Sunday, May 18, 2008

Just an average guy....

I couldn't resist one more flower picture, this time of the luscious stand-alone white iris next to the driveway, taken in this morning's early light.

I've been awake since 4:30 this morning, seeing Steve off to the airport for a 6 AM flight to Sacramento. That's an ungodly hour even for me, especially on a weekend, but I didn't go back to sleep. Instead I went out and got a little something for breakfast and read the Sunday paper. Now, here it is not yet 10 AM and I'm finished with that. The day stretches before me, completely empty. I'll vegetate. There are shows that have been stored on the DVR for weeks that I've never got around to watching--now's my chance. And that's about it for a plan. The weather is shaping a day that calls for not much, anyway. The sky is gray; the wind is calm and there's a definite chill to be felt. Rain will be coming in the afternoon. I wish I could nap; this would be a perfect day for it, but daytime snoozing is something I've never been able to do.

My mother used my nap time to teach me to read. When she saw I wasn't sleeping, she bought me Golden Books and funny Loony Toons and Walt Disney comic books. She started off by reading them to me, but soon I wanted to read them for myself, so she showed me the basics and I was off and running. I guess she figured as long as I was quiet with my nose between pages I was getting whatever little-boy rest I needed. Since I was born in November, my elementary school decided that the September I was 5-going-on-6 I was too young to start first grade; I had to wait a year, until I was 6-going-on-7, and it was during that year that I began reading. Having to wait that year created various odd adjustments for me to make when I finally did start school. For one thing, I was always several months older than everybody else in my class. On top of that, I've also always been tall--taller than most 6-year-olds when I was 6 and taller than most adults of any age now.

As a result of my mother's reading lessons, I was a completely fluent reader by the time Dick and Jane entered my life. So I was head and shoulders above my peers, literally, and also in some figurative ways, such as in skills of expression. I didn't realize what was happening at the time, of course, but in retrospect I can see it made my life easier in some ways--I was always called on to read and answer questions, and harder in others--some of the other kids got jealous of all the attention I got and I had enemies for reasons I couldn't understand.

One never-changing condition of my life--and one that affects me in ways I'm still discovering--is my height. I'm 6' 4". In the fourth grade, I was already 5' 6" and weighed 120 lbs. There are times in everyone's life when you'd just as soon not be noticed and fade into the woodwork--well, I can't do that. Being tall brings attention all by itself. I usually forget my height--I never think of myself as tall. But life reminds me often enough, for example when I'm feeling cramped in spaces others find reasonably comfortable (such as airline coach seats), or at cocktail parties when all of the conversation is going on "down there" and I either have to develop a hunchback to hear what's going on or sit down to have a face-to-face conversation. Once I was even on TV just because I'm tall. We went to a Gay Pride festival in town a few years ago and lo and behold, there I was on the TV news that night in a feature about the event, being followed as I ambled around the various exhibits. I had no idea I was even being filmed--I certainly didn't ask for the attention. But I stand out. You survey a crowd, and there's my face, sticking up over the top of everybody else's heads. Good thing I wasn't trying to keep any secrets when I went to that festival. Oops! You saw moi?!

So that's me. Tall and, once you get me going, talky. I'm much more comfortable thinking of myself as gliding through life unnoticed, but I've made peace with the reality that that's usually not the case. Like it or not, I'm noticed. Today it'll be nice just to hole up and give everybody else a chance. Wish I still had those Bugs Bunny comic books!


Klemcadiddlehop said...

a very lovely garden you have,nature brings a beauty into our work day lives.

Zoey & Me said...

Most of my morning was taken up with watching our stray black cat's kittens who finally emerged with Mom to our side yard. Cuteness beyond belief. We tried to get a few snaps but the Mom rushed them back to the wood pile. These feral cats are nervous nellies. I left a tray of that soybean milk kittens love so will go back at the end of today to see if they drank it. But God, are they cute to watch play.

Ralph said...

Z&M: Betcha can't have just one! I KNOW you have a black kitty in your future!

Soy? Didn't know that....well, it's protein, and that's what cat's need, so it makes sense.

Ralph said...

Klem/Morph, You're so right. Glad you enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Hi Ralph,

Geez - those early am flights are a challenge.

There was a time when "if" I rose early that I would nap in the afternoon. Now, my sleep pattern has changed radically and "if" I sleep in the afternoon, it is only a five minute or at most a half an hour. Sometimes it makes for a long day.

The house and garden looks so pretty. I am enjoying the photos.

Any big plans for this weekend or just r n r in Delaware.


Ralph said...

Linda, hello from a well-rested me. Yeah, we'll have fun this weekend. A favorite friend from Steve's job, Gloria, is coming to stay with us. She cooks ahd I cook, so we pig out when we're together. And she's a lot of silly laughs. Really looking forward to her visit.