Monday, May 16, 2022

24 Hours

There was no viewing last night's Blood Red Moon here.  It rained for the first time in weeks.  The rain was welcomed, but just then?  It is o.k. though.  I wasn't going to stay up to see it anyway.  I wasn't, but I did unintentionally.  I had put on the 1966 movie, "The Chase."  Rented it on Amazon Prime. I had never seen it before, never even heard of it.  "Everybody" is in it.  Really.  All-star cast.  Marlon Brando, Robert Redford, and Robert Duval, Jane Fonda, Angie Dickinson. . . just for starters.  You'll recognize just about every face that comes onscreen if you watch it.  

If.  WTF happened to t.v.?  It used to be free.  Then you paid for cable.  Then you paid for cable and extra for premium commercial free channels.  Now I pay for commercial free Amazon so that I can have the privilege of paying to watch a movie commercial free on demand.  

Whatever.  Runaway capitalism.  

"O.K., buddy, why don't you just move to China?"

The movie was surprisingly mediocre, but it was surprising.  It was a bit of the 1950s meets the revolution of the 1960s, like Cheever meeting Jacqueline Suzanne in the Valley of the Dolls. 

I don't know how it ends, though.  I had to turn it off and go to bed with fifteen minutes left.  I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer.  

But the day had been spectacular on several levels.  Having taken the week off away from the gym, I was going to begin exercising again, gently, in preparation for my return this week.  But that didn't happen.  I read.  I wrote.  Then, I went back into old files and worked on images from the past to see if I still remembered how to process them to get "that" look.  

I did. 

Then Q texted from the Arthritic Rave event out on the social tundra.  "Waking up at a rave is only marginally better than waking up in jail," he said.  He's going on six months sober, you know.  Waking up at dawn after playing an early set, he saw the haggard ones at sunrise.  They had grown preternaturally old.  He sent a short clip from the festival.  

Yea, it had little appeal for me, but Q had had his moment of glory.  He called me later when he got on the road.  Unlike the great unwashed, he sounded bright eyed and happy.  Sobriety, he said, had made him superior.  

"That's great, Q.  You sound good.  You know I'm not like the others.  I'm your friend."  

By then it had grown hot outside.  Steamy.  I told my mother that I'd make a seafood stew for dinner, so I thought I'd better get out and get the fixings: 1 1/2 pounds of cod, 1/2 pound of scallops, 1/2 pound of shrimp, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, clam juice, potatoes, carrots, fresh parsley, jalapeño peppers, oregano, seafood seasoning, a white onion, garlic, some cheap dry white wine for the pot, some good sav blanc for drinking, a crusty bread, and some ice cream.  Eighty dollars later, I was on my way home.  

In a little while, it was time to start the stew.  I'm always guessing on measurements.  I approximate, so I'm never sure.  By the time my mother came at five, the pot was ready for the seafood, but we sat down and had some wine first and were joined by a guest.  We decided that the weather was nice enough to eat outside, perhaps the last time it will be comfortable enough to do so until late fall.  I dumped the seafood into the big cast iron pot, and five minutes later, I was plating the dinner.  Well. . . it went into great white bowls.  

Holy shit!  I had hit it this time!  Home run!  It was the best tasting thing ever.  

Two and a half pounds of seafood.  The three of us ate it all.  

When they left and everything was cleaned up, the dishwasher running, I poured another scotch and sat down to relax.  The dinner had been special, the weather good, the garden colorful, the neighbors walking by with envy.  Earlier I had ordered and paid for two new lenses, one an old shutterless lens for the new Chamonix 4x5 camera I had purchased weeks ago and a 0.95 f stop lens for my Leica.  Yup, I had spent a lot of money that day.  The antique lens was being fitted into a mounting board that the seller was making to hold it on the camera.  I felt as I always feel after making a major purchase--a bit ill.  The other lens, too.  Jesus, I thought, I need to get back on the wagon.  My decisions of late did not seem entirely rational.  

Then the rain, the movie, and bed where I was plagued by strange dreams.  I had agreed to teach a college math course.  I don't know why.  I said I thought I could do it since I'd had so much math in my zoology degree.  But of course, when it came time to teach, I had nothing.  I fumbled around that first class meeting.  Other faculty were there.  The students were disappointed.  I was flummoxed.  

"Just make up work sheet handouts," one of the faculty suggested.  "You'll be fine." 

But I knew I wouldn't be fine, and by the next class meeting, students had dropped.  After that class, dejected but succored by a lithesome coed, I was walking across campus when a big guy picked up a rock and threw it at me.  

"Hey. . . you. . . come here." 

The big guy approached like a bully, his classmates sneering behind him on the lawn.  No longer a ruffian, unable to physically deal with him, I cried out, "I'm the Dean on this campus.  Come with me."

This set up a long series of offices and meetings, me ashamed but pressing for his punishment, sitting in hallways with the lithesome coed who continued to succor me in sad tones.  

I woke up feeling defeated.  

Was it the moon?  Was it guilt for buying all this new camera gear?  Was my hatred of growing old?

These things, of course, are by no means at all mutually exclusive.  

It could have been the ice cream.  

The sun is out and shining brightly.  I will finish this up and write some emails and head out for my return to the gym.  If you recall from reading the blog, last time I was there, I was somehow put into a position of defending baby rape.  Not exactly, but I was defending my statement that there is no universal right and wrong, good and evil.  I've not been back since.  

I just got notice that my camera will arrive today.  It is expensive, and I'm certain to need to sign for it.  I'll have to hang around the house until it arrives.  

And then. . . let the guilt begin.  

That, my friends, was the last twenty-four hours.  C.C. made it onto the Paris bound flight.  Q got home safely to his loving family.  And I. . . well. . . we'll see.  

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