Thursday, November 9, 2023

Doing Good and Making Mistakes

The bar is a beautiful place.  That's the theory, anyway.  Some are.  Some aren't.  And sometimes you stay too late and do too many dumb, stupid things, and then you find yourself trying to run across four busy lanes of traffic on a gimp knee, and later, at home, you wonder why you went in the first place.  In the morning, you think once again that you aren't going to go anymore, that you will eat grilled vegetables and tofu and drink herbal teas and read all the books you haven't read yet and meditate and do yoga and. . and. . . and. . . .  

But you know, there are endless temptations and a bounty of opportunities.  And so. . . . 

I had a productive day.  I did my knee therapy at home and added some other stretches, then walked a couple of miles and went to the gym.  That took me through lunch, so I called my mother to see if she was hungry.  Much to my surprise, she said she was, so I went to the bowls place and picked up some healthy food.  After we ate, I asked if she wanted me to call and set up an appointment with a doctor.  She is getting to the age where trying to navigate such things is more than an annoyance.  She had called a couple of clinics and had gotten frustrated.  She needs some help with her lower back which is slowing her down to a crawl, so I called the orthopedic clinic close to my house and got an appointment set up for her.  The lady on the phone was a real sweetheart.  I had the phone on speaker and she could hear my mother in the background.  

"Your mother sure sounds sweet," she said.  "If you can tell a person's age by their voice, your mother would be half her age."

My mother lit up.  Things were looking good.  We could only get an appointment a couple months away, but the lady on the phone said to call back as often as we want to see if there has been a cancellation.  

"You can call every day," she said.  

When we hung up, my mother said, "People sure are nice to you."  I laughed.  

"That is what I did for a living.  Almost everybody who came to my office was mad or had a problem.  I had to fix it.  I learned to make people comfortable and happy."

And that is true.  That was the majority of what I did.  As I've said, I'm good at fixing other people's problems if I have the resources.  My own, however. . . not so much.  Then I become my mother.  

When I left my mother's house, I was feeling pretty good.  Mom was cheery and felt well taken care of.  I wouldn't need to go over later which was convenient since I was meeting a couple of "the boys" at five for dinner and drinks.  

The first mistake was not getting the Mahi sandwich.  I let the serving boy convince me to get the chicken sandwich instead.  Since there was a ten dollar difference in price, I went along with the suggestion.  

Never listen to the recommendations of children who work at the bar.  Not for food, not for wine, not for anything.  I know that.  But this kid is really clever and funny, so I thought I'd go along.  I should have had the Mahi.  

But that was only the first mistake of the evening.  Maybe the second.  Perhaps the first was going out at all.  But the day had been gorgeous and sunset was sweet and the air was beginning to cool and we sat outside in the garden only a quarter mile from my house.  

What could go wrong?  

The sandwich was only the beginning.  Perhaps the third, or maybe the fourth or fifth mistake, was deciding to cross the street to have "just one more."  We were indoors now, and the place was packed with trivia fanatics.  We were lucky to get a table.  The boys had been texting one of the girl gymroids who was out with her friends.  They wanted her to stop by for a drink.  She said she was coming, so we ordered more drinks from the flirty waitress.  She had waited on us before, and I knew she liked the money.  These boys tip VERY well.  So she put up with the shenanigans with a wink and a smile.  She works in a bar, so she's seen much worse.  

Now boys will be boys as conservative republicans say, and these fellows like to poke fun of liberal hippies.  There is no getting them to stop.  So to the waitress they say, "No, I'm not kidding.  He's a real shaman.  If you go to his house, he'll weave spells around you.  He has a freezer full of mushrooms and god knows what all.  He'll put you in a trance.  He studied with brojos in Mexico."

That is a sanitized version, anyway.  

"Would you guys just shut the fuck up?"

"Ah, c'mon man. . . you like being the center of attention."

"Is that what you call it?  I don't need any help, thanks." 

Too late, the girl gymroid showed up.  By now, I had switched from Campari to beer to tequila to scotch.  I hadn't planned on drinking anything but light beer, but way led to way and the night just got away from me.  I was no longer regretting just the sandwich.  

We had started early, so when I got home, it wasn't really late, but too many hours had passed by.  Evening mistakes turn into morning regrets.  I look at the calendar.  It is only Thursday.  

Today I go to the beautician.  I'll need to make decisions.  Do I still want to be a blond?  Should I go shorter or let it grow?  Hard choices, these.  On the heels of that, I am taking my mother to a doctor's appointment.  Making decisions for her will be easier.  

And tonight I will make a healthy dinner and and eat on the deck alone.  I have only these extremes, crazy nights or solitary dinners, when all I want. . . . 

No comments:

Post a Comment