The Little Things
Which of the following life features poses the biggest threat to my mental frame of mind?
a) Repeated visits to the transmission shop for service...in Ukiah
b) Fluid in Dozer’s lungs: multiple trips to vet in Willits plus $986.00 in fees
c) Stage IV progression of kidney cancer in Annie, necessitating trips to Sacramento every three weeks for overnight treatment.
d) Giants knocked out of first place by hated rivals from SoCal
E) AUDIO CABLE FROM HEADPHONES TO TELEPHONE KEEPS SHORTING OUT.
OK, I gave it away, inadvertently, by italicizing and capitalizing letter “e,” the wire that connects my ratty headphones to my telephone, so that I can access radio Pandora. It’s hard to fathom but my tranquility is inextricably connected to my ability to infuse music into my life.
It’s not the big things that paralyze me; it’s the little things.
Much of my time is spent by myself, either now in the wee hours for about six hours every morning, or much of the day as I work out back. As long as there is musical accompaniment, I do not feel alone.
If it weren’t for the fact that I am not particularly thrilled to be by my lonesome, this might be a good scene. As it is, I depend heavily on that infusion of oral sunshine being pumped into my ears at moderate volume ninety percent of the time.
Call it my security blanket, call it my protection from the inevitable presence of unwanted noise from surrounding sources, or call it my panacea for a fragmented mental condition, over which I have reasonable control, I must have access to my music or, ahem, face, er…the music.
How can I compare Annie’s health with a stupid wire, you may ask? The answer is, of course, I can’t, at least not logically or with any degree of credibility. One permeates my existence with its looming presence; the other strikes like lightning on a humid August night.
Both present challenges but the one cripples forward progress because of the immediacy of the issue.
Truck problems? I speak “guy talk” and handle these things. Truck acts up, taken to shop and truck “fixed”; truck breaks down on way home, is towed back to shop, and information is exchanged via phone; attempts are made to repair truck with no evidence of there being an issue, ten days pass, and truck alleged to be done.
There is NOTHING here that remotely poses a problem compared to that of my music being cut off.
|I mean, come on. Look at that face.|
Dozer’s issues? There is no thought required; it doesn’t matter how much it costs, or how much hassle it is, we do it. It’s that simple, and therefore not stressful from a cosmic angle.
Giants? lol. The day I worry about baseball on the same level as real life, is the day you should officially send the men in the white coats for me, and cart me off to the loony bin. Seriously.
Besides, longtime Giants fans know not to worry-October has not yet arrived.
No, I need the music to put one foot in front of the other and do what needs to be done-all day long. And I need Annie because she is the object, towards which my feet are always moving. Annie is never going to vary in this respect and I know that.
When the music stops, however, or squeezes down to just one speaker, I stop.
If it were just a matter of buying good quality equipment instead of the cheap version, then I could blame myself. I buy, instead, the more expensive of two options, when it comes to a 36-inch cable, and spend about fifteen dollars on each of two.
There are cheaper audio cables available at five dollars each, but those don’t even work long enough to get me home. Though there is a certain amount of wear and tear on the cables, if I am paying three times as much for supposed quality, why do the wires never last more than a couple of months? Or less?
As to why it annoys me, it’s not just the mood spectrum disorder, but that helps. It’s also that I employ the headphones every day to transport me to sleep, at any time I feel so inclined, right in the center of things in the living room on a recliner.
Let Dozer, Clancy, Emma, Margie and Baby Nina all go off at the same time, as visitors storm the farm on a tour of the West Forty, and Annie is chatting in the kitchen with Amber. Just watch as Markie snoozes away, contentedly.
|Annie at market in Mendocino.|
Some people need a fan going full-blast in the background; others need the TV. If I am napping during the day, I need my music at a moderate volume, to drown out the noise that envelops me.
Don’t ask me how that works-I am clueless and happy to cop to it. I just know that when that wire starts shorting out, so do I.
Others may find music an intrusion on their thoughts; whatever floats your boat. For me the music goes 24/7 in my head anyway, so I may as well augment it with the real McCoy.
The one nice thing is that though the wire shorting out is problematic, it is an easy fix, as long as I have a spare one on the shelf.
And if I don’t?
I’ll take Dozer to the vet in Willits, on my way to pick up the truck in Ukiah, while listening to the Giants defeat the Dodgers, with Annie by my side, and pick up another dozen cables.
A dozen may take me to Christmas.