Just a Wednesday – Just Another Bummer

10/07/2020 0 By BuddyCushman

Unless I was having an hallucination, I saw a rat on the cement at the bottom of the stairs when I flicked the basement light switch. It ran behind my large, still-wrapped Blick artist canvas though it did not run back out when I pushed the canvas flat against the wall after hesitantly and gingerly coming down the one-step-at-a-time stairs. Maybe I’ll gather courage and pull the canvas away from the wall in a while, try to be ready for an aggressive rat’d-self-protective leaping attack, me currently armed with the only protection at hand – a yard stick.

These were not the fun images I was previously having out in the back yard – with two lounging rabbits on the grass and the tick tick tick of a hummingbird above in an apple tree, early mist brightening in the cool, fresh morning. Maybe rabbits and rats are distant cousins I’m thinking, though probably not, and it’s a little disconcerting to have to worry about a rat running up my pant leg while I write these Morning Pages on the far side of the table, especially since I will soon move over to other side and the computer, my back turned then from the disappearing-act hiding place of that long-tailed daymare.

Oh – 2020. Is it me or are these harder than usual times? Not that we haven’t had rats down here in the basement before, though I’ve also had the feeling, via my ears, of rats scurrying around in heating vents and between floor spaces the last couple of days, yes, even before Eddie Van Halen passed – one more bummer – “I’m Hot For teacher” remaining a favorite along with his goofy grin, the lead guitar and cool synthesizer in “Jump”. Maybe I’ll YouTube both those later this morning, in honor, crank them up and hope any rats down here are more into The Stones and so not interested in “Panama” or in my daily predictable taste in music, almost exclusively these last five months with the endless aural library of The Beach Boys. All this while, of course, doing my best to continue ducking the virus, which may stick around longer than even Edgar Allen Poe would have imagined, though – this would be a solid bet – nowhere near as long as those beach boys.

Bunnies, scurrying usually invisible rats, related creepy noises just above my basement head, and – still – In my woody I will take you everywhere I go. My music softening the harsh edges of this most frightful year, this already frightful day even, transporting the way music can, to warmer and friendlier places and spaces – though, fuck you 2020, that transport lessened with Eddie now gone.

But right here and right now, before firing up the desktop and slipping into the narcotic escape of a YouTube world – all sunny and soft summer breezed – I’ll have to carefully make my way back up the stairs, wide awake aware of potential fleshy nibbles out of the shadows, and go to the back door where we have a thick rounded piece of hard wood ready for any zombie-like visit from white supremacists, grab that lumber and carry it back down here, more than enough equalizer for a bum rush of one rattus rattus, this image, sadly, butting heads with my everyday life living tendencies of the Buddhist “Ahimsa”, which translates to doing no harm.

Then again, time passes slowly, it seems, in 2020 and already today, it’s not yet 7:30 in the a.m., and we have rats and caucasian imbeciles and no more Eddie Van Halen and a new-age plague and we have thankfully, as well, YouTube and Don’t Worry Baby.