Little Boy: [Wrassling with small dog] Grr. Heh.
Old Man: Be sure and wash your hands before dinner, pal.
Little Boy: Okay, grandpa. [Runs off to bathroom]

1 minute later
Little Boy: [Returning to living room - dog runs up to him, he pets it then, after 3 seconds it sinks in, he looks at hands, returns to bathroom] Aw…
Old Man: Heh.

So there I was, swatting flies

Pair of flies, fucking on the kitchen counter. Instant Liebestod. It reminded me of the time two were doing it on my sleeping baby’s face. Life has no shame.

We cleaned out the kitchen bench. We hadn’t really used it much since the lid, which swings up to reveal storage space, swung down and chopped off the tip of our then-one-year-old-daughter’s thumb. The tip was nicely reattached, I couldn’t tell you now which one it was, but you know. Much screaming.

And the bench, it turns out, had been this time capsule right there in our kitchen all this time. We found pictures. The wee one in a sink. In a dish atop the washing machine. Were you ever that small? Look how small you were!

In the backyard, swinging. Gee, haven’t we had that swingset a long time. Five years, these pictures are five years old. Look how the plants have grown up. You could see the neighbor’s house back then, I totally forgot. The apple tree: then a mere sapling. Now, a gigantic broom in bad need of a thorough pruning. And so on, an explosion of green. An ongoing explosion, this life.


After mowing, weeding and driving kids around there was no time to do anything else. My in-laws are away on a trip so we instead went to their house in the evening and watched television. They have two, so our youngest daughter watched cartoons downstairs while my wife and I watched trash upstairs. For dinner I drove to McDonald’s and brought some stuff home. The young and fairly attractive woman at the window where you make your orders and pay flirted with me, I am fairly sure. Either that or I am losing my mind. When it got late, we went out onto the balcony (they live halfway up a big hill) and watched Midsummer bonfires blazing around the countryside. The kid wanted to go to one, but we were reluctant – she was already so tired she was nearly hysterical, and I personally was afraid of ending up at the wrong bonfire, one attended by neonazis, say, rather than normal people.

It’s pretty – dark night, orange bonfires dotting the countryside. We counted the ones we saw on our way home, to distract the kid. Six or so. Maybe more. More orange glows, anyway, beyond the crests of hills. They’ve done this here, I think, since they discovered fire. And they do it at midwinter too.


Beautiful weather is forecast for this weekend and we are sitting at the kitchen table trying to decide what to do. An overnight outing is not possible as our oldest daughter had an overnight thing tonight and rowing this afternoon and tomorrow morning. A couple other things are going on too, I forget which, so we might not have time to drive up the Danube and see how the apricot crop is doing and maybe buy some fresh apricots and drink some wine on the banks of the river while relaxing and gazing upon castles and shit. My wife wants to go running sometime today and work out tomorrow. There appears to be enough time to:

  • go to gas station and buy gas for lawn mower

  • mow lawn
  • weed

Also, my wife just came in and gave me a present: some deodorant. Time to hit the showers.


“You’ve got big arms,” he said. “I noticed when you arrived, you were wearing that t-shirt.”

“I’ve been working out.”

Moved by the draft from the airconditioner, the blinds clicked against the sliding glass door.

“When I was little, you were the guy with the arms. Someday, I thought, I’ll have arms like him.”

“And just look at me now,” he said. “Feel this. The vein where they’ll put in the catheter for the dialysis when I finally go on.”

It buzzed.

I totally forgot Father’s Day, because it’s “celebrated” a week earlier here in Austria. I called early Monday morning. It was still Sunday there, but he did the math.

“Up early today,” he said.


BBC finds 78 differences between men and women.

There must be more than that.

Prunus cerasus

You could probably achieve satori by pitting pie cherries. All I did was make a huge mess in my kitchen.