Monday, November 30, 2009

A Typical Evening

I've already posted about my typical morning and my typical work day. This post is about my typical evening.

I get home after 6:00pm, after everyone has finished eating, including my wife and daughter, and the three cats and the dog. Since the three cats have just eaten, they are not stalking through the kitchen. Instead, they're off licking themselves, or gravitating toward their litter boxes, or passed out on top of isolated soft perches. But the dog is parked right near the door like a large decayed tree trunk lying across a hiking path. His snout is nestled between a pair of shoes. I carefully change from shoes to slippers using the one square foot of empty floor space. I step over him and rush to the bathroom to pee.

Then I close the open bathroom window and walk from room to room closing other windows that my wife might've opened during the sunny part of the day, all the while wondering why I bothered to buy energy efficient windows.

My wife has left me a plate of food. It needs to be warmed in the microwave oven, so I put it in and get a glass of tap water while I wait for it to reheat. I also get the supplements that I take with supper and place them at my spot at the table. I put the comic section of the newspaper there, too.

The oven beeps, and I remove my food. My daughter is finally aware that I'm home. She comes into the kitchen to ask how my day was, then she asks for a bass guitar lesson. "Did you finish your homework?" "Yes." "Maybe when I've finished supper, then. Did you take your pills?" "No." "Go ahead and take them, hon."

My wife reminds me that she needs a check for the copay for her monthly visit to the pain management doctor. She writes a note for me and puts it near my plate. I'm eating slowly and reading the comics, the advice column, the obituaries. Having read all the usual stuff, I start to look at the Sudoku puzzle. The first number is fairly easy to get, so I grab a pen and fill it in. I fill in a few more numbers, and finally get distracted by the dog. He shoves his gingerbread man plush toy into my lap, signaling that it's time for him to go aside. I suddenly realize that it's 7:30, so I set the puzzle aside and gulp down the rest of my food.

"Do you want to go outside?" I ask. He realizes that he's going outside, so he rushes over to his water bowl and drinks, drinks, drinks, drinks and drinks some more. I don my jacket and cap, and I put a small flashlight into my pocket. Then it occurs to him to check to make sure he's really going outside. I put the leash on him. "Outside?" More drinking. Again he checks. I have the door open, but he drinks some more. I'm running out of things to do while I wait for the dog. I open the laptop and start it up. Finally, he's done drinking.

We go outside together. I walk him on leash even though we have a pet containment system. If I don't, he might run down the hill, chasing the scent of some stinky thing that left the yard hours ago. And if he runs down the hill, he might further damage his carpus joint, which he hyperflexed about one and a half years ago. But we make it down the hill without incident. He finds a nice place to pee, and I take the opportunity to remove his leash while he's frozen in the so-called hydrant position. That done, we walk further into the woods. He veers off to find a place to poop. He just squats and dumps. Then he walks away. How enviable. I can learn a lot from this creature.

We go back inside. I hang up his leash and my jacket and hat, and the dog goes back to his bowl to drink even more. My wife has put soothing, after-dinner music on the CD player. I'm having trouble staying awake. So I wash my hands and pop a cup of water in the microwave oven for green tea. I'll need it to stay awake for the next few hours.

I start to scrape the dishes and load them into the dishwasher. There was a time when I used to wash dishes by hand. "How was that possible?" I wonder.

When the tea is ready, I wash the food residue from my hands and remove the tea bag. I take the cup into the living room where our daughter plays the bass. Actually, it's my bass from when I was about 14 or 15 years old. But she's interested in it because her music teacher has one in the classroom and she had a chance to play it once. She already knows how to play piano, and she has a great ear for music. So she picks up the notes quickly, but not the technique. The strings are hard to press down. I show her some blues riffs, simple 1, 5, & flat 7 patterns, played on the typical 1, 4 and 5 blues chord progression.

It's getting late, so we put away the bass and have her do some reading. I return to the kitchen to finish loading the dishwasher. In picking up the cats' saucers, I notice umbras of splatter on the floor. So I wet a sponge, get on my knees, and scrub it. We don't have cockroaches, and I don't want to attract any. I also pick up a surprising amount of fur.

Our daughter gets ready for bed, brushing her teeth, washing her face. I say good night to her. I no longer read to her as I did when she was much younger or more recently right after the cat died.

It's about 9:00pm now. I have a couple hours to create a blog post on the computer. I have to pay bills, but I'll do it some other day. I get distracted so easily. I do a search on the new girl's name and find her Facebook page. I met her when I was asked to set up her computer account. She perkily shook my hand, and I was smitten with her friendly green eyes. There's also the radio show I heard on NPR over the weekend. It featured a male folk singer guitarist who died young before receiving a lot of acclaim. I didn't catch his name (Nick Grey?), and the website doesn't seem to offer a schedule of archives. I also check out, whose Ig Nobel Awards also were featured on NRP on the weekend.

The time goes by quickly, and I fall asleep a few times. Eventually I shutdown the computer, brush my teeth and go to bed.

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