This is me on a Friday night trying to "recover" from my outing with Red. I'm still finding bits of broken glass around the den, some of it with my bare feet. But I've defamed her, I'm afraid. I found the glass doorknob she so nicely placed on the mantel by the thermostat. In all fairness, though, she didn't know. I got a text from her saying, "I checked my purse. I don't have it." Sincere apologies are in order after my public tattling. She is an adorable and honorable girl even if, by the end of the night, she was speaking in tongues.
Apparently, she can keep her own den neat and tidy.
In spite of the outing, I was up the next morning and managed to make it to the gym. I felt a little woozy, but I was animated and seemed intent on telling people I was dying. I have two friends there who are retired nurses, great gals who I have known for years. They were curious about my tale, so I told them everything. On the one hand, they were concerned with the lab results, but on the other they said I needed to change doctors. They agreed that my doctor was only adding to my distress.
"Yea, right? I was so upset, I went out with an old friend and got hammered. I mean. . . that doctor. . . ."
They just shook their heads.
"Keep it up. One day we'll be saying, 'Remember that guy with the long blond hair. . . .'"
"Hey! What the. . . you should be working for my doc!"
They think I need to be careful.
"Yea, but the girl I was out with has a company making this stem cell stuff that will bring me back to life."
From their reactions, I had to assume these were not Joe Rogan fans. But here's the thing. Just like the old days when I was working out with the criminals at the World's Oldest Steroid Gym, I was stronger than ever after a crazy night out.
"It's the blood sugar," the fellows used to say.
The nurses went their way with a "nice knowing you," and were replaced by some late-coming gymroids who enjoyed my story much more.
To end my workout, I rode the bike harder and faster than I have been and got my heart rate up nicely. I was sweating like a drunk.
At home, after my shower, I ate some packaged Dahl as part of my new regimen, and drank some beet juice. I am returning to my hippie ways, I think. Meditation, yoga, juicing. . . you know the drill. I thought to take a nap, but I only lay down for a few minutes. I wasn't tired for some reason. I felt pumped. I was jacked. So I got up and did some Google searches on "How to beat death." Man, you can't believe all the things one has to do. It would take up all your time. It was early, but I thought I'd just go ahead and visit my mother.
"I think I'm going to quit drinking," I said. "I think if I lose ten pounds. . . ."
We talked about diets and weight loss. My mother cut up some pre-cooked beets for me to try. I've cooked raw beets a couple times. It takes forever and then you have to peel them. These vacuum packed cooked beets are already peeled. I'm sure the plastic they are wrapped in is life-extension stuff. It doesn't matter, though. From what I've been reading, we are all full of plastics and BPAs at this point. We chatted for awhile, but since I came over early, I still had a good shot at beating the Friday crowd to the grocery store. I was going to load up on all the foods one should eat. Good God, there are a lot of them. It is hard to remember them all let alone eat them. But what else have I to do, of course. My mother and her ninety year old friends have eaten Oscar Myers all their lives. They cooked in pig grease and loved cold cuts. They still do.
"But mom," I say, "you are all women. Where are the men?"
And so, I shopped the outside aisles of the store getting the fresh and healthy things. When. . . the most beautiful woman coming the opposite way down the aisle gave me a look. I thought maybe she had gotten something in her eye, but she smiled at me as I passed and did the classic rubber neck. The thing is, I was feeling good. I was wearing my five dollar Hanes white V-neck t-shirt and a pair of Chinese peddle pushers rolled up a couple of turns and my oh-so-classic Teva flip-flops. You know. . . as if I were Brad Pitt and didn't give a shit. And, with only one half of a day of healthy living under my belt and a good gym workout to boot, I was feeling pumped and lithe. It was the t-shirt, of course. I've mentioned how the wrong t-shirt can make you look awful. This was the right t-shirt. Not the $100 kind, so maybe a little bit rough-trade-ish, but still, the muscles popping not showing your belly kind. And I wasn't limping for some reason. My knee had been feeling better all day, so much so I was wondering if Red hadn't secretly slipped some of her potion into my tequila. No matter the cause, though, I felt much less like Quasimodo than I have been. Still. . . I don't know how to talk to women, and though she followed me with her bright, beautiful, wide eyes, I could only manage a weak smile. Women scare the shit out of me. They have all the power. I've been lucky enough to watch this over my lifetime. Just one example. I had a grant to make a documentary using a combination of high school and college kids one summer. The high school kids were young and still learning about "life." One day, I watched two of the boys showing off a bit for two of the girls. It was cute and fairly gross, but the girls were looking at the boys with those same wide eyes as if they were fascinated. The boys felt empowered, and maybe even entitled. The gods were smiling and the universe was just.
