Saturday, November 18, 2023

Looking Ahead

This is one of those things that is difficult to figure out.  I mean. . . who wears furs anymore?  Especially in my state?  And yet, the cold storage place remains open.  It has been here on Gotham's Main Street since I was a kid.  Not much else is left from that time, but goddamnit, you can still store your furs.  

But maybe now, they are coming out for the holidays.

I went to dinner with Tennessee last night.  That will be it for a long time.  His wife is coming home Sunday from her one month business trip to the far east.  She called him while we were driving to dinner last night.  She is sick.  Very, she says.  God knows what viral sensation she is bringing home.  I guess they don't keep sick people off of planes any longer.  It is as if we were wrong to try to stop the virus in the first place.  I was loyal to the cause.  My anti-vaxer friends were livid.  Lockdowns and vaccines were anti-American.  Now, it seems, more and more scientists and sociologists agree.  

So much for "Safety First."

We went early for sushi.  It is a good thing.  Within ten minutes of getting seats at the bar, the restaurant was packed.  It is the best non-Michelin sushi place in town, and since the three Michelin star sushi restaurants have only one prix fixe seating a night for around $400/person, it has gotten to be very popular.  

The Shock Jock had been calling and texting ever since we got into the car to go to dinner.  He wanted to go out, but he didn't want sushi.  

"What do you want to do?"

"I don't care.  We can go somewhere else."

"But you wanted sushi."

"Yea. . . fuck him.  Tell him we can meet up with him after for a drink."

I didn't plan on going for a drink after dinner.  We were out early and I planned to be home on my couch afterwards.  

That didn't work out.  I found myself at the crowded Irish bar on a Friday night.  A band was setting up.  I aspired to one drink before I bounced. 

"No man, I'll take you home.  I need to get home and let my dogs out anyway."

Two drinks later, one of the gymroid girls walked in.  She came over with her child boyfriend.  Eyes lit up.  All the boys have it up for her.  She chatted for a minute, then the young couple left to find their own table.  The band began playing.  It wasn't looking so good for me at this point, but I was only half a mile from home.  

The band began to play "Galway Girl."  O.K. I grabbed my phone and recorded a verse.  I sent it to Sky.  It had significance.  It would look as if I were out on the town having a time.  But I wasn't.  Other than the gymette, the crowd was uglier than I, and I was ready to bolt.  And we were about to when Honey Pie came back over to the table.  She wanted to chat.  I told Tennessee to stay.  I could walk home.  

"No, man. . . wait. . . I'll take you home." 

But I could see his eyes light up and the herky jerky movement of his eyes, so I pushed him back and told him to stay.  

I was about halfway home when my phone rang.  

"Dude, where are you?"

"I'm about a block from home."

"You don't need me to pick you up?"

"No, man.  Have fun.  It's not a deal."

When I got home, I stepped off the deck to piss in the dark.  Tennessee's truck pulled into the drive.  I heard the Shock Jock's voice.  Well shit.  There went the night at home alone.  

It was nearing eleven when they left.  I decided to watch one episode of a trashy t.v. series that I am too ashamed to mention before I went to bed.  

People are leaving town for the week either for vacation or to be with far off family for Thanksgiving.  My mother and I have been invited to her across the street neighbor's house once again.  We said "OK" because neither of us cares to cook.  "It's just another day," she says.  It is.  The only thing I'll miss is the leftover turkey sandwiches, but that is not reason enough to go through the effort.  

I've had a couple memorable Thanksgivings.  The first was in Key West during the famous writers, musicians, and artists era before the island had been dubbed "The Last Resort."  It was cut off from everything then, an island nation unto itself, before the bridges were fixed, before cable t.v. or even fm radio had arrived.  Nobody had air conditioning and so they met at sunset, not at the pier but a few streets over where everyone drank beer, smoked pot, played guitars, and swam to keep cool.  There were no condos, no chain stores. . . just locals.  I had never had a Thanksgiving away from my family before.  I was there with my pretty girlfriend, and that night, we ate in an open air restaurant connected to the old Pan Am office on Whitehead.  My head was spinning with romance.  It was like every movie I'd seen as a kid that took place under windswept palms with bamboo walls and thatched roofs and a gentle ocean breeze. It was thrilling, even conspiratorial between quiet diners, but there was a loneliness about it, too.  And that, by and large, is the story of adventure travel.  It is thrilling and lonely.  

But not this year.  

Today might be dry.  We may see sun.  I will take it easy, I think.  I can feel the holiday quiet descending upon me.  I need to stock up on luxurious foods.  Perhaps I'll burn some incