Tuesday, March 29, 2011


It's frigid today, cold and clear. It's supposed to be warming up but right now you could fool me. My first instinct is to pack woolies for our weekend in Kentucky but I know that's wrong. It's going to be warmish--high 50s--so a light jacket will do but when your windshield is frosty in the morning it still feels like midwinter. Although the sun is doing a bang-up job melting the snow from last week so the rays must be stronger and warmer, right? As usual I'd like magic fairies to come and pack for me and transport me there. Robert, the TomTom GPS says it should take about 8.5 hours to get there but I know that's a very optimistic timetable. There'll be traffic in Milwaukee, Chicago, Indy and Louisville, and slowdowns here and there but we'll make it. I always get like this before a trip. I want to go but I don't. Once we're on the road I'll be fine, it's just the ready-set-go! part that gives me pause.

March 28--Paul Gauguin, Two Tahitian Women. It's hot and the wind in the trees makes a sound like rain. the irregular thuds of falling coconuts make me think someone is sneaking around the cottage. The constant sound of insects never lets up. I hear it in my sleep and I know I'll hear it for the rest of my life. The rising buzz of palm cicadas reminds me of hot summer nights sitting in the old, yellow-painted, metal lawn chairs in Grandma's side yard. The only light came from the stove light inside and the lightning bugs would flash in the low hedge next to the pasture. I wonder how I could have imagined it was hot and humid there when where I am now saps all the energy from my very cells. It's even too hot to eat. We're fooled by Ava Gardner movies and Paul Gauguin's paintings into thinking Tahiti is a lush romantic place when it's actually an inferno of poisonous insects and mildew. Romance be damned, I want an air conditioner.

Well, that's dyspeptic, isn't it? I imagine the narrator is a woman who has followed her husband's dream with him and is less than thrilled. Paul Gauguin was a dirty old man, I'm convinced of it, and I just cringe when one of his paintings comes up as a prompt. He has an unhealthy fixation on young topless women and none of them look remotely happy to be his subject. Boys. Tsk.

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