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It's going on 01:00 Saturday as I write this. You should see the sky tonight! Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn are blazing so bright that the just-past-full moon can't shine them down. And I'm convinced the pale red tinge on the northern horizon is the aurora... there was a major coronal mass ejection on the 12th... Beautiful. But chilly.

15 September 2000

The thunderstorms rolled in around five ayem and delivered up a steady rumbling along with the rain... a pleasant sound, but I wasn't sleeping well...

This morning I got slivers in my ass: the toilet seat finally broke. Split asunder. And, naturally, I was sitting on it at the time.

It isn't as if I didn't know this would happen. I bought the seat six years ago, an oaken seat to go with the bathroom vanity I had also just purchased as the beginning of what I thought would be a happy renovation to both the house and my relationship with Bru. As it turned out, Bru opted to up stakes and head home to New Jersey. It was around that same time that the first crack developed in the toilet seat. Just a little split along the join on the left half. I glued it.

Yeah, it was only a ten dollar seat, but cash was real short then, and besides, I'd been raised in that combination of Yankee "use it up" and Post-Depression "make it do" environment that makes it nearly impossible to throw out anything that can be fixed.

Eventually, of course, the seat split again. Again, I glued. Joyce was disgusted with me by now, and hated to use my facilities, but she was and infrequent visitor, and so her disdain was not troubling to me. (She threatened to buy me another seat, but never did so.)

This past summer was quite humid, off and on, and the expansion and contraction of the wood took a toll on the seat. What had been a small, gluable crack developed into a full-blown schism. And, for one reason and then another, this time, I never got around to either gluing the seat or buying a new one. It just got so that I learned to sit down very carefully and sit very still. Even so, once or twice I felt a picky upon arising, and thus I learned to get up carefully, too.

Carefully as I would arise, though— and the t'ai chi helped a lot in this— the split would always be quite pronounced when I arose. Then I developed a two-handed karate chop— one hand on each side, and whack!— which I used to push the two pieces back together, ready for next time.

Now, if I wanted a metaphor for Life, that toilet seat would be it: The stuff you neglect, ignore, or consistently turn your back on, will one day, inevitably, bite you in the ass.

And if you're looking for a lesson in all this, I suppose it would be: If you're going to neglect or ignore or consistenly turn your back on something, don't let it be your relationship with the person you might have to call on to remove the splinters from your ass. (Unless your mom is still around.) Or maybe the lesson is merely "Beware wooden toilet seats!"

Anyway, much chastened by my experience, today I did as I have been bidden by my teacher, and performed only three sets of t'ai chi— oh, okay, it was four, but that first one was all over the place and you really can't count it. Really. (And it isn't easy being "soong," you know. That's really going to take some practice!)

Guess I'm finally going to have to buy a new toilet seat— though the duct tape seems to be holding well.


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