I did laundry this morning because I figured I'd have no competition: I was right. As it was finishing, Sherri knocked on my door and asked if I'd like to walk on the beach again. We agreed to do so 30 to 60 minutes later. So, I folded the laundry, retrieved the towels from the dryer, and stuffed my pie hole with lunch. Like yesterday, we walked for nearly two hours. The beach is beautiful, and if I were a kid, I would have been swimming and sunbathing. As an adult, the water is too cold, and I have a no-tan policy. Many of the residents here have major sun-related skin damage which they make worse every year. And, today, I saw a twenty-something woman who has sun damage that I have only seen on people 50 years her senior.
Before Sherri knocked, I had planned on coloring my hair and drinking Prosecco. I deferred it until my return. I have to say that it's an excellent combination. Eating homemade pepperoni, cheese, snow peas, and carrots supports both, as does watching the second half of "A Christmas Story.” When you live in 180 square feet, you can color your hair, eat, drink, and watch TV at the same time without moving your head. Last night, the people with whom I formally worked initiated a group text about Christmas and the movie. Two of them are die-hard fans who can recite the lines because they identify with Ralphie's childhood, yet they are 18 years apart. I watched it last year for the first time because of them, but it didn't resonate with me. It still doesn't, but I understand its appeal. I think if I watched it with a devotee, I'd appreciate it more.
This morning while listening to Kurt Andersen's "Studio 360," I heard writer Oliver Butcher confess his love for the movie "Love Actually." OK, that is my Christmas movie! Other than "Band of Brothers" and The Civil War," it is the only DVD I own. I cry every time I watch it. Butcher explained his guilty pleasure and its beauty, including the Laura-Linney-character-hot-Karl-the-IT-guy failed hook up where she leaves him in an unconsummated bed to attend to her mentally ill, orphaned adult brother. Butcher said that she had to do it. I disagree! She's not his fucking mother! She's not responsible for his mental illness! It's not her fault that her parents left them orphaned. She should attempt to enjoy her own life unfettered by her sibling. She should have turned off her phone and fucked Karl and lived happily ever after. But if she had, we wouldn't have known her tragedy. And, Christmas, isn't Christmas without tragedy. Nothing merry about that.
We've all crossed bridges and driven on roads which are in memoriam for someone. I have always found that to be odd and discomforting. When I cross a bridge, drive a road, walk past a park bench, or, more recently, encounter a tree named for someone, I ask myself who was this person, and why is it important to recognize him or her? Why is it important that we recognize a minor state or local politician or someone whose heirs had enough money to commemorate something for the deceased? If I believed in the afterlife, I would be mortified that road or bridge had been built or a tree had been planted and a plaque placed beside either to tell strangers I had lived. It's a gravestone outside a cemetery, and I think cemeteries are one of the largest wastes of land of which mankind has conceived. Short of architectural wonders like the Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires, burying our contemporary dead seems wasteful. Commemorating the unremarkable seems silly. Have you ever Googled the name of an unfamiliar person whose bridge or road you crossed? No, you haven't. Because you don't care. No one does. So, why do we do it? Fuck, if I'm ever famous I hope someone names a garbage dump or waste water reclamation plant after me: at least people will get that I, like the place, stink, and that's a pertinent connection.
Siobhan M. Knox
In May 2016, I bought a five ton, 25’ long Class C motorhome because I like to drive, I like to travel, and it’s more fun and less expensive than living in a hotel. No prior RV experience was required, and I had none: perfect. I’m writing a book about my adventures which will come to an end when I get a job. The dogs will be sad.