Sunday, September 27, 2020

Small Pleasures

The specter of a Trump sweep feels like a diagnosis of metastatic carcinoma. Inept and uncouth barely describe the man. How, I ask you, how could anyone vote for a guy with no ept and even less couth.  But we’re too old to move and besides, my friend on a Greek island doesn’t have a spare bedroom. So I look for small pleasures to keep me sane.

I’m told it is now autumn. It happens here as soundlessly as that silent n. We have plenty of weather but no seasons. The only way I know is that Trader Joe has suddenly filled their aisles with everything pumpkin. I now have a supply of pumpkin bread, pumpkin beer, pumpkin biscotti and pumpkin pancakes. I can now die happy……almost.  

To reinforce the calendar the green leaves have turned golden on our coral tree. Their loss of chlorophyll becomes our brief spectacular show. The foliage falls in a blaze of glorious decrepitude. Sort of like the way I feel on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On the other days I’m filled with pluck and spunk.

See Naples and die, so said Virgil. I’ll take his word for it. I’ve read Elena Ferrante and that’s as close to Naples as I’ll ever get. So I say, See maples and die. And we did eleven years ago along with the sycamore and other deciduous leaves ablaze in the Vermont woods.

Here on the other coast the blaze is an inferno of calamitous proportion with nothing pleasurable about it.

Low-brow that I am I cannot claim to have watched any ballets. The closest I can get is the balletic leaps, spins and twists of LeBron James as he hangs in the air giving gravity the finger while throwing the ball through the hoop. Truly a sight to behold. Nothing matches the athleticism of a great basketball player. 

He reminds me of myself in my wildest dream. I played on the team in my first year of college enough games to get a varsity jacket. My one acrobatic move was grabbing a high rebound around the foul line and in one motion depositing the ball back in the basket. It gets better with each recollection.

Put the kettle on. We need our small pleasures to keep the wolf from the door.

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