Yesterday was one of those beautiful days that should have gone better. In the end, however, it was just another disaster on the trail of disastrous days one must endure in the course of a lifetime. It broke me, though, and I took myself like a baby to the bottle. Not just the bottle, either. I nibbled on a brownie that woke me up in the middle of the night. I swear there is some bad voodoo hanging onto me. I will give in and Google how to get rid of malicious spells today. Now, like the Cowardly Lion, I chant in fear, "I do believe in spooks, I do believe in spooks (link). I pretend to be a tough guy, but I am not. It has taken all my strength to maintain that pose.
I spent the beautiful morning at the computer. I was looking through a couple of old hard drives. That way lies madness, as Lear warns, though he had no hard drives to plunder and I no daughters. The memory of an external hard drive, though, can be a very dangerous thing.
I got trapped in the past, and I decided to see if I could still cook up pictures in the old way. I hadn't done if for a very long time and there was a lot to remember. I improvised a bit and utilized some of the new tools that have been developed since I first began making those digital transformations, but in the end, I remembered almost perfectly and the results were so good, I decided to do more.
Then the morning was gone and I had creeped into the early afternoon of what now would be a busy day. First to the gym for a disappointing reminder of who I have become, and then a shower and a shave, for it was Beauty Day and I needed to present a clean face, a blank slate, for my color queen to work with. Though rushed, I was fair happy and had the photo event to look forward to that evening. I even put on a pair of jeans which buttoned up much to my relief, and my new pair of Birks, and threw on a light jacket against the coming coolness.
Then, just as I got into the car, I got a text message. Hmm. It was a song. I was late now, however. I would have to listen to it later.
There are always tales to tell between me and my beautician, and so we chatted--talk, talk, talk. . . talk, talk, talk--while she put on the foils and the magical elixir. Then I was off to the couch to wait for the chemicals to do their job. I decided to listen to the song.
No need to go on about it, really. Just farewell. Nothing other than the very clear lyrics. Well, now. . . I reckon it made the other feel better, even heroic, perhaps. Advantage you.
Fuck it, though. That has been done for some time now. All I need is. . . .
. . . to stay in the present. My hairdresser takes care. She made me very blond. She can do that, but there is much she can do nothing about.
As the sun set, I drove straight into the angry orb. I had to dodge my eyes most of the way or go blind. I could not see the traffic lights and maneuvered the streets by intuition. The drive was long as people came out for their Friday evening revelries, all of us trying to pretend that times are normal, trying to remember the rules of social interaction.
I arrived. It was a sizable hotel converted into art studios. In the courtyard, a group of amplified acoustic musicians played. People milled about walking in and out of the small spaces. Food trucks offered small dinners for the hungry. Somewhere, I had been told, there was beer. I found the studio of the kids from the photo store and entered. A few young hipsters sat on folding chairs and chatted in their excited way. Then there was the Goth girl and her photos. I said hello and complimented her on the presentation. Her photos were professionally framed perfectly and expensively, I knew, for I use that exact framing. After a brief chat, I said I would look around so that she could excuse herself. She seemed nervous as one would be at an opening. In truth, the photos were quite bad. Naive, really, and uninformed. She had black and white prints of the usual objects, some of them printed on aluminum which did not favor them at all. I pretended interest for as long as I could, then said the photos were wonderful and that I was going to have a look around and I would see her later. But the rest of the works I looked at interested me to just the same level, and I found myself simply meandering around the parking lot and courtyards watching the strained excitement of the masked up crowd. The last glow of sunset was upon us, and I was hungry. Not hungry enough for the food trucks, however. I decided there was still time to order up some sushi and began walking toward my car.
Just as I was leaving, the rest of the kids from the photo store were showing up. They had just gotten off work and seemed anxious to enter the fray. I stopped and talked to them for a moment, but they were in hurry to go be gallery owners, I guess, and most of them skipped off with a quick hop and jerk. One of them, the oldest of the lot and the one I had known longest, lingered and offered me the space to shoot in any time I wanted, and I thought that I might take him up on that sometime soon, but it is a small space and not so conducive to what I do in the main. But, perhaps, I thought. . . . .
The Boulevard was lit when I parked in front of the sushi restaurant in one of the spaces the city has reserved for take-out in the Time of Corona. When I walked in, the young girl at the counter said, "I remember you," and handed me my order in a heavy paper bag. Big eye smile. It is the blond hair, I am certain. That and the mask.
At home, the cat was waiting for dinner.
"I'm sorry, honey. I know I'm late. You must be a hungry kitty. Hold on, hold on."
I felt bad for not being home on time. Just me and the feral feline. I might need to get a dog, I thought. I am getting to be in bad need of company.
I do not need a dating app. All my life, I worked in a factory full of thousands of men and women. I had never begged for attention. I never realized how easy it was. Now, I know. All I need is to be among them, I thought. It is this isolation that is making me lonely. They just need to see me, that is all. But now I knew how other men lived, the desperation and the loneliness they must have experienced going to offices and building sites. Whatever they did. What once was an abstraction had intruded upon my thoughtless ego.
Yes, perhaps I need a dog.
Another Friday night of sushi. I did not bother to take pictures to send out hopelessly to the social void. Nor did I have any sake. This losing weight thing was suddenly tragic, a terrible mistake. I opened a beer. It was o.k., but it wasn't sake. I sadly turned on the television while I ate. I had ordered small, just a tuna roll and some miso soup. It did not take long, and then I was in the liquor cabinet. The whiskey was almost gone. It was stupid not to buy any. There were other liquors, but it is whiskey one wants to chase the sushi worms away. I had enough for one drink. I thought about running to the liquor store, but it seemed too desperate and sad. I spied the bottle of Titos on the shelf. That would have to do. That and a little nibble on the brownie.
I turned to YouTube. There was a home movie of Frank Sinatra and Humphrey Bogart on their yachts with friends sometime in the '50s. The film was scored with this. Just another sad end to a hollow night. I remember dancing someone around the barroom floor to "A Summer Wind." It had been marvelous.