It was full-bore January again. Everywhere she looked, she found mostly lima beans with unsalted butter and bitingly cold borscht. Her own fault, probably, that she was starved for roast duck (that was never a real duck). She hadn’t prepared.
She’d tuned in to daytime television yesterday while honing skills for the couch potato games — she’d surely do better than 4th Place this winter. She thought about checking out the earrings of all the younger women on the Spanish channels, but she knew she wouldn’t consider any for herself, now. Meh.
What else? Oh! Game shows! Dear God, people still watch these things??
Ah, yes — the soaps are *alive* too.
She kept the remote button busy between these two: The cooking channel and home shopping. She couldn’t eat much and didn’t like to cook in such a small kitchen with so few cookery things/too many 50-year old spices but it was fun to watch others cook; and although she liked a lot of products on the buy-me channels, she wasn’t about to apply for a credit card anywhere. Ever. Been there, done that. No one on earth needs that much info about her. Her challenge, should she accept it, was to find something so irresistible that she’d have to go buy a generic refillable anonymous credit card.
So far, so good.
The fact was, only on these two channels could she totally avoid being privy to anyone’s hopping into bed to settle all their and the world’s problems (or to start more). It was also quite unlikely that anyone would suddenly disappear from either show and turn up in a dumpster out back of the studio.
She toyed with the notion of reading a book. Yesterday, she’d toyed with disposing of many of them — why do people keep libraries? Do they re-read a lot? Did they actually expect their children (grandchildren.. great-gr…) to ooh and ahh? She had had to use that particular bookcase (sold as a CD holder/cassette cabinet) for a toddler-defeating stand for the computer tower. Hence, boxes of books on the floor..
There were only a few to keep. Her mother’s St. Joseph’s Bible; those paperbacks gifted her, most inscribed/some dedicated; the little hardcover Mom-books. There wasn’t a lot of poetry. Rather, just enough: Two Frost books, a Mary Oliver, and an anthology in which her granddaughter had been published. That left the door open for more Frost, more Oliver, and a healthy dose of Dickinson — if she ever got really selfish. On someone else’s dime at B & N some awful-outside day, that was always a real threat.
There were surely some Readers Digest Condensed books here she hadn’t turned to already in the deep freezes. She kept an unrecognized one on her bureau, lest she lose sight of it one needful day: someday when she could look at it without thinking she’ll be in a wagon train for 600 miles before she realizes those hours will never come back.
She scanned the online *headlines*:
“Trump looks in mirror; declares it all good” (..but did he actually see his reflection?)
“Jokic uncorks absolutely freakish pass” (Relax uncorks absolutely freakish yawn.)
“Simple ways to move more” (#1: Put the TV remote on the far arm of the sofa.)
“Worst states to be couch potatoes in” (Relax made that one up.)
“Signs your marriage is over” (Wild guesses, here: She hasn’t come home from work for 3 or 4 years; there’s a beribboned bottle of bubbly where his Milk of Magnesia used to be; …)
So, she showered and dressed and made up so as to not scare small children at the supermarket, but first she had to write something, lest she later have an ennui-effect repeat of last night — trying to call the work elevator with her car remote’s Unlock button.
Which is archived on videotape that she hopes no one will ever have to review.
Anyway, music helps..