It is midnight in Scottsdale, Arizona, 12:01 to be exact. You are probably reading this over coffee and toast, and I am slowly becoming aware that my Nietzsche-esque dream has no ending. My thoughts are about how to greet the day and how this process may fuel my thoughts for the duration.
If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile (one day or more) you have read my thoughts on How vs. What, on Truth vs. Proof, Process vs. Prejudice, Love vs. Need. These are the basic ideas that occupy my mind when the morning sounds begin to attract my attention; the quail snooping around the patio outside the bedroom door for the crumbs I left out the night before, the classical music station which has been on for several minutes. It was preceded by a digital recording of the sounds of nature. I enter a state of prayer and meditation and I wait.
Upsy daisy, feet on the floor, take the blood pressure, record the results, grab the meds on the nightstand, gulp them down with the apple juice sitting on the bedside table. Jeans and tee-shirt. Nose hairs. Nails. And off to the corner drugstore for the morning paper. I go to CVS because they don’t charge sales tax on the daily news. I also go for the morning socialization. Everyone there knows me as Lee the Writer and that I will be back in four hours for a look at the sale items of the day before I place my Nike clad feet on the Arizona Canal for their daily run.
I get that paper for a couple of reasons, neither of which is to learn what’s new, though on rare occasions I do get a surprise. I buy the paper for two purposes; it is small and by virtue of its condensed size, the perfect format for affirming and reminding one of the bits and pieces of news gathered on the internet the night before. And…….it has crossword puzzles.
So now you have a picture in your head of Lee Broom the Crossword Nut? Nope. Not me Magee.
Preparing for Breakfast and doing the daily puzzle are a combined activity. In between word/definition matches I reach for my bowl of freshly cooked oatmeal prepared with walnuts, honey and fruit and then back to the job at hand. All perfectly natural, don’tcha think?
Crossword puzzles are created for a number of reasons. I am attracted only to the United Feature Syndicate crossword; reason being it is less a crossword than a daily set of clues about what’s happening in the world, what we should be paying attention to, who wants to be noticed and keywords for Googling one’s way though the day. After spending thirty minutes seeking linguistic and ideological solutions I now know that “dour” does not rhyme with “sour” and that someone wants us to know that words like Emir and Iran and Nuclear require focus. Oreo is still competing with Hydrox. We’ve been given a small lesson in the important languages of the day and “gnat” and “natty” are still a part of everyday vocabulary. A hundred twenty or so words are now vying for my attention to become tags in today’s work. And having completed four hours of writing, two hours of exercise, one hour at the dinner table, I dress for evening coffee with other writers and conversationalists and rather than slip into grubby jeans and black tee shirt, I polish a pair of black Cole Hahns, slide into a natty black velvet sport coat, grab a couple of Oreos on my way out the door and think about the TED talk on nuclear power that I watched today. And dinner with my pals is not complicated by my natural introverted manner for I now have keywords and I can pose as an extrovert for the evening. (What will I think of myself in the morning?) Even worse; I’m booked for an extrovert party on Sunday. This particular event is being billed as a Superbowl potluck. Tags, tags, tags, I need tags.