Friday, January 15, 2021

Every Day I Wait for Tomorrow

 


 I went to the surgeon today (yesterday when you read this).  The scenario is decidedly undecided.  We will know more in two weeks.  I am tired, though.  Every day, I'm waiting for tomorrow.  This life in abatement makes me question, as the song goes, am I living or dying?  All I can say in answer is that it is good to be young.  But waiting for tomorrow is its own purgatory.  I need to tell myself that I'll be fine, that everything is going to work out.  

This is when I need the shoulder, however, of my own true love.  

I've always imagined life would end this way, like some morbid Sam Shepard script, a bad illness, alone, in a cheap hotel in some deserted town.  I'm researching towns right now.  

I am by nature a pessimist.  I always anticipate the worst.  The surgeon said I looked healthy and vital.  He was a nice guy.  I don't know how often he tells patients they look like shit and should be careful.  Maybe.  It probably depends upon the doctor.  

* * * 

Morning.  It is southern cold.  The cat was at the door just before daybreak.  Her boyfriend has not been around again, but I know the neighbors were taking a short vacation, so he is probably in the hoosegow.  The maids come today, so I need to do a little prep.  Not so much.  I've been very good at putting things in "their places."  I don't allow messes to conglomerate as in days of yore.  I've ordered my life a bit better. . . at least the environment.  

I did a couple of art experiments yesterday.  One came off an interesting failure that gives me an idea, the other a complete failure that gives me ideas, too.  Hours of work and nothing but ideas to show for it.  I may try again today.  

But as I did yesterday, I may go back to bed first.  Another hour's sleep would be fine.  

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Up Again

 


I went back to bed and slept.  That's better.  The sky is blue again, the air brisk.  I even found a picture, though it fits better with my previous mood.  I have a long day until I see the doctor.  I will know more then.  This day now is something to to be gotten through.  

I'm still in contact with many people at the factory.  They are back to work after the season's break and are beginning a big, new project.  I will not get as many text messages now as I did over the holidays, I presume.  They are a busy people now, many of their hours accounted for.  

I must make myself be productive today.  There is nobody to do that for me.  I could use a kindred spirit to partner with on a project.  Or I need a studio, a place where I go to work.  Being at home this long has drained my motivations.  I know what I want to do, but the walls close in and I grow complacent and contemplative.  The day is consumed by minor activities.  

It is a waste of my many talents.  I live the life of a shut-in.  My shrunken world is comprised of home repairs and making meals.  I begin to understand the mid-century housewife's addiction to prescription drugs.  This to get you going.  This to calm you down.  

I guess I'll take a walk now and maybe do a home workout after.  I should do that art project I've been toying with, but, you know. . . I am so uncertain.  No. . . by gosh. . . I think I'll give it a try after all,  

If I have time.  Did I tell you I have a doctor's appointment this afternoon?  Maybe I should just wait until I find out more.  Yes. . . that would probably be prudent.  

Witless

 


I have no photographs.  I just spent an hour looking for something to post, and I haven't anything.  So this.  Not a good photo, just something.  

I wonder if they will name any airports after him.  Trump, I mean.  

Remember the good old days when things were merely bad?  Boy, that was nice, right?  

I woke up hours ago.  As soon as I write this, I'm going back to bed.  It has looked like Ohio here for days now.  It is impossible to get the damp chill out of your bones.  

I'm tired and witless.  I'm not even going to try.  

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

I'll Miss the Revolution

  

Bad news.  Looks like I am going to have to sit out the revolution.  Had a doctor's appointment this morning.  I will need to have some surgery in the coming days and then a fairly long recovery it appears.  I can't seem to catch a break.  Indeed, I have reached my breaking point.  And since I go on some powerful antibiotics tonight, it looks like my drinking days are over for awhile.  I won't have the bottle to help me cope.  

I'm kind of bummed. 

Life was so much more fun when I was going to break hearts and live forever.  

Such is a fool's life.  

I'll know more on Thursday when I see the surgeon.  

Selavy.  

I am trying to get back into reading shape.  In grad school, I used to read two or three novels a week.  Closely.  I mean, I had to pay attention, take notes, etc.  That was in addition to the critical articles and handouts.  I haven't read like that for a long time now.  It has been taking me weeks to finish any novel I start.  But I have a stack of books I'm about to tackle.  Some are things I need to read again.  They aren't called "classics" just because they're old, as they saying goes.  

I threw away a lot of my grad school material when I left the factory, but that's o.k.  There is plenty of new scholarship to read and either absorb or reject.  My own seemed musty anyway.  

I remember standing on that stretch of road beside the gray Atlantic on the recently closed but still restricted Naval Base on Key West.  I was staying on a sailboat at dock there.  This was taken on New Year's Day.  I'd spent New Year's Eve with some people I knew, business owners and drug dealers from around the country, drinking expensive liquors and eschewing the endless lines of cocaine that stretched across multiple tables.  We ate at an upscale restaurant that overlooked the ocean.  A few tables away was the chief of police and his party.  At another table was the fire chief.  I can barely remember what happened after dinner, though I do know that the chief of police and the fire chief both disappeared with a huge stash of confiscated drugs.  This was all happening during the Cuban Flotilla.  One of my friends, a Mayoral candidate, got boarded by the Coast Guard in his beautiful wooden sailboat on his way back from Jamaica.  They were looking for Cubans.  That isn't what they found.  These were the Reagan years.  His lawyers pushed things down the road for awhile, but eventually he went to prison.  

Me?  I was an observer of all things.  I was thrilled by the danger and adventure and expensive bravado these "characters" evoked.  I was but a naif, a wide-eyed observer allowed a peek behind the curtain.  I was weighing my possibilities.

Oh, yea. . . that is what I remember, if you care to believe me. . . I was cool like that.  

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

The New Intelligentsia

  


O.K., snowflakes, I don't want to say I told you so.  

Yes I do.  I'm that kind of guy.  

So what are you going to do now?  When the roofers and the masons and the tree trimmers and the carpenters and the plumbers and welders of the world come looking for you, what are you going to do?  This is what real anarchy looks like.  It is not a bunch of Bohemians sitting around a coffee shop talking about government tyranny.  This is a workers' revolt.  Are you going to write that strong letter to the editor and expect some other brutes, you know, the cops you are always against, to come to your aid and protect you?  

I've spent half my life with the mob.  I know them well.  Maybe you could explain things to them.  Rationally, I mean.  You could give them documents and statistics.  Make them do their homework.  

Oh, yea.  That's why they quit school in the first place.  

I'm not against them.  I've told you all along that I love cowboys.  The world needs cowboys.  We need roofers and carpenters and tree trimmers and masons.  The problem has been liberals and their mamby-pamby ways.  Clinton calling them deplorables.  The real trouble started when we gave everyone a medal, everyone a scholarship.  

"Well, Bobby. . . that's a good idea, too."

Even though it wasn't a good idea.  But let's honor everybody.  

On the other hand, nobody was telling me I could repair their home.  

"Well, buddy. . . that's an interesting way of doing it.  Let's see how that works."

