Worries On A Farm Boy’s Wages

Yet another wet day in Maine. A land of fog wrapped in ghostly white. Maybe the sun has packed its bags and rented a cheap motel in Florida.

“Good morning, Eeyore,” said Pooh.
“Good morning, Pooh Bear,” said Eeyore gloomily. “If it is a good morning, which I doubt.”
“Why, what’s the matter?”
“Nothing, Pooh Bear, nothing. We can’t all, and some of us don’t. That’s all there is to it.”
“Can’t all what?” said Pooh, rubbing his nose.
“Gaiety. Song-and-dance. Here we go round the mulberry bush.”

Call me frivolous, call me bored, but since I’ve been without upright employment, I’ve been full of brio. And busy.

Sometimes, though, I find myself nursing a mug of tea and watching my youngest play. At the moment she loves to put her favourite toys, Pooh, Piglet, and Tigger, to bed in shoes. Big shoes, little shoes, doesn’t matter, as long as the A.A. Milne characters are tucked up with a good sole beneath their heads. She’ll play like this for hours, re-tucking, re-shoeing, finding other toys in need of sleep, like Mr. Toad and his motorcar. And she’s so content, absorbed, I wonder if she worries about anything. Maybe whether Pooh could do with a pot of honey as he snores or whether Eeyore has nightmares.

My tea goes cold. I worry I’m wasting my time on the sunny side of domesticity.

Yes, I have all the same worries as most: can I support my family? Are those more age lines or crows feet of laughter? Should that mole be crusty? Are my shoes too big? Should I have punched that kid in school? Why does my backache? Should I have told my former boss how I really felt about him? Is there life after 50? Should I write like me or should I write like some writer who’s already selling books? How long do I have to keep on waiting to get something published? If you shake me, will fulfillment pop out with the rattle? Do I have to Twitter? If life’s what you make it, why is it so hard to make it? Will death come in the night or will it steal across the kitchen floor, open the fridge, and kill me when I reach for the milk?

If God suddenly showed up in a pearly white Limousine that stretched on into eternity, I wonder if I’d admit to having a split personality? One side that wants success, measured by me, of course, and one side that wants a quiet life under the lotus tree of dreamy indolence.

Here’s some XTC.


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