Post-modern Swing Time


The shadow of my former blogging self. 

1.  Downward dog
I feed the dog a twice daily dose of pain killer wrapped in cream cheese – the cutest cheeseball you ever saw – for his luxating patella. When he hears me uncapping the lid of the pill bottle he trots into the kitchen. Do we know how many addicted dogs there are? Do we care? Soon I’ll be taking him to a safe injection site.

What would happen if I took one of his pills?

2.  Coffee low
Our youngest daughter has become a coffee drinker. I enabled her, bought the best beans – locally roasted – but she prefers McCafe. “You can buy them in the grocery store,” she says.

I will not.

3.  Personality plus
I looked myself up on Google. I wanted to make sure I’m still here because lately I feel like I’ve disappeared. Google says Susanne Fletcher has many incarnations – in the 1940 census of, the acknowledgements page of Sex in the Ancient World A-Z, a letter writer to the Durango Herald.

A personality test confirmed Google’s findings. I was a different person each time. I took the test twice. I’m tempted to do it again, addicted to refining the defining but the reality is I am now, and always will be, TBD.

In the Merriam Webster dictionary, I’m MIA unless you consider the word “promiscuous” which is what Google infers considering the number of entries under my name. Google practices the algorithm method which is why there are so many of me.

4. A Collins glass half empty
Poetry doesn’t calm me anymore. I prefer Tom Collins to Billy Collins. Tom was my first grown-up cocktail in The Breezeway – the student union pub at Memorial University of Newfoundland. The maraschino cherry was at the bottom. Bottom’s up!

5. To Have and Have Not
I am the daughter of an alcoholic and lately I drink too much. I hadn’t planned to become an alcoholic when I retired. I thought I’d be a writer.

Around 4:30 in the afternoon I get anxious and then I have a drink and the worried birds in my gut calm. At first it was a martini made with Georgian Bay Gin, a gin that smells of windblown junipers and jack pines, a dive in cold water on a hot day, skinny dipping, sex on hot Canadian Shield rocks,  moss pillows, and campfire. Then hot weather fell like spent magnolia petals and I changed to drinking crisp white wine. Cheap. Plonk. Grocery store. No way am I standing in line at the liquor store on specially designated circles of hell drawn on the pavement to buy a decent bottle. Cheap gets me to cheerful just as good as fancy French.

4. Pandemic Curve
I’m distracted by the American Goldfinch undulating by my window – yellow and black, a Jackson Pollack flight of splash and dash – a Scoliosis of time.

5. Historic
I know this is not the end. This is not the beginning of the end. Nor the beginning of the beguine. Its post-modern swing – a goldfinch in the wind.

33 thoughts on “Post-modern Swing Time

  1. I love reading you. My dog is offended when humans take pills and she isn’t offered one, so we toss her fish oil when she doesn’t actually need a pill. Not becoming an alcoholic has long been one of my personal goals, and I have taken up with a $12 Sauvignon Blanc, but I still don’t drink every day. However, aren’t small boned white ladies of a certain age supposed to take up weightlifting and wine on the daily?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha ha small boned ha ha. The fish oil is good for your dog so you’re helping her. Our pup is now on doggie glucosamine and he gets a splash of fish oil in his breakfast kibble. I’m happy to report he is trotting along almost like his younger self. I do play with weights 3x a week though must be careful as the ol’ backitis kicks in when I lift anything too heavy. A careful balancing act. I have backed away from the booze since posting this and only imbibe on the weekend. My new/old favourite is well-chilled Mateus Rose. Cheep, pink, and cheerful!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ahh, the wall. Climb over, dig under, go around, blast through? It’s like the cereal aisle. Too many choices. It feels like I’ve been staring at Buddha 0’s…no doing, just being. I think it’s time to choose the dynamite stix now and just write through that big hole in the wall. You did it with this post. Be well, dear Susanne, and thanks for the kick in the patootie 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the picture, and as always, LOVE your writing.

    While the rest of the world seems to be embracing food and alcohol as a crutch through this pandemic, I’ve gone the other way. The drinks have been rare, and I’ve actually lost weight rather than gained. It will still be a very long time though – probably not this lifetime – before my shadow is as slender as yours 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Don’t be fooled by a shadow photo, Joanne. There’s plenty of padding on these bones!