I've spent inordinate amounts of time with Neo-Nazis and bikers.  I've argued politics with them.  Maybe they felt safe since I was always the only hippie in the room, and I didn't try to make them feel stupid.  Well, not completely.  Some of them didn't like me, of course, and some were menacing.  I had two choices, usually.  Sometimes I took them both.  But I can tell you one thing.  When someone breaks your teeth, they aren't going to pity you.  Prison mentality.  "Down here, you're all on your own."  If you take the wrong side, that is.  

So. . . how will you meet the violence?  I said last week, this is going to go local.  My neighborhood watch newsletter had a posting about some Neo-nazi activity today.  Fellow said he took videos and is sending it to the FBI.  I want to write, "Why don't you just go down there and give them a good talking to."  But I won't.  

These are sharks with blood in the water.  There are not as many as you think there are, but there are enough.  

Meth, steroids, and bombs.  What the world needs now. . . 

Monday, January 11, 2021

I Shouldn't

  


I have nothing to say.  I know, that doesn't usually stop me, but I just haven't.  Perhaps, I thought, I should try writing in the third person, limited omniscience.  The idea was attractive for a moment, then it felt too contrived to put into the blog.  I could do it.  I can. 

He sat in his usual chair, less comfortable this morning than normal, his body buzzing with last night's abuses.  He stared straight ahead through the fifteen panes of the kitchen door, across the deck and beyond to the driveway, the small patch of lawn, and the street.  The pale light and the faint blue sky of morning, the chill of the abandoned night.

See what I mean.  It just doesn't sit well here.  Or anywhere, probably.  I'm better off opining about the androchrome addiction of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, et. al., and the mass hypnosis that has taken hold of the meth heads who can't afford to procure the drugs of their exalted leaders.  You've all smoked meth, right?  You know.  While andochrome inspires you with visions you might wildly proclaim to be true, meth just incites you to dumb decisions and dumber actions.   You remember those nights. . . vaguely.  Your arrest record provides the most vivid details.  When you mix the religious zeal of a Cruz or a Hawley with andochrome, however, or with the clownish ambition of someone experiencing senior dementia like Rudy Giuliani, the results can attain something of theatrical merit, at least in inspiring the withered little brains of the cretin hoi-polloi.  When countries around the world ask themselves, "What has happened to America?" the answer should be obvious--the odious drug addictions of its addled population.  Never have so many taken so much.  

O.K.  Nothing to say at all.  Maybe tomorrow.  Or maybe not.  That's how it works with "maybe."  

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Cowboy Up

  


In the morning.


Later that afternoon.


And then. . . .


I did it.  I did it all by myself.  I was loathe to begin, I must say.  I've become a lazy, good for nothing bugger in the past year, but there was nobody else who was going to do it, so I pumped the tires on the wheelbarrow, grabbed my thick leather gloves, the pitchfork, and a rake, and got myself to work.  The size of the pile was daunting and the day was cool and cloudy, but soon I had warmed up.  As I was stripping off my top layer, the sun suddenly popped out and for the rest of the day, the sky was clear and blue.  There is nothing that delights my neighbors more than seeing me working, I believe, and as they did their lazy Saturday morning walks, they had to let me know.  I think the women were eyeing me.  I mean, I felt pretty sexy in my thick leather gloves and my white v-neck t-shirt, muscles flexing as I hoisted the pitchfork.  

God only knows what I truly looked like to them.  

I had half the driveway done in an hour.  But I have to admit, the car-wrecked side of my body was barking and my lower back, already painful, was starting to suffer.  

No matter.  A glass of water and I was back at it.  

I did have some help along the way.  A hawk landed in the yard.  In a bed of jasmine, actually, and he had something trapped in his talons.  I stood and watch him pick at whatever he had, then he flew up into the tree above him.  I went over to see what he had been about, but there was nothing.  Later on, he flew down into the new mulch.  

"Hey, pretty bird, whatcha got there.  You sure are something."  

That's how I talk to wild animals.  They seem to like it.  What it had was a lizard.  When it finished eating it, it sat on the ground and watched me as I watched it back.  Then, with a giant sweep of its wings, it flew close by me at eye level.  It was being a little arrogant, I think, showing me what's what.  It landed back on the tree limb where it could watch me toil for a while longer.  It was nice to have some company.  

I was running out of gas as I moved the last few loads to the far end of the property, filling in the beds around the Ligustrum trees and then in the flower garden where the hummingbirds have been feeding for awhile.  Then, almost magically, there was no more mulch to heave and haul.  It was like coming out of a dream.  

"You old cripple.  You did it.  You da man."  

I wanted a beer, but I didn't have any, so I poured a glass of wine.  That is not the thing you want, however, after throwing mulch all day.  It did me no good at all.  

I didn't have much time to rest however.  I had to shower and get over to my mother's house so I could take her for her vaccination.  

She was waiting in the driveway for me when I got there.  She is always early and I am always late.  She was pacing back and forth so I gassed it then hit the brakes and the horn at the same time to scare her.  No I didn't.  You don't believe I'd do that to my 89 year old mother, do you?  

She put on her mask and got into the car, so I put mine on, too.  Then she put on a plastic shield.  

"Nice.  Do you want a helmet?" 

She took off the shield.  

"I think that's a good decision.  I was afraid we were going to get pulled over by the insanity police."  

The first thing I did was drive her by my newly pressure washed and freshly mulched home.  She had not been here since March. I took her in to see my very expensive new bathroom.  

"Nice," she said quickly glancing around.  She was anxious to get going.  She wanted her vaccine.

When we got to the Convention Center, the line was very long, cars snaking and looping as far as you could see.  Stop, start, creep forward, stop.  We sat in line for about two hours.  I kept looking at the gas gauge.  It would be horrible to run out of gas here in line, I thought with no small trepidation.  Why didn't I fill the gas tank before we came?  Hell, I wondered, why do I always need to turn the most mundane things into adventures?  

Four hours later, I was back home.  My mother had her first vaccine, and the house was mulched.  I was hungry, but I didn't have much food in the house.  But I had a great idea.  I poured the day's first scotch.  

This morning is the coldest of the year.  Rather than feeling like a cowboy, I am reflecting on Thoreau and self-reliance.  It is good to do the things you can, I think, even when you don't want to.  To wit, I am thinking about painting my fence today.  I keep putting it off. . . like for years, but if it warms up a bit, who knows.  I may be feeling a little jiggy.  It could happen.  


The cats have been fed, but they are taking turns looking in through the bottom pain of my kitchen door.  This is Oscar, the neighbor's cat.  He spends about half his day stalking things in my yard--squirrels, butterflies, hummingbirds, snakes.  I tell him to quit it but he doesn't listen.  Oscar the Horrible.  He is, however, a very beautiful cat.  

The sun is shining now in a most wonderfully blue sky.  Let's see what it can bring.  

