Friday, July 7, 2023

Until It Happens

"Why is the bottle always empty?"

"Because life sucks!"

That was last night's exchange between C.C. and me.  C.C. just got back from a long theater stint in Ohio.  My cousin in Ohio told my mother that they have had to turn the heat on several times this summer.  Oh, C.C. . . . welcome back to the Sunshine State.  No need for the heater here.  

Tennessee called me from the Fontainebleau in Miami.  

"Dude. . . you should be here."

He was sitting at the bar watching the show.  I won't go into the chat we had but to say it ended up that there was a fashion shoot going on (link).  

"You can't believe what these women are walking around the lobby in!"

Beautiful women at a world class hotel.  Hmm.  

"What do you think it costs to start a conversation?"

As my little Russian Jew hairstylist always tells me, "You don't have enough money."

All the money boys at the Physical Fitness Club do.  They are all members of the Racquet Club.  None of them play racquet sports, but it is exclusive and one must be voted in.  It is somewhat entertaining to know that even if I had money, I would not be allowed to join.  

Even at the Fancy Y, the manager scours my information online every time he checks me in.  Even he, I think, would like to keep me out.  I've become even stranger in retirement, I guess.  

I got a group text invitation to a Factory City bar for drinks yesterday afternoon, followed by a text from the girl who won't ask me out.  It was a picture of her and a message saying, "Off to a meeting." 

"And Happy Hour afterwards, I would think."

"Are you going?"

"To far, and I will be with my mother then."

The line went dead. . . until I got a photo of my friend and friends at the bar.  I had spent the last hour trying to get my mother's email to work again.  

Later, I got another text.  TGWWAMO was in a distant town, in the ER with her father.  She was texting me about the situation.  She was stressing.  

And there it is, isn't it?  One minute you are having fun, the next things go to shit.  That is something you can count on.  It happens in ways both large and small.  

When I woke this morning, I felt the burden of the future.  Poison water, rising temperatures, crops failing. . . . How can you not?  But you can't think like that.  I could enjoy the day rather than being sour because bad things are in the pipeline.  As in that oft quoted passage (by me) in Hemingway's The Garden of Eden,   

"But what if I die?"

"Don't let it happen until it happens."

It's too easy to become one of the living dead, so I changed my mind.  I think I'll just enjoy the day until I can't.  I look forward to a fish sandwich and a beer tonight.  I look good with my new tan.  I have new shirts, too.  And I can swim.  That's a lot.  Hell. . . that's plenty.  

Don't mistake me for an optimist, though.  Some days, it is just that I don't want to let it happen until it happens.  But C.C. is right.  I will need a new bottle.  

“Sometimes the only answer to death is lunch.” 
― Jim Harrison, Warlock

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