Oh man. . . I don't feel so good.
I went to the doc's yesterday. Bad news. I'm dying. Why? What?
"You can't fix it with exercise or diet. It's not anything you are doing?"
"What? I mean. . . what are the factors?"
"Well, they are multiple. It's tied to age and genetics."
She's a real pill, my doctor. She always puts me in a good mood.
"Well. . . I think I'm having some anxiety about this."
"Why? Don't stress over it."
"Oh hell yea, doc--that's easy for you to say."
"I'll see you in three months."
"Sure. If I'm here."
Who knows? I'm sick of this shitty world anyway. But you know. . . .
I had told Red I'd meet her for dinner. I had to pick her up at her hotel. When she saw me, she ran over, opened my door, and gave me a big hug.
"You still have this car?"
"What the fuck?"
There was some confusion over its age, a 2005 or 2007. It seems everyone has new and expensive cars now.
We went to dinner at my favorite Italian restaurant and got an outside seat. She looked the same as ever. If it hadn't been for the "same old car," she might not have recognized me, Quasimodo with a limp. We tried to figure out how long it had been since we'd last seen one another. I think we settled on nine years or so. We caught up, told tales and overviews of what had happened to us. Mine, of course, was a downward spiral of accidents, retirements, betrayals, Covid, isolation and weight gain. Hers was quite different, an upward spiral of money and luxuries. She had a $12,000 a month apartment on the ocean in L.A. She helped start a company that sells something, some stem cell/collostrum something that heals everything.
"I'm dying she said."
"How old are you?"
"An unsexy number."
"Ha. You will always be sexy. Even in those cargo shorts!"
This is the second time I've been given shit for wearing cargo shorts. Something must have happened while I was watching t.v. It's not like I care, really, but WTF?
This morning, CNN online had a guide to everything a man should buy, head to toe, for spring, hats, t-shirts, shorts, shoes, button downs, pants. . . . T-shirts have gotten expensive, it seems, some over $100. But it is a "must have" for a certain type of man. What was missing from the style guide was cargo shorts. Nope. Nowhere to be seen.
"Well, I was going to wear my Ghurka shorts, but I thought it might be too much."
If you don't know what those are, use the Google. I don't really have them. What I have are cheap Chinese pedal pushers I've been wearing since Covid began. Lots of them. If I were Brad Pitt, of course, I'd wear them into public and everyone would be buying them. But I'm not. I still wear them in public, but not with my style friends.
"Your hair used to be wavy."
"Uh. . . not since I've gone blond. Bleach just took away my natural curl."
Maybe we drank too much. She went to the restroom, and when she came back, I said there were three things I thought of while she was away. She said she had wondered while she was there what I thought about the way she looked now. Really? Quasimodo in Cargo and you wonder that? It's a funny world.
"I'm not going to let you die," she said. "I need you around. If you have a stroke, I will get you our stuff. It will save you."
We went back to my house for a drink. This morning there is a broken glass, an opened, spilled bottle of Clas Azul Reposado, and, the kicker. . . the crystal knob to my guest bathroom is missing. I don't know. Again, maybe we drank too much. It feels like it this morning. She has probably taken some of her magic potion and feels fine. I feel as if I will have to quit drinking.
I'm getting too old for this. For everything. I've been living like a monk, going to bed early, getting up with the sun, exercising, reading, eating well. I didn't realize it, but I have grown accustomed to the life. Apparently, however, this won't save me. Age and genetics, you know. Nothing to be done. I'm always reminded of the tale my cousin's husband told. A kid where he worked asked him if, as an older man, he had any regrets.
"Yea. . . that I didn't die five years ago."
Old Cars and Cargo Shorts. As the girls used to say, "What-ev-er!"
Yup. I've been run over, cut open, and smashed to smithereens, but somehow, I just can't seem to stay dead.