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Idiot

  

Cool as somebody else's cucumber, I headed out to get my first Moderna vaccine injection yesterday.  This was the day I'd been waiting for.  Just a few weeks after getting the shot, I figured, my life could be a long, long string of Motel 6s.  I didn't know where I was going for the vaccine really, and I hadn't taken any time to figure it out beforehand, but I had the map app to guide me.  I had an appointment time, a window of two hours, so I saw no reason to get there early.  I waited until the last minute to go. 

My college roommate had the same appointment time, but he was about half an hour further away than I.  I started getting texts from both him and his wife early in the morning.  His wife was concerned about what we would do if we needed to pee.  

"Are you taking a pee jar?"  

"Maybe we should just get some adult diapers?"  

I thought their concern hilarious.  

With the guidance of the app, I got there easily and on time.  But where was the vaccine site?  I was at a huge county convention center whose property stretched for miles.  I pulled into a parking lot and asked the attendant.  She told me it was not at the convention center but at the parking lot of the Hilton.  There had been no mention of the Hilton in any of my communications, but. . . . 

I drove about a mile and saw a sign above the roadway that said something about the Covid site.  It was one of those signs that gives you bits of the message at a time, and since I was driving, I didn't get to see it all before I passed.  Ahead, though, I saw a sign that said Covid.  Ah. . . I'd found it.  I drove up to the long line of cars and took my place.  I tried to call my buddy to tell him that the site was not at the convention center but was located in the Hilton parking lot.  

He didn't answer.  Twice I called.  Then I called his wife.  She said he wouldn't answer the phone while he was driving, but she would text him to let him know.  

The line was still for long moments before it moved a few car lengths.  Again and again.  When I rounded a turn, I could see that the line was at least a mile long.  There were cones set up in the parking lot so that you had to snake your way through it like a line at an amusement park.  As I passed cars, I noticed that there were a lot of young people.  I really didn't see anyone over 65.  I texted my friends.  How could this be?  Maybe they were front line workers or something.  Weird.  At least I was getting the vaccine, I told myself.  Just chill.  

Suddenly, I had to pee really badly. 

I'd been in line about an hour and forty-five minutes when my buddy texted, "Done!"  What? 

"How in the hell did you get ahead of me.  I'm still snaking around the parking lot."

"What parking lot?"

"Fuck.  At the Hilton."

"What are you doing a the Hilton.  Are you sure you are in the right line?  It sounds like you are in line for the testing."

A cold chill ran through me.  I couldn't believe it.  I rolled down my window and asked a guy in line in one of the snaking lanes, "Hey, man. . . is this the line for the vaccine?"

"No, this is for testing."

I started banging on my steering wheel in frustration and rage.  I looked at the clock.  I had about ten minutes left in my time window for getting the vaccine. I still had about a quarter mile to go to get to the front of the line, and there was no way to pass.  I was panicked.  I opened my door and got out of the car and walked to see if I could find a way out.  It would take some luck and balls, but what other choice did I have.  I started moving cones so that I could get my car out of line.  I drove and knocked cones over as I drove across traffic slowly weaving my way between car bumpers.  After a few minutes of this, I got to a road that led up to the parking garage.  I took that and got to a barrier, but I managed to drive around it.  I was out and back on the street.  But where was I to go?  I could only make a right hand turn, and this took me to an empty divided road with a big median.  I hit the gas and flew.  I was going the wrong way, I could tell, off property.  I hit the brakes and jumped the curb, drove across the median, and charged my way back.  Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.  I got to that road sign again that I had seen earlier and stopped my car mid highway to read the whole thing.  Yep.  O.K.  Fuck.  I followed the arrows.  

When I got to the correct place, I realized I had driven right by it on my way to the Hilton.  I followed the cones that led me down into a parking garage.  There was no one in front of me, no one behind.  I was the only car.  I still had a couple minutes left in my allotted time.  I pulled up to the the first stop and a lady walked to the car window.  

"Is this where I get the vaccine?"

"Yes it is."

"My god, I've been sitting in the testing line for two hours.  I didn't think I'd make it."

"Oh. . ." 

It took all of two minutes.  I was asked to wait in the parking lot for fifteen to make sure I didn't have a reaction.  While I was sitting there, my college roommate pulled up.  

"Fuck me," I said.  

"Well, buddy, at least you got it."

"Yup.  We're halfway home."

* * * 

Just as I was writing this, there was a tapping on the front door.  I got up and peaked out.  It was the mulch delivery.  I'd completely forgotten about it.  I ordered it earlier in the week, but I never got a call back on the delivery time.  I went out and showed him where to dump it.  Holy shit.  It made a pile four feet high and about twenty feet long.  I've ordered way too much, it seems.  

I looked at it with no little dismay.  I am really going to miss Ili this weekend.  The two of us spread the mulch in the driveway and the beds in half a day.  It was astonishing how quickly we zipped through it.  I would load up the wheelbarrow with mulch and carry it down to wherever and dump it.  She would rake it out into an even covering while I got the next batch.  We were very efficient.  

Today, I will have to fill the wheelbarrow, tote and dump it, then rake.  I don't think I'll finish in a day.  My ribs are already barking.  It is dreadfully cold and getting colder.  The sky is grey.  There will be joy in this task alone.  Nope.  

When I pick up my mother tonight to take her for her vaccine, I will drive her by to see the newly mulched driveway in front of the newly pressure washed house.  She hasn't been here for many, many months.  Then I will take her to the right place to get her vaccine.  At least I now know where to go.  

I'm an idiot.  No wonder the cars were filled with people not old enough to get the vaccine.  I just looked on in wonder and rancor without being jolted into a realization.  

Yes, I'm an idiot.  I am in need of a keeper.  

Oh.  And when I got home. . . I really had to pee.  

Friday, January 8, 2021

I Read the News Today, Oh Boy

 

I've been up since four.  The coffee pot has been drunk and it is still pitch dark outside.  I've read the papers.  Everything is yesterday's news.  I want an appropriate photograph for today's post, but I have searched and not been able to find one.  What would be "appropriate," anyway.  

I've been thinking about the lunatic revolution taking place right now.  It made me think of the French Revolution when they emptied the prisons.  It made me think of China's Cultural Revolution.  And, of course, it made me think of the protests of the 1960s.  I thought of the SDS and the Weathermen and the Black Panthers.  I thought of everyone I knew carrying Mao's Little Red Book and the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago.  I thought of my parents and my friends' parents and of every parent in America faced with the revolution taking place in the '60s.  There were bombings.  There was violence.  And every group was a disparate association, not a single entity but a collective of varying motives and intellects.  I thought of Stalin.  I thought of Ghandi.  

History is full of such things, right or wrong.  There seems to be a human impulse.  

Biden will assume the presidency soon.  I don't envy him.  He will certainly not be able to do what he hopes to do.  I voted for him, but I don't agree with half of what he intends and will feel free to disagree, probably to the dissatisfaction of my friends.  I guess I'm used to it.  I piss people off all the time, anyway. I don't agree with most things if I think about them for any time at all.  I always find a bad assumption or some other fly in the ointment.  And I am really allergic to "groups."  As Grouch Marx said, I refuse to join a club that would have me as a member.  Although I've done some pretty radical things, I've always managed to piss off the majority of the people whose side I was on. 

