Tuesday, June 20, 2023


The heat here is terrible in June.  The first storm of the season has formed and is expected to become a hurricane by tomorrow.  It is going to be a long summer, I'm afraid. . . from here on out.  

I blame the Weather Channel.  They make so much money from this stuff. . . . 

The only practical way to beat this heat is water.  Pools, sprinklers. . . it doesn't matter.  As long as you stay wet, it is fine.  I'm going to look pretty silly playing in the hose alone, but. . . selavy.  

The other way to counter this is a good cocktail.  "Cocktails and Mosquitoes," I captioned my cocktail photo last night as I sat on my deck texting.  

"That should be 'Mojitos and Mosquitos," my friend replied.  

"Oh, darn, that is a good idea."

Ili used to love making mojitos.  She had pots of mint growing all over the deck and delighted in muddling it for cocktails.  But I have no mint growing in pots.  I haven't any herbs.  Why? I wonder.  I love basil, parsley, and especially cilantro.  If I want a mojito, I will have to buy some fresh from the grocery store.  

It is a hell of a lot easier to make a Campari and soda, though.  Much.  

Especially for one.  

Another study--loneliness and isolation will kill you.  It will, at least help to.  Sitting on the deck alone, I wonder--do I have a big enough social network?  So many friends, so much to do. . . is that what they mean?  Perhaps I would be wrong to eschew them.  I wonder if bickering couples live longer?  Is it just about having someone in the room?  Maybe church is enough.  These studies raise more questions than they answer, I think.  

I go to see my mother every afternoon, but I feel bad that she is alone at night.  It is a problem.  

As I say, I'm beginning to hate science.  

Yesterday, coming out of the grocery store with a bad back and a gimpy knee, hobbling as I was, a large man sitting in a wheelchair motioned me as I walked past him.  His voice was low and his movements off. I stepped closer.  His accent was foreign, Arabic or Persian, I couldn't tell.  

"Could you help me put my wheelchair in the car?" he asked.  The wheelchair, battery, and motor, looked to weigh a ton.  I looked at him with wide eyes.  His clothes were unkempt, his visage, too.  I didn't think I could do it, could lift that chair into a car.  I told him so.  

"I don't know if I could do it," I told him.  My back and knee. . . ."

"O.K." he said.  "I'll get somebody else."

I limped on to my car, shame creeping up my neck, covering my back.  WTF?  I put my groceries in the car and went back.  He was still sitting there.

"Come on.  Let me give it a try."

"No, not if it is going to hurt your back."

"Well, if I can't, you can get someone else."

I followed him to his car.  To my surprise, he was going to help.  He stood up out of the chair and put away his grocery bags and the DVDs he had sadly rented from the Red Box in the store.  

"Grab the handles here and here," he said, bending down and grabbing hold of the metal rods on the bottom of the wheelchair.  "O.K.  One, two, three. . . " he said quietly.  I bent my legs to reach down to the ground and my knee was screaming.  I hoped I could.  But if he could, I thought. . . . " 

He seemed to have less trouble lifting the chair than I, but we put it into the back of his hatchback car.  I was right.  There was no way I could have done that alone.

"Alright," I said triumphantly.  

"Thank you," he said.  

I wondered how long it would be before I was sitting in a wheelchair asking people to help me.  

Wait, I wondered, how in the fuck did he get that wheelchair out in the first place?  

I was feeling guilty now for feeling good, like I had done something heroic.  But I knew that if I hadn't gone back, I would have felt like shit for the rest of the night.  I felt bad enough about not saying yes at first.  I pictured the man at home alone heating up canned food and watching rented DVDs in a dumpy apartment.  

Shoot.  Hitting a bit too close to home, that one.  But I wasn't eating canned food. 

While I was preparing my evening meal, I got a text.

"What's for dinner?" 

"I'll send a pic in a minute."

Social isolation, community, loneliness, contentment. . . I don't know.  There is a Buddhist temple nearby.  Many churches.  C.C. has consistently told me, "You can always go to church.  You don't have to believe in it.  They won't kick you out."  

Oh. . . did you watch that clip I posted yesterday from "Mrs. Maisel"?  If not, why?  It was great.  There are no cuts for the first two minutes and ten seconds.  They cut back and forth a few times in the dialogue scene, then there is another long, continuous take.  It is marvelous.  They never could have done that in the past, right?  Oh, brother. . . let's take a look.  This is a clip from the 1964 Soviet film "Soy Cuba."  "Maisel" was an almost shot for shot homage.  

If you want to see the entire film, it is on YouTube.  That is the only platform on which I could find it.  Here is the (link).  

I have a beauty appointment Thursday and am going to a film with some friends on Friday.  "Astroid City."  I'm hoping that will be enough.  

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