safer and sorrier

All I could imagine was that these hundreds of little crickets were running around in pure terror, while the “Cricket Little” in their midst cried out “the sky is falling; the sky is falling!
This afternoon, when we set an 8 foot piece of slat fencing on a flat patch of weedy grass so that I could spray it with stain/sealant, we must have laid it on a thriving community of crickets. Out they came by the hundreds, hopping through the space between the slats and running around in chaotic fright along the surface of the wood. I’m sure to those little creatures, going about their everyday business, it had felt like their sky had literally fallen on them.
Hmm. What to do? I didn’t want to spray them and get them stuck to the fencing. Sweeping them away didn’t make any difference. There seemed to be an endless stream of comrades to take their places.
While I’m not particularly fond of bugs of any kind and have no problem permanently disposing of those that find their way into my living space, I try to live and let live when I trespass into their territories.
I had already lifted, carried, placed, and sprayed four other pieces of fence, and I was too tired to move this one. So, I figured I’d just start spraying at one edge and hope the critters would feel the spray coming and get out of the way. Most of them did, and I could just imagine them calling to each other:
It’s the suffocating “Black Rain” foretold in the stories of our fathers! Our End Time has come! We are doomed, doomed The end of the world is here! The Black Rain is falling! Repent all you sinners!
The end did come for a few of them. I just left them stuck to the wood. (I’m such a heartless bitch.)
I didn’t used to be so heartless. Then, again, I didn’t used to be a lot of things. Like reluctant to drive over to the closest mulitplex (which is not really that close at a 35 mile drive) by myself to see a movie that I just don’t want to miss and I want to support by going on a weekend.
I didn’t used to think twice about walking into a dance venue by myself, scouting out the dance floor for some of the better leaders, and than going over and asking one of those guys to dance. I found out the other day that there’s a Latin night at a dance club ten minutes from here. Instead of doing what I would have done five years ago, I sit here thinking…”I’ll probably be the oldest person there. I’ll be embarassed when no one will dance with me. I’m too old. I’m not as attractive as all of those young women who, no doubt, will be there dancing in skimpy tops, short skirts, and high heels.” (I should know; I remember when I was once one of them.)
I’m too old to hit the dance clubs. But I sure as hell should be able to get myself out to the movies.
If I were one of those crickets, I probably would have just stayed in the weeds under the fence. No risk there.
Appropos of nothing — or maybe of everything — if you can, listen to this audio clip of a monologue from Paddy Chayefsky’s 1976 blockbuster mvoie hit “Network”
A commenter left it on b!X “Finis” blogpost.
It’s so much safer to hide — among the masses or between the mountains.
I used to stand out in a crowd. Now I avoid them.
A change? A transition? A “time-out?”
Is this weblog my last stand as an individual who spent much of her former life neither safe nor sorry?
sometimes you go into check on her while she’s sleeping. she sleeps on her back, her mouth open, gravity drawing the thin skin tight along her cheek bones. you have to look carefully to see if she’s still breathing. she’s forgetting more. sometimes talks to you as though you are her (long-dead) sister. thinks your brother is her (not-so-long dead) brother. he’s never sure what name she’s going to call him by. she tells the same old stories over and over. she has no idea how much her hearing has deteriorated — equates being deaf with being crazy. refuses to admit to either. having a conversation with her is like a comedy routine. her responses have nothing to do with what you have said. only it’s not funny to you any more. and so you sit with her and watch tv, which she really can’t hear anyway. but you’re there. she needs you there. you are not alone, and yet you are.

5 thoughts on “safer and sorrier

  1. To all things a season. All goes in cycles. When single and alone I loved clubs, noise, loud music, drinking, parties, crowds…
    Now, I like my couch, my living room, a warm blanket, a family snuggle. Loud music gives me a headache, crowds make me nervous, drinking makes me sick (haven’t done it in years)…
    So what? All things change. Seasons. If we don’t change — we die. Isn’t that what they say?

  2. Hey Cricket!
    Don’t be afraid. You know better. And you’re never alone. You know that too. Go to the movies. Go dance. Someone is there hoping someone like you will be along. And if they’re not, perhaps it’s because they were afraid too. So be there for them, and perhaps they’ll be along. Be present for someone whose presence is slowly fading away. You’re doing great.
    And you are not alone.

  3. Thanks to you all for the moral support. I think that most of the changes in my life before this were self-intiated, made by choice. Growing older brings changes that I wouldn’t choose. That’s what pisses me off, makes me restless, as I struggle to adapt to new realities.

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