Crisis of Confidence. Here's a funny take on it that Q sent me (link). It's funny, but it is true. How much of art and literature is based on the concept? And why?
Because it's fucking true, I think. Still, that fellow makes me laugh, probably because I can barely stand the idea of "Tom Cruise." I liked him in one movie, but we are not supposed to like it any longer--"Tropic Thunder." The rest of his films are for grown up children, I think. Well. . . so is "Tropic Thunder." I guess I can just wipe the slate clean.
How in the heck did Nicole Kidman. . . whatever. I've never seen her in anything bad. Complete opposite.
But I have gone astray. Cruise says such nice things about me, you know. . . it just seems petty for me not to return the compliment. I mean, he's a big fan.
Shit. That's what happens. You say a thing that you then realize is over your head. You feel foolish. And then. . . a Crisis of Confidence.
I got up feeling good yesterday. Oh, yes. . . endorphins. I was ready for another round of walking. Training for the Olympics, you know. Up early, out the door, I went to the old half mile exercise track in the park that I have run for half my life. Run, push ups, run, crunches, run, free squats, run, dips and pull ups, then run. Lap after lap. Parks and I made up the routine thirty or more years ago. So off I went. . . to walk. And I did. I even did the exercises. Only one lap, half a mile. Then I walked to the big ramp at the overpass and went up and down it three times. I could feel the muscles in the back of my legs and ankles. They surely had been getting weak. But I could feel the knee getting tight, too, so I cut it off there thinking I would come back and do more later this week. I had totaled over one mile, further than the day before.
I began to worry, though, about hiking the Torres del Paine. O.K. O.K. I'm a fucking Superhero. Keep trying.
Coming home, I stopped at the grocery store and bought the ingredients for the seafood stew. $70. No kidding. I bought nothing but the ingredients for the stew. It is a very expensive stew.
Home and chopping, sautéing, etc. It was noon. I'd let the vegetables cook and add the cod, shrimp, and scallops at the last minute.
The afternoon was nice. I was still feeling outdoorsy. I decided to go back go REI and buy some shorts I had passed up on Saturday. While there, I looked at their home-grown eBikes. O.K., I thought. they are quirky looking, but they are kind of cool, too. I went to the bike desk and waited for a man working there to acknowledge me. I was patient. I had to be. The dick obviously didn't want to work. Finally, sullenly, he looked up and mumbled, "Do you need help?" It seemed more an accusation than a question.
"Yea. . . I just want some information on the REI eBike."
He stared at me, flecks of dried white in the corners of his mouth.
"Excuse me. . . " I motioned to the corners of my mouth with my finger, "you have some, uh, some semen, I think. . . ."
No, I didn't. I should have. His eyes were dead, his teeth were gray. He breathed with an open mouth. Who hired this fellow? He was the antithesis of the concept of outdoor fun. He was a troll. I'm sure he lived under a bridge or in a cave.
"What do you want to know?" he mumbled.
"You know. . . give me the whole car salesman spiel. How fast does it go? How many miles? Tell me what makes this thing ideal."
No I didn't. I should have. Talking to him, looking at him was painful. So I asked two things.
"Does it have a throttle? How far on a battery?"
"No. About twenty-five miles."
"You know. . . you should really be a taxidermist," I said.
No I didn't. I should have.
I went back to the clothing section of the store. I bought two pairs of shorts. No money back coupon this time. Jesus, things are expensive. Still, I was feeling zippy. I felt like I was walking better. Hell, who knows, I may be running again in a week or so. I felt trim. Did I look trim? I mean trimmer? I felt trimmer.
Back home with my new outdoor shorts, I went to the Google. "eBikes near me." I looked up brands. I looked up ratings. It seems the ones I looked at on Saturday were some really good ones. Maybe, I thought. I might.
I opened a beer. In a little bit, my mother showed up. I set the table, opened the wine, put the seafood in the pot. We sat outside. Mom looked at the garden, talked to the cat. The cat has gotten much calmer about people coming around. She trusts me up to a point now. I fed her. While she was eating, the neighbor with the dog who loves me came up. It is inevitable. When I am cooking or eating dinner, here they come. It's o.k. He's a doctor, the one who has me questioning knee surgery.
The little dog saw the cat. For the first time in her life, the feral cat didn't run. She stood her ground defensively. I think it was a matter of faith. I think she trusts being here, around me, in my space. The little dog was at the end of her leash, on her back legs pawing the air. She was excited. She probably wanted to be friends. But the encounter pleased me. The cat, I mean. It seemed nice.
The stew was ready, and I served it up. It was o.k. No more than that. It needed something. It was bland. What did it need? Salt. Pepper. Something.
It simply wasn't as good as the last batch. The meal was simple, just stew, wine, and bread. When I look at the table now, though, it looks spartan. I need to be more creative, more decorative. But everything we needed was there. I don't know. Next time, I am thinking, maybe I'll add some Bloody Mary mix, the spicy kind. That might be good.
It is funny how you can start to feel good, then one picture can send you in a spiral. In a digital instant, you deflate. There I was, Quasimodo once more.
Last night, I suffered a Crisis of Confidence. I just need to meet a good looking woman who. . . .
I think I'll get some work done. . . you know? I'll take Ozempic and get a little work done and then quit taking Ozempic and look like Mickey Rourke and my ex-wife, though she hasn't quit taking the Ozempic apparently. She posted a video of her workout at some weird one on one rope pilates class. It looks like a pretty good class, I think. I should marry her husband so I can afford the one on one rope pilates class. But yea, she still has a flat stomach and taught physique. No matter. I don't have the money to have the work done, either.
Ili used to say that I don't look anything like my photographs. She said we both photographed badly. She didn't, of course. Photograph badly, I mean. She was being nice to me. Right up until she wasn't. Then she ripped it all to shreds. I guess that's what people do. Some people. Maybe. Not me. I am never mean. Not to loved ones. Hell. . . I even pulled my punches with the REI troll. I figure he doesn't need my help to have a miserable life. Me. . . I feel I've had plenty of help. I was so up. Flying. And then, in a Texas second, flying was falling. Kaboom.
You know. . . a simple Crisis of Confidence.