Humorous, as much as possible, but not toujours gaie

In A post to keep afloat, Animals, Current reading, humeurs, Local projects, Music, notes on January 11, 2016 at 9:58 am

Given my druthers, I’d hibernate. Outside, the day is wet, cold and dreary. Ergo, yet another raspy sore throat – just the ticket, considering we’ll do public singing twice in the upcoming weekend. If I gaze straight at the To Do list, an inner moan takes shape. I think of my tiny, snug bedroom. Of pulling up the blankets and saying ‘bye-bye y’all’, and drifting off to the place where, no matter the dream content, the dreamer knows the dream is about staying asleep.

Waking up these days feels like putting on a heavy costume with pockets filled with slips of paper – call this one, don’t forget so-and-so. The mailman delivers stuff like the water bill – a whopping ninety-six euro for the use of eight cubic meters of the stuff. The detailed bill makes a normal body cross-eyed. Only consolation: the next bill should be lighter since this one includes the fee for Opening the Account. At forty-two euro and twenty centimes, Opening the Account must be a damned complex business requiring a full set of unique keys and one-time-only monkey wrenches. At least, I’m spared property taxes. My next-door neighbor pays out the equivalent of a monthly rental in those.

Voilà. Fascinating Monday-morning stuff. Prior to escaping in sleep last night, I cracked open Italo Calvino’s Le baron perché. The book’s previous owner enjoyed highlighting words in fluorescent markers which makes for a disconcerting reading experience. You turn a page and eight words blink at you like neon signs in pink, blue, green and orange. The previous owner didn’t provide a key to the color-coding (and I hadn’t noticed when I paid out my fifty centimes for the book). No matter. Côme has settled into his life in the treetops and worked out a buddy system with a small basset hound called Optimus Maximus. From time to time, I come across a sentence and recognize it as the basis for a number in a musical featuring puppets – a song of which we sing on a regular basis.

Allez. Raise up thy spirits. Rise to the day because it sure as hell won’t stoop down to you.

(The title refers to another book – what else? Wherein a cockroach named archy befriends an alley cat called mehitabel. Said cat insists she’s the reincarnation of cleopatra and further insists that, despite all her woes, she is toujours gaie. In those quainter times, the word “gaie” referred to someone’s joyous disposition, and nothing else. archy and mehitabel were dreamt up and animated by one Don Marquis, back in nineteen sixteen, says wikipedia.)


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