Jan. 16th, 2017


Jan. 16th, 2017 11:14 am
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I had a Coco-related dream. I'm seated watching TV when a cat comes and lies down on the floor next to me. It's not Ash nor Sammy. "Coco?" I asked incredulously but actually hopeful. It really does look like Coco from above, and I happily believe it is her somehow. I pick her up and pet her, and I set her down on a counter. I then see it's not Coco. It is a calico cat, but the coloring is different. Although I feel a twinge of disappointment, it seems that I cannot let go of my sweet illusion. I resume petting the cat and calling her Coco, thinking perhaps that Coco's spirit might still be in this cat, that it somehow really is Coco. ... I still wonder why, after all these years, I never really had such dreams of Bo after he died. We were so close for so long. I don't get it. I was fondly hoping that dreams of Bo would be one of my life's consolations. I even fancied that he might be with me on my deathbed, eagerly waiting for me to join him so that we can run around and play together again, like we did in those early Bay Horse years when we were both young and full of spirit. ... ... Martin Luther King: "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." ... ... Sal Paolo is here. Alone, too. No Jack. I haven't heard of Sal in so long, I thought he was out of the picture, perhaps moved elsewhere. Apparently he needs Pop's printer. That's a puzzle to me. His family is supposed to be considerably better off than we are: why don't they have a printer? He certainly drives a fancy enough truck. It looks sporty while being huge and solid enough to take on a tank. ... And here's Jack now, along with Jill. Fortunately I just got my afternoon snack out of the oven. Of course I am hoping this won't be a long visit, but Pop loves playing the host and will surely invite them to have drinks, and Jack will surely take him up on that. ... ... David Frum: "Bottom line is that the future of the free world is in the hands of somebody you would not hire to watch your dog." ... ... I was feeling some doubts about working on jigsaw puzzles: spending weeks and months to put a broken-up image back together again. Do I really want to spend the remains of the day on that? But then I remembered why I took that Halloween puzzle back out of the closet in the first place after I had chucked it there days before in frustration and contempt. I was feeling painfully restless with just my books and my dead e-life. I did not really want a major activity, something that would require substantial time to do, or else I might have gone back to chess, but I desperately wanted something to do that could help fill in the odd minute or two of my reading breaks, something like my old practice of chucking wadded-up paper balls into the wastebasket or throwing darts. That was when I started thinking again about the puzzle in the closet. In that context, puzzles make fair enough sense. Moreover, there is the added benefit from working on puzzles of having a nice little keepsake for your time and trouble. Framed pictures of puzzles are not great wall-hangings, kind of kiddie-ish, but they can be nice. Indeed, when I am dead, my puzzles might be the only things that survive me that have some value. I am afraid that I cannot say that about my writing. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that this was before I rekindled my passion for Solitaire, and I can wonder whether Solitaire might be enough for me: keep life simple. We will see how this all looks in the summertime: to see what interests and passions are holding up. Right now, I favor the variety of having both puzzles and Solitaire to help get me through the day. And I like having something to show for my effort. I think it is also better exercise for the brain. ... ... Thomas Mann on having dinner with President Franklin Roosevelt: "He impressed me. Completely paralyzed for ten years, and yet this energy and experimental, not to say revolutionary, boldness. He has made enemies among the rich, whom he hurts, and among the guardians of the Constitution because of his dictatorial traits. But can one raise much objection nowadays to an enlightened dictatorship?" [Letters of Thomas Mann, p. 235]


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