A List of Things That I Wonder About

I wonder why, when the “Pipe Shield” I bought from Roto-Rooter says to mix 4 oz. with 1 gallon of warm water, and I spend an hour carefully mixing and then pouring solution down our bathroom drains as a preventative measure — I wonder why it is that when I run the tap six hours later, the drains (which were not clogged before) suddenly become pools of stagnant water.

I wonder if the reason son sounded so happy when I called him at 8:30 PM — he said he was at the Thursday Farmer’s Market in downtown San Luis Obispo — was that he has a girlfriend.

I wonder how my mother is going to spend her 73rd birthday.

I wonder if I really want to go home to Manila next summer.

I wonder if I’m going to be able to write anything (good) after classes start.

I wonder if the periodontist will blow her top if I schedule my next cleaning for November.

I wonder if I can ask the dentist to put off the consultation until November or possibly even December or if there’s a way I can make her forget about me entirely until I come into more funds.

I wonder why, when I tried to drop off my prescription for contact lenses at Costco this afternoon, the young man at the eyeglass counter handed me back the slip of paper on which my doctor had scribbled numbers and said, Your optometrist hung up on me; he is very rude, I can’t fill this prescription.

I wonder why my clematis H. F. Young appears to be dying.

I wonder why the Grant’s Dog Repellent I bought from Wegman’s for $15.99 is something Gracie seems to like eating.

I wonder how the people at the Mendocino Coast Literary Festival heard about me.

I wonder if I’ll actually get to bake cookies this Christmas.

I wonder if son is coming home for the holidays.

I wonder if I’ll look the same this time next year, or if my cheeks will look sunken, as dentist warned me they might if she ends up pulling my molars, and if that happens, will I end up staying all by myself in a darkened room instead of going out, and will this result in my writing more?

I wonder how Michelle Pfeiffer stays so thin.

I wonder if Michelle Pfeiffer dyes her hair.

I wonder why all the women with big boobs ended up on the same tribe in Survivor: China.

I wonder why Nikki Cox left Las Vegas.

I wonder why J. M. Coetzee didn’t just write a book of essays instead of making Elizabeth Costello talk like a parrot about all manner of strange and disconnected things, or whether this is in fact a stroke of genius and I am really just a stupid reader.

I wonder why that fellow said he didn’t understand my “Don Alfredo” story when it came out in STORY PHILIPPINES and why he said he’d put it in the trash undigested, but perhaps I’m remembering incorrectly and he actually meant to say something flattering and perhaps it is I who have manufactured his disgust, out of my usual wild imagination.

I wonder why old people seem so child-like, and is this a good thing or a bad thing? As, when I myself am old, will acting like a child finally be seen as something in my favor?

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