Dawn Reader

Dawn Reader
from Open Door Coffee Co.; Hudson, OH; Oct. 26, 2016

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

One of those mornings ...

I'm having one of them. One of those mornings that make me feel as if my life is nothing but a drawer of cluttered kitchen utensils, most of which I haven't used in a decade. Their only function seems to be this--to slice my fingers when I'm trying to find some spatula or bottle-opener that I do want.

On the scale of Human Tragedy, my morning has been inconsequential. Things that annoy and depress rather than alter anyone's world.

Earlier, for example, before I walked over to the coffee shop, I took a look at my checking account online and saw that--somehow--there were three payments to Kohl's in the last couple of days: 2 were for $175 (which is the amount I'd intended to pay--but just once), 1 for $210 (which was my total balance). WTF?

I also saw that the automatic payment for my subscription of the New York Times was twice as much as I'd expected? WTF?

So I did the best thing I could think of: I ignored all of this for a while, went over to the coffee shop, read the New York Times on my kindle (shared on FB a story about some contemporary novelists who will be writing versions of all of Shakespeare's plays), read the first twenty-five pages of a book that's already depressing me (The Teacher Wars: A History of America's Most Embattled Profession, 2014, by Dana Goldstein), and twenty-five more pages of Joy Williams' fine new short story collection (The Visiting Privilege). Then I walked home, knowing there was Kohl's to deal with. And the Times.

I went upstairs to see Joyce, at work on her computer, to say hi (she goes to the health club before I deign to open my eyes in the morning) and to brag that I'm now able to wear jeans with a 33-in waist again (I'd been up to 34--probably beyond). I saw she was frustrated with her Quicken program. I tried to help (I usually can), but this time ... failure. (An experience that does not brighten my day.)

Then I got on the phone with a representative of Kohl's, who told me they couldn't cancel the payments I'd made (so sorry!); all they can do is send me a check ("in a few weeks") that will refund the amount that exceeds the total balance due (I'll get $282 "in a few weeks"). That sucks. I'd not intended to pay the full balance this month, so I had to go take a dip in my (unimpressive) savings account to make sure I don't start getting overdraft notices.

Joyce is still on the phone with the bank. It's been about an hour.

Then there's all the clutter in my study. I'm sick of looking at it--but too weak of character to do much of anything about it. Too many things require decisions, and I'm not too good in the decision-making arena these days. Still, pieces of clutter speak to me in voices dripping with disapprobation and disdain: What are you going to do about me? Why haven't you looked at me in months? Why are you such a loser?

Some pieces try more emotional appeals--You used to want me ... You used to love me ...

What I need to do in here--in my study--would take hours. I think I'll just forget about it.

Maybe take a nap.

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