un chien d'iowa
The week before the equinox, it is neither winter nor spring in these parts. The snow is off the ground, but the trees are not yet convinced that it is worth their while to refoliate. The sun is out now and again, but the temperature stubbornly hovers in the low forties and the prairie wind cuts through everything.
Everyone is gone. The streets outside my house, usually parked bumper to bumper, are deserted. I don't know where all the undergrads wentbeach locales, I suppose, if they could afford them, or else back to their small, agricultural hometowns. The workshop has mostly dispersed as well. I assume those few who remain are holed up writing, like me. In the last 48 hours I have had no contact with any living being other than Captain Nemo (Marlowe's dog). Our conversations are limited.
ME: Do you like this on the radio, Nemo? It's Debussy's string quartet in G minor.
NEMO: [wags tail]
ME: It's got a pretty strong key center, hasn't it? Must be one of his early works. None of those harmonically ambiguous diminished-seventh chords.
NEMO: [attempts to sniff my crotch]
This last-human-on-earth feeling is amplified by all the technology lying around this place. The Marlowe lifestyle includes cable TV, and for some reason every time I turn on the television Dexter's Laboratory is showing. Yesterday it was the episode where Dexter went to Amish camp, and after watching that it was impossible to take my novella at all seriously. Fortunately the Marlowe lifestyle also includes a CD changer, so I can pop in all four discs of Tristan und Isolde and get 2000% of my recommended daily Liebestod without leaving the chair. It is a comfy chair.
Nemo is desperate for affection today. I think he also suspects that I am the last human on earth. There is a lot of shit to shovel in this life, O Bhikkus, and the intellectual understanding that there is no self & no shit & no shovel does not always help.