Friday, November 3, 2023

Don't You Know the Deuce Is Still Wild?

In high school, she wrestled on the boy's team.  Of course, there was no girl's team.  She was a power lifter.  In college she studied art.  When I met her, she was a self-proclaimed "feminist painter." She would drive for over an hour to shoot with me in the studio.  We kept in touch for a long time.  Now, she teaches art.  She was quite something.  

Weren't we all?

What's my point?  I don't have one, really.  I just cooked this up the other day from old files and wanted to post it.  Trying to keep some skills.  I am dependent, however, on the digital updates, and I find that the programs are not the same.  I have to keep adapting to the technology, but no matter, the final product changes slightly.  You can never repeat the past.  

"Can't repeat the past? Of course you can!"

That's Gatsby's reply, he looking around the room as if it were hiding in the shadows.  And of course, significantly, he catches a stopped clock that he bumps from the mantle.  At least that is how I remember it.  

We know how that works out.  

Though we can't repeat the past, I don't believe in leaving it behind.  The past is the parent of the person, so to speak.  A lot of people want to blame that "parent" for the mistakes and shitty life they have lived, but there is no blame.  Shit happens.  You have to get over it and move on.  

At drinks with the boys on Wednesday, the gymroids were talking about going to an event at the Convention Center.  

"Where is that?" 

"It's next to the. . . ."  A big luxury hotel was mentioned.  

"I used to have dinner with. . ." and I named the owner.  He has a brand, but he owns a giant chain of hotels all across the country.  

"How did you know him?"

"He was friends with the. . ." and I named a prominent family.  The fellow who picks up the tab turned to me.

"Bland and Blank?"  He said the first names of the husband and wife.


"How do you know them?" he asked with serious surprise.  

"Their daughter lived with me for three or four years."

He got a little pop-eyed.  

"You know I am good friends with them," he said.  

"No, I didn't."

It turns out that he sits on a couple of boards with them.  They are really acquaintances and not so much friends.  He's the same gymroid who found out about my wife, and once more I said, "I'd prefer to keep that on the DL."

"Sure, sure," he said.  He made a joke that he wouldn't want to spoil his reputation by mentioning me.  He is wealthy, but he is not on a level with that family.  Old money.  International money.  They give as many millions of dollars to charities as my boy lays claim to.  They have the kind of money rich people like to be around. It's the kind of wealth that creates its own aura.

"That's right, Bud.  Gypsy in the Palace.  I'm sure that they like you far better than they do me."  

Later, Tennessee asked me to send him a picture of her.  Yesterday I sent a photo of the two of us on some Saudi Prince's yacht that her father had gotten for the day to carry us from Cannes to St. Tropez.  

"Damn brother you had a blast!"

"My whole life has been."

And it is true.  I had a gal who wanted me to repudiate my past, but I wouldn't and won't.  I'm not flaunting it, but it was for sure fun.  I can't even explain it, really.  There are parts of my past that are really shitty, but everyone can say that.  Nope.  Buy the ticket and take the ride.  True to her word, though, when she left, I was wiped from memory.  Everyone has their own way, I guess.  

I'll match those rich gymroids story for story.  The friends I keep can do that as well.  Life is a cabaret, old sport.  One day, I'm going to miss it.  


But, as the song says. . . "Don't you know the deuce is still wild?"  I can't get it out of my head.  I've listened to it a hundred times now (link).  

But this isn't what I planned on telling today.  Not that I had anything planned.  But there were some facts.  I got an injection in my knee yesterday.  It was a pretty long needle, but it didn't really hurt.  I could feel the gel going in, though, and filling up the space in my knee.  It still feels full and tight this morning.  The doc asked me what I do.  Funny as I rememberde our conversation from last time.  I went through the same litany as before.  

"I ask because I am getting close to retirement.  How do you spend your day?"

"Well. . . I only recently realized that I am now a man of leisure."  I went through my slow, daily routine.  "When you first retire, you feel kind of useless.  You, for instance, are used to walking into the hospital and being treated like royalty.  When you quit, nobody is going to care what you used to do.  You will feel kind of useless."

He looked at me for a minute.  

"I already feel kind of useless," he said.  "I've slowed down.  I see half as many patients as my colleagues.  I do half the surgeries they do."  

I mentioned my buddy's father who was one of the two founders of this now massive practice.  

"He couldn't quit, even after they told him he couldn't do surgeries any longer.  He set up a consultation practice.  He just couldn't step out of the limelight." 

Did I say you couldn't repeat the past?  This was like deja vu, the same conversation we had nine months ago.  


I am supposed to meet the boys out for happy hour today.  It is Friday.  The bars are sure to be filled.  My hope is that something will happen that I can write.  I can't keep yawing about my internal struggles.  I can, but. . . . 

I was thinking yesterday that you know a lot about me if you have been reading here for awhile.  How do I feel about that, about the cumulative knowledge you and the internet companies have about my life?  

Then I remembered something and it made me giggle.  

“Life's but a walking shadow; a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

The Sound and the Fury.  Two Williams there.  They were pretty effing good.  

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