Tuesday, November 14, 2023

I Should Have Written This Last Night

It is early.  I am muzzy.  Last night, I think, I had today's post mapped out in my head.  This morning, though, in the drizzling dark, I can't remember any of it.  I know the gist of it, sort of.  It was about yesterday.  There were a lot of unrelated events that tied together.  At least I think they were unrelated.  Maybe that's the part I'm forgetting.  Maybe all things are part of a larger conspiracy.  More and more people believe in conspiracy theories, it seems, and when you look at what is happening in the Supreme Court of the land, it is hard to deny.  The illuminati, that dastardly group the right thinks is on the left, really does exist.  They are the rich people who join things like the Federalist Society and wish to run the government.  They are not liberals.  So somehow, the whole Conspiracy Theory thing is working, just not the way that MAGA wants to understand.  

Oops.  That was unintentional.  I was going to speak of a Cosmic Conspiracy, but as I say, it is gloomy and I have not quite come to my senses yet.  This should be fun.  

I'll just report what happened yesterday, as I remember it, in temporal order.  Maybe I can tie it all together in the conclusion.  

I had an early therapy appointment.  A different therapist this time.  A boy.  I don't like boys or having boy therapists, but I had no choice.  It was like beginning all over again in some ways.  We started in a similar but not identical way with the same exercises I am doing at home.  And then he added some new.  Silly ones, I thought.  First he had me march with high knees across the room and back.  He was working with another victim while I did this.  It doesn't seem ethical to me, somehow, that he has more than one client at a time.  At $200/hr, he is doubling the clinics income while I goose step around the room.  

But. . . I say this sheepishly. . . my hip flexors--or whatever--were starting to burn.  Next he had me walk sideways as if I were stepping over hurdles.  I'm sure this is fun to watch.  And again, and even more so, my hips were barking.  Then we moved on to band work.  I'll spare you.  After an hour of this, though, he kicked me out.  It felt as though my knee was hyperextending backwards when I walked.  Therapy was doing something, I'll say that.  

I headed straight to the gym from there.  I didn't see any of the gymroids.  Good.  Chest and back.  No talking.  I was done in forty-five minutes.  Just as I finished, however, the shock jock sauntered in.  We walked together to the back room.  Tennessee and the flight attendant were there.  A few minutes later, the car maven walked in.  I was glad I had finished my workout.  I'm still not feeling social, really.  The theft of the cameras has left me sour, and besides, there was much to do.  We kibitzed for awhile, though, before I left with a cold closing.  I just washed my hands and was gone.  

Jesus. . . this is boring, and I don't see how any of this is going to tie in together.  Maybe I was drunk when I thought I had today's post.  As my mother says, though. . . anyway. . . . 

When I got to the car, I thought to drive on to the DMV to get a replacement driver's license.  Then I thought again.  I hadn't brought any I.D.  So I drove home and made a shitty lunch which I unconsciously ate while calling Medicare and United Health to get replacement cards sent to me.  That took just as much time as you are imagining.  All corporate systems are designed to wear you out and and make you go away.  As someone who is commercial free, those fake Disney World voices and constant jingles wear me the fuck out.  But I prevailed.  New cards should be here in a month or so.  If I don't receive them by then, I should call back and let them know. 

A hot soak and a shower later, I began rooting around for my passport, my SS card, and other forms of ID that would "prove" I live in this state.  First, though, the bank.  One teller and a line.  No shit, I thought, they taught us this was the way Soviets lived when I was a kid.  The teller was new, too, so she needed to call someone over to help her quite often.  The room was humid and warm.  There was a Haitian family in the corner with a kid who had apparently been taught how to irritate the shit out of people.  There was obviously something wrong with him, probably all the acronyms that I don't understand.  Either that or they had just had him smoke a big bowl of crack.  O.K.  I don't know how to smoke crack.  Bowls?  

When I finally got to the teller, her eyes went wide.  What was I asking?  Hold on.  She went to get the manager.  

Back to the car with a pocket full of cash, I was headed to the DMV at the other end of the county.  They don't like to make things convenient, of course.  "They."  You know.  The Conspiracy.  Traffic creeped and I screamed and yelled at the morons who somehow have passed a driver's test.  Maybe.  God knows.  There are two types of drivers, I've realized, the terrified ones and the stupidly aggressive.  The terrified ones like to drive beside other terrified drivers at the exact same speed, and when one of them hits the brakes, so does the other.  It is like holding hands in church.  And so, ever so slowly, I inched my way across the county on miserably underfunded state roads with the mob.  

When I got to the DMV, the parking lot was fairly empty.  Good, I thought, this might be quick.  It was.  It was much quicker than I thought.  There was a sign on the door that said they were closed, that "their system was down."  There was a QR code on the door.  Scan this to make an appointment.  A little disheveled man joined me at the door.  He was difficult to understand.  Hindi, maybe.  He was befuddled.  As I scanned the code he kept asking me questions.  Maybe he thought I worked there or that this was all my fault, but he was over my shoulder asking me things I couldn't answer.  

