the joys of solitude are diminished by the needs of the dogs

What a pleasant morning. I remained in bed a sinfully long time; the sun is shining yet again; I’m listening to happy harpsichord music; and I have absolutely nothing that I must do.

Yesterday was a day of phone calls as a surprising number of people checked-in on me. I was delighted to hear from them, but was perfectly happy to be alone. Sometimes, when Peggy is away, I worry that I will come to enjoy solitude so much that I will dread her return, but, by the time she does return, I am always glad to see her. Meanwhile, it is grand, not having to adjust in the least to anyone else’s needs, schedules, preferences, moods, or requests. Furthermore, I have no meetings this week except for my nerve conduction study, and I am dreading even that. Oh, but if only I could be fully alone—what a joy.

Ah, but my joy was just interrupted in mid sentence. I was on a cancellation list for my sleep study, and someone cancelled, so I will spend the night at Sacred Heart Hospital with wires glued to my head.

Yet again, the dogs are a burden. They will be miserable tonight. They are already miserable. They are miserable because Peggy is gone. They are miserable because it’s pretty weather, and I can’t take them on an outing. They spend their days unhappily dozing except when they’re staring at me accusingly. Three weeks ago, they stared pleadingly, but quickly realized that something was seriously wrong with me. They still know that something is seriously wrong, but they don’t like it. They wonder why I don’t go to the vet and get it fixed, and I can’t convince them that the vet is of no use. A cat in heat could help as much as a vet, and a cat in heat couldn’t help me at all, although it would greatly entertain them. If only a cat would step through their doggie door and be unable to find its way out, they would be happy dogs indeed. Baxter enjoys looking out the window for a few hours each day, but Bonnie has no life apart from her walks and her tennis balls, and she needs me for those.

Yesterday the temperature reached into the fifties, so I put one of my three remaining houseplants out by the curb, and it quickly disappeared. It was a snake plant that I had had for years, so putting it out felt treacherous, the more so because I realized that whoever took it might not want the plant but just the pot. But I had grown tired of caring for it. Now that I can do so little for myself, the more desperate I am to reduce the number of things that require my nurturance. I don’t want to be depended upon by dog, wife, plant, friend, or lodge brother. I don’t even want a book on a shelf to be awaiting dusting unless it is a book with which I truly cannot part.