Horoscopes: No More Emergency Water

Pisces (2/19 – 3/20):  I finally threw out my stash of emergency water.  But first, I acted out the scene where I'd need it -- I set it on the floor across the room, and crawled toward it as if I'd been struggling toward it for days, maybe because my legs didn't work, or perhaps I needed to stay low for some reason (shooters outside?), or maybe I'd been transported into a Wyeth painting.  I drank as if my life depended on it, as if this two ounces of expired horrible-tasting water was all that stood between me and death.  Pisces, I dunno.  I think that when 2 ounces of icky water is all you've got, death might not be so bad.  Your week will be full of grace and birthday festivities.  Enjoy!

Doesn't this look like an orchid?  Guess what?
It's red cabbage, left in the fridge for waaaay too
long.  And poof, it turned into an orchid.
Aries (3/21 - 4/19):  Are you wondering why I had the water?  Yeah, I know.  So, there's a parenting ritual that started sometime between the time I was a child and became a mother.  It involves sending an emergency kit to school with your child.  They give you a list of what should be in it:  water, a snack, a comfort object, and a comforting note from you.  I always got hung up on the note.  What do you write that's true and comforting when you're beloved children are in the situation where they need to drink two ounces of water from a foil satchel?  
Dear Child of Mine Whom I Love More Than Life Itself,
I'm so sorry I can't be there now.  I'm don't know why I'm not  -- it's possible I'm hopelessly trapped under several tons of rubble, or perhaps the apocalypse or the shooter got me first.   You know I'd be there if I could.  
But at least you have this cool package! Six ounces of water, a granola bar, a teddy bear, and this note!  Right?   
Advice from beyond:  Listen to your teacher.  Drink the water, but look for more!  You've got less than three days to live without it.  I hope you make it!! :-)  And I hope you like the snack.  I hope you find this letter comforting.  
P.S.  I loved every minute of being your mother, except this one.  I hope you get to grow up.

Taurus (4/20 – 5/20):  And how is it that water expires?  See the date?  2007.  If water gets old the same way baked goods or meat do, we're so doomed, because we're drinking the same water that's been around, well, since the beginning of time.  But suddenly, we put a few ounces in a plastic sacket (is sacket a word?  It should be!) and it goes stale?  Luckily there's no expiration date on you, Taurus.

Gemini (5/21 - 6/21):  I've been super excited about Amazon delivering packages by drone, because nothing says "we're in the future" like clicking the "buy-it-now" button and having a tiny unmanned spacecraft materialize to deliver your next print cartridge or even a brand new puppy!  But when I start thinking about drones, I end up thinking about Mars, and argh, I know, I bring this up every week, but please don't make me go live on another planet.  Oh, how I love this one.  Gemini, you should stay on this planet too, unlike that guy from Bellevue (the city, not the hospital -- but I can totally see how'd get that confused.) He's one of the finalists for going to the red planet, ready to say goodbye to everyone and everything he's ever known and hurtle off into space.  When asked if he'd get bored, he said no, because he has his kindle.  I shudder as I type this.  Gemini, pact:  Let's stay on this planet FOREVER.

Cancer (6/22 – 7/21):  I've been thinking I need a new mattress.  Well, that's an exaggeration -- I think it for about five minutes once every morning when I get up and my back hurts, and I wonder if it's related to my 20 year old bed.  And then I promptly stop thinking about it, the way I do with things that involve spending money, going to stores that are complicated or fluorescent, or committing to things that you have to sleep with every night.  It sounds like a complete hassle -- first, mustering up the courage to cross the river (I don't think they don't sell mattresses on this side.) And all the other steps that I won't spell out because your life is hard enough already, Cancer.  But I picture all the steps involved and act them out in my head, overcoming one after the next: finding time, getting in the car, finding the store.  I even imagine that I've worn nice socks because I'm guessing I'll take my shoes off to try on beds?  Is that how it goes?  But I get stuck right there.  I take the shoes off, and then I balk at imagining what's next.  Do I actually take a little nap in the store?  Because how else would you know?  Don't you want to sleep with something before you marry it?  I mean, one quick coffee date and you bring the giant thing home forever?  That seems wrong.   And it occurs to me:  why is a mattress left to personal choice?  It's not like some of us are made out of different materials.  We all have spines and muscles and organs and a heart that beats.  Shouldn't there be a right way to sleep, a definitive mattress choice?  Shouldn't the FDA tell me what to buy?  Is there a mattress pyramid?  Couldn't I just yell my BMI into the sky and a drone will drop the perfect bed for me?  Cancer, I don't want to sound alarming, but you should wear good socks this week.  

Leo (7/23 – 8/22):  I know.  You think we should get to have preferences in our mattress.  I guess so.  Maybe.  But think about the basic human needs:  food, sleep, water. We've identified daily dietary requirements.  When it's left to choice, there's always that guy sitting on the couch eating pop tarts who eventually dies of organ failure, and the fire department has to excavate him from his childhood bedroom, although he's 28.  Is it the same with mattresses?  I wish someone would just tell me the right mattress for my species.  Oh, you're a human?  Click on this button, and the proper mattress will arrive tomorrow.  

Virgo (8/23 – 9/22):   The saddest thing ever is that the gorgeous, gangly, un-realistically white trumpeter swans that winter in our little valley are dying.  The rumor is that they're ingesting lead shot that remains in farm fields where the swans graze.  I can't tell you how heartbreaking it is to see a swan bobbing in a puddle, head down.  It's the swan equivalent of the floating belly up dance that fish eventually do.  Ugh.  One species at a time, Virgo.