What does that make me?

In a little while I am scheduled for the first of my Covid vaccinations.  Some of my pals have already gone.  They say the setup is pretty efficient.  You don't even have to get out of your car.  

I take my mother tomorrow.  In a couple weeks, we will entertain one another with impunity.  The year of sitting outside will be done.  In a month or so, she will be able to return to the gym.  She will be able to go to church.  She will meet people for coffee at McDonalds or wherever.  She is excited.  

The vaccine, I'm afraid, will not cure what is wrong with me.  My troubles are much deeper than that.  But it is something, and I must take advantage of it.  

I thought I had something to say this morning, but I don't.  I am simply overwhelmed.  

Thursday, January 7, 2021

American Carnage

  


My circle of friends shrank greatly last night.  You do not really see people until times of crisis I guess.  The people I have come to disdain are not the ones you might think, either.  It wasn't necessarily republicans or enablers of the president.  I would have to renounce my own mother if it were that simple.  No, for me, last night revealed some deep-seated insincerity in many I've considered principled thinkers, people I imagined to be intellectually sincere in their approach to matters of liberty and freedom.  

What I found last night is how many of the people I know only wish to to be clever.  It was as if last night was a sort of drinking game.  

I know I pissed people off, and it bothered me all night.  I certainly didn't sleep well.  If I haven't been kicked off the island, so to speak, I have certainly left voluntarily.  

It doesn't make me happy.  It is heartbreaking, truly.  

However, there are people I feel more strongly affectionate for than ever.  


You've seen the photos already.  Still. . . . 

Even Fox News turned on the president last night.  For awhile, at least.  The attack on democracy was shocking to them until they regained their balance.  Then, it was a shame that all the good that President Trump had done for our country had to end like this.  Hannity said that 99% of the protestors were decent people exercising their constitutional rights, that there just a few bad apples in the crowd that made everyone else look bad.  

A few bad apples.  

Somehow, a few bad apples were able to storm the U.S. Capitol.  Unarmed hillbilly methheads.  As has been pointed out many times already, our defense budget is huge, but it was overwhelmed by a few bad apples.  


 Watching officials elected to defend the constitution run away to duck and cover as hillbillies trashed the Senate floor sickened me.  All the tough talk, all the falling back on their laurels for having served in the military, all the shouting and finger jabbing, none of them were willing to stand their ground.  I'm sorry.  I know most of you will say that caution or whatever is the better part of valor, but I can't agree with this.  Not if you've been out chest thumping like some MMA star whenever the cameras are on.  

Yesterday late afternoon, as this was about to take place, with insurrectionists gathered in front of the Capitol, the image of that having been broadcast all day, I visited my mother.  Like any reasonable person, she was in disbelief.  When I left her house, I stopped by the grocery store on my way home.  In the parking lot, I walked by a group of bull necks in MAGA hats backslapping, heads jerking, bodies flopping in wild movements like they were headed to watch some pay-per-view fight when they got home.  I mean , they were rowdier than people normally are.  As I walked by, they gave me the fuck you arrogant stare daring me to say something.  I can't, you know.  I can't fight any more.  I am most likely not able to survive a beating.  But my blood was boiling and I would not break with their challenging gaze.  Fuck you, I wanted to say, and I am ashamed that I didn't.  Maybe it was that shame that colored the rest of my evening and influenced the way I reacted to my "friends."  In the light of morning, I think it certainly could be.  

But this shit didn't end yesterday, I fear.  It is not some national problem that will disappear with Trump.  These motherfuckers are emboldened.  They got away with it, and it was fun.  

This shit is going to go local.  For people whose only power has been physical, this political game is just that.  It's a game.  They don't understand governments.  They don't have a broad knowledge of history.  They know what they read online in the Trump media.  Emboldened ignorance is like a drug.  Insurrection is like some redneck Burning Man.  You don't need to be able to read or write.  Just go, man, go!

And there are plenty of people who will allow them to do what they do.  

More people died of Covid in the United States yesterday than ever before.  The virus is so unchecked, has spread so widely in the U.S., that it has had great opportunities for mutation.  Who is to blame for that?  Try talking to one of the hillbilly methheads about that.  You'd be better off talking about Big Foot.  

I am sad today.  I can barely move.  2021 seems worse than 2020 so far.  I have fewer friends and everything seems far away.  Nothing seems real.  

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Shit Show

  


I went to bed early last night.  I was watching CNN crow about the dems early lead in Georgia, but I fell asleep sitting up.  I woke when my drink tipped over in my lap.  An hour had passed.  The later returns had the republicans catching up, then leading.  I wrote my final texts of the night to friends.  "I'm going to bed.  I know how this movie turns out."  

It had been something of a day.  Having hardly slept the night before, I was slow going in the morning.  I had to wait around the house until just before noon to quarrel with the lawn guys. I decided I was too tired to work out which gave me some relief, and so I took a shower and just past one was ready to go.  Go where?  Oh, I had an idea.  There is a "restaurant" in town called Beefy King that has been in business since 1968. Nothing has changed.  I drive by it often.  Why, I wonder, have I never eaten one of their sandwiches?  My mother and I were talking just a couple days ago about how much we used to like the Arby's roast beef sandwiches when they first opened.  Of course we don't like them now, but you know how much better everything used to be.  As we talked, I could taste those stacked paper thin slices of roast beef that I smothered in horse radish sauce inside those soft, fluffy buns.  I always got two.  Well, I thought, since I'm not going to be going to an Arby's now, maybe I'll try one of those Beefy King sandwiches.  Hell, that place is still popular.  

And that is what I did.  When I got there, a line of cars kept me in the street for quite a bit as I waited to turn onto the property.  The takeout line was long and the large parking lot full.  Oh, man, this is sure to be a treat, I thought.  

When I finally got into the parking lot, a woman who looked like a cross between Aunt Bea and Granny Clampett came to the car window to take my order.  

"I've never been here before," I said, "and I don't have a menu, but I'll bet you have a roast beef sandwich."  

"We sure do."

"Well, that's what I'll have.  With a coke."

"What size do you want?" she asked me.

"I'll take the middle one.  Do you have horse radish sauce?"

"Yes, they will put that on the side for you if you ask them at the window.  Would you like cheese on your sandwich?  I always tell people who are ordering for the first time to get cheese and onions on it."

"Then that's the way I'll have it."

"Do you want tater tots or onion rings with it?"

"Look at you upselling me!  Sure, the onion rings sound great."  

"You won't be sorry," she said.  

The line moved slowly, one car length at a time.  After about ten minutes, I got to the window where I asked for horse radish sauce.  The kid at the window asked if I wanted any other sauce with it.  I asked him which one he liked, and he told me that spicy barbecue sauce was his favorite, so I said sure, put some of that in there, too.  The Granny Bea Clampett stuck her head into the frame. 

"You'll be back," she said.  "I make that sauce myself."

"Oh, boy, I bet I will." 

