Obviously Cafe Selavy and Cafe Selah are not the only cafes available to desiring folks (but they are the two best). There is, or once was, Cafe Leibniz, a stellar joint for the disaffected. Most of us were probably introduced to the cafe initially when we bought Tom Waits' "Rain Dogs" album. Recently, however, a book of photos by Anders Peterson was released. When I saw a few of the images, I YouTubed up a video of the book. You can do that. They page through the entire thing so you can know if you want to buy it or not. I sent the video to Q. He immediately bought two copies, one for each of us. Mine arrived two days ago.
"What do you think?" he asked.
"It looks just like the video."
The book has an essay by Waits, but I haven't read it yet. I'm still slowly reading my way through the Ernaux book. My art/travel buddy wrote yesterday that he loves the book, too. It is something truly grand. I told Sky that all the boys were in love with her.
"For my book selection?" she asked.
"No. . . your legs," I said. "Ha!"
Both, however. Who doesn't like a true beauty with brains?
And so it goes.
Q's been nagging me to send him back more of the gifts he has provided me over the years. This time it is an ancient cassette recorder that has been in my attic for years. Being the loyal fellow I am (or fearfully obedient), I walked up the steep, rail-less ladder to the attic to fetch it. Coming back down with the f'er in my hands with a bad knee was treacherous. I'm still walking down that ladder facing forward into the void the way I always have to show my physical prowess and mental toughness, but yesterday I wondered on the efficacy of this decision. Safely down, I took the dinosaur to the light and saw the dust that had settled on it, so I took it out to the yard and hosed it down. I still had to scrub it a bit, but I didn't even try to get between all the knobs. I left it in the sun the rest of the day to dry out. It should be fine.
But let me back up, 'cause it was a hell of a day. I was all Spring Cowboy once again.
I woke up before five. I read and wrote and had coffee. Usually I would go back to bed, but for whatever reason, I was not tired. I decided to go to the gym early and get the day started.
"You're here early," said the stunned, pretty woman at the check in desk.
"Yes, I have to stay away from the gymroids if I want to work out."
Without the horseshit that usually takes place, I was done pretty quickly. I headed over to my mother's house to plant her garden. Dig a hole, make it swampy, tear the root bed apart, plant the plant. . . repeat. Then throw big bags of mulch. In another part of the yard, drop zinnia seeds and mulch. Water everything. Pick up the remnants and throw it all in the garbage. That's how you make a garden.
Repeat. I went home and did my own.
Then I washed out the old bird feeders and let them dry in the sun. They had become clogged. so I've lost the birds. The feeders are filled now, but the birds don't know it yet. The butterflies, however, have found the garden. I'm waiting on the hummingbirds now, tiny things the size of your thumb.
Shower. Lunch. Take the dinosaur to FedEx to send to Q. $125 in shipping!!!! WTF? I called Q.
"How much can you buy one of those for?"
"About $500.00," he said.
He was going to spend another $150 on having it cleaned up since I was such a bad custodian.
I sure hope he enjoys the thing. Well--I hope it still works.
But I had fun kibitzing with the fellow at the FedEx office. He was talking about going to a climbing gym. There is a new one I'd never heard of in Gotham. I told him I used to be a famous climber.
"Yup. Until they opened up a gym in town and we found out every kid who came in could out climb me."
I told him all the Classic Climbs I had made with my buddy like I was a real stud.
"There are no colored handholds on real rock," I said trying to get him to look at my big balls. "It's a whole different deal."
Now I had him on the hook.
"Yup. The paper ran a big article on me. Huge picture of me climbing a building here in town. Took up half of the front page of the B section."
I had him drooling.
None of it was lies, of course, but it was all bullshit, too. It was as true as anything in the past, you know. Whenever you use binoculars to see a thing, it looks huge.
I left FedEx and went to the store to get paper towels and toilet paper and chicken for the evening meal. When I got home, it was only three o'clock. WTF? I had told my mother I probably wouldn't be over in the afternoon, but it was too early to start drinking and I didn't want to just sit down, so I drove to her house and watered the newly planted garden. We sat and talked. The 97 year old widow next door had come over. Her legs were swollen and hard. My mother had called the doctor for her. They are seeing her this morning. The 89 year old road up on her tricycle. My mother told her about the neighbor. This is tough talk for them, of course, resignation in their voices. It was terrifying for me.
One of the nameless gymroids just gave me thirty narcotic tablets including methadone and several kinds of oxys. Ernaux writes of her group talking about how they would end their lives, most with sleeping pills in sleeping bags in the mountains. That is what we all think, I guess.
Except Hemingway. . . Bourdain. . . .
As Sherwood Anderson writes, "One shudders at the thought of the meaninglessness of life while at the same instant. . . one loves life so intensely that tears come into the eyes."
It is one of the best lines I've ever read.
Back home, the chicken was cooking in the InstaPot. I put on some brown jasmine rice and broccoli and poured a glass of wine. God, it was still early. I wandered about the grounds admiring my handiwork and lamenting all that needs to be done.
It had been a big day. I'm sure I left out some if not much of what I accomplished. I planned my next thing. I would fertilize the trees and shrubs and get on my hands and knees and pull the insidious vines that grow up to strangle everything they can.
I ate dinner on the deck throwing the chicken skin and thigh bone with chunks of good stuff to the cat. She doesn't run when I throw things any longer. A neighbor stopped by with his big dog, Ace, and we talked about the bubble in which we live here in my own hometown. It is like that everywhere now, we agreed. You need to be in the bubble.
It was getting dark. I cleaned up the kitchen, poured a whiskey, and sat down to read more of "The Years." There was a knock at the door. I am letting some neighbors park their cars in my driveway while their roof is re-shingled. They act like I deserve a Nobel for this. I tell them it is nothing, but they brought me a loaf of pumpkin bread they made. Organic, they said. They listed the healthy ingredients.
"Oh, my. . . I love this sort of bread. I will enjoy this immensely."
I am eating it this morning with my coffee and trying to figure out how to get them to put me on a subscription. Golly the thing is good!
The sun is bright and the day is pleasant. I need to get a start on my Cowboy day.
You'll learn how it went tomorrow, I can assure you. Yippee-ki-yay!