The staccato sound of rain on steel fills the house.  Just beyond the upper window pane, a purple glow marks the edge of the neighboring RV.  I’ve done the dishes, and put away an odd assortment of items which have yet to settle into one of the niches here.  For now they get stashed in the cedar chest with the baby blankets, a black wool sweater that I want to keep safe from the moths, and the exercise bands.

I did not much of anything today.  I made the obligatory trip to Lodi to return a lock.  I stopped at Pier 1 and bought a large cushion from the clearance pile which i fancy might make a good headboard.  I read a funny book, edited a stipulation, and spent two hours arguing with an office laughably called “Guest Relations” at Stanford.  They use initials instead of surnames and don’t give out extensions.  I wrote a three-page letter about my experiences in Cardiology, and tricked someone into disclosing both an e-mail address and a fax number.  I can be persuasive.

Not having a real job has finally gotten under my skin.  I’m starting to get interviews, so it won’t be long now.  But I can’t rearrange cupboards that I don’t have.  I’ll be in Missouri next week, which hopefully will soothe my jitters.  I’ll get a couple of more cases resolved.  I’ll go to St. Louis where my son and I will help each other process the loss of our beloved dog.  He’s meeting me there, taking the five-hour drive from Chicago.  It’s my sister Joyce’s birthday.  There’s no place like home.

But tonight the rain relentlessly hammers on the expanse of blue metal above me.  I’ve read all the novels that I bought for the trip.  I’ve exhausted my patience with social media.  I close my eyes.  I want to cry but that feels like a betrayal though I’m unsure of where my loyalties lie.

What’s the saddest song? someone asked on Facebook tonight. I posted a link to something by Bonnie Raitt.  But now, it comes to me:  The Sounds of Silence.

It’s the fifth day of the fifty-second month of My Year Without Complaining.  Life continues.


My favorite tree on Jackson Slough Road with the merest hint of Mount Diablo on the far horizon.



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