She liked me, I could tell.  I'm a likable bohemian boy, I know, and I like people back a whole lot.  I'm sure she recognized the hillbilly in me.  The parking lot was full of them.  My relatives.  My people.  

I pulled over to an empty parking space in the shade and began unpacking my treasure.  I carefully placed everything so that I wouldn't spill on my seats.  It is not uncommon.  

Those things you look forward to most, you know, like ordering toys from the back of comic books?  The X-Ray glasses, the water monkeys, the hypnotic disc. . . . 

Meh.  The meal was what I had always thought it might be which is why I had never eaten there in the first place.  But it did what it was intended to do.  I was burping and hoping not to shit my pants as I headed out of the parking lot.  Sorry Bea.  I won't be bringing my mother. 

So it could have been the lack of sleep or the gastronomic distress of the day, or it could have been both combined with the glass of scotch that had me dropping into slumberland as I watched Wolf Blitzer calling the election results like he was calling a horse race, unnerved, excited, terrified. . . . I was certain he, too, was in fear of shitting himself.  

When I got up this morning, however, I was stunned.  Georgia had gone to the democrats, or so it seemed. Holy shit!  Trump had certainly riled the natives.  People tried to warn him, but no, he had to keep fucking around with the juju.  Now all he has left is a loyal band of Nazis and big group of welfare hillbillies packing the park in D.C.  

Today should be fun.  I can't wait to watch Pence.  He's sure to be wearing an adult diaper.  

O.K.  Enough with the shit references.  I guess it is my German heritage that does that.  

Now, faced with a crystal clear cool morning, I must motivate.  I took everything I had in the cabinets last night to counter pain and help me sleep.  I did a little better than the night before, and if I get out early and do something, I can take an early nap.  The first of my friends, my travel/art buddy, gets vaccinated today and C.C. gets vaccinated tomorrow.  I hope there is still vaccine on Friday when I and my college roommate go, and especially by Saturday when I take my mother.  I tremble with excitement, though yesterday my mother brought me down by telling me that scientist think that consuming alcohol might reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine.  What?!?!?!?  I've not read that anywhere, and it is not beyond my mother to make up such a thing to get me off the sauce, but I have been sticking to my two drinks a day routine, so I am not in the barrel like I might have been for most of the pandemic.  But this is something all my friends should know about.  You don't get to be this old and still of some interest without drinking to excess quite often in your life.  

And so, I am away.  I want to get home to watch that shit show in D.C. this afternoon.  Oh. . . shit-show.  There I go again.  

Sunday, January 3, 2021

The Lonely Workings of a Computer Technologist

  


Day's been shit.  I spent most of it on my mother's old computer trying to add Lightroom and load an Epson driver so that I could use it with my big Epson 7900 printer.  Tried downloading Nikon scanning software, too.  Two hours online with Adobe help got me nowhere.  Nikon wouldn't download.  Apple won't let me upgrade the OS on the computer.  I'd have to download a really old version of Lightroom or Photoshop from a CD.  I went to look for them.  I threw them all out a few months ago thinking I'd never need them again.  Went online to find copies.  There are rapists on eBay.  I'd have to pay hundreds of dollars for a copy.  After spending literally all day on the computer, eyes blurry, but pancaked, I checked the Epson site to see if by chance they had written a new driver. . . oh. . . they had a few weeks ago.  I downloaded it to my laptop thinking this couldn't possibly by right, went out to the big printer, hooked it up, and voila!  When I opened Lightroom, the picture above loaded.  Don't have a clue where it came from but I know I took it.  That is what I made a big print of.  Looks better in print than it does on the screen. 

Four o'clock.  I spent my entire day to get to that point.  

I called my mother and said I wouldn't be over.  I feel like drinking.  

That's the tale.  I can't imagine being a hacker.  

Saturday, January 2, 2021

A Brief Morning Toast to 2021, And Then. . . .

  


[Delete]

[Start Over]

I got up before five today and wrote a long post.  I didn't finish it, got tired, and went back to bed.  Couldn't sleep, though, and got back up shortly after.  This is going to be a redo.  It may not be any better, but I'll give it a shot. 

The big Downtown was littered early New Year's Day with the ghost of 2020.  I know because I was there.  Woke early, read, wrote, and then went for a workout just past sunrise.  I decided to grab my Big Fucking Camera and start the New Year with intention.  Just as I entered the limits of downtown, I saw something I thought to photograph in the parking lot of a corner building.  I pulled in, got the BFC with BFLens out and took the shot.  Blah.  Heading back to the car, however, I saw Wonder Woman walking toward me, denim shorts cut and rolled into tiny cuffs, athletic legs, a tight tank top, pole vaulter arms, curly hair held back in a headband, a paper coffee cup in her hand.  Jesus Christ, she was stunning.  I, in my workout clothing carrying a BFC and emitting god knows what sort of hideous adrenaline vibe, must have looked like a kidnapper or a rapist to her.  That is what ran through my mind, anyway.  I wanted to take her photograph so very much, but I was embarrassed and ashamed, I guess, so I simply shot her a waist level peace sign and resigned myself to being a creepy coward.  She, god love her, gave me a sympathetic smile and an almost imperceptible wave.  Fuck me, fuck me, fuck me, I thought as I climbed into my car.  She must have been coming from an all night New Year's Eve party somewhere as other pods of people were walking through the parking lot behind her.  It was not the part of town where one goes for an early morning coffee.  I need to wear something not hideous when I go out with a camera, I was thinking.  I've become an ugly, creepy fuck.  Look what the Year of Covid has done to me.  I coulda/shoulda just walked up to her and said, "Look, I don't want to bother you, but I will hate myself for the rest of the day if I don't ask you. . . . "  Rather, here I was slinking and sulking.  

Her image and my adrenaline fueled cowardice stayed with me all morning.  It would have been the best picture ever, I thought.  E-V-E-R.  

Lesson learned.  

I spent the next hour and half walking through Covid-and-beer-covered abandoned streets.  Only here and there a bum sat on an empty corner in a sleepy stupor.  The evidence of last night's party lay all around.  The streets were quiet.  The exhausted city was asleep. 

Selavy. 

I love that BFC, though.  I love the zoom lens, the accurate framing inside the viewfinder, the soft slap of the mirror.  I just wish I didn't look like a creeper carrying it.  

It was still early when I got home.  I took a shower and thought, "What the fuck.  It's New Year's Day," and then opened a bottle of champagne.  Before I drank, I got my phone, took a photo of the whimsical liquid inside my coupe glass, and sent it around to my friends with the following:

Resolutions are easy to discard. Waste nothing. Don’t save anything. Happy 2021! Or as Oscar Wilde so famously said, “I can resist anything but temptation.”

And then, to my friend who plans on abstaining the breadth and length of 2021, I wrote, 

I thought it best to get it over with. I have all year to be moderate.

He said he didn't disagree.  


Beans and Greens with my mother mid-afternoon.  Both of us have a newfound energy and lifted spirits thinking about our lives post-vaccine.  Everything we do now seems energized by it.  

