the night, after her adventures, but she's awake again and up. She's not interested in where Irma the Hurricane's going (cutting a bit north of Puerto Rico, but still quite strong).
I try to imagine living on an island down/out there. A little island in particular. Dog says let's go outside, there's no hurricane here. And so we will, briefly. Then goodnight.
Goodnight to you.