A tale of distraction

I went to read blogs. I’ve missed being in the loop. Don’t want to be a slacker, etc. But, having been away, the computer was off and in bending over to turn on the CPU, a lot of dust confronted me. So I got out my trusty little LED lamp that I keep to illuminate the dark cubbies of tangled cords and went to it. By then a neighbor’s yard crew, already loud, but legal, fired up a second leaf blower — not legal — so, tired of being the in-person enforcer, I leapt up to shoot my neighbor an email asking her to let them know. To control what I could (a helpful tactic in any arena), I pulled out my noise-cancelling headphones only to find that, yet again I’d left them on and drained the battery.

Battery was not just dead, but fuzzy and its corridor of power rimed, so using a bamboo skewer and paper towel, I reamed out the dark compartment. Even a new battery failed to make the green light appear (this, after trying several from a baggie marked, “used but maybe not dead,” a phrase I remembered as “old but not necessarily dead.”)  I donned the headphones anyway and took to standing on tables and stools, because by then the fury of dusting had gone up an elevation to bookcases and ceilings. I worry about falling now. How different from when I relied on balance and agility, sometimes making a long athletic reach, letting the support tip, completely secure in the possible outcomes (“old but not necessarily dead,” indeed).

It is sufficiently chilly and light-less now to want curtains on our back wall of glass, so I hung those and in the process passed a new credit card enough times to want to activate it. Thought it’d be simple. The card had no raised numbers to report to the robot, so I kept pressing “1” for more time and the robot kept asking me if I wanted more time before I’d had a chance to do anything, so ultimately I opted for a call- back. The return call was ALSO a robot, obnoxiously asking for additional numeric selections, a fact I found sufficiently outrageous to begin my communication with “Cookie” by complaining.

“You were calling ME,” I say, as if any big bank gives a shit about customers, a status further revealed (and not countermanded as they might think), by asking me at the close of the call if I wouldn’t mind taking the additional time to complete a survey about the transaction. Are they crazy? Did Cookie not hear how I interrupted her attempt to log my initial complaint in order to abbreviate our exchange? And meanwhile, it didn’t help that the call was necessitated by the fact that I’m an idiot. “Really? I’ve had this card since 1997?” And, who knew the account number was on the back and not raised because that’s how they do it now?Soon I was windexing the transom windows and listening to Pod Save America’s coverage of Kavanaugh — wondering why — what’s enough!— since at this point it’s like listening to my own thoughts I’ve followed the whole sorry story so closely.

What is enough? How many times?

How much coverage is enough or how many times must we go through this very scenario before guys in power figure anything out? Apparently, Anita Hill taught two of these very senators absolutely nothing.

Here, let me remove my imaginary glasses and proclaim what is real.

I plunked into my chair, opened facebook and watched a cute video called, “Fart Out Loud Day” IN ITS ENTIRETY and laughed and that ends this Tale of Distraction.


Here are two links that made a positive difference to me this week.

The first is political, but reads like poetry. It pushes the boundaries of genre in an exciting way and gets at where we find ourselves without being analytical.  By Alexandra Petri.

And the other is a poem by WB Yeats, The Circus Animals’ Desertion, referenced in the TV detective show, Shetland, that I’ve been watching. The last lines read:

I must lie down where all the ladders start
In the foul rag and bone shop of the heart.

8 thoughts on “A tale of distraction

  1. Mo Crow

    Standing on one leg with your eyes closed is good for improving balance, it’s got something to do with the little hairs in our ears getting worn out. It’s surprisingly tricky to do at first but gets easier with practice.

    1. Deborah Lacativa

      Boy, did you come home, full of industry! Pity us who were never able to easily ride a bike, had to work hard a balance ever second. A genetic lack of balance equals a wise fear of heights. The spiders know where I live.

  2. Connie Akers

    Oh have I had days like that! I have to admit I read that poem last night and had absolutely NO idea of what it was about. I recommend Anne Lamott’s Essay on hope in National Geo (on Facebook) & also the cute dog in teddy bear costume.

    1. deemallon

      It’s meandering and abstract but I thought the meaning kind of accrued. Something about the passive voice distracting from the acts of aggression — along other ideas.

      I never did read any blogs this morning. Tomorrow!

      And I love Anne Lamott. Will look for that essay. She’s so real and also so full of a brash kind of faith.

  3. Nancy

    First you make me think of the children’s book: “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”…then the whole falling thing (so much less agile than I used to be)…and those stupid robots, and I must admit to actually yelling at them (like THAT will help!) or the time the blank on the JC Penney’s call line wasn’t very helpful, so I pulled out my “Fine, I’ll take my business elsewhere” line to which she replied, “So you’d like to close your account?” What could I do then?! I closed the account I’d opened while pregnant with my first in 1980!! No one cares. And the story you follow so closely, I fear no one much cares there either, well…not enough to make a difference and NOT put him in there! xo


Leave a Reply