Wednesday, June 28, 2006

In a rut

I have obviously beat the "I" key so hard in all my writing lately that it has become so shy it won't show up when I hit it again, forcing me to go back to hit the key harder and make sure it shows up where it should. I don't know what the problem is, but I doubt I will be able to do with my laptop what I have to do with my regular keyboards -- replace them twice a year. I don't know how (or if it's possible) to replace a keyboard on a brand new out of the box laptop. Hopefully, it's just some grit stuck beneath the key and a good vacuuming will clear up the problem. I didn't think I was hitting the keys that hard, but after 40 years of typing and keying and all sorts of data input, and the speed that I have attained over the years, I know the force I use is more than most people who either hunt and peck or type at a much slower rate. C'est la vie.

I hate ruts. I have never liked them and go out of my way to avoid them. When I realize I'm headed for a rut or a rut seems likely I change direction, sometimes violently, but I always change direction. So why am I comfortable in this rut?

When I was away for a week on vacation I realized how much I missed the sounds I had taken for granted. Nel's shower coming on at 4:30 AM and the loud bang when the shower lever hit the metal faucet. The sliding glass doors swishing when she left for Monument at 5 AM. The smell of fresh ground coffee and the buzz of the landlady's coffee grinder around 5 AM and the usual calls and yells at Pastor when he's being an unruly child, followed by the swish of the landlady's glass doors when she goes out onto the deck to water her geraniums and fill up the aluminum pan around the rock in the middle so the birds and squirrels have fresh water. The sound of her horn when she and Pastor get into the car to go to dog park for their morning constitutional at 6 AM.

The birds start singing between 4 and 4:30 every morning and I wake slowly to their music, urged to get out of bed by a full bladder, and then back to bed to snuggle under the covers for a bit before I start my day. I check email (the laptop sleeps with me), answer what needs my attention, and do a quick cruise around the Internet when a new writing newsletter appears. On Wednesday mornings I check out Writers Weekly and run through the markets and jobs available to see if there is anything interesting or worth my writing time. I go back to the bathroom, brush my teeth and do a little more surfing and writing before I gather my cup and go to the kitchen to make my soy protein drink, adding whatever frozen fruit and bananas I still have left. Then it's back to the bedroom to get comfy and write my morning post before gathering my energy and resolve and heading into the sunroom to begin yet another work day, putting the writing I would rather do on the shelf in order to make the money necessary to continue to live with George, the landlady and Nel.

Until my vacation I didn't realize that this apartment is my home and how much I missed the daily sounds. Each day has its own sounds and the weekends are no different with me usually getting ready to go to some ham radio function or lazing around reading a book while the landlady and Pastor drive to the dog park and Nel turns up her music and putters around her apartment. Sundays she goes to the grocery store early and then does laundry all day while I either clean or write or read or spend time surfing on the Internet, our rhythms comfortable and comforting in their familiarity. Our personal and intertwining ruts.

I don't think I'll avoid this rut. It is too homey.

I'll still be unpredictable around the edges but I don't feel the need to run from this rut or avoid getting too comfortable because my search for a home has finally ended. I'm here. I'm home. And I like the view from this rut.

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