The Naked Truth Has No Bellybutton

“Katz”, the enlightened one mewed!!

I haven’t written consistently for months.  Family problems, deaths, various levels of illness and pain, existential angst, and an overall ‘I-don’t-give-a-flying-fuckingness’.   And trying to explain it all, in retrospect, doesn’t seem worth the effort.  So I’ll just start from here.

In a month, I’ll  be 70 years old.  No matter how matter how many times I acknowledge that fact, it still sticks in my craw like an undigested piece of pickled herring; cold, sour, full of bones.  Bones.  Bones.

What is it about bones.  Throwing bones to tell the future?  The future is pretty much determined, when you’re 70.  Sooner...   …   …than later.  Every day is a gift, I keep telling myself.  Yet a day’s gifts can be unwelcome.  Some days’ gifts feel unwrappable.  “Just leave them in the box”, I think.  And my painful hands don’t want to be pained.  Usually  curiosity wins out.  I give in, push away the covers, face the day, unwrap the gift.

My apartment looks out on the third floor and there’s a schoolyard across the alley.  Those  little bastards are screeching at the top or their lungs.  The loudspeaker intercom calls out from two hundred yards away, “Third grade gym in 10 minutes” or “Mrs. Gold, please come to the office”.   Am I the grouchy old man who the frightens the kids with his pickled herring sour face?  I could be.  I want to be.  I don’t want to be.

I get dressed.  A slow, painful process.  My ‘useless’ right hand just sits there.  Often, when I wake, I can’t find it.  I have to do this impotent flexing thing with my shoulder to initiate any action.  The children don’t understand.  They don’t have any receptors for that level of painful knowledge.  At least, I hope they don’t.  I remember, I try to remember, that mindless joy of childhood.

Am I angry?  Lonely?  Determined?  Invigorated?  Jealous?  Choices.  Choices.  Every day; choices.  More and more choices.  Less and less time.

My left hand, my arthritic hand, my ‘only’ hand, usually feels like it is controlled by a mad Nazi scientist, who randomly shoots electric current, wrist to fingertips.   On good days!!  On bad days, I feels like the Fuehrer himself has wrapped it up in a barbed-wire glove filled with dozens of poisonous ants.

Its 10 AM.  Still time to make a go of it.  Get out of the house.  Find something.  Focus on something.  Focus.  FOCUS!!

The children still play.  I still have unanswered questions.

Another day.  Another tomorrow.  More questions.   Always questions.



11 thoughts on “The Naked Truth Has No Bellybutton

  1. TD, it’s that number – three-score years and ten – drops like a ten-ton weight and flattens the breath out of you. It took me a year of muttering “I’m 70” to get used to it, and I wan 71 and that wasn’t nearly as bad. It IS a gift, free and it’s yours. Damn well enjoy it, man!

    1. As you’ve already noticed, I can be very creative. Therefore, I choose to enjoy my life AND complain about it. At the very same time!! Ain’t life grand!!


      1. To the Dog from the Cat – it might sound like mocking, but no, just teasing very gently (after all, dog have bigger teeth! I wouldn’t want to enrage you 🙂 ) Actually, I liked the old boy’s attitude.

      2. That is one very sweet pooch! Staffie? (I come from Staffordshihire, where lots of people still have Staffordshore bull terriers, a much-maligned breed.)

  2. On quiet evenings, and yes – occasionally, the jarring sound of children playing intrudes on my need for lots of peace and quiet after a work day. THEN, I remember how utterly wonderful that sound actually is… the laughter (I can do without the screaming tho) and sheer joy of being able to expend all that youthful ENERGY!

    Maybe one day you might hear over the school’s loudspeaker, “And how are you today, neighbour Taxi Dog?”

    I get the pickled herring bit… unless proved otherwise, I still believe I’m the only person with Nordic roots who can’t stand herring. Yech!

    It’s beyond superb to have you back blogging! 😉

    1. The web-site, says: “Pickled herring are a must for Poles at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve”.
      Seems to me, winter in the Nordic climes is tough enough. I’m much more likely to be found eating shrimp tacos with the little mamma-citas Acapulco that snuggled up with some Brunehilda with a horned helmet. On the other hand, I’ve never had my horn blown by a Valkyrie since Wagner was a little boy in a Weimar.


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