Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
One of my pet peeves, it turns out, is pet peeves. I realized as I tried putting together a peeve post for today that I sound way too much like Andy Rooney, which means I’ve descended into “cranky old man” territory, and I really don’t want to be perceived that way. Plenty of things bother me, for sure, but I wouldn’t want you to get the impression that I handle them with anything but a zen-like calm these days.
Instead I’ll ease out of this trap by telling you what I’ve been thinking about this week. First of all, I’ve been thinking that it really is just about time for spring to arrive. Usually it’s here by now, late April. And though we’ve got plenty of flowers a’bloomin’ and more rainless days than a month ago, the chill’s there in the mornings and nights and we still haven’t been able to eat dinner outside. The seasonal stream that runs near our house is flowing like the angry Styx, emptying into a pond that should have dried up already. Climate change is upon us, I guess, which means both that the great California drought is over and that we can expect life to be different from now on. It’ll probably be a summer from hell, just to keep us on our toes.
And I’m thinking of dentistry too, because I don’t have insurance and I hear that I need an expensive thing done in my mouth that prompted me to get a second opinion today. I don’t mean to offend any dentists out there, but like so many pros these days they strike me as entrepreneurs as much as oral caretakers, so you always have to exercise caveat emptor on the off-chance that they just bought a new Porsche or have a balloon payment coming up. I hate to be cynical.
And I’ve been thinking of how to get all my weed whacking done before our fire-safe inspection in a couple of weeks. This involves me getting out there on a steep hillside with my trusty Black & Decker and trying to mow down foot-high grasses and gnarly blackberry vines and poison oak and various tree seedlings without tumbling backward into the seasonal stream that shouldn’t be there. I think I can.
And I’ve been thinking about my mom, who is 81, and whose cataract surgery on one eye was botched by an entrepreneur eye man who told her she can get used to anything, not all of these turn out perfectly. The second eye man to look at her said, “I can’t believe what he did to you!” She’s been happy with the new colors she’s been seeing but is afraid to drive with blurry vision. The second eye man took out four stitches that had been left in there for months.
Finally, I’ve been thinking about, because I’ve been reading about, the nature of the universe and how it’s a temporary thing either way. Either it’s going to expand itself into nothingness, or it’s going to stop expanding and blow back in on itself. Trillions of years will go by, but who’s counting? Still, things matter. Things matter down here on our scale. People in pain. Small flashes of beauty. Kindnesses. Love. Seems like we should make the best of things while we’re walking the planet.
Spring is here.