doddering constitutional


I have been up at my farm, by myself, for four straight days, without actually seeing another human except the water delivery guy and this other dude who was trying to sell the rest of his steaks. I have begun talking to the dog, asking him questions, taking his advice and discussing the plot holes in movies we’re watching.

This is the “shoulder season” up here – the stretch of time after “leaf peeping” and before snowfall. And though we may be two hours from the most vibrant city on earth, up here, you might as well be on Neptune. It is cold, very cold, and nary a truck passes by on the highway. The sun sets at 4pm, and all you can hear are the geese flying overhead to warmer climes.

Jon asked me why I care about teenage pop music. That’s probably why.

It’s funny, how much of your internal dialogue remains dormant when you live with someone. Being married, you rarely draw upon your inner dialogue, but now I am getting re-acquainted with the inner self I invented to get me through grade school, then to get through three devastatingly lonely years in Los Angeles in the late ’90s.

I’m beginning to suspect that this inner person is your companion for the last three years of your life, as you sit in a chair in an old folks’ home, uninspired even to watch “Matlock.” I making a note:

“Fill up life with tons of experiences so that ‘inner self dialogue’ and you will have lots to talk about when you’re 97.”

0 thoughts on “doddering constitutional

  1. susannah

    “three devastatingly lonely years in los angeles?” what about me? remember all those fun times we had? like when we went and…hmmm…or like that time we…uh…this is tricky…oh yeh! remember how great it was that one time? god i’ll never forget that day, i mean night. i mean morning, when we got in the car and put the key in the ignition and all of a sudden… shit. i’m making this up.

  2. jon

    Did the guy trying to sell the rest of his steaks show up in a pick-up truck with a giant freezer in the back? A supposed door-to-door “leftover steak & seafood” salesman showed up out of the blue at our door one day last fall (and, as you know, “our door” isn’t exactly on the beaten path). Seemed awfully suspicious, but I never saw what was in his freezer. Did you get a look? Is this a compelling new scam I’ll be hearing about on Judge Judy soon?

  3. Sean Williams

    I know that voice. It’s the voice that says “nothing you do is any good, your life isn’t worth living, you’re fat and women find you unattractive” and then it gives you a noogey.
    Is it “nugee”? It sounds like it should have an umlaut.
    Is it “oomlaut”?
    My voice tells me I can’t spell.
    I’m up at 7:20 because I’m going to play golf.

  4. Laurie from Manly Dorm

    Oh, I don’t know. Get yourself a cubicle job like mine and commute as long as I do each day. . . my days are FULL of internal dialogue! Hours and hours of it!
    Hey, that steak truck guy scenario sounds quite creepy. Exactly what kind of “steaks” was he selling? Were they made of soylent green? it is all very “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” meets “Secret Window”!

  5. Just Andrew

    in Vermont we call this ‘stick season’ – not sure if it is because all you see is the sticks on the trees or if it is because without any turos around, you realize you really do live in the sticks.

  6. CL

    I, too, developed an inner dialogue in elementary school and still have it…But yeah, I have to give it up when I’m with another person. It’s great for writing dialogue, though. I just transcribe the voices in my head. I imagine your TV shows will be full of fabulous dialogue.

  7. Tanya

    My inner dialogue is more highly developed than I would like. If I have an issue or problem I need to resolve, I will often think about entire scenarios and anticipated conversations – sometimes to the point of getting worked up. It’s kind of like waking up mad after having a dream, I suppose.
    Oh well, I’ll chalk it up to being a creative type.

  8. Greg

    I do exactly the same thing. I’ll imagine that someone will react irrationally to a situation I’m worried about in the future and get all worked up about thier response. The bright side is that I’m usually pleasantly surprised when people act rationally, or prepared if they don’t. The down side is that I now need medication for my high blood pressure. I’ve learned to shut down those internal conversations when my wife is the person I’ll be having the conversation about. It’s not constructive to project negative possible conversations on someone I’m that close to.


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