Already I feel the summer’s been unbearably hot and long.  Like those final days of summer as a kid, I am actually looking forward to the necessary and focused work that comes with the fall.  It’s that same inexplicable progression from the first days of summer break when you can’t wait to spend every waking hour at the neighborhood pool, making new friends, getting a savage tan, trading gossip, up to some unforeseeable point at the end of the summer, when just the idea of another day at the pool has you reaching for the remote to watch endless hours of cartoons.

In those monotonous final weeks of summer the thought of all I could or should be doing was a weight so heavy I felt immobile beneath it.  Once college came, I never had that feeling again, until now.  With that “now what?” question raised here weeks ago still buzzing around in my head, I know there are dozens of things I could and should be doing toward finding that answer.  I start to do them–the research, the planning, the contacts, the lists–but an hour later I find I’m staring out the window at the eternally blazing sun and browning landscape thinking, like a bored teenager, This is so lame, what’s the bleeping point?

So I try to move on to any number of my other continually nagging projects, improving my Spanish, start training for my pilot’s license,  or what about the yoga and tai chi and ballroom dancing DVDs purchased with the best intentions?  Once I methodically nix each of those ideas, I recall there is still all my “real” work–the students and the novel, also demanding their share of attention, not to mention the clients I’ve been all but ignoring.  But still, here I sit.

Why does everything suddenly feel so damn tedious?  Obviously I’m just pouting like a spoiled teenager, because the things I really want to be doing right now, I cannot-gardening and traveling top the list.  Where on earth does the motivation come from to do anything at all, when all you really want to be doing is something else?

Handy hubby’s also acting a bit strangely.  I love roast chicken on Sundays, I’m not sure why.  But Sunday came and we had no chicken in the freezer.  We haven’t been buying our usual double-chicken packages from Costco, because we have 30 chickens wandering around the yard that are more than ready for the oven.  Suddenly he doesn’t want to kill them.  I have a sneaking feeling at some point over the summer his reasoning for keeping chickens has done an abrupt about-face.  No longer is it about self-sufficiency (or was I fooling myself that it ever was?), now it’s become a full-fledged hobby.  I think he’s still in a bit of denial about that, conveniently ignoring his hours surfing the various chicken sites and forums, repeating instead that they are doing us a great service-in eggs, as bug-munchers, and obviously, the sheer entertainment value (since we have only 2 TV stations, our own chicken channel is the best thing we watch these days).

The chickens hunker down in the shade under the bird-feeder, only bothering to move when handy hubby brings them more slices of frozen watermelon.  Even perpertually happy Papi seems to have some summer time blues-after 9 am he lies under the window unit sighing, actually refusing to touch his breakfast.

Instead of working, I’m reading Dolly Freed’s  1978 book Possum Living, and I’m so wishing I was her.  Why can’t I be one who relishes in her laziness, who is never driven toward do-goodiness or the continuously bigger picture, or tempted by material goods, or seduced by egocentrism in myself or others?   She was 18 when she wrote the book, recently reprinted, and had I known her then, she would have become my hero.  I’ve always been a wanna-be slacker who struggles with my Protestant work ethic, Dolly would have been just the medicine I needed back then to set me right for good.  I find myself wondering what she’s like now, so much so that I’ve decided I must meet her.  Lucky for me she’s agreed, luckier still, she lives not so far away from Houston.

I feel a trip to the big city coming on:  mani-pedi, cut and color, wine bar, a few frivolous friends.   I was hoping for a villa in the mountains, but looks like I’ll have to settle for a Houston McMansion with cranking a/c.   As if civilization will solve my issues.  It won’t, of course it won’t, but maybe a new hero will.

From nothing two weeks ago, two a dozen eggs daily. Now what?!

From nothing two weeks ago, two a dozen eggs daily. Now what?!