Thursday, September 14, 2023

Another Day

Two days ago, I felt like death was overtaking me.  Yesterday, I felt I had put a tiny bit of distance between us.  Today, so far, at least, I feel about like I usually do, just beaten and broken and disenfranchised.  It is quite a relief.  

But my mother is not feeling well.  I won't go into it, but it scares me.  Yesterday, I could tell it scares her, too.  She had that far away look in her eye.  And yet, she worries about me.  

"I was reading about long Covid.  There are people who have it for years.  When you don't feel well, I wonder. . . ."

In truth, there are days that I do, too.  One tries to fight and ignore physical ailments, of course, but I think that when the emotional traumas get to be too much, the physical issues become apparent.  I don't know why the National Institutes of Health hasn't contacted me about this.  I think I could really help them out.  I'm full of theories.  

If my mother isn't better today, though, I'm carting her off to the doctor.  And that scares me for I know that they are not always good all the time at what they do and some are never really very good at what they do at all.  Hiring a doctor is like hiring a plumber or a carpenter or a car mechanic.  You just have to trust because you don't know how to do it yourself.  And it seems, you know, sometimes the work turns out  shitty.  

As a factory foreman, I know that the people I hired were not all good at everything.  Some were middling and others were good at one thing and terrible at another.  I dated an attorney (well. . . more than one) who said she was shocked at how sloppy and just plain bad many lawyers were at their job.  I realized too late that the expensive attorney I hired from a big downtown law firm when I got divorced was very bad.  

What are you going to do?  You always hope the chef at the restaurant washes his or her hands. . . but you never know.  By and large, all of it is like playing lotto.  

Trying my best, however, to feel "normal," after my workout and after a soak in the tub where I kept falling into a deep sleep, I pulled myself together, somewhat, and went to the Cafe Strange for some green tea.  I saw myself reflected in the big plate glass windows as I got out of the car.  "WTF?  Look at that loser," I thought for a second until it hit me.  I wasn't just feeling bad.  

When I stepped inside, there was a fellow standing at the counter before me just finishing up.  The girl behind the counter looked at me and asked, "Green tea?"  A little shock ran through me like I had grabbed the handle of an ungrounded refrigerator (which you would not know about unless you are of a certain age--unpleasant but not dangerous) as I realized that maybe I had become a "regular," one of "the Strange."  The thought was discomfiting.  

The man before me finished and stepped away from the counter, and the girl asked, "Honey?"

"No," I said.  "I am drinking green tea because it is supposed to help you lose weight."

"It's not working?"

I paused, then laughed.  

"That wasn't a question, was it?"

She just looked through me.  That fellow reflected in the plate glass windows had apparently followed me in.  

I don't drink enough water.  I never have.  Not if you believe the whole 64 oz or more a day theory.  I don't even come close.  But you know, if you count coffee. . . maybe I get closer.  I've read that coffee counts.  I know the green tea must.  And I must have been thirsty because it didn't last too long.  Maybe, I thought, I haven't felt well because I have been working out so much more of late and am still not chugging water like I should.  Note to self.  

While at my mother's, Tennessee texted.  


I assumed he wasn't making fun of me and responded, "When?"

I wasn't really feeling like going.  I was tired.  I'd fallen asleep in the tub.  I had felt overtaken by weariness at my mother's.  But I didn't feel like going to the grocers and coming home to cook, either.  Tennessee was already there when I walked in.  And he had chatted up the waitress.  She was grinning at me devilishly, so I knew he had already turned me into a cartoon character with her.  That's the game, though.  

"Can I get you something to eat?"

"Have you ordered?" I asked.  


"I can give you mine.  I'll have the Mahi sandwich and. . . . "

"We're not serving the Mahi tonight."


"Yea, the chef likes to change it up."

"That's moronic. . . ."

"We have a chicken sandwich."

"Get the chicken, Bud."

"O.K.  I'll have the chicken.  And I'll have a glass of Chardonnay.  Don't stand on your tippy toes to get it.  Pull it off the middle shelf."

"Chardonay?  Ha!  Bring him an ice cube, too.  He likes to have an ice cube in his Chard."

The waitress giggled.

"Really?  You're going to side with him?"

The waitress was enjoying Tennessee to my dismay.  

A plate of oysters arrived.  I grabbed my phone.

"I need to send a pic to my friend."

I cooked it up and sent it on.  A minute later--"Are you trying to seduce me with food porn?"


Food and drink and banter.  I was feeling better.  We swapped barbs and secrets then went back to my house for the after dinner drink.  We had started mercifully early, and as the sun was about to set, he headed home.  

I poured a whiskey and sank into the couch.  There were texts to answer, but it would be an early night.  The fatigue that I had pushed away was coming back.  I thought about my mother.  Fuck.  Then I thought about myself.  Tomorrow would be, as they say. . . .  Sometimes all we can do is rely upon those trite expressions.  

It is now tomorrow.  And, as promised, it's another day.  

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