Dead Souls

July has settled in over the coast with such a heavy bank of fog, a marine layer of winter proportion. I buttoned up my windows and skylights yesterday and sat indoors until well into the early afternoon, with a slight shiver running up and down my spine, with the thought of lighting my fireplace on this most cold day. I see the pattern continues today and weather people have forecast more throughout this week and well into the next. Santa Cruz does not celebrate the 4th of July in the sky because there is no sky here in July.

Nearly two months have transpired since I felt the need to take a break from keeping an online journal, or blog. Oh, I’ve contributed a line or two, mainly an account of my recent fascination with digital painting. I think more than anything else I have proven to myself that I have a lot of idle time on my hands to wonder about the town, read a few books, and practice strumming my ukulele in the early afternoons, when the late-day fog rolls back into town on the wind that then customarily ruffles my sheet music.

I have been to the doctor this past week for somewhat of a review or follow-up on where I am with my health and well-being. Eating and drinking have been too free and undisciplined these past couple of months. I wonder if keeping a journal also keeps me more accountable to myself. Yes, I suppose it does. The thought that I must appear before the great white screen and give some reckoning as to my thoughts and behavior, has surely added a regularity to my existence that I am better off possessing than not.

My blood pressure has buried me in big tall numbers, as relentless as this summer fog. Numbers higher than I had expected showed up on the doctor’s sphygmomanometer. I take my own pressure at home, though not regularly, trusting instead in the pills I’ve been given to relieve me of such routine duties. But the pills were not of sufficient dosage and my lust for all the unhealthy foods–fat, oil, salt, and sugar–taken in any sort of combination or form, have pushed me out of the safety zone of pressure, such that I now have to increase my dosages and add a new pill to help further combat the hypertension.

So I return as best as I can to my vegetable-rich diet of greens, onions, mushrooms, beans, and seeds–the one I have had such great luck with in the past in helping me get the pressure down naturally and keeping the pants a little looser. Summer salads do taste pretty good, especially when this corner of the world, often referred to as the nation’s salad bowl, continues to produce such rich heads of lettuce and other flavorful leaves of green. I must go back and remember what I have forgotten, when blinded by breads, meats, and all the wonderfully prepared meals that are loaded with the things my body only wishes to reject.

Today, more fog, and a second day of reading Nikolai Gogol’s “Dead Souls”. What is the hero going to do with all these spent human souls that he has purchased?

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