To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Wednesday, May 18, 2022


One Day As A Bird



Let’s remember life.

I woke up before the alarm went off this morning and stretched under the blanket, enjoying the small victory of turning off the alarm before it rang. My wife was already up, but she’d left some warmth in the bed.

I stooped to pet a cat on the way to make coffee. The cat purred. The coffee maker burbled. I sat on the couch, drinking black coffee and eating a peanut butter-flavored power bar.

My wife finished arranging her hair, dressed and left for work. She left two packages of frozen chicken on the counter to defrost, telling me to put them in the refrigerator before I left to do the podcast I do Monday through Friday.

I took a shower. I dressed, made another cup of coffee and broke up a fight between our two cats. One of them, the smaller one, I confined in the bedroom for five minutes because he’d started the fight and had wanted to keep it going even after I got in the middle.

I gathered my notebook, my phone and a travel mug full of hot tea, and left for work. When I got in my car, I turned on Spotify and listened to Cajun music as I drove to the studio.

“Mon coeur est casse,” the singer sang, French for “my heart is broken.” It’s a love song. All the best love songs are about love gone.

I did an hour’s worth of podcast, joked with the cameraman, took a break halfway through and refilled my mug of tea – same tea bag, more hot water.

I drove home, a 10-minute drive through city streets. After several cold days, the temperature was in the 40s. I opened the car window.

At home, I made a ham and cheddar cheese sandwich on a toasted bagel, washing it down with a can of ginger ale. The cats watched me warily, and I eyed them suspiciously.

“Don’t start anything, you two,” I growled from the couch.

I put on sweatpants and a T-shirt and drove to the gym, where I made my way from one weight machine to another, enjoying the animal feel of my body stretching.

Like most guys who no longer work full time, I spend the afternoons waiting for my wife to get home from work. I drank another cup of coffee, petted both cats and read for a while.

My wife was late because she had an appointment to get her hair dyed and styled. When she got home, she petted both cats and then went into the bathroom, where she busily went to work making her hair look the way it did before she went to the salon.

Later, we ate marinated chicken, aided and abetted by roasted potatoes and asparagus, and I felt sorry for myself because there was no strawberry ice cream for dessert.

But it was a good day. As poet Ice Cube once rapped, “Today, I didn’t even have to use my AK. I gotta say it was a good day.”

I wrote this to remind me [and you] of the kind of small-joys day no one in Ukraine had today, a day when everyone had to use every weapon they had.

We are birds whose wings can take us to all the unknown places in the world, and our wings are made of thin bones that break easily and take a long time to mend.