Back home by late afternoon, and it began to hit me.  Even after vaccine, I will still be living alone.  I will have to face the fact that it is not Covid that keeps me isolated.  Not solely, anyway.  I'll be able to go to a coffee shop or a cafe, but I will still be like a goldfish in a fishbowl, fat and fungus ridden, gulping for air and looking out with bulging eyes seeming desperate for help to all the happy people around me.  That is when the depression will really sink in.  It will no longer be Covid nor my goofy gym clothes.  It will simply be me.  

I poured a scotch and lit a cheroot and tried to chase those blues away.  

I will need to become interesting again.  Again?  It will be impossible not to wear the wrong clothes, not to have the wrong haircut.  Where will I find my mojo?  

Well, as the Hemingway protagonist told his girlfriend who worried tragically about one day dying, "Don't let it happen until it happens."  

Besides, what the hell do I have to fret about?  I don't even have this January's pressure not to drink.  



Thursday, December 31, 2020

2021

  


I've felt like shit the whole live-long day which is probably an apropos way to end this crummy year.  We like to think 2021 will be better, but who knows?  These could be End Times.  Still, as the old poem says, "hope springs eternal. . . ."  And so, to all of you, I wish you a merry 2021.  I'll see it in the morning.  


Happy New Year.  

Practically Sober in Kansas


Ten more dollars in the travel kitty.  "Ten?" you query."  Well, yes.  You know drinkers underreport.  Doctors always double your answer when they ask you, "How many drinks do you have each day?"  But that isn't the point.  I may have a glass of champs tonight, however, even though I will be in bed long before midnight.  Even though we are leaving behind a hideous year, we have no clue what lies ahead. 

These are terribly troubled times.  

When I read about someone like The Nashville Bomber who believes the world is being taken over by Lizard People, I get nervous.  I used to laugh, but that is how weird the world has become.  Conspiracy Theory Idiots are now mainstream.  QAnon believers are now in the house and the senate and even the White House.  I still blame liberal democrats for Trump.  They gave us candidate Hillary, the only person as arrogant as Trump.  The problem was that Trump could be funny.  Hillary could only be arrogant and could only speak Woke.  Conspiracy theories are much more fun than Woke philosophy for most, and truly, they may be the only way to counter them.  Woke is a religion.  Conspiracy Theory is simply a comment all social theories that start with an unsupportable assumption.  

Oops.  You know not to trust any statement that uses the word "simply" or that tries to totalize.  

You'll have to forgive me.  I took an allergy pill last night before bed and it knocked me out.  That is why I am writing so late in the day.  I'm still a bit woozy.  And like many who spout crackpot theories, I am living in isolation and have no one to call bullshit on my goofy ways.  

I took the pill because I seemingly have developed allergies here in my own state's allergy season.  Pollen counts are high and I have mucous that gives me kennel cough.  I think using the aqualung inflamed it, too, and I have decided that I cannot tolerate it.  Don't want to, either.  Ever since the docs have gotten their hooks in me, I've been on the medline.  One can either give in and get reeled to the boat or rip out the hook.  I don't care to live like a patient.  Jesus, when I wrote the word, it didn't look right to me, so I looked it up.  

Able to accept or tolerate delays, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.

I get both annoyed and anxious.  Nope.  I am not a good nor good at being (a) patient.  

So I will have to find internal resources to deal with my physical deficiencies.  

And, perhaps, I'll need to read this. 


I've keep hearing about all the money being made in Bit Coin speculation.  Mr. Fixit's son has reportedly made a fortune investing in it.  Investing?  I don't understand any of this.  I read about it in legitimate news outlets, but I can't get my head around it.  You can just make up money?  Well, sure, all money is "made up," but this is wanky to me.  

When I think of ways to get rich, they are alway stupid.  For instance, everyone of any caliber has stains on his or her or their mattress, right?  Unless you are married for forty years, that becomes problematic when you get a new girlfriend, boyfriend, or other, right?  And depending on your frequency in changing partners, it may become too expensive to keep buying new mattresses.  So I think, hey, let's market JizzAway Stain Remover.  I mean, who couldn't use that?  

I'm about as good at making money as I am at Conspiracy Theories.  Here's mine.  Donald Trump, in cahoots with the Russians, unleashed a brain fungus at his campaign rallies in 2015 that is very infectious and causes voters to be susceptible to conspiracy theories.  Let's start that one.  It is more believable than Lizard People Theory, I think.  

We'll see on January 6th.  The Times has gone from reporting it "impossible" for the house to overturn the election to "unlikely."  There are likely to be millions of zombies with guns when the certification goes down.  I had planned to darken up on January 20, but I may turn a whiter shade of pale.  I fear that Trump will start a war in a ploy to stay in the White House.  My vaccine will be of little value then.  

It is New Year's Eve and I will be alone.  Not the first time, but it is getting to be very tiring.  And so, yea, maybe a little pop before bed.  A friend just texted me that TCM is having a "Thin Man" marathon today showing all the movies.  Wow!  I can't imagine a better way to spend New Year's Eve.  As that wonderful Nora tells the press in the original Thin Man film, "Why yes, we had a marvelous trip.  Nicky was practically sober in Kansas."


Wednesday, December 30, 2020

A Cold Moon Story Told Wrong

  

No money goes into the travel fund today.  I had two scotches last night.  That's o.k.  I've decided that I may have a drink on New Year's Eve, too.  Having given myself permission, it is less likely that I will.  There is simply something about the idea of abstinence that runs counter to my being.  Tell me I can't do something and I surely will.  Told I can do something, it is very difficult for me to take much interest.  It is a genetic trait, probably.  It has made for an interesting life.  Now, I am trying to learn to moderate it without reversing course.  

Oy. 

I tried the aqualung last night.  It is a nightmare.  I spent a long while setting it up.  When I went to bed, I slipped it over my head and lay down.  It wasn't really uncomfortable to wear, but breathing was difficult.  I tried it for an hour, but never fell asleep.  Air pushes into your nose when you inhale, which is weird at first but fine.  Exhaling, however, is an effort as you are exhaling against the incoming air.  For awhile, I thought I was suffocating.  I had some post-nasal drip from my apparently new allergies which complicated things.  After an hour, I took it off.  From that point on, however, it seemed I couldn't remember how to breathe.  My apnea had apparently worsened.  I woke up over and over again in the midst of suffocating.  Was it my allergies or was it a result of using the machine?  I don't know the answer, but I kept imagining that the machine had messed up some rhythmic part of my brain.  

I should have mentioned first (but I am too lazy to go back and rewrite this in) that I read the receipt and contract that came in the box.  They want me to sign a contract that says I am renting the machine, that I will use it for at least 4 hours 70% of the time or Medicare may require me to pay out of pocket.  Cost?  $2,300.00!  And. . . you are required to purchase replacement parts for it throughout the year.  

Oh, there is also a chip in the machine that sends your data to the company so they can track you!  I shit you not. 

