Monday, September 4, 2023

That Didn't Last Too Long

"I can resist everything but temptation (Oscar Wilde).  


"A hubba-hubba and a ding-ding-dong / Baby, that sure didn't last too long" (Tom Waits).

I didn't leave the house all day, not until it was time to head off to visit my mother. I don't know how druggies do it. I am sure they are made of different stuff than I. In the past, they would have been Spanish conquistadors or Vikings. I would have been a monk or a priest living in a monastery reading and contemplating life and its dualities. I've been threatened with bodily harm by people living on the streets and wondered how. I mean, I eat well, go to bed early, work out. . . and yet. . . . 

It wasn't just physical, this moping around the house. I was in no mood. I woke at five, read, wrote, and read some more. The pot of coffee had left me hollow, so I decided to make a good breakfast. I cut a thick slice of bread off a giant loaf and toasted it then smeared avocado on it and topped it with tomato. I fried up two eggs. I washed it down with a large glass of milk. It was damn good. Then I put on some music and went to work on my old photo files for awhile, but I was soon sleepy and went in to take a nap.


I turned the music down low and slept for a couple of hours. I got up at two. I was hungry again and pulled out the Old Florida Salsa. If you have never tried it, you are missing one of life's pleasures. I dipped it up with blue corn tortilla chips and washed it down with Coca-Cola. Then I went back to work on the pictures. I thought I would leave enough time to shower before I went to mother's house, but way led to way and then it was after four. My head and body were still in jello, but I made the drive.  

My mother is beginning to fade. It depresses me, of course because there is nothing I can do to stop it. I am sweet and kind and attentive, but that doesn't stop the inevitable decay of the mind and body. "I've had it," she'll say with a sardonic laugh, and I don't know what to do, so I do nothing. What the fuck kind of life is this where you already know the ending, just not the particulars. There is an epidemic of fentanyl deaths in this country they say. It seems to be ubiquitous. But I don't know drug dealers anymore. Where can I get some? It sounds much better than cyanide. Everyone, I think, should be given a dose large enough to do the job some desperate night when you just don't want to see what's coming next. But I know my mother wouldn't use it. She thinks she has to stick around to take care of me. That is, at least, what she says. And I know I couldn't wash down the fentanyl with a whiskey as long as she is still around.  

But the afternoon air was a blessing.  

"Has it been like this all day?" I asked. 

"Yes. It didn't get hot today."

"I can't believe I missed such a lovely day. I never left the house. I should have gotten out." 

Indeed, I had missed something fairly spectacular, and I, the would be/wanna be drug addict had missed it. It was simply that I was drained.  

After my visit, I came back home to sit on my own deck and enjoy more of the late afternoon air. Another mocktail and a cheroot. It didn't satisfy me as much as it had the day before, but. . . o.k.  

I heated up leftovers for dinner and watched something on YouTube that I don't recall. Dinner over, bored with everything, I put on music and went back to work on photos. Late, I got a text.  

"Day 3. Still dry?" 

"Day 4. I started in Aug. So far, yea, but I think I’m going to have a scotch. Maybe. I already feel guilty though. But it isn’t like I’ve been put into the program. I want to lose some fat, but I don’t want to be a fucking Puritan about it. Maybe."

"I love having a drink, or a few, in the evening. I just sleep like shit. Damn. I wasn’t going to have a glass of wine this eve, but…"

A fucking She-Devil. It was too much. I poured a whiskey. Oh, I felt better just holding the glass in my hand. Women. Romance. Travel. Music. Art and literature. Good food.  

And an evening cocktail.  

The rest of life is really just shit. 
That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.

People lived an average of thirty-three years then, or if they made it past forty, they averaged fifty-five.  Still. . . they knew.  

So I sank down into my comfortable couch and thought things over.  And it was lovely.  

* * *

I slept the night through and got up late.  Coffee and the neighbor's beautiful cat.  The feral hasn't been around for days now.  She's done this before, and every time, I think this is the end.  Maybe it is the end this time.  Maybe she's gone to see Jimmy Buffet.  But I feel better today and I am going to get out and about.  It is Labor Day.  Those forced to toil get a day of reprieve.  It's a hell of a thing, the whole "sweat of his brow" curse.  I was lucky-ish.  But you know. . . it could have been better.  

All in all, I don't know how the Puritans do it.  

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