Awake at ten past four with the clear impression, through earplugs, that someone has spoken my name. Light of the lamp slowly dawning. The dog nudges the rattling doorknob, then click-click-click away down the hall. A trip to the necessary reveals nothing new, and a short doze passes the time before the alarum. One stares at the phone with a sort of awe in the morning: thank heavens for no real news. Up to face coffee and dumbbells and the morning’s journal. Set a pot of beans on to simmer. Open the balcony door to let in a breeze, despite the pollen tickling every surface in the house. Chilly outside. Not so cold as winter, but noticeable. The dog declines to go out.
Alone for a walk, crossing streets to avoid passers-by. Intend to go through the cemetery and take a turn, but the gates are locked, so continue east by an indirect route for another ten blocks and remember the beans. Return home directly. The dog’s greeting enthusiastic, frantic, tied in knots, a tattoo of claws on hardwood. No damage done, less pungent than liquid smoke. Indeed, an atypical saltiness more noticeable. Vexed at own carelessness, at not mentioning the beans before leaving.
Read something the other day about spring cleaning which mentioned cleaning the insides of closets and armoires. Hint of beeswax and cedar. Clean out the dresser drawers in consolation: check for moth and refold and tuck in more lavender. Less satisfying than anticipated, like most virtuous behavior. Knit two rounds of a colorwork hat. Need to observe tension: floats too short because of concern for tangles. Yarn dominance. Counterintuitive the dominant color should be held below. A curb rein. It will be an ugly hat.
Set aside huswifery for toils. Promised yesterday to turn in four pattern edits this morning (nearly a week ahead of deadline, but as a courtesy – always an eye to future work) and now scrambling to finish them: Pythagoras and row gauge. Manage to send them off before ten, and start editing two papers on the unpromising topic of business ethics and healthcare expenditure. The dog has found a dappled patch of sunshine and sprawls dozily, ankles neatly crossed, after stretching. Always a mark of punctuation: square brackets now and later an integral sign. When she stretches less, a section sign. Finished the day’s second cup of coffee and a lingering bitterness and a tension of fuzziness suggest that a third cup would not be beneficial at the moment – unfortunate. The sky very blue after the morning’s hazy oceanic clouds.
Nearly finished the shorter of the two papers by lunchtime. Cooked up some beans and rice, using up the last of the fading cilantro from the fridge, as well as a packet of sweet corn on the brink of freezer burn. The beans better than expected, despite a few patches with a flavor echoing ash. Considered reading after lunch, but thought it better to get back to work. Looked at the whimsy of interest rates. Nonsensical.
Finished the shorter paper. An awkward squirrel attempts, unsuccessfully, to travel between two trees in the backyard – or perhaps from the neighbor’s gutter to the flimsier of the two trees, recently over-pruned. The untidy rustle of gravity. Another neighbor is having a tree removed – or perhaps the city is involved – and the street is blocked by a large truck and drills and saws. A clatter of lumber, a rattle of leaves. Workers disassemble a balcony upstairs, shatters and drifts of debris falling, followed by the planks for discard. Such a noise, especially now that a leaf blower is agitating in the middle of the street. Taking too long considering possible spendthrifting – books and books and books – and return to the longer paper bemused by the untidiness of the references. The wood chipper revs up and consumes the branches from just down the way.