Monday, January 26, 2015
Exhaustion, Beauty, Love, and the Horror of the Everyday World
I have a tendency to worry about some things. About everything, really. A lot. I mean, pretty much all the time. Worrying about everything all the time can be exhausting. I am exhausted much of the time. Most. Pretty much all the time. If I don't worry, though, I've learned that things fall apart. Most things, anyway. Everything.
Last night, I took a Xanax before bed. I woke in the night and thought how wonderfully I was sleeping. Just before I fell back to sleep, I remembered the Xanax.
Still, this morning I'm exhausted. I think it is time for a trip to the sleep clinic. I am sure of it. I will sleep with a mechanical device that will force air down my throat. Maybe I'll get another one for sexual pleasure. Wait, no. . . that would be weird. But if I'm going to sleep with a mechanical mask, I'm surely not going to be sleeping with a woman, too. . . unless she wears one also. Jesus, I want to make a picture of that.
Yesterday, the blind model stood me up. I was glad. The day was the most gorgeous in recent memory, and I was creatively exhausted from the night before, that on top of my usual daily exhaustion. Rather than spending the most beautiful day inside a dark studio, I went to brunch at an Italian restaurant off the Boulevard. Oh. . . I'd just eaten there the night before with the beautiful Puerto Rican model, but when we walked into our usual haunt, it was packed, so we came to sit outside in the hot sun and cold air and eat frittatas and pressed bread in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I'd not had brunch there before. The same bartender who had waited on us the previous night came out with menus. You're back, she said. So are you, I grinned. Some days are just too beautiful, and this was one. I was dreading the shoot, but when I texted the model, I got no response. I decided I'd try once more. Nothing. Alright, I told my buddy, let's take a long, slow stroll. There was nothing like this day for air and light, and we poked around the little alleyways and hidden gardens off the Boulevard. It's like Carmel, my buddy said, and it was true. The places were filled with small spice shops and shops specializing in olive oils. The thick bougainvillea that climbed the old brick walls were in spectacular bloom. We stopped often just to talk along the way.
We passed a girl with a dog. I didn't notice the dog so much, but my buddy said something about adoption. She was trying to find the dog a home. I was sure his interest in the dog was marginal though he gets all of his from the pound. My interest in the dog was nil. She was a young, gorgeous blond wearing thin black leggings that looked like oil paint. I had to turn away. But my buddy kept talking and talking. Good for him, I thought, knowing I couldn't turn back around. I gazed at the oncoming crowd of people crossing the street, looking right across the park where families with children played. After a few minutes, I turned back and said put a sign on the dog that says ten dollars. Someone will buy it for five right away. A woman who was looking at the dog with her husband said that's true, and they both shook their heads at the wisdom in that. But it was not that I was thinking of, and now I was done for as I followed the lines of her thighs where they met so seemingly perfectly. Jesus, why do they do that? I knew why, but it wasn't for the right reasons. I brought my eyes up to meet her gaze. You are probably right, she said. Oh, yes, I know I am I said grinning. She grinned back knowingly and then sweetly giggled. There are things that overpower all the other beauty in the world, I thought, that take that beauty and make it its own. She, I thought, was the embodiment of the day, of the frittatas on the square in the cool air and the warm sun, of the perfectly blue skies and of all the bougainvillea climbing brick walls in tiny, hidden places. I would never get over this, I knew, the ache it always made me feel in every attachment of my body. Some people must never feel it or feel it but not so strongly, but for me. . . it is like the first and best experience you've ever had, a perfect chocolate soufflé mixed with heroin and ecstasy or the first time you got drunk and ate White Castle hamburgers by the dozen. Those are not right, though, not close at all, for all the sensations of seeing that and looking into those eyes and hearing the giggle, all of that has the feeling and hope of love, long and everlasting and never, ever dying as in some impossible movie with a sailboat and the moon on the water and the balmy tropical air of Tahiti just beyond.
Oops. I lost myself there for a moment. But there you go--the agony and the ecstasy.
It is back to the factory today, back to the life denying chores and blank fluorescent lights and prefab matching furniture and white, sterile walls. I will try to do one thing or maybe two, and I will try to sneak out early, but for what, I barely know. The day will still have already passed and before me will lie the gym and the grocery store and the making of dinner and the feeding of the cat and then, exhausted, I will sit with my dinner in front of the television and watch one of those shows "on demand," and then I will go to the big computer and work on some pictures while I listen to music too late into the night.
And somewhere out there is a girl with blonde hair and blue eyes and a sweet giggle who knows the world was made for her. I'll take refuge in the thought, however, that she is not, that such things are never real. As the old saying goes, somewhere there is some guy sick to death of that. That may be true, but I know something else. That guy ain't nothing like me.