Sunday, August 13, 2023

Dancing Through the Apocalypse

I made the best avocado toast I've ever eaten or dreamed of yesterday morning.  I had a baguette that I cut into small slices and slathered the tops in olive oil before I put them in the toaster oven.  When they were done, I put sliced avocado on top and smashed it up a bit, then I topped that with sliced cherry tomatoes and Kosher salt.  It is so simple and so utterly fantastic.  After I had eaten all the pieces, I made another batch.  I followed this up with that terrifically thick, fat Greek yogurt.  My day was off to a great start.  

An hour later, I went back to bed.  

"Dude, I feel like shit this morning."

It wasn't morning, though.  It was mid-afternoon.  

"Huh.  Imagine that."

When I got up from my nap, I thought it wise to get a tiny bit of exercise.  I got dressed and headed for the gym.  I would walk on an inclined treadmill for a bit.

"I just pulled into the gym parking lot," I wrote.  

"I'm right behind you." 

By the time I'd gotten out of my car and was heading up the steps, Tennessee was shouting at me from the back of the parking lot.  Great minds, I thought.  

"Man, I threw up this morning.  I didn't get out of bed until one.  My head is still pounding."

He didn't look so swell.  

Inside, I saw one of the fellows who had been with us at the pub on Wednesday night, the young biology professor.  He was drenched in sweat as he finished up one of his brutal cross-fit workouts.  

"You left too early the other night," I said.  "The night went to shit," I told him gleefully.  Tennessee caught up with us and I let him tell the latter part of the tale.  

"Hotshot here came over late last night.  He went home much later."

Tennessee looked miserable and shook his head.  He began to explain.  When he had made himself partially understandable, the bio prof said he had to finish up his workout and get his wife and kids who were out at the splash pool.  Tennessee and I started doing a warm up workout of air squats, crunches, and pushups.  My joints hurt and each time I was embarrassed by hard it was for me to get down on the floor.  

"That group from last night is texting me.  They were all sick this morning.  They're asking me if I'm going to the speakeasy.  Fuck that.  I'm not going out tonight."

"Gee, that's funny.  When I said last night I didn't want to go, you were all gasoline and fire.  'Fuck that,' you yelled at me, 'You're going.'"

Apparently he didn't remember much.  

"I need to eat.  I haven't eaten since lunch yesterday.  I'll go out for an early dinner, but then I'm going home."

"That's all I'm ever down for, an early dinner.  I don't like those loud and crowded places.  I prefer a quiet cafe."  

"I need a steak," he said.  We were on the treadmills now.  I've never seen him move so slowly.  We tossed around potential restaurants, but nothing really stuck.  Then I remembered he had told me he had a great steak at a good sushi restaurant that I have always liked.  Yea, yea, he said, and it was settled.  I'd go see my mother after the treadmill, then I would shower and pick him up.  We wanted to be there when it opened at five.  

He picked up a bit when we started eating.  We were both drinking hot green tea.  The green tea I make at home is never nearly as good as what I get at restaurants, and I don't know why.  Where mine is often bitter, this was buttery and mellow.  I've never been able to figure it out.  I didn't have my glasses and the restaurant if fairly dark.  It used to be one of Ili's and my favorite places to go, and we were sitting at the same sushi bar in the same seats where Ili and I had always sat.  I've only been once since she split.  The music in the restaurant is always wonderful, too.  When the waiter came over, Tennessee began a long order of good sounding stuff.  Since I couldn't see the menu, I told the waiter, "Double that."  The Szechuan beef dumplings in a ginger scallion sauce came out first.  Holy smokes.  Those were things I could have eaten all night.  Truffle miso soup.  Then the 12 oz charcoal grilled pepper crust, ginger soy, herb butter and tempura onion sirloin steak with a side of charred mushrooms of every size and shape.  I'd never been there before and not gotten sushi.  But man alive, as they used to say. . . . 

Somewhere toward the end of dinner, I surreptitiously slipped the waiter my credit card.  I didn't want to haggle over this one.  When he brought me the check, Tennessee looked at me and said, "This is going to be expensive."  

"You got the last one," I said.  

He was right, but if you can't pay your way, don't go.  

When I dropped him off at his house, he wanted me to come in and meet his dogs.  He told me once he had a pit bull, and I hate pit bulls, but he said no, come in.  I was ready to be attacked and bitten in the balls when I walked in.  And sure as shitting, I was attacked.  The dogs practically licked me to death.  I sat down and they were all over me.  The pit wasn't full pit and the pug was a fat little fucker who kept giving me love bites.  If you want to know about someone, watch them with their dogs.  His dogs were all sweet love with him.  It was funny to see.  He's brought his wife to my house and his son came to the pub because, Tennessee said, he wanted to meet me.  I've got the full picture now, I think.  I know why we click.  He's a really good guy.  

I'm cooking for my mother tonight.  Then I have to pick someone up at the airport.  I'll get a little exercise before I start cooking.  Small red beans and pork in the InstaPot.  It's just too hot to cook on the stove.  But right now, I think I will go back to bed.  I stayed up watching t.v. later than I should have.  And later when I get up again, I will make that delicious avocado toast and life will be good.  

I've made a deal with myself that I have to make at least one photo a day.  Film, not digital.  Medium or large format.  I made that deal a few days ago.  I've reneged on it every day.  Maybe today, though. . . . 

It is going to be another scorcher.  I'm just wanting and trying to dance real pretty through this last chance apocalypse. 

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