Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A Lost Day

Yesterday was a disaster.  For me, I mean.  I am not suggesting it was universal.  I got up and drove a friend to a doctor in a town far to the north.  She wanted to take the scenic route.  It was fine.  The day was beautiful and traffic not too bad.  We stopped in an old Spanish town known for its forts and historic district.  There is a private college that is renowned for the arts.  We walked a bit and went to lunch on the second floor balcony of a restaurant overlooking the alleyways where the throngs of tourist stroll aimlessly looking into the approximately one billion shops selling everything that you might not need, sporting names like High Tide Carvings.  The scene could remind you of New Orleans if you squinted a certain way.  They have great sangria here, she said, and so we ordered.  Seared tuna with a spicy salad, and an order of Caprese salad, too.  It was all delicious. 

"See that guy and his wife," I asked?  "He's about my age, right?"  She looked at me like this was a trick question.  She is quite a bit younger than I and so perhaps she is afraid of questions about age.  The old couple was hobbling aimlessly through the alley with bored, moronic looks on their faces.  "What do you think they do for fun?"  They were both overweight and without definable shapes, really, just something you might refer to as a lump.  "What do you think their passions are?  Where do you think they find their bliss?  Do you think he has whispered to her that he can't wait to get her back to the hotel room, can't wait to knock the bottom out of that shit?"  She was looking at me with amusement and horror.  Surely this was inappropriate.  "I'm just saying.  They are my age." 

"You're not like that," she offered. 

There were lots of them down there.  We watched them.  "I went to high school with them," I joked.  But in truth, it was not a joke.  I wanted her to think about it.  The day grew warmer and I decided to strip down to my undershirt.  "Jesus," she said.  I knew what I was doing.  It was a well-scripted play.  We drank more of the good Sangria and I held forth with my theories of life.  Good food, good drink, the sensual pleasures.  I left out the part about existential dread and the emptiness the night.  This was all showing off on a beautiful day.  I had brought my old film Leica camera and was having fun snapping off things I couldn't see, wouldn't see for days and days until the film was developed.  Old man, old toys. 

"I used to work out all the time," she said.  "I used to be really fit.  I'm going to start working out again.  I'm going to start going to the gym with my sister." 

I am a good influence on women, I think.  I am going to become a professional Spiritual Counselor. 

But the rest of the day was just driving and talking and listening to music.  I began to feel my age, my hips and knees aching from driving.  After she got her stitches out, she had taken something for pain. If I wasn't allergic to what she had, I would have taken half of one with her. 

I got back into town before six.  The day was done.  I would never get it back.  I pulled into my favorite bar and ordered one of their fabulous Rye and Gingers.  Some shrimp tacos.  Another Rye.  I could still feel the swaying of the road, but it was getting better. 

Driving home, I saw that the polling stations were still open.  Shit, I had forgotten that local elections were today.  I stopped and voted drunk.  I think that is illegal.  When I got home, the sun was still shining.  I am still not on DST.  I looked at the camera.  There were just a few frames left, so I decided to click them off so I could take the film in for processing.  36, 37, 38, 39. . . shit, shit, shit.  I tried to rewind the film, but there was no resistance.  I opened the back of the camera to find a roll of film that had already been shot and rewound.  I remembered what it was like to shoot film--or rather to not shoot it.  There are always mistakes like this or like setting the wrong ISO number or not loading it properly or. . . or. . . . 

I drank and watched t.v.  A few texts, and then to bed.  I woke violently.  Once.  Twice.  Again and again.  I must have apnea.  Surely it is that.  In half consciousness I realized my legs were moving rapidly.  What do they call that?  Active leg syndrome or some such crap. 

In the morning, I felt I hadn't slept.  My knee and hip still hurt.  I was retaining water and felt puffy.  What water?  I hadn't drunk any for days.  I got up and went to the bathroom.  There was no toilet paper, so I waddled to the other one.  I checked the computer.  There were no messages.  I checked the election results.  The wrong candidate won.  Jesus.

I had lost a day and didn't feel I would ever catch up.

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