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.
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.
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.