Proclaim WARRIOR Status.

Pluck the dead day lilies. The goldfish orange ones, crumpled, and still wet with death.

Press down hard when you sign the document for the multiple-color copies. [No. We’re sorry. No e-sign–and extra postage will be required.]

[Please note: you will also need the original manuscript certified by a licensed notary in your town. In person. Please bring five forms of picture ID. [See Appendix J for list of acceptable proof of identity.]]

Count the days until winter with as much bravado as humanly possible. Well, someone like you.

Winterize your favorite bench now as you will miss living outside on the garden patio.

Bench more weights for upper-body strength. Yes, you are deteriorating. Don’t whine.

Wait for T.S. Eliot to talk again.

Talk to the chipmunk who lives in your living room garage. Tell it to be very wary of the beautiful apricot fox sighted with a gyrating squirrel in its mouth as it trotted through the width of the property.

Outfox your demons that conspire against you while you are hardly sleeping.

Demonize your fears that gather at your footfall when you stand.

Fall back into early morning sunlight.

Light the paper lanterns at dusk with the proper batteries. Return the LED strings of lights that do not work.

Dust your work station. Carefully clean out the food crumbs in the keyboard and the cat vomit.

Partition individual strains of your disease and their attendant crescendoing thoughts.

Hold your arms out like a colossal bird. For at least sixty solid seconds.

Don’t second guess any scavenged plenitude.

Locate your favorite pen. The remote control, the only key to the joint safety deposit box, your only non-broken pair of sunglasses, the prescription bottle to see if there is a refill, the contact name for the removal of secret things.

Find your misfiled dreams on the broken hard drive.

Rearrange the unhappy flowers. Pluck the weak ones out and replace with cascading tiny petunia bells, peach color and that of coral.

Free the root-bound ones. Add nutrients to your own dirt.

Speak vociferously to the looming villages of dragons. Single each out for a good talking to if your armor does fail.

Mix more blue with the green, add white, and then yellow.


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