Almost immediately, I have to apologize to him for my idiotic behavior, a humbling experience.
As an example, take the other day when I ran out of a roll of tin foil in which I wanted to wrap a good portion of a tri tip I had overcooked in the oven by getting lost in a crossword puzzle while watching pundits rant at Trump on CNN and reading a piece in the New Yorker all at the same time.
Well, I managed to eat the tri tip, and afterwards I had to open a new narrow box of Dollar Store tin foil, and had immediate difficulty prying the lid open, as it seemed glued to the opening of the box. I began to fume quietly at the sadists who sealed these boxes, and commenced sawing at it with a serrated knife, managed to pry most of it open, and when I tried to use my finger to tear away some of the glued paper to totally separate the seal I ripped my index finger at the nail on the serrated edge of the box and screamed and cursed bitterly as I discovered blood running down my hand. I beat the box on the counter and flung it across the kitchen and fled to the bathroom where I ran the finger under cold water, soaked it in alcohol, and applied a Dollar Store band aid to it and returned to the kitchen with a vengeance, tri tip moiling in my gut as I picked up the box of tin foil with a feeling of dread and discovered that my ransacking of it had finally opened the seal, though the roll of foil itself was halfway out, and dented, so I stuffed it back in and began tearing at the tiny attachment at the middle section of the foil taped to the main body.
Well, I fouled that up, too, somehow tore the foil, and when I began unfurling it to wrap the remainder of the tri tip, it began to tear away sideways so that the sheet became skinnier and skinnier, and as I attempted to unroll the opposite side to even up the entire roll, foil began to stack up in layers on one side. I began to fume again. I took deep breaths stemming from my two years of yoga practice, feeling that if any of my instructors saw me now they'd be ashamed of my thrashing around and loss of composure.
What I needed now was patience, calmness and ingenuity.
I picked up a regular dinner knife and began to gouge at the layers of foil on one side, sawing away, pealing at it with my bandaged finger nail, making some decent progress, staying calm, switching to a serrated steak knife and sawing some more, pealing away the stacked layers, until the entire roll of foil was even. When began unrolling it, almost instantly the foil tore away at an angle and began to stack up on the side again. I gritted my teeth and cursed, and as the sheet of foil I was unrolling became narrower and narrower, I slammed the roll against the counter with savage vengeance and hurled it across the room, bouncing it off the fridge, wanting to kick at it with malice, but since I had a pulled hamstring from basketball I could not, and, breathing hard, heart pumping like a parakeet's, I picked up the mangled roll of half used foil and began unrolling it again from the stacked side, finally able to achieve about half a sheet, and I combined a few of these half sheets, into which I placed the tri tip and tossed it into the fridge and sat down to apologize to my dog for erratic behavior.
Well, this is just the tip of the iceberg, this lone menacing incident, when compared to the overall fumbling of almost everything I touch. This is just an introduction to the mayhem I cause myself on nearly a daily basis, almost to the point where I live in constant fear of what I might do to myself next.
As another example, a leak developed in one of my food cupboards in the kitchen and ruined some boxes of rice during one of our infrequent rains. Previously, the top of the cupboard had caved and I duck-taped a slit, which began sagging after the rain, so, soon as things dried up, I borrowed neighbor Jack's little ladder and with trepidation, since I suffer from height phobia--and fell off a roof two decades ago--I climbed the 4 feet up onto the roof with my heart in my throat, refusing to look down.
Once on the roof, Jack found the leak which streamed directly into the said cupboard. He suggested I buy some spray sealant at the hardware store, which I did, and climbed the roof again and copiously sprayed the hole and felt I had accomplished something, at last, at least until the next rain, when again the leak flooded the bottom of the cupboard, streaming down to the counter and floor, which I had to soak up with towels, and placed a huge pot beneath the leak.
I left it at that, until my carpenter friend Ethan came over and inspected the roof leak and said I needed to to go to the hardware store and purchase a can of tar and a brush to plug the leak, and, inside, he was appalled at the duck-tape sagging down into a great wet split, and asked, “Do you really think duck tape will stop rain water leaking from your roof?”
Well, at this point, with the rain coming again, I have used the big pot and will not tackle the roof again until next winter, a reprieve from the daunting responsibilities facing me.
Another example of my problems: I came close to hurting and perhaps maiming myself after turning the water off after successfully spraying my car down with a hose donated to me by local handyman Tag Morely. This hose is very long and attached up on an incline from my driveway, on the side of the garage, and I must negotiate this craggy, boulder-strewn, treacherous incline whenever I turn the water on and off. This hose is always attached to the spigot, which has a leak and sprays, and the grassy/muddy area around it is slick, and I must be careful sidling crab-like down, and on this particular afternoon I skidded and fell directly on my buttocks in the muck and screamed out more in frustration and some fear at being airborne, and yelled “FUCK!” as loud as possible while landing in the muck.
My neighbors, two doors over, on their deck, a friendly couple that dote on my dog Wilbur, were both up and concerned, asking was I okay.
“Yeh,” I grunted, and began the tedious process of trying to stand, and as I did I lost my balance again and went careening to my right, toward a row of succulents, and somehow managed to stay upright, clinging to the succulents, tearing a few off, abrading my hand. I was embarrassed and possibly made a bigger fool of myself by cursing and blaming the slick terrain for my clumsiness. I picked up the hose in fact and slammed it on the terrain before stumbling and skittering down the incline, nearly losing my balance again, my thrift store shorts soaked through with mud; yet, at the same time, thankful to be in one piece.
I could go on and on. I mean, I've become a tragedy in my kitchen, dropping, knocking over and spilling things for no apparent reason and raging at my own futility while cleaning up one greasy mess after another, often ruining my appetite, as I am a skilled cook with a skillet and look forward to the big evening meal in front of a sports game on the tube.
I also leave cooked food out all night and discover it spoiled in the morning. I sat on my prescription glasses for reading and distance, severely bending one of the rims so that the lens had to constantly be reinserted after falling out, and the other day, at the office where I pay my rent, the lens disappeared, and it was embarrassing crawling around on the sidewalk and immediate area searching for the lens, which I never found, even with the help of concerned strangers, so that now I use these glasses with only one lens while shopping in the local market, a spectacle I'm sure fellow shoppers notice and arouse suspicion of my sanity, which I also fear is escaping me from minute to I minute...
A friend claims this falling from grace stems from a lack of focus, of a mind drifting and unable to stay on one track, though when I play tennis or basketball and write and read I seem to be okay and somewhat out of danger, but the real fear and terror comes when I am just out there wasting time and also trying to fulfill my daily tasks, or, God save me, engage in the easiest of domestic maintenance.
I mean, it's deeply embarrassing writing about it! But I have no reason to believe it is going to get any better no matter how hard I try to stay focused and calm under the stress of constant mindless bungling of even the tiniest of minor efforts to survive.
The morning after the debacle with the tin foil, I woke up in the morning with the band aid off and blood oozing from my finger, staining the so far unblemished comforter my girl Miranda gave me.
She said, disgustedly, it was too late to blot out the ugly stain and “don't even try.”
This afternoon I hung up on a telemarketer trying to sell me a medical alert bracelet.