Rendered Fat Content


" … creating a self-portrait on a Wooly Willy canvas … "

I confided to The Muse that I probably should not be out. We both felt delicate, me having risen at 3am in the guest bed, having no recollection of how I had gotten myself there. The Muse, a reliable last riser, was already up. The laundry was done by seven. We'd gone out shopping at five thirty, aware that we'd left the larder bare when we'd departed for Europe two weeks before. When we arrived at the supermarket, neither of us could think of anything we needed to buy. We returned with a gallon of milk, a quart of yogurt, and a dozen eggs, all of which would remain untouched by the end of that day.

"Where are you going?" The Muse asked as I blew past the exit I had intended to take.

"That exit would not have provided a regal enough entry into town," I replied, even more aware that I probably should not be out in the state I was in. They refer to it as jet lag, but the jet was no more than a bit player in a low drama. The day before had been an all nighter entirely experienced under the scrutiny of daylight. We'd been in a sort of suspended animation from the moment we woke up that morning. We walked to the Metro in a zombie daze, rode to the airport crammed more like cord wood than human into a train car, suffered the thousand little indignities boarding entailed as if we were distractedly watching a blurry movie of ourselves. Time ceased to exist for the duration of the transAtlantic flight, and had hardly restarted as we boarded the train that would take us to the light rail and back to where we'd parked The Schooner at the covered light rail station parking lot to avoid hail damage in our absence.

I guess we zoomed home from there, where I finished up some writing work in an etherial daze. It was going on five in the morning body clock time when I finally fell into the wrong bed. The Muse napped that first day home. I tried but failed. Neither of us had actually returned home by then, but were more probably suspended somewhere high above the Irish Sea, our essences still struggling at about the speed of a walking horse to catch up to our physical presences. The reunion should properly take a few more days, a few days spent separated from the space surrounding us, genuinely spaced out. Bedtime comes in late afternoon and morning starts around three am, but both progressively walk backward toward Mountain Daylight Time over succeeding days. In the mean time, we'll inhabit a world all our own.

That first afternoon, I spend the time I was not napping prepping stuff for the dinner which I would fall asleep before actually preparing. I vaguely remember apologizing to The Muse when she later found me sleeping on the job. She absolved me easily enough, or her out-of-time self absolved the out of body me she'd found fast asleep. I experience this lagging as a form of leading. I'm observing my own hours of operation right now, time which shows little correlation with the more widely acknowledged nine to five. Fatigue and hunger have either forgotten about me or lost interest in hounding me for now. I float through my offset days hardly registering my experience. I feel as much weightless as timeless, more inert than present. My mind, or what's left of it, seems to obsess on my recent past as if a part of who I know myself to be was still standing in beautiful Budapest and not surveying the stalking thunderstorm from our back deck.

I fear that I've fallen prey to critical comparison, for I find home rather shabby when compared with those recent places I have been. I must pretend to be home and appreciative for I still feel very, very far away. People never return from their excursions. Oh, they return to a place, but out of time, which renders that place distinctly different from before. The place seems to need resettling, land cleared, cabin constructed, and fields plowed and planted before it will feel anything like home again. The place seems to eventually catch up without resorting to any axe work or actual plowing, but we live as genuine pioneers until it finally does. We restocked the larder then neglected to feed ourselves. I listened to a baseball game while shucking peas, then whirred up a batch of chilled beet soup we would not get around to eating. I'd write a disconnected little NuthingSpecial piece without remembering to make it memorable, creating a self-portrait on a Wooly Willy canvas destined to disintegrate when bumped.

©2019 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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