Poor Biff’s Almanac — Saturday Evening
It’s been quite awhile since I sat down and just pounded out a rambling, “I don’t really have anything to write about” post. So, here I am.
I apologize in advance.
It is Saturday here in Dallas. I suspect it is also Saturday nearly everywhere else in the world, so I can’t claim any sort of uniqueness there. That particular well is also dry in terms of inspirational writing prompts. So, shall we move on?
It was a quiet day today and, given the craziness of the past month, that was a good thing. I enjoyed sleeping late, getting up, having a cup of coffee, and being in no hurry to be anywhere or do anything. I did eventually get moving and took care of a few things around the house and ran a few errands. However, I think I would been just as happy back at home, wearing pajamas, sipping a cup of coffee, and taking a slow, desultory stroll through the internet or maybe staring at a good book without really comprehending anything I was reading.
And why not? It was near 100 degrees today (37.8 C) and steamy. There is nowhere to go within 50 miles of here that doesn’t involve spending money (and lots of it) or finding myself rubbing elbows with ten thousand other people who also felt compelled to get out of the house and find something to do. My inner hermit was trying to persuade me to just stay home. And so I did, for much of the day. Always listen to your inner hermit. They know what’s what.
I took a stroll around the neighborhood this evening when the sun began to set and the temperature dropped down to the low 90s (33 C). There was a slight breeze, so it was almost pleasant (except for the 75% humidity). It was eerily quiet and deserted. I didn’t see anyone else while out on my walk. I would occasionally hear the hiss of a water sprinkler or the very distant sound of a lawn mower, but it was eerily silent. I was reminded of a Twilight Zone episode I saw one time in which a man was walking around his neighborhood and it was completely deserted. I felt that way tonight. I half expected Rod Serling to step out from behind a tree to narrate the growing creepiness. Sadly, he didn’t. I would have asked for his autograph.
It suddenly occurred to me that I had been walking along these concrete sidewalks for two decades. Small children that used to walk or run along these sidewalks to go to school or to trick-or-treat or to fund-raise for their school band or scout troop were now grown, graduated from college, and busy being adults out in the real world. This realization did not put a spring in my step.
It put me in mind of a passage from Mark Twain’s “Life On the Mississippi” in which he, after many years, returned to Hannibal, Missouri where he had spent his boyhood.
Naturally, I was a good deal moved. I said, ‘Many of the people I once knew in this tranquil refuge of my childhood are now in heaven; some, I trust, are in the other place.’ The things about me and before me made me feel like a boy again– convinced me that I was a boy again, and that I had simply been dreaming an unusually long dream; but my reflections spoiled all that; for they forced me to say, ‘I see fifty old houses down yonder, into each of which I could enter and find either a man or a woman who was a baby or unborn when I noticed those houses last, or a grandmother who was a plump young bride at that time.’
I circled back home as the sun set and the light faded. My inner hermit commanded me thusly.