C.C. agreed that chocolate and scotch were a good combination, but he said this stuff is pretty darn good, too. I am a scotch man, however, and will probably continue my path to obesity in my own way, but as a tribute to C.C., I'll give this a try, too. I might as well travel every road to hell recommended.
O.K. Nobody knows what the miseries of others are. . . unless that other has a blog. And even then, there is only the vaguest of glimpses, especially from someone who hides behind the seven veils as I do. Q can keep trying to turn me into Salome, but for now, there is still some coverage.
I'm sitting in the hipster coffee shop drinking a green tea because I thought I'd had enough coffee today, but I am not a fan. I try. I really do. I know it is supposed to be very good for you. But it is more than bitter to my taste. I'm going to get the baristas attention and order a cappuccino so I can write this with some semblance of pleasure.
I didn't go to the factory today. A day can be a long thing. I woke early, did the usual, then went to the gym. When I came home, I decided I would begin to weed the yard. Since it hasn't been cut for a month, and because the grass is dormant, the weeds are showing themselves. Easy picking. At least they are easy to see. But after an hour of squatting and bending, I was done for the day. I pulled a lot of weeds, though, and am probably just under half way through. I've decided I will borrow somebody's lawn mower this week and do the mowing myself. Just this once. I am not sure I know anyone with a lawn mower, though.
After the yard work, I cleaned up. For every two things I reached for, however, only one was there. Ili took the beautiful objects she had brought to our home with her. With each memory, I could feel my nose begin to swell, then my lips, then came the tortured face convulsions. It was only noon, a long day still ahead. I needed to eat, and there was nothing in the house, so I went to Whole Foods for some soup.
You wished you lived where I do now. The day is gorgeous. I sat at the Whole Foods counter facing the window eating soup and watching people come and go. People can be hideous, and today they were. They brought me no cheer, no pleasure, worldly or other.
Physically, I felt good, and I was not wanting to drink, not this early anyway. I walked to the car and checked my camera for the first time in months. I would drive to some obscure part of town and TRY to make a photograph, I imagined. That's what I would do. You betcha.
So I drove. Slowly. I was trying to sharpen my vision, to retrain my eye.
This was my first stop, the first photo. We used to stop at one of these on our way home from the beach sometimes when I was a kid, the Sunday night treat--a three piece boxed chicken dinner with fries and slaw. It was magnificent.
I still see a few of these places around.
This was just across the parking lot.
Down the street, this.
I grew up in a marginal place and know the drill. Things are fairly safe unless you are doing something different, perhaps looking like a privileged old white guy taking pictures of buildings and tires. Just looking like you don't belong. YOU may not be one to feel it, but I know the danger in it, and just as I finished taking this picture, a guy pulled up in a pick up truck grinning one of those humorless grins of the walking dead. He wanted to know if I wanted to buy a tire. "No. . . no," I grinned like a fish on a hook, waving my camera at him. "Just taking pictures." His eyes narrowed to get a better look at me as he decided whether to keep me or throw me back. I was still grinning and waving like when I got into my car and drove away.
Maybe you can get a sense of a place when they put bars on the windows and doors of the barber shop and plaster the place with "No Loitering" signs. Curious enough, if you can read the sign in the window, this is also the place to have your taxes done, too. This is a barber of many talents, I'd say.
Lousy photos edited on my phone. It was the best I could do this day. Bad. Just bad.
Now I've had a cup of green tea and a cappuccino, and my temples are pounding. It is not yet three o'clock. Will all my future days be like this, me trying to find a purpose and failing, running away from thought and emotion, sitting alone in coffee shops and cafes, longing only for darkness and sleep?
Of course not. It is just too soon. The wound is just too fresh.
*. *. *.
Then I went to bed.
If I sleep a natural sleep, I seem to wake at three. I did this morning, but was able to get back to sleep until five-thirty. Ugly thoughts began to overwhelm me, so I got up. And so far this morning, I've been sitting through the long darkness reading the news and listening to a Pandora Stan Getz station. I am not sure that is cheering me up.
Now I've had all the coffee I can drink and all the news I can stand, and the sun still isn't up. I have my doubts about everything both in the darkness and the daylight. I need to find some refuge somehow. I need to find relief. It is not lost on me that I still have more than most, and I wonder how people less well set can carry on. I've always relied on a sense of irony and humor, but those things are lost to me just now.
What refuge will I find? The options seem limited and somewhat terrifying.
Waiting for the sun.