"The Way to God is through a broken heart"--billboard in front of the First Baptist Church of Lucas, Texas
I picked up a throwaway camera at the dollar store and then set about my brief Sunday chore--a haircut to ready me for next week's business travel. Today the woman at the haircut place used the number 3 setting attachment to the electric shears she used to shave my head; next time I'll scale down to setting number 2, for even shorter hair.
After my haircut, I went to CiCi's Pizza, the inexpensive buffet place, to have lunch. While I was eating slices of cheese pizza, I was reading a passage from Sarah Orne Jewett that went: "He preached next Sabbath as usual, somethin' high soundin' about the creation, and I couldn't help thinkin' he might never get no further; he seemed to know no remedies, but he had a great use of words". While I was in that passage of the book, the commercial radio station in the background began playing the old Joy Division classic, "Love Will Tear Us Apart", and I paused during the lyrical passage: "Do you cry out in your sleep/All my failings exposed?/Get a taste in my mouth/As desperation takes hold/Is it something so good/Just can't function no more?", as the contrast between the 19th Century Maine novella passage about a woman who exiled herself on an island after her lover left, and the 1979 bit of Ian Curtis desperation somehow made worked a sort of "nice gestalt" effect that was entirely pleasing. I got an old 10,000 Maniacs cassette at the Goodwill, because it had "Anthem for Doomed Youth" on it, and any song that is titled after a Wilfrid Owen poem is fine by me.
I went to Bethany Lakes Park, our local small ponds walking park,
where dozens and dozens of seagulls hovered just above one pond, hoping to catch bread being passed out by a passerby. I took pictures of the gulls, and watched matched pairs of mallards swim away. In the shallows draining the ponds, I saw a skitterish school of sunfish, apparently avoiding the duck, geese and gull action. After a bit more walk, I drove on out Bethany into the countryside, passing Lake Lavon. The weather was around 60 degrees, and the warm winter scenery was just glorious. I was surprised to see insects on the wing--just a few days' warmth is like a false spring, setting loose a new generation of flying things.
I picked up my nephew a gift card for a video game for his tenth birthday, but I could not find a one dollar cactus at the grocery or discount hardware stores. I had hoped to present him with cactus to commemorate the time when, while he, his brother, and his cousin were hiking with me at Dinosaur Valley State Park,
I led them astray off the trail, where he, then aged about 7, managed to knock his ankle up against a small cactus.
I listened to "Selected Shorts" on the radio, which played a short story about a man coming to grips with his mother, and another about a man coming to grips with an older brother. In stories, everyone is always coming to grips. In life, we often grip little so firmly, other than perhaps which things to shop for in the dollar store and which things to buy at Goodwill.