      I’m curious what, if any, new habits have you gained during this time of self-isolation? I’m definitely reading more, though in smaller bites as I’m quite distracted by the news, and I walk more regularly which I’d hoped to do when I retired anyway, but being inside so much has made me want to be outside more, too. There’s only so much amusement to be found in the view of my neighbours roofs or the delivery trucks that visit our street more often than before. Yesterday I went on my first physically distant walk with someone other than a family member. I felt as giddy as if I’d drank 3 mojitos.


      • I settled into isolation rather easily. I had started an online art class just before the lockdown started, so like a true introvert, I just buried myself deeply into making art. Lots of it – going down a rabbit hole on each lesson.

        Liked by 1 person

        • oops – actually posted before I finished …

          So 2 art classes and an online course in Intuitive Tarot later, I finally came up for air. Years ago I read an expression that had really stuck with me – feed your soul rather than your appetite. At the time I didn’t know what ‘feed your soul’ meant to me, but I believe now I do 🙂

          But I know what you mean about feeling giddy from the company of others. In the last week I’ve met a friend for a round of golf, and my sister for a paddle on a river near her home. I feel alive again 💕

          Liked by 1 person

          • So late to reply to your wonderful comment about soul feeding. Forgive me. My soul is nourished by my tiny garden. I find no end of relief and calm digging, transplanting, daydreaming. Also, any walk beside a body of water will revive the old withered critter wherever it resides in my body.

            Keep painting, Joanne! It sounds like your soul is happy.


  4. Heaps of love and cherries to you and the pup. ❤ Alcoholics will soon be proclaimed the only ones likely to cope. To paraphrase Denis Leary and his Irish anthem "We sing and we drink", I could sing: "I eat and I drink and I eat and I drink, and then I pass out and continue to drink." And I'm not even Irish (but Slovenian is close second). And just today I bought a 5-liter bottle of the cheapest red wine. Baaah. (Truth be told – the cheapest Italian wine is as good as a mediocre Slovenian wine, if not better.)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Been wondering where you’ve been lord knows you have enough time on your hands. No lousy job to go too, can drink whenever you want not sure that would be beneficial but whatever gets you through the day. Still I enjoy your writing Sue looking forward to buying your novel someday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • There’s a huge difference between writing a novel and publishing a novel. It may never see the light of day given the current publishing climate. But that’s not why I’m doing it. I’m doing it to do it. As for time on my hands, you’re kidding, right? I am never bored and the days fly by.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I may try a memoir some day but for now, this is fiction. Or, as it says on the back Elaine Myles’ “Chelsea Girls”, an “autobiographical novel”. I like the sound of that.


    • I actually thought of you and some of your posts, Andrea, about the ebbing and flowing of creative time. I can go through these amazing bursts of creative productivity and then for a long time, nothing. During these periods when I sit myself down in my chair and make myself write something – anything – it feels like work and most of what I write ends up in the garbage. But there’s merit in the discipline, I suppose.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Around this time last year, Joanne and I were in Newfoundland where we were introduced to Seaweed Gin. There’s a bottle of it crossing the western provinces right now, headed for my new home in Nanaimo along with the rest of my belongings. I sure hope it is intact, so I can raise a glass to this piece of yours. Which reminds me: I need to add limes and tonic water to my (restocking) shopping list….


    Liked by 1 person

  7. So many common experiences, then and now – I remember the Collins cherry! And now the cheap plonk to ease the jitters… I suppose where we differ is that I’d cast a rather larger shadow now than before… and am much creakier and slow moving – to that end (the hind one, sticking up in the downward fashion) I’m tiptoeing around the yoga mat again.

    Hope both you and the pup find some comfort in your assorted escapes. But know this, I do enjoy reading whatever you write.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Make no mistake, Maggie, I am creaky and slow moving, too. Hips, back, shoulder all protest too much. Yoga? Not a chance. Walking is good though, but the pup doesn’t accompany me anymore – poor little guy.

      Thanks for the writing encouragement! This is going to take a while as I struggle thru a variety of writing issues but mostly I’m having fun with the process. I have no deadline or expectation of publishing and am doing it for the discipline of telling the story. Anything that happens beyond the finishing will be a bonus.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Your novel, assuming you ever get around to writing it so the world can finally relax, needs to be in first person. This gal I read about today needs to tell a much longer story. Just. Do. It. You’ll be glad you did. [smile]

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m working on it. It is in the first person. I hit a wall this week and took a bloggy break to vent my worried soul like those slits my mom used to make in the top pie crust – let the steam from the fruit escape. That’s me. Steaming fruit.

      Liked by 2 people

"The river flows both ways." (Margaret Laurence)

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