Libra (9/23 – 10/22):  I was wondering recently why it is that I don't eat much fruit, and I finally figured it out.  It's sticky, and it's a commitment.  I tend to avoid sticky commitments whenever possible.  Take an apple:  you have to bite in with all your teeth - no nibbling.  And once you've taken that first bite, you're in for a whole apple, and it rapidly starts getting brown, and suddenly you're in a hurry to gobble this sticky orb that's splashing juice, and you can't resume your normal life until you've chewed through the whole thing, and then there's the core -- do you eat that, or find a way to dispose of it?  I have no complaint with the taste.  Or an orange:  First you have to peel it, and then, again, it starts drying out right away so you have to eat it all, and your hands get sticky.  I won't even get into the peach, T.S.  No, I don't dare.  So I've taken to roasting fruit.  All of it.  Try it.  Let me know what you think.  Bring roasted apples and goat cheese to your next potluck, Libra.  People will love you for it.  (Of course, they love you anyway.)

Scorpio (10/23 – 11/21):  There's an artist who's described as "collaborating with the bees to create art".   I'm not saying these pieces aren't cool, but is she really collaborating?  It looks more like she puts stuff out and the bees make the art.  But, if we're adopting this loose definition of collaboration, I'd like to announce that I'm collaborating with the spiders and mice in my house -- we've been working together on a gigantic art project.  We call it, "Home."  It's adorned with small and large webs and other items we made together.  I might let you see it when it's finished.  Leo, let the line between art and home be blurry.

Sagittarius (11/22 – 12/21):  Oh, my loved ones are all suffering, grieving, grieving.  Learning how to love and the why of it as well.  Arrgh.  How I wish I could spare you from that.  But in the end, deep true feelings are all we have.  Stick with them, feel instead of avoiding.  It's why we're on this planet, Sag.  You have all my blessings.

Capricorn (12/22 - 1/19): I had a dream last night where I was supposed to solve a really complicated formula -- there were exponents and parenthesis and lots of x and y and square roots and so on.  And the answer was supposed to get me somewhere, I'm not sure where or why, but I couldn't solve it, couldn't solve, kept trying and felt dumber and dumber, so I started climbing up the snowy mountain, and guess what?  There was a pig roasting on a spit.  I think that means things don't have to be solved, they just have to be.  We know what we know, Cap. Whether things get solved or not, the truth lives on.  Thankfully.  Grateful for you, Cap, on this day.

Aquarius (1/20 – 2/18):  There's some amazing research that shows that crows recognize faces, which is definitely more than I can claim.  If my own kids wear a different hat, I hardly can be counted on to identify them.  But more than recognizing humans (that's seriously amazing -- can you fathom being able to recognize one crow from another?) - they also appear to mourn their dead.  So be kind to the crows.  They're grieving too.  In fact, be kind to the living things.  Even if we can't all recognize you, it's still just a good way to be.  Enjoy your week, Aquarius.

And one final thought, for you dear readers who make it all the way to the end.  My essay will be in the NYT next Sunday, 3/1.  It comes out a little earlier online, and will be posted here.


  1. So many of these topics hit home, from not wanting to go to Mars to collaboration with insects to make our house a home to admiring crows to fruit avoidance to grieving over loss. I didn't realize you were coming to visit my head or I would've cleaned up a bit in there, made a pan of brownies or something. I do love your writing.

    And thanks for the heads up on your essay. Looking forward to it!

    1. Oh, I'm sorry I dropped into your head unannounced! Yes, next time, brownies for sure. :-)
      Thanks, Jennio, for being such a loyal and generous reader. I truly appreciate it.

    2. Betsy, I really DO love your writing. That's not just a thing to say. Just so you know. At the risk of tarnishing your fine mental image of me (!) ... I am a picky reader and fairly ruthless with my reading choices ... I am always glad to see a new post by you.

  2. I am the same way about faces.
    I dreamed last night that I had gone on a trip and brought my hen, Nicey. She rode on my shoulder like a parrot the whole time. What do you suppose that means.
    Mattresses- Therapedic. Yes. They are too expensive. However, never one night in your life will you regret it. I swear this on my life.

    1. Oh, I'm glad you have a hen named Nicey. I have no idea what it means, but I think it's good!

  3. The NYT? Wow! Congratulations!
    And "be kind to the living things." Seems like a good way to live all the time, regardless of changing horoscopes.

    1. Thank you! Agree, being kind to the living things is a good plan...

  4. I will go mattress shopping with you, if that will help. Large purchases scare the hell out of me so maybe a friend with some snacks and water that hasn't expired might be just the ticket. We could bounce on the beds until they kick us out.

    And your story---I'm so excited AND I will walk around conspicuously holding your by-line face out and announcing to anyone that I KNOW THE AUTHOR.

    The only creatures I find in my house are dismembered rats, thanks to Hugo. Yesterday I found a stomach and a piece of intestine. Whenever he murders something, he comes and gets on the bed and purrs. Self-satisfied little shit.

    Love from your friend across the river.

    1. I'm sad about the dismember rats. This is one reason why I don't have cats. Is your cat named after Victor?

  5. Yes, how can water have an expiration date as it has been here for millions of years? Unless the end is near.
    I am a Leo and the line between art and my home really IS blurry. It's like you've been here! Have you?
    If it's in the New York Times it must be true. Wow!

    1. I think the line between home and art gets very blurred for those of us who like to nap. The other creatures scuttle about, having their way with things, making art while we rest and give them the opportunity....

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. If my mother had access to foil water packets my siblings and I would have had tomato soup from packeted water, accompanied by the damn bomb shelter crackers. Mom brought the last can of them to this house almost thirty years ago and they are in the basement. We didn't think to put them in her coffin to take to heaven.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Dowdy Church-lady Post

The random edition

Upleveling Our Badassery