Wednesday, August 8, 2018

A Moment Out

This once was one of my destinations in NYC when they still had bookstores.  Scribner's was, and it was the same building that Hemingway and Fitzgerald walked into to see Maxwell Perkins.  Fifth Avenue.  I was thrilled, but that is what it is like to be young.  One year I went and it had been turned into a Benetton store .  Remember Benetton?  Well, nobody remembers Scribners any more, either.  I guess that is just the way things go.

I just Googled Benetton.  It is still a going concern.  I Googled Scribner's.  Had to drill down to find them.

I am fat again.  That is what comes of being depressed, eating, and drinking.  I feel like an overstuffed sausage.  This is not a good look for an older single gentleman.  What can you do?  My buddy told me he joined Tinder last week.  I was stunned.  Why would he do that?  I think it cost him $100.  For what?  Rejection?  He showed me the app on his phone.

"Look at this one.  Swipe right."

He swiped his finger across the screen of his phone.

He showed me several more girls and did the same.  He explained to me that if those girls swipe right on his profile, he will be allowed to communicate with them.


He must be crazy, I said.  Had anyone swiped right on him?

"Well, I just joined."

"You'll have much better luck on Grindr."

"What's that?"

I explained to him.  I have several gay friends who have Q'd me in.  It is a wonderful app, apparently, if you are gay and like sex.  Tinder, I think, isn't as good for men.

I told my secretary about it.  She laughed.

"Yea," she said, "It doesn't work as well for men."

"  That is what my buddy should be on."

Yea, I'm swollen up like a pumpkin.  Tinder would be the last straw.  The camel's back would absolutely be broken.

But don't give up hope for me, loyal reader.  Last night I went to a spin class.  Oh Sweet Jesus.  How did I get so out of shape?  It took a while.

By the time I got out of "class," got back to my mother's and showered, it was later than she would usually eat.  She wasn't hungry, she said, which I knew meant she had already eaten.  Now I have been eating home cooked food almost exclusively, but as it was late and my mother wasn't eating, I said I would go up the street and buy some take-out from the Peruvian chicken place, La Granga.  The place had changed a bit since I'd last been there some years ago.  The menu had expanded.  But the kitchen and staff were still all Spanish speakers and the food was just as good.  I had gone up in a new pair of lounging pants I bought from some company in China, big baggy things that are pedal-pusher length.  I shouldn't have gone out of the house in them, but they were just the thing for this Hispanic crowd.  I looked like I'd stolen my pants from a Mexican laundromat.  O.K.  I know I can't make those kinds of puns any longer, but seriously, here in my own hometown Mexican men don't wear short-shorts.  They don't wear shorts that come above the knee.  Oh, I'm over-explaining and not winning anyone over, so. . . . But the young girl behind the counter apparently thought I was cool.  She took my order and then, rather than making me wait while it came up on the other side of the counter, left the register with its long line and put my order together loading it up with beans and rice and putting in extra plantains.  The joint was hopping and I was out in the waning of the day under the electric lights, all the sounds and smells foreign to me for a moment.  I didn't want to leave.  I wanted to stand and smile at the young woman handing me my bag o' food.

Maybe there is a dating site for Hispanics.

Jesus Christ!  There are lots of them.  I just Googled it.  Not just Hispanics.  Every culture has its own.  My buddy's fucking up.  There are dating sites that would certainly be more fun than Tinder.

I came back to my mother's, back to the routine and ordeal.  But I had broken it all for a brief instant.  It is a start.  Perhaps I'll quit drinking again, and maybe I'll keep going to spin class occasionally, and maybe I'll lose this overstuffed look, and maybe. . . just maybe. . .  I'll get out of town.  Just as I'm writing this, one of my traveling friends sent me a photograph and a message--"Go 2 Columbia."

There's a thought.

The United Colors of Benetton

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