Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Sixth Day

Six geese a-laying

Christmas Day the first, this is the sixth day of Christmas. Some may’ve jumped the gun to sing Christmas carols on Thanksgiving, too impatient to relish the anticipation that Advent offers, and tiring of it all by now; but this is Christmas. For light this early, now 3:46, Christmas tree lights are on and one may light up face and mood by thinking of a Ford station wagon arriving, or a Volvo. 

Mood manipulation is easy, isn’t it: there was a place to stand as those cars drove away, pressing the melancholy button to the floor. All it takes is calling to mind. Choose: sadness or happy, and which is stronger?

Messing with the mind by juggling memories and watching oneself.

Sitting at a picnic table on the east bank of the Susquehanna River, just north of Harrisburg, watching a groundhog watch me watching him watch me. August 1990.

Still dark out, fog coming and going evidenced as lights across the Bay shine bright, fade, dim, now invisible. Direct offshore is a bright flashing red, a few yards distant: when it vanishes I’ll know we’re whited in; but not yet, I can still see not only the red light itself, but its reflection in the Bay surface. The reflection will die before the light itself. 

And now the reflection is gone, just the light is there, and a bit hazy.

There’s a new cat at Tassy’s house, he’s orange, I love orange cats.
Yellow roses and orange cats. Human, we’d say redhead, ginger, but an orange cat. A kitten, four weeks maybe, or six. Name of Pudd’n but in Panama City his Christian name is Rosenkrantz. He’s a baby, orange tabby.

The red light is totally gone now, and I’m still wondering which mood is stronger, up or down. As well as by igniter, I’m thinking it varies by individual, and with me I think melancholy may be the bully, some thoughts, memories pulling me farther down than their obverse pull me up. What might I wish about myself? Perhaps not to have been so shy.

Nothing but dark out there at the moment, pitch black darkness, all lights blanketed by the fog’s whiteness. 

Going for a second cuppa now, and a chocolate, all the while deliberately messing with my mind to see if a particular memory takes me up, or down. More likely, the memory may be obliterated by the taste of the chocolate. If chocolate is Christmas, salivating is Advent. 

Happiness: a Christmas tree or an orange kitty?


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