I'm not signing the contract.  There may be some science behind the thing, but there is definitely a scam going on as well.  I Googled "apnea scam" and "CPAP scam."  Oh, yea.  PBS and Forbes, among others, have run reports on how much money is in sleep studies and CPAP machines.  Insurance companies are looking into it now.  CPAP prescriptions have increased tenfold in the past few years.  There very well could be good science behind this, but Las Vegas conventions for doctors featuring a guy in a lab coat with money falling out of his pockets might be a tell.  I'm sure my cardiologist is getting something good for ordering all of this for me.  

So I am in a dilemma.  I know I have apnea.  The science behind the dilatory effects of apnea seems solid. It endangers my longevity and the quality of my life.  The aqualung, however, doesn't seem to be the answer.  I read that at least 50% of patients receiving them quit using them.  

I'm telling you, there has to be a better way.  

Whatever. . . two scotches.  

Now this is a poorly constructed piece, I know, for what I have just written should come at the end of the post.  Who in the fuck wants to read about aqualungs and apnea?  Nobody wants to read about aqualungs and apnea.  Most readers have probably abandoned this post by now.  Here is what I should have led with, but again, laziness prevents the rewrite.  Laziness and time.  

I was very happy to tell you that I had a date with Moderna yesterday.  I sent all my buddies links to the registration site.  Some of them thanked me, then having just registered the next day had dates a couple weeks before mine.  WTF!!!  My travel/art buddy got his for January 6.  C.C. got his for the 7th.  

Why?  What did I do wrong?  Fuck me, I thought.  My joy from the day before turned into a raging anger. I hated all my friends.  

So I went to the site and tried to reschedule.  With trepidation, of course, for I was afraid to lose my spot and not get one until February or March.  But what the hell.  I tried.  And it worked!!!  I moved up to January 8!!!!

I quit hating my friends quite as much.  Still, the pettiness and envy or whatever venal sin it is shamed me.  

I called my mother to tell her and see if she wanted me to try to change hers.  She wasn't out of bed yet.  So I exercised and did some chores before I went over.  Of course, she hadn't written down her password nor did she remember it.  I tried to many times to enter one and got kicked out of the system for fifteen minutes.  After that, I was able to reset her password and get her a January 9 date.  She was as happy as I, and she didn't even have to hate anyone in the first place.  

For the rest of the day, I was feeling pretty light.  I was thinking of the traveling ahead of me, of living a life in the world again.  I felt the first joy in a year.  Hope springs. . . etc. 

In the afternoon, I was able to transfer my mother's files from her old computer to her new one and finish setting it all up for her.  Now that was done as well.  

On the way home, the sun setting as I came around the lake just a block from home, I saw the full moon rising.  Oh, my. . . I had forgotten and was taken by surprise.  My old pal.  And quite unlikely, I had put my big Canon Mark IV DSLR camera with its large telephoto zoom lens in the car that day.  I love the camera, the lens, the images, but it is like carrying a bazooka compared to my other cameras, so I hardly ever take it anywhere.  But this was fortuitous.  I pulled the car to the side of the road and snapped a few pictures.  Why?  I mean, another moonrise?  Certainly not destined to be a classic.  And it means nothing, really, unless you lean in hard on the symbolic suggestions of the thing, but it is not consequential or surprising as a photograph.  So why?  

I don't know.  It is just illustrative.  It's not meant to be remembered, only to be looked at.  Look at it.  Go ahead.  See?  When you look away, it will be gone.  

O.K. So this is where I should start writing about the scotch and the CPAP.  That would make more sense. And in my confused disorder, I know I am leaving something out.  It feels as if I am leaving out something of importance, but I can't remember it.  I'll go ahead and post this and then go, "Oh, shit!" later. What choice do I have.  The sun is up and the coffee is getting cold.  I'm going to try not caring about the aqualung and see how that works out.  I just need to take a walk and remember how to breathe again.  

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Vaccine!


$20 in the travel fund, and I haven't even had tremens.  I drink herbal teas at night now instead of scotch and I am hydrated again.  Now I wait to be svelte and to have the skin of a baby.  Could be a long wait.  

But I got good at that yesterday.  Waiting, I mean.  I spent the morning trying to get on one site to sign up for the Covid vaccine.  It was an hour ill-spent.  But last night, my mother called to tell me that my county was allowing people to make appointments.  I went online and registered, then chose a date and time.  NG.  But the site then gave me other date options.  I chose the earliest one but when I hit the "Go" button, I got a message that said the connection failed, but I could try again.  "NOTE:  IT MAY TAKE SEVERAL ATTEMPTS."  I took that to mean a billion people were trying to sign up and that I wouldn't get through as was my experience that morning.  After a few frustrating minutes, I tried hitting the "Previous" button.  That was a mistake.  I was taken back to the beginning and had to fill out all my medical data once again.  When I got back to the page I'd mistakenly left, I just kept hitting the "Go" button over and over again.  It took fifteen minutes, but then. . . a miracle!  I had an appointment to get the vaccine on January 27.  Holy smokes!  I called my mother.  I sent her the site, but she was daunted and didn't want to try, so I said I would try for her.  She stayed on the phone with me while I hit the "Go" button over and over and over again.  I thought something was wrong.  Maybe this wasn't going to work this time.  Perhaps they wouldn't let me make two appointments from one computer.  But I kept at it. . . and over an hour later--VICTORY!  My mother has the same day appointments as I for both the first and second shot.  

And so, dear friends, my life may take a bit of a turn soon enough.  My mother and I will be able to congregate without fear.  I will be able to stay in hotel rooms without worry.  Hell, man, I'm practically on my way to Abilene.  

"Abilene?"  

"Yea, yea, you know the song" (link).  

"I was there twenty years ago.  It was a real shithole.  Apparently Sam Shepard liked it, though."

Yea, that's what Jessica Lange said about him."  

"Yea, that's why you like it."

"You may have heard stories, but given today's climate, I might have to deny all claims."  

Still, I imagine a string of Motel 6s in my near future life.  By spring, I'll be headed out across the shithole heartland of America searching for pictures and stories and the true meaning of life.  

Don't worry.  I'll be careful.  

I guess I'll need a portable aqualung.  I haven't hooked my home unit up yet.  I don't know that I will.  But I've been reading about sleep apnea, and it appears to have very, very serious health effects. The websites almost have me scared enough to try the damn aqualung.  Maybe tonight.  But it is a primitive attempt to help people, at best.  There is a pump and a water tank and instructions on how to clean it. . . .  There are surely things about the whole set up that will make one sick.  There should be a better solution than this in the 21st century.  The machine really looks like something from the 1950s.  

Per my resolution, I was quite active yesterday.  I got shit done, as the kids say.  Here on Day 3 of my New Year's head start, I must keep the monkey dancing.  

C.C. sent me this while I was writing just now.  But yea, that's me.  Dance little monkey, dance!

The next month, I must be very careful to stay away from people.  It would be horrible to get Covid just before getting the vaccine.  And so, I'll isolate. . . but with purpose and vision.  Fuck yea.  Motel 6 awaits!

