For those of you who haven’t noticed, I have been running a fever. Disjointed, silly thoughts abound and I have tough time finishing sentences before starting another. When I’m not hacking up a gob of phlegm, I’m hacking up a headline.
No, seriously, headlines is what I want to write about, but keeping with my phlegmish roots, let me digress.
It’s a beautiful day on the shores of Lake Harriet. Yet another race of some kind has taken over the parkway and I’m sure there are happy healthy people down there making the most of it. Nearly every weekend there seems to be something. Some of my neighbors belly-ache about, but I just nod and look at the clouds. They seem to forget that the lake is major park in a large city. It isn’t Walden Pond circa 1845. I like my neighborhood and some of my neighbors, but the complaining gets old.
There’s a new couple down the block, for example. He’s ok and was probably a lot better ante matrimonium. (We all have regrets.) He and I meet on the street and talk over the snow shovel or a cup of coffee. Her, on the other hand, well, I’ve met her once and barely then. She’s cranky.
I’m convinced she wanted to live in this neighborhood because her driven purpose in life is to change things that are not her business. I’m convinced she’s busy now poring through the city code looking for ways to restrict park activity.
She knows I’m on to her, too. When I walk past the house on winter nights I see her sitting at her dining room table staring into a computer screen plotting her next discontent. When I return and pass the house again, the drapes are tightly drawn shut, simply to taunt me. She’s cranky. But not alone.
Ease up, folks, or move to Woodbury where everyone and everything more or less IS the same. No parks, either, at least not the walkable neighborhood kind.
Am I overthinking things? I think not. You know I started this post writing about a striped Oxford shirt that has been hanging on my closet door for a week and a day. I’m not sure why it’s hanging there. Perhaps it is there to keep the denim-blue shirt beneath it clean? It bugs the hell out of me. Looks sloppy and certainly isn’t doing the shirt any favors either, but there it hangs, dingy and…well, sloppy. Actually, my entire room could use a makeover, but not while I’m coughing up phlegm. (You remember that part, right?)
All that really matters to me now is a headline. Fever or not, I don’t outline these posts and I hardly do anything that would count as editing. Rewrites are mostly verboten as a matter of laziness. But I spent an unusual amount of time thinking about the headline on yesterday’s post. It ended up being “Frank Has $5 to Spend on Food So…He Goes to the Co-op?!”
I wanted to convey shock and irony. I played with the ellipses a lot. I added then deleted and then added again “on Food”. I moved the ellipses before “So” then after it many times. I put the ellipses after “Goes”. I did a lot…for about 30 minutes! Then I recognized the horror of it. Time is running out. I might be on my grave, like you surely will be someday wishing you had this time back, crying out for more time, regretting time squandered on pointless activities like overthinking a stupid headline to a post about silly political theater.
So do you know what I did? I did what I will will do right now. I put down the pen — so to speak — and hit Publish.