And then--snap of the fingers--the girls looked at one another and started laughing. Poof! Just like that, the world collapsed and the boys began a twirling, tumbling fall. They had just disappeared and were gone.
I've seen it happen a million times.
If I hadn't been pushing a cart, I think I might have tumbled. When I was past, though, I was wracking my brain. I must know her from some place. Where, though. No, I haven't seen her at the gym. I'd remember. Friend of a friend? Somebody's sister? Daughter?
But I let it go. Hell, I thought, maybe she didn't get a good look at me. Maybe she has bad vision or had just come from having her eyes dilated at the ophthalmologist's office. You know, I thought, I DO have a certain appeal.
Low-fat milk. I need to start using that in my protein drinks. Steel cut oats. I haven't been eating those for a long time. Then I was at the wine aisle. Just in case. I had already picked up a loaf of sourdough French bread. . . well, you've already seen the picture.
And there she was, smiling at me.
"We meet again," she cooed. I had to pee. She was absolutely lovely. Her hair was long and auburn. Her eyes were a light blue. She wore jeans that showed her figure. All I could think of was Chevy Chase. I must have looked like I was having a stroke when I somehow managed to blurt out in a stutter, "Ha, uh. . . yea. . . " then too loudly, "You always meet the best people in the wine aisle!"
Holy shit. I sounded like one of those special needs kids they hire to bag the groceries. I really needed the bathroom.
"Fuck, shit, goddamn," I was thinking as I walked away. Well. . . fuck it. I have never had "game." Besides, she had smiled at me. Goddamned right. I was back in the saddle, so to speak. I wasn't like the others. I was special.
That made me laugh. You bet, I thought. You're "special."
Next aisle. There she was. Jesus, I thought, she's going to think I'm a stalker now. I almost turned around, but, I thought, that would be worse, so I pushed my cart on past. She looked at me and smiled, but didn't speak. I didn't know what to do, really. What does one do? I couldn't stand the old Frank Sinatra shit, couldn't stop and turn and say. . . I don't even know what the sleaze balls say.
"Well. . . hello you."
Because in my mind, it is like those high school boys showing off for those girls.
"Excuse me? I'm sorry. . . what?"
"Oh, uh. . . I thought you were smiling at me a couple times back there. . . "
Nope. Not me. I just walked on by.
Checking out, of course, I kept looking for her. Her cart had been full. Surely she was done shopping. Scan the registers. Nope. Nothing.
Walking out to the car, I felt a little limp coming on. She seemed like such a nice person, I thought. I really think we could have gotten along.
Back home, I made my snack and poured some wine. I had thought I'd like to return to my monkish life, but of a sudden, I wanted something to happen. Warmer blood was pumping through my veins again. But I wouldn't go out. I didn't want to be one of those men sitting alone at the bar waiting for something to happen. I would forego the distilled spirits tonight. Maybe the warmer blood feeling was part of my condition. A little wine, then a light meal and some herbal tea. I would go to bed early and try to sleep well.
Before that, though, I needed to text Red.
"Hey kid, sorry. I found the doorknob. Ha. You put it nicely on the mantle."
"I'm almost to Miami. I'll be here a few days. You should come down."
Well, you know. . . I still need to finish smoothing out the mulch, and there is that painting to do, and somebody has to feed the cat. . . .
Q sent this after I posted. Ha!!!!!