show details 9:00 PM (14 hours ago)

I drew my first solid memory of a cigarette. The tall man with the paunch is my grandfather. He was standing behind a too-thin tree, waiting to scare us – my brother and I – as we walk down the road.

I saw his hand, old and lumpish and tanned, and then I saw the cigarette. And I was scared, because I didn’t know it was my grandfather, I only knew it was a smoking man behind a tree and the sun was slicing trees with orange.
Even after he sensed our stopping, our seeing, our gasping. Even after he stepped out from behind the tree – slowly, a pivot turn on his heel, swing-stepping to face us. Even then I was scared, because suddenly it occurred to me that my grandfather could be anyone, could be a smoking man behind a tree.

I also drew a map of the place where I grew up. Appropriately noted on the face of the map; Because what good is a map if you don’t know what it’s a map to.

Please note the keys as they provide much insight into the details of a place that no longer exists as it was when I was young. Many features have changed, roads and houses where there were no roads and houses.

This map is circa 1985; I was nine.

For years it drove me crazy to have this map in my mind. Now, I think I’ll give the drawing to my father. Tell him thank you for raising me in a place that is memorable.
Re: My Life, as told in Cigarettes

Inbox X



show details Jan 6 (1 day ago)

The pellet stove repairperson/man is here. Trying to fix our lovely-but-lousy heat source. The oil delivery person is coming tomorrow. Yes, I said I would not buy oil.
That was when our stove and space heaters managed a toasty 61 degrees in the early morning.

This morning, it was 39. Sheesh.

No matter how cold it is, outside will always be colder. So, I can’t complain too much.

In addition to the cats having cold, refreshing water flowing freely from the taps – in an effort to keep the pipes from freezing.

(Do the cats care about the reason for their sudden bounty of beverage? No. They don’t.)

In addition to stove repair, I also have scheduled an appointment for Little the Geriatric Cat to see the veterinarian. He has yet another abcessed wound on his face, this one resistant to my efforts to aid in it’s healing. Boil water, let cool slightly. Add salt, stir until salt is dissolved. Compress rag soaked with hot salt water on affected area. Lower right quadrant of feline face. Hold gently until cat squirms. Adjust grip on cat and wipe affected area clean of dried pus/blood.
See if wound is still open, if so, gently encourage sickly-smelling pus/blood to drain. Wonder, with no small measure of revulsion, what the odd little aphid-sized and football-shaped white things might be?
Call veterinarian, make appointment. Call bank’s 1-800 number to see if you can financially accommodate the appointment you just made. Loathe yourself for being a sucker. Didn’t you find this cat by a dumpster? Didn’t you spend 600.00 credit card dollars on a plasma transfusion for him when he went into systemic failure after eating a toxic fungus out of a potted palm?

Have you not done enough for this small mammal?

Then again, this cat – old and increasingly deficit in cognition – is Olive’s favorite. She sleeps with him most nights.

——Original Message——
From: Me
To: Me
ReplyTo: Me
Subject: Re: My Life, as told in Cigarettes
Sent: Jan 5, 2010 6:08 PM

The upstairs isn’t unbearly cold. It’s brisk, but in a way that would seem refreshing if it were summer, adventuresome if we were camping. However, it is winter and we have a roof over our head. And so it’s not quite as nice or as fun as it could be.
It’s not bad though. The cats have cold, cold water to drink.
——Original Message——
From: Me
To: Me
ReplyTo: Me
Subject: Re: My Life, as told in Cigarettes
Sent: Jan 5, 2010 5:58 PM

Someone told me today that I am “so full of b.s.” Or that I was a “”

Or something like that.
——Original Message——
From: Me
To: Me
ReplyTo: Me
Subject: My Life, as told in Cigarettes
Sent: Jan 5, 2010 5:50 PM

my scanner isn’t scanning correctly. all you get is a bit of an ear. i actually really like this drawing. it’s of a raccoon.

Is there really anything to say?

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