far too much writing, far too many photos

This morning: woke up far too early (something I seem to be doing most mornings, my adorable bod apparently — four months down the road, long past the time when it should have adapted to local time — stubbornly holding onto Madrid’s rhythm of life). Gave up, levered myself out of bed, got the day underway.

The plan for the morning: bring a bunch of STUFF to Salvation Army over in Barre (Montpelier’s working-class, slightly sad twin city), stop for breakfast at a funky restaurant/market not far from S.A. (a leisurely meal, taking advantage of the joint’s free wifi), return home, spend the afternoon working. Spent the pre-trip time bouncing around the house, being as productive as I can at that time of the day, doing a decent imitation of a high-functioning human.

When I’m on my own in the early morning, upright and pretending to be awake, I actually do a decent enough imitation of a functional adult that I convince myself. Until I step out the door. Slouching about in the real world reveals a far more accurate picture of my true state, even if I’m the only one who notices. There are mornings when I may appear to be normal, trustworthy, all that, though anyone who knows me well would likely see through it eventually. I notice it most on good mornings at the gym, where the pre-caffeine me is nowhere near being at my conversational best, going through the sweaty motions but not engaging in chat like I might later in the day (post-caff, post-food, etc.). On days when I wind up inhaling no coffee — and I do occasionally experience such sad, caffeine-free occasions — I don’t experience the symptoms of caffeine-deprivation I hear big-time coffee-sucking types complain about. No irritability, no headache, none of that. Just a more extended than normal period of swimming toward full consciousness.

And then there are those mornings when doesn’t matter whether I manage an infusion of stimulant or not, I just cannot seem to make it to full consciousness.

This morning: I wander in and out of the house doing, er, things that needed to be done. (Don’t ask me what — don’t remember apart from standing outside with the garden hose, spritzing the garden with one hand, slapping at voracious mosquitoes with the other.) Finally manage to get myself out of the house, load Salvation Army donations into my vehicle, get out onto the road pointed in the right direction. Have been making this trip lately about once a week, stopping at Hope Cemetary — an amazing expanse of beautifully (and sometimes wackily) designed/executed headstones set off to one side of the two-lane outside of Barre. Foggily considered that possibility as I drove, finally realized that I couldn’t as I’d left my camera back at the house.

Gravesite, Hope Cemetary — Barre, Vermont (from an expedition
on a less fog-addled day):

Got to Barre, pulled into the lot behind the S.A. store. The crews of strange folks that had greeted me on previous trips were gone. Summer’s over, they’ve vanished with it, leaving one lone woman to deal with mountains of accumulated donations — coping with grace and humor in the face of more STUFF than anyone should have to grapple with.

Headed into what passes for Barre’s city center, found parking, got out of the car (ready for a meal and some quality wifi time), realized I’d left my laptop back at the house. Stood by my car for a moment, open-mouthed with surprise at how I’d torpedoed myself. Closed mouth, spotted a coffee bar across the street, aimed myself toward a crosswalk, headed over.

A clean, relatively new coffee joint, run by two women. One customer sat at a small window table, back against the wall, reading a paper. I stood at the counter, a woman entered behind me pushing a stroller. A doll sat in the stroller, not a baby — nicely tucked in. The woman’s face wore a strange, half-vacant expression. One of the women behind the counter asked me what I’d like, I tried to concentrate, ordered a double espresso. She notified me that all espressos were doubles, I smiled. She did coffee-making juju, brought me a cup the size of a thimble half-full of thick brown joe. I debated initiating a discussion about the size of a genuine double espresso, let it go, accepted the cup. Went to pull out a bill, found an empty pocket, realized I’d left all paper money at home along with driver’s license and credit cards. Luckily, found enough change in a pants pocket to cover the purchase, handed it over, stumbled to a window table, marveling at the number of things I’d managed to leave at home.

As I polished off my nanocup of espresso, a hairy individual pulled up a stool at the counter, ordered a coffee, opened a newspaper. Something caught his eye, he read attentively, then loudly asked the women behind the counter, “You guys interested in your dreams?” An overture, I figured, to something about dream analysis. “I’m living my dream,” said one of the women. A reply that stopped the guy in his tracks and left me smiling. (To anyone living their dream: good for you!)

Finished up, drove home, tossed a small load of laundry into the washer. On fishing out the clothes 45 minutes later, I found my missing money, driver’s license, etc., all hanging out together at the bottom of the machine, moist and clean. I’d somehow managed in my morning fog to stick everything in the pockets of the shirt I wore as I got ready to go out, changing clothes before bolting so that when I walked out the door, $$$, etc. did not leave with me. (Happily, camera and laptop did not find their way into the wash.)

Can’t remember the last time I experienced an episode like this. Went through a phase in college when I repeatedly locked the keys in my car. Went through it again a few years later. (Which is why I now never go out without two sets of keys.) Since then, have never experienced anything more than the occasional normal spacing out.

Must mean I have a lot going on, enough to get me a teensy bit distracted. Not exactly news, that, but it’s interesting to get a graphic display of it.

EspaƱa, te echo de menos

2 Responses to “forgetting”

  1. mad

    Ever wonder what happens to the stuff you donate? It would interesting to see where it goes.

  2. tjdinvt

    Couple of weeks ago, I brought them a TV — they saw it and brought it right into the store.

    On the other hand, they had a huge storage container that they were filling with bags of clothing. Didn’t look like that stuff was destined for the store.

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