Sunday, June 18, 2023

Beyond the Sea

Elmo Tide

I'll have to use this photo to protect the innocent.  It would not be right for me to post the images sent to me yesterday from the off campus Faculty Club.  But these are pretty much what they looked like except they were in color.  The ubiquity of camera phones is sometimes wonderful.  Perhaps my horoscope is accurate in some backhanded, twisted way.  But. . . we'll get to that momentarily. 

I am being stretched by this endless daylight.  It never gets dark.  Nighttime seems never to come.  I don't know how people who live above the 40th parallel do it.  What are you getting, two hours of night?  And in the winter, no daylight for a month?  It seems ludicrous.  And yet, summers are gentler there and probably the softer sunlight is restorative.  But here in the sunny south, the summer sun can be cruel.  

Wait--it is not summer yet!  Not for another three days.  And then the sun will begin its journey to its most southern point and winter.  No, these are the last moments of spring on a warming planet.  This summer may be like nothing we have ever known.  

I feel I'm going a tad bit mad with it all.  And yet. . . . 

Yesterday came the rains and darkness.  I got up to a cloudy morning that turned darker rather than lighter so that I had to turn on lights to see.  After I drank my morning coffee and read and wrote, it was time to go back to bed.  And hour later, I got up and ate.  It was nearly noon.  The computer pinged.  I had a text asking me if I was going to meet the crew up in Factory City at the usual bar.  It was the girl who hasn't asked me out.  Whoa, I thought, this is close.  It is not quite but damn near, right?  But the day did not harken me to the outside world, so I said.  I told her I hadn't been invited.  She said that she was inviting me.  Oh, but it is sooooo glorious here, I said, dreaming to the hollow roar of distant thunder, the sound of the wind rushing through the branches, and the tap tap tapping of the rain upon the roof.  It is such a sleepy day, I said.  I am drinking healthy tea and eating sweet bread and listening to exotic music.  The drizzle of the rain and maybe a book.  I may light some paper white candles and live like a pasha.  I couldn't, I said, imagine leaving the house today.  

Indeed, I went back to bed and slept again.  And when I got up, I had slept the day away, or a great portion of it, and the storm was over and the sun was shining.  And the computer pinged, and I had pictures of the party I was so reluctant to join.  And there was "my girl" with pretty women I didn't know, hugging and kissing and wrestling.  If they were sent to make me envious. . . it worked.  I sent back Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun."  


Why was the sun out?  I would have slept all day.  Instead, I got ready to see my mother.  When I got there, she was making a meal.  I split a beer with her and watched her eat.  And in a bit, I headed to the grocers and then home to make my own evening meal.  

Figuring my friend must be home from the bar by now, I sent her a picture.  Badly plated, I said, but good food. I was playing up my healthy, wholesome side.  I had no response for awhile, then I got a photo of her with a young, attractive woman with whom I immediately fell in love.  She was beautiful and young and obviously twisted in a seductive way, you know. . . just my type.  And there was my friend with her looking equally attractive and newly bent, trying new things, I assumed.  Dinner paled.  

"That looks good.  Beans?  What is the meat?  I'm still at the bar."

Still at the bar?!?  Jesus Christ, was she going for a record?  Other of my friends began posting equally provocative pictures as well.  I said yesterday that I was through with that crowd, but now I was feeling left out.  

My life.  The cat came and I fed her, but she was very aloof.  I ate half my dinner and wanted a drink.  I sat with a whiskey and a cheroot and thought for a long while.  It had been a good day, the rain and the napping.  It was wonderful.  But now the sun was out and I felt I was missing something.  My day had been diminished.  Somewhere, the dark arts were being practiced in broad daylight.  There was adventure and what passed in these tines for romance.  And here I was touting baked beans, asparagus, and a kabob.  Fuck me.  I wanted the sun to go down so I could retreat to the tenderness of my lamplit home.  

Later that evening, I got more texts, more evidence of what I had missed.  My friend must have finally gone home.  She was chatty.  

"Y'all beyond me," I wrote.  "I'm chillin' like a homie."

"How does a homie chill?"

I wrote one of my usual soft and weepy responses which I had sense enough to delete.  So I said.  

"Why are you being soft and weepy?" 

I'd had too many scotches to be doing this, I knew.  I have a rule that when I break, I almost always regret.  Keep your fingers off the keys at night when you have been drinking.  

So I said.  

"But. . . it's just me.  You're chatting with me.  You don't have to worry about emotions with me, silly."

Oh. . . fuck.  Oh fuck.  

"I'm too revelatory at night with scotch and the romantic textures of home.  Nope."

It went on, but I was careful right up until her sweet "goodnight."  

I was left sitting with "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel."  Have I become pathetic, I wondered?  Or have I always been?  

Today is Father's Day.  I had someplace to be tonight, but I'm pretty sure I won't go.  I will miss that, too.  There was a day when I wouldn't have, but times being what they are. . . . 

Just before I turned off the television and went to bed, they played this song.  I went all teary eyed.  

Why am I such a sap?

And just like that--Ding!  Holy smokes!

"Good morning!"

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