Friday, January 27, 2023

Wagyu and Gelato--A Way of Life

That's Wagyu beef.  So they said.  If you zoom in on the receipt, you will see it was 3:24 p.m. when I sat down with it.  What kind of time is that to eat?  It's not lunch.  It's not dinner.  And yet, the place was fairly busy.  I'm very traditional in my middle class eating pattern.  Lunch somewhere around noon, dinner between five and six. Old habits.  I'm not proud of this necessarily.  I can envy the nonchalance of people whose meals are not determined by the hands on the clock, people who eat whenever.  But, and this is a big but, even though I know of no studies that show eating at regular, middle class times is healthier, I believe it to be.  Thusly, eating so late in the afternoon was odd for me--but also exhilarating.  

"Look at me!" 

It happened by accident.  I went to the gym, got home in time for lunch, showered, and then got into a phone conversation with the tenant.  It was already getting late when I remembered I had left a shirt that I like at the gym, so I jumped in the car and went to retrieve it.  It was two o'clock, so I decided that being close by, I would just go make my daily visit to my mother.  By the time I left there, it was three.  I had been thinking that I would wait until dinner to eat, but I was really hungry, so. . . are you fascinated yet?  

How about this--the day was gorgeous and brilliant.  The temperature was a perfect seventy-four, the afternoon light brilliant creating sharp, deep shadows.  I was on the Boulevard walking to the burger place when I passed a group of kids from Country Club College.  "Hey, man. . . I like your hair," said one of the fellows holding hands with the girl whose legs I was not looking at.  It caught me by surprise.  

"Uh. . . uh-huh. . . ."

But you know, that is how it has been going of late.  I'll give credit to Sky for restoring some tiny bit of confidence.  You know how that goes.  A little steam in your strut, glide in your stride, etc.  Only I, Gargantua, was limping quite noticeably.  No matter, I thought.  I can make this shit look cool.  

I sat at an outdoor table "sol y sombre" in the perfect afternoon, and I was happy.  It was like vacationing, really, this break with routine.  I was outside my normal.  Aaiieee.  

When I had finished the $15 burger (which was really good), I thought, "What the hell."  Those words exactly, I am pretty sure.  And with those words in mind, I crossed the street to the best gelato store in town.  

Would I be sorry later?  Sure, but I didn't care.  Sometimes you just have to go with your gut.  Isn't that a saying?  I'm sure it is, usually coming as a bit of useless advice.  But just at that moment, it made sense in its duality.  And so, without hesitation, I went for it.  

Back on the sidewalk, my hair glistening like a golden field of wheat in the richness of the late afternoon sun, having been told my hair was cool, I thought "selfie."  And sure as shitting, as the old folks say. . . . 

That fellow must have been kidding.  What the hell was I thinking?  

Still, I have gotten used to my ruined visage, maybe even reveling in the unjust ravages of time. Whatever can you do but shake your fist at the sky and hostile fate?  Whatever, indeed.  You take your pleasures where you may.  

Cone finished, fingers sticky, I popped into Restoration Hardware to see if there were any sales on lamps and to use their restroom to wash my hands.  There were no sales as far as I could tell.  There were no prices at all, only QR codes you could scan.  Why?  Is it really easier to print QR codes than to print prices?  

Outside, I was loathe to go home.  I strolled on my gimp leg a bit, but feeling all Quasimodo-like, I returned to my car.  It was a quiet hour.  The Boulevard was empty.  After work traffic was building.  I decided to go home. 

Where my friend the feral cat awaited me.  She meowed and I meowed and she meowed. . . and I got her some dinner.  As she ate, I sat on the deck thinking I was beautiful and waited for my new girlfriend to show up.  That is what I do.  I wait. . . sometimes for many, many years.  But this was not the day.  The street was empty for whatever reason.  There was no parade of joggers or dog walkers.  There was nothing but me, the cat, and the sinking sun.  

I decided to text photos of my fun day to all the suckers who had not been there.  The responses were varied.  My travel/art buddy texted back that he hadn't had a drink for a week, that he was exercising and losing weight.  One of my former department workers texted back that she now had a craving for gelato.  Her young friend texted that it made her hungry for anything but what was in her house.  She was stuck inside with her third case of Covid.  I wondered which one of them would be the first to get Monkey Pox.  Neither of them are careful.  One of the women from the factory responded that my name had come up in the most unlikely scenario in a meeting at the factory that made her giggle.  She was, though, envious of the food.  My buddy who writes for the Times said life looked great and that while he was in town and that we should get together for a meal.  

Sky, working on assignment, was brief--"Living your best life." 

I would try to pretend it were true.  

Later, drinking herbal tea, I returned to "Stutz," psychiatrist to the stars if the credits are any indication.  I can see why, of course.  He has an actor's attractiveness about him.  Jonah Hill, however. . . well. . . I like him in movies. 

"Stutz" ended just before nine, so I cleaned up the kitchen, set the coffee pot, and headed to bed to read and to sleep.  

The morning is cold and clear and the day holds out great promise.  Surely I will not be equal to it.  But that is negative thinking, "The X Factor," and must be vanquished or at least kept at arm's length according to Stutz.  Of course, he is right about that.  I must work on a more positive outlook.  I must dare to "try," to move ahead, to set my sights on reasonable goals, and not be afraid to fail.  

Doesn't that sound like me, though?  Isn't that what I stand for?  Isn't that what always do?  

* * * 

Ha!  I just saw this.  She must have watched "Stutz"!

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