"Do you have a cell phone?"

"Yes.  It is in the car." 

"You can scan this code and make an appointment," I said. That didn't help.  He kept watching me, mumbling.  A woman arrived.  

"Motherfucker," she shouted.  She was a rough woman dressed in a redneck costume, apparently.  She had an appointment.  "What the fuck!"  Both she and the muttering man were looking at me as if I had something to do with it.  

Another man came up.  More of a boy, really, and it was apparent that he was slow.  With bewildered eyes, he asked me what was going on.  They were all talking at once now, mumbling, cursing, crying.  If you want to know America, I think, you need to go to the DMV.  It's no wonder that driving is so horrible.  

A woman pulled up to the curb in a big SUV.  She said she had been here earlier in the morning.  She began to explain everything.  She knew.  She had the scoop.  

"I went to another DMV across town.  It was a really nice one."  She began to describe it.  She was the kind who actually enjoyed the jingles on the telephone when you call a government agency.  She was used to standing in lines.  She would, I was guessing, rather enjoy it.  She liked meeting people and talking to the crowd, all experiencing the same idiotic hardship.  She was ready and willing to help.  Shared suffering was her forte.  

I was losing my mind.  I remembered this life that I have so arduously avoided.  I thanked her for her help as the fellow with the bewildered eyes slid into the seat beside her.  

WTF was that all about?

I left the Hindi man with the baggy pants standing on the sidewalk and walked to my car.  My knee bent backwards for a moment as I tried to hurry in front of a driver who didn't seem to understand the whole crosswalk protocol.  Surely she was coming to get her license renewed.  Scary.  

It was a little earlier than usual, but I decided I would stop on my way home to see my mother.  Traffic was worse now as people were leaving work.  It was taking two or maybe three intervals now to get through intersections as people sat through green lights playing Words With Friends on their phones.  That is a thing, I think, or maybe was.  

As I got closer to my mother's house, traffic just stopped.  Dead.  WTF, WTF?  There were cars blocking the traffic lane.  It was a FUCKING SCHOOL!  Idiot parents were picking up their idiot kids.  A World of Morons, I thought.  They just do this every day.  They think it is normal.  Just sit in a long line of cars inching your way to the pickup area, one car at a time, and then you block the other lane of traffic when you can.  I was done.  I couldn't take anymore.  I rolled down my window so I could tell them they were pathetic, selfish shits.  But I didn't.  What would be the use?  

"You're a fucking moron, did you know that?"

They don't.  

Are you still here?  I should have written this last night, I think.  Anyway. . . .

I made it to my mother's.  We sat and talked while the neighbors brought their dogs up to say hi.  Mom has quite the social life.  

Oh!  Now comes the fun part of the story.  Yea, yea. . . now I remember.  When I left my mother's house, I had two stops to make, the liquor store and the grocers.  It was good to have a pocketful of money.  What is shocking, though, is how quickly it spends.  Paying cash requires that you know how much you are paying.  Holy shit.  Really?  This is how much liquor costs?  The old pocketbook was taking a big hit.  Maybe I'll start drinking cheaper shit, I thought, Bacardis and cokes, maybe, or some MD 20/20.  

I was feeling ever so much poorer when I got to the grocery store.  Chicken.  Brussels sprouts.  Baked beans.  What else?  Avocados.  Oh. . . and I had forgotten to get wine.  O.K. 

With fewer than ten items, I entered the express line.  Like traffic, it was moving slow.  Why?  Obviously some moron, right?  Finally, it was my turn.  

"I need to see your I.D." the checkout lady said.  

I looked at her to see if she was kidding.  She wasn't.  

"I don't have one.  My wallet was stolen.  That is why I'm paying in cash."  I held up my paper money as if that were proof.  

"I can't sell you alcohol without some I.D." 

I pointed to my face.  "Really?  I look at least ninety."

She paused.  She asked someone to get a manager.  The line was backing up behind me now.  I wasn't about to turn around.  We all stood there waiting.  

"They didn't I.D. me at the liquor store," I said helplessly.  This was absurd.  

In a little while, a child manager rolled up and said, "We tell all the new cashiers they need to I.D. everyone."  Then he turned to her and mumbled something, tapped some keys on the touchpad, and said, "Sorry about that."

This was the topper to the day, I thought.  It had required some absurd humor.  

Earlier, Sky had sent me a song.  Music is one of our love languages, if you will suffer the term.  Sorry.  When I got home, I poured a drink, lit a Cohiba, and went to sit in the slight drizzle while I listened to the song on my phone.  

Holy shit.  Did she really send me this?

Rotgut whiskey’s gonna ease my mind

Beach towel rests on the dryin’ line

Do I remind you of your daddy in my ’88 Ford?

Well, yea.  My day had been like that.  It was feeling like a country music song.  

The boys began to text.  They were planning a get together for tonight.  Funny.  I wonder if I will get carded.  Probably. Yea, probably. 

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