Call Me Anal

This morning I got an email from Blockbuster Online to let me know that they have received Doctor Who: The Complete First Season – Disc 1 from me. Just a few minutes ago I got an email to inform me that they have shipped Doctor Who: The Complete First Season – Disc 3 to me…

The Revenant

I was introduced to the poetry of Billy Collins just a few weeks ago. I am obviously doing a poor job remaining current on American poets as I had not heard of him before. Part of my B&N gift card went toward catching up on Mr. Collins’ poetry. I am finding his poetry to be very accessible, which is a stated goal of his, and yet delivering a slightly different perspective. This was my first taste of Billy Collins poetry:

The Revenant
— by Billy Collins

I am the dog you put to sleep,
as you like to call the needle of oblivion,
come back to tell you this simple thing:
I never liked you–not one bit.

When I licked your face,
I thought of biting off your nose.
When I watched you toweling yourself dry,
I wanted to leap and unman you with a snap.

I resented the way you moved,
your lack of animal grace,
the way you would sit in a chair and eat,
a napkin on your lap, knife in your hand.

I would have run away,
but I was too weak, a trick you taught me
while I was learning to sit and heel,
and–greatest of insults–shake hands without a hand.

I admit the sight of the leash
would excite me
but only because it meant I was about
to smell things you had never touched.

You do not want to believe this,
but I have no reason to lie.
I hated the car, the rubber toys,
disliked your friends and, worse, your relatives.

The jingling of my tags drove me mad.
You always scratched me in the wrong place.
All I ever wanted from you
was food and fresh water in my metal bowls.

While you slept, I watched you breathe
as the moon rose in the sky.
It took all my strength
not to raise my head and howl.

Now I am free of the collar,
the yellow raincoat, monogrammed sweater,
the absurdity of your lawn,
and that is all you need to know about this place

except what you already supposed
and are glad it did not happen sooner–
that everyone here can read and write,
the dogs in poetry, the cats and the others in prose.

Neighbors

I was heading down the driveway and into the cul d’ sac for what I am not all that sure; perhaps to get the mail or something. Coming out of their driveway was a neighbor pushing a baby stroller. I waved and said, “Hi!” They have an adorable little girl who is growing like a weed. I noticed it was a double-stroller. We exchanged pleasantries and I moved a bit closer. There was a second child in the stroller. I asked how the family was doing and if they were enjoying the incredible weather we’ve been having and I’m told that they certainly were. They continued on their walk and I went into the house. I looked at my bride and asked, “Did you know so-and-so had another baby?” To which she responded, “Sure, she should be about four or five weeks old by now.”

I was the first home after work so I dutifully let the dog out for a squirt and a squeeze. I was meandering about waiting as the dog took his good old time. Our next door neighbor was out on his porch. I responded to his “hello” with one of my one. I asked him how he is doing and he told me he should have the brace off by the end of the week. Brace? I strolled over for a better look. The guy was having a crazy time moving about. I asked what in the world happened to him. He told me of a mishap at work and that the doctors thought he may have cracked his hip. I asked when this happened and he said, “oh, about a week and a half ago.”

I was coming back to work from lunch and noticed several co-workers in the parking lot returning at the same time. I asked where they had gone for lunch? They told me they had just stopped for some quick takeout as they returned from another coworker’s mother’s funeral.

I have several other examples such as these and am proud of none of them. We live within sight of at least a dozen families. These are families that are living their lives right there around us. Families who certainly have needs; some small, perhaps some not so small. Families who like to be thought about. Families who would enjoy a kind word and a caring notion. While I am not a ‘people person’ in the schmoozing politician sense of the word, I like to think that I care about people. Perhaps I should get off my lazy bum and engage in my neighborhood.

Did I tell you we often drive to the park to take a walk…

If You Will Not

Now I will humbly offer my own “prophecy” (if one minds). When Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, and Warren Buffet fork over billions (billions!) of dollars to deal with poverty, eradicate disease, find clean water, freshen the air, and educate the young, could God (just humor me here!) be saying to those who (like myself) claim an essential orthodox foundation of belief, “if you will not be known for doing these things unto to the least of my brothers, then I will use others not of your fold to get the job done.”

…lifted from Out of Ur