Now Playing: “A Horse in the Country,” by Cowboy Junkies. “The money would be pretty good If a quart of milk were still a dollar Or even if a quart of milk were still a quart.” And boy that Margo Timmins can sing.
A few days ago Karen was commenting about one of my posts, and she asked me who I write for in them. It’s an excellent question. But I had a response ready. Sometimes I write for the readers, I said, and sometimes I write for me.
Case in point: When I quote from Jabberwocky or The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and don’t identify the source, I’m writing for me. I have inside jokes that amuse me, and it doesn’t really matter to me if anyone else gets them. (The Kurwood Derby fits this description, too.)
But as much as I like me, I also try to write something that someone else might read. Though it amazes me that anyone cares about my love for superheroes, old-time professional wrestling and strange taste in music. I do try to throw in a little of my lefty-but-practical philosophy and my hopes and dreams for this poor old world.
Interlude: The great Elvis song “Suspicious Minds,” delivered by Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter. It’s cheesey and nowhere near the King’s version, but still fun. “You know I’ve Never Lied to You.”
Now here’s the And Other Stuff.
I’m not a religious person. But I do believe in karma. In the Chinese restaurant, you take the fortune cookie closest to you. If you’re on a cold streak playing poker, bet without looking at your cards. Finish the box of cereal you’ve opened before you open a new one, no matter how enticing the new one is.
Bottom line is, I work pretty hard to keep karma on my side.
That’s why I’ve been pretty puzzled lately by the black cloud in my neighborhood. No, I’m not talking about the threatening skies. I’m talking about the perfectly good road in my subdivision, the best escape route for getting to Matthews or Charlotte, that has been torn up for a couple of weeks or so. It’s barely passable now. Combined with the pollen, it’s made both our vehicles look terrible. And there’s no use washing them until they finish, which looks like it could be in, oh, five or six years.
I’m trying to figure out not just what I’ve done, but what the neighborhood has done to deserve this. We give clothes to the kidney foundation, aren’t too mean to the Bible-thumpers that come to the door and all try to get along.
Then it hit me what has cast the shadow over my little piece of Indian Trail. Regular readers may remember my description a few posts ago about “Fred” (not his real name), one of the editors I worked with at the magazine. The one who likes to paraphrase quotes and make them easier to read and understand – or as many writers for the magazine like to say, squeeze the life out of them.
Anyway, “Fred” and his lovely wife, whom I’ll call “Kimberly,” recently closed on a house on the first street leading off the road I’m talking about. The following Monday, workers began tearing the road up. A clearer connection, there could not be.
Our subdivision is having a yard sale this weekend. Maybe I can get the neighbors to donate the proceeds to Icelandic Supervolcano Relief and we can change the karma. Or else there’s no telling how long that road will stay torn up.
And, oh, by the way. That there was an example of something I wrote for me, to poke a little at my friend “Fred,” who is actually a good guy with a good sense of humor – not to mention being twice my size (in height, not girth).
“Instant karma’s gonna get you, Gonna knock you right on the head, You better get yourself together, Pretty soon you’re gonna be dead.” – John Lennon, “Instant Karma.”