Going Postal

The signs filled my inbox of life all week, spritzed here and there peppering what was otherwise a lovely and eventful Spring Break week remaining at home to clear, cleanse, and create. I socialized with different friends sharing our fidgets and widgets while enjoying various gaieties like swimming, chatting, sangria-drinking, reading, binge-watching someone’s new favorite show…

The first drip began as a gush of information about the Russian connection with the Whitehouse as myriad journalists tried to make sense of the farce governing our country. Then a blip on my radar about Thucydides and a U.S. – China warning of potential conflict titled “Destined for war? China, America and the Thucydides Trap” in the March 30, 2017 Financial Times by Gideon Rachman.  It took me a minute to remember the analogy as I read the title and decided to click on it. “The phrase, a reference to the ancient Greek historian’s observations about the war between Sparta and Athens in the fifth century BC…”  A couple of days later, I was sorting some papers when I found little piece of black paper I had written on with gold ink back in November, the first weekend after the election. I had pulled out my Political Map of World History to make note of the times when a major conflict came about somewhere in the world. It seems that about every 300 years, a major regime change occurs on at least one continent and it includes a bloody war. The piece of paper I found had the words:  “431 – 404  Peloponnesian War between Sparta and Athens” inscribed upon it.

Hmmm. Interesting that out of all of the historical notes I wrote, this is the one I found.

Another more personal drip came about from a strange dream that included my ex-wife who seemed as though she were still in love with me in the vision of her. I felt the “being taken care of” vibe in my sleep as we walked through a forest together. I’ve been quite pleased with my solo life for these past several years as the alone time allows me all I need to write and do as I please in my daily routine. As I hear the familiar phrase “let me check with my partner/girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/wife first” when planning events, I smile while thanking the stars that I don’t have that particular albatross to impede my decision-making. But the morning I awoke from that dream, I felt a yearning that I lost long ago. I wondered what my life would be like right now if we had made it to year 18 together. After a few hours to allow myself to soak in the melancholy, I popped back into happy solo me and went about my day. A couple of days later, I decided to bask in the sun out back in the yard behind the apartment building I live in. I took down a book and a glass of iced tea to place on the one piece of furniture I have outside — a colorful,  small, round outdoor table. When I stepped out back, I couldn’t find it at first. Then, I noticed the top of the table leaning against the back wall of the patio. I found the base being used to prop up a large potted plant of my neighbor’s in the garden. They must have thought I don’t use it much. It was one of the cherished wedding presents that I had decided to keep from a group of my friends. We split up our gifts according to whose friends/family gave to us. There it was, separated. One part propping up new life, growing in the sun; the colorful circular top cast aside against a wall.

Continuing in the personal realm, I took out my favorite fountain pen and some thick paper to write a letter to my nephew who has been in jail since November 2014. He killed a man. He has yet to go to trial. I keep up with him through writing frequent letters and filling his commissary account every couple of months. He writes me regularly. He’s a good writer. I’m impressed with his grammar, syntax, punctuation, and creative commentary about life behind bars. I have sent him a few books on screenwriting to help him pass the time. I try to inspire him to write about the characters he meets who come and go, and some who stay, like him, with liberty and justice evading them. It’s called pre-trial detention and it can go on for years.

Since I couldn’t sit in the back yard with my tea on my table, I decided to walk to the post office to drop the letter to my nephew while absorbing some Vitamin D from the sun along the way. I had just dropped the letter into the box when a phone call from my brother buzzed in my back pocket…


About danaj33

writer * department chair of Broadcast Electronic Media Arts and audio faculty at City College of San Francisco--a fabulous community college * music composer and producer * always in discovery mode, learning, living, loving, and laughing.
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