When I was a kid in very rural Ohio, people called it Valentime's Day. Or Valentyme. Not sure. It took me awhile to learn otherwise. Perhaps it is this blasphemy that has cost me over the years. This is not my first Valentyme's Day alone.
In the last couple of days, I have read that teenage girls are sad. Self-reported. Not all of them. About a three in five. All I have to say to them is, "Get in line, honey!" No, I'm kidding. I'm not really gay. If I were. . . wait. . . gay and bisexual kids also reported themselves to be sad. Again, not all of them (link).
Another article I read reports a loneliness epidemic in America. In part, this was a consequence of isolating during Covid, and as a result, people are having sex much less often. One in four Americans hasn't had sex in the last year, a figure that includes one in three under thirty males (link). Again, all I have to say is, "Get in line, honey!"
Last night, I watched a YouTube video radio interview (if that makes any sense) with Norm MacDonald. He said he hadn't had sex in ten years. The radio show hosts were over the moon manic about this. Norm, however, said he found sex to be repetitive. He'd had a lot of sex when he was young, but now, he said, he just found it morally demeaning. They asked Norm if he had many friends. Nope, he said. They wanted to know who he called when he felt down and needed to talk. He said no one. He didn't want to call someone when he was down.
But that's enough of that. I have happy friends. Q has been in Tahoe on a bougie skiing trip and has been sending me happy pictures with his--I get in trouble here no matter how I refer to her. But there they are framed by snow and forest, hugging, smiling. Sky is in NYC for work, but yesterday she was wandering around visiting her old haunts. Happy memories.
And so, tired of sitting around the house, I decided to pack up my cameras and hit the highway. "Where" was a bit of a dilemma. I sat for quite some time wondering. Then, in an act of desperation, I decided to simply get into the car, start it, back out of the driveway, and see where I was bound.
I drove until I found Munchkins dancing around, until it didn't look like my own hometown any more. I kept a weather eye out for falling houses.
I stopped to take a photograph of an old motel sign. The motel was partially abandoned, but it looked as if a few crackhead murderers might be living in some of the rooms. I pulled into the driveway and parked by the office. There was evidence of activity, but I wasn't sure. I opened up the back of my Xterra and got out my big ole Liberator and loaded a film holder into the back of camera. When I turned around, a man was coming from the office toward me. I thought, "Oh, hell. . . here we go." He was extending his hand toward me. He was giving me something. It was an old postcard of the place. He handed it to me without speaking.
"Hey," I said. "What's this?"
He went on for the next half hour. He had bought the place six months ago. He was fixing it up to rent out by the week and by the month. There was a lot of work to be done. It sounded like a weird idea to me, but apparently this is what he did. He told me all about the old sign, about the ballasts inside and about replacing the burned out lights.
"Do you ever turn it on?" I asked.
"No," he said.
I was disappointed.
He told me about trying to buy the old motel across the street, but the owner, he said, was greedy. I said it would surely be tough to get insurance on the place, and so he launched into a dissertation on insurance and how to get the best deals. He would have talked all day long, I'm sure, but I started fiddling with my camera and took a photo at which point he said he'd better get back to work.
I took a phone snap too, of course.