Sunday, December 27, 2020

The Yen, The Itch

 In years gone by, I'd be someplace like Mexico City today having made the flight on Christmas afternoon.  My group of buddies and I would stay in our own hometown to open presents with our families, then, when things were done, we'd head to the airport to hop a cheap flight out of the country.  Perhaps today we would be navigating our way to a village at the foot of a volcano we intended to climb.  This happened many times.  We travelled every chance we could get.  Not just holiday trips.  Many were quite extended.  Back before the tourist crush, in the first days of "adventure travel" before the Golden Horde, places like Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, Argentina, or Ecuador were very inexpensive to get to and cheap once we were there.  Even on my paltry salary, I could manage to live large.  

My last big trip was with Ili to Paris for the last Fashion Week in 2019.  We went to Detroit a month after that.  Actually, as I am thinking about it, I had a lot of travel that year.  Since then, I haven't been more than a few miles from home but for a couple drives to the coast.  

I am ready to travel if only I can get the vaccine.  But the "roll out" is slower than they thought it would be.  What happened?  I thought Trump had put one of our best supply chain Generals in charge of this.  Perhaps they should have hired Halliburton.  

You knew it would be a cluster fuck.  Today I read that one out of every thousand people in America has died of Covid.  I had to look at that several times thinking it was a mistake.  One in one thousand!  From a virus that was going to disappear like a miracle.  

So, it looks like it will be awhile before I can travel again.  It is another cold ass morning here in the Sunny South, but it will warm up later and I will get outside.  I spent yesterday inside moping.  I haven't had a shower in quite a while.  I think maybe I've got the blues.  One of my buddies suggested not drinking in 2021.  It's a good idea in so many ways, and I think I should jump on that wagon.  I think we could stay on it until we get to a good cafe in some other town, but you know, travel and drink and romance (or the possibility of it) are irrevocably connected.  I mean, there is, at least, always a drink.  So maybe what we should do is quit drinking and put all the money we would have spent on booze each week into a travel fund.  By the time we are able to go somewhere, that pot ought to be pretty large.  That might be just the thing, right Bud?  

Let me know.  

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Maybe Tomorrow



And then it was over.   The thing was done.  

I woke to a frigid morning.  Clear sky.  Cats waiting.  Me a bit confused about what to do next.  Perhaps I should start my health regimen now rather than waiting for the New Year.  I've eaten holiday foods and meats and have drunk every sort of liquor.  I could load up on vegetables from the market today.  Wait.  It does me no good to "load up" on vegetables.  They do not last that long.  

"Easy does it, old sod.  Why do you always want to jump in with both feet and an anchor?"

A long walk, I'd say, if it weren't so friggin' cold.  Maybe I could start doing yoga again?  And what happened to the idea that I was going to begin making photographs?  

All my habits and routines have been disrupted these past three months.  It is difficult to re-establish the old or to begin the new.  

"Maybe I should wait until the new year like everyone else," I think.  But there is no reason for that other than to continue living willy-nilly.  Perhaps I need to make a schedule that is more regulated by the clock. Perhaps I need to establish a routine.  "Yoga at nine," for instance.  

But it is hard to plan.  

Look what a year has done.  Yes, I need to begin establishing patterns once again.  It is unnatural to live in such an unstructured way as I have.  Even animals know when to hibernate or migrate.  Maybe I should go back and read Ecclesiastes.  

I just went over to Google and sneaked a peak.  It didn't look quite like the lyrics to "Turn, Turn, Turn."  Not like I remembered it from Hemingway.  It looked more like "The Prophet" or some Indian shaman's mystical treatise.  That was my quick impression, anyway.  The short version, though, is do what you are supposed to do and stop worrying because that will not do you any good.  You will die no matter, so go about things with a pure heart and accept your fate.  

Oh, boy.  This is going to be harder than I thought.  

A pair of women walk by on the street.  They both wear down parkas that extend below their knees, scarves, and woolen hats.  My heater continuously runs.  Perhaps today isn't the best day to begin something new after all.  Perhaps today is a day best spent lying in bed.  

I can feel my anxiety building already.  I must quit it.  I must quit all this thinking.  Just another half cup of coffee and maybe I'll finish off that banana nut bread, too.  It is a sin to waste things they say.  

If I had some veggie sausages, I would make a big sonofabitch of a  breakfast.  Wait!  I have yesterday's ham!  A big old breakfast sounds good. I even have biscuits!  Oh, my. . . I have orange juice, too.  Is there any champagne?  No, today is not a good day to begin anything.  A big f'ing breakfast, a book, and eventually a nap.  It may climb into the 50s this afternoon.  I might get started then.  

As they say, there is nothing that can't be done. . . tomorrow.  

Friday, December 25, 2020

Christmas Evening


Christmas, 2004, Las Vegas


I have spent a lot of Christmas mornings alone, but waking up alone on Christmas day can still be a little bit weird.  So is being home alone at Christmas' end.  It is both hollow and haunting, and one finds it difficult not to reflect with spiritual trepidation about one's aloneness.  It is not true, of course, for everyone.  I could simply say "I" and "me," but I'd rather universalize my feelings.  It is less lonely that way.  

I am exhausted tonight.  I went to my mother's for Christmas dinner around one.  I began setting up her computer while the ham and fixings finished cooking.  Everything went swell until it didn't.  First, I had to navigate my mother's passwords.  My mother does not honor them the way she should.  After trying ten or fifteen of them, I would be ready to give up just when the last one worked.  

At two we ate.  It was cold outside where we had set the table, but my mother had two heaters going and we fairly bundled up and the sky was clear and the cold sun shining, so we were pretty much o.k.  She made a simple dinner, but man, it may have been her best.  We were both pleased as punch as Hubert Humphrey was so fond of saying.  Then the neighbors began to show up, and for the next couple hours, we were entertaining.  I was the boy toy of the over eighty crowd.  Over eighty?  Well over.  The women ranged in age from 88 to 96.  I served them champagne and gave attention, and the girls stayed on until the darkness and the chill overtook us all.  Other neighbors stopped by as well having heard there was champagne.  It is a good thing I made my last minute liquor store run last night.  In between the cookies and champagne, I was running in updating my mother's new computer.  Her friends were all envious.  

I took over the Megaboom 3 speaker Q has gifted me and played some Pandora mixes from my phone while we partied.  The girls even liked the music, but I am an old soul and basically a woman, so that is no surprise.  But the chit-chat and the computer problems have worn me out and now, here at home with my first glass of scotch, I am ready for the couch.  What I'm ready for is cuddling up with my own true love, but whatever. As the song goes, maybe next year.  

I will make some small ham sandwiches tonight with the little rolls my mother sent home with me, so it will be like many Christmas nights of yore.  Tonight will be very cold, but tomorrow will be clear, and now with Christmas gone, I hope I will look ahead.  I have pulled out all my Leica gear and arranged it so that I know where everything is (for the moment) and may take to wearing one on my walks about town again.  Just get me that vaccine, and let's see what happens.  Yea. . . just get me that vaccine.