May 17, 2017 (Wednesday)

by Yule Heibel on May 16, 2018

Yesterday was quite a thing. After the usual morning routine, which didn’t include working on fiction but rather transcribing notes from Camille Paglia’s book, and exercising – but skipping breakfast – I went outside at ~11:15 to do “some” yard work. Three-and-three-quarter (nearly four) hours later, I was done. (Done in.)

Mowing, edging, and trimming all the hedges, pruning, and bagging up all the yardwaste… It was Herculean. By the time I went upstairs to take a shower – and have my first glass of water since starting this ordeal – I was hoarse with exhaustion. I should have kept a container of water handy, I suppose. My muscles got a workout. I’m still sore. I also now know for sure that wearing medium-width shoes, even if they’re “long” enough, is a stupid idea, generally. I kept a pair for mucking about outside. Upshot: bruised and hurting toenails. It seems I really do need a narrow width to keep my feet from sloshing about and banging into the no-matter-how-near-or-how-far toe box.

It was hot yesterday. Just like that. Cooled off a bit during the night, kept the windows open, but today it will get hotter than yesterday – and I can tell by my itchy eyes and slight cough and twitchy nose that my house is now full of pollen. There should be some kind of spray, which works in a regular refillable spray bottle, that neutralizes the pollen’s allergenic qualities. Then I could just waltz through here, tzzt-tzzt-tzzt, and spray. Dusting too often just distributes things instead of really removing them, and it’s a major job if you try to do it well. I’m not into major jobs today, going to take it easy. At 1:30p.m. I’ll meet Z. for coffee in Salem, and I’ll probably follow that with a grocery run. Other than that, it’s reading and maybe some walking.

In other news, the Trump scandals keep growing. It’s such a disaster – it would be comical if a) his actions couldn’t lead to truly horrible outcomes, and b) if the alternative(s) weren’t also so unthinkably fucked up. If he were booted out, then what? Pence? The Dems on a white horse? Not holding my breath.

I’m watching the inexorable traffic of E.-St. below me… I don’t want to imply it’s like a highway or a really really busy city arterial; no where near. But it’s a lot, it’s heavy – and angry-seeming – during rush hour, morning and evening. When I walk with W. to the station in the mornings, I notice it especially. I see drivers accelerating almost violently once they “escape” the knot of traffic that can form at the intersection near M.-Station. I see children, mostly accompanied by an adult, trying to maneuver their way on foot to the school (good for them), but sometimes facing outrages, like yesterday when I watched a woman driver just breeze through a signaled (blinking) crosswalk which a woman with two kids and a dog had already stepped into. The driver’s head was kind of down, she was probably looking at her phone.

In downtown B., meanwhile, the city has added terrific sidewalk bulbs and neckdowns to a notorious intersection at one of the main city intersections (three smaller side streets all converging on one intersection with the city’s main street). This has created much more space for pedestrians and made a real “pinch point” for drivers that should literally force them to slow down and pay attention. I’m sure the drivers are screaming…!

I just saw a couple in business attire, both wearing helmets and backpacks, maneuvering along E.-St. on tiny scooters, the kind children sometimes have, except this couple’s scooters were electric. (Razors?) On their way to M.-Station, I’m sure. Taking the train to North Station, then scooting from there to wherever (avoiding Boston’s subpar public transit). She wore a red dress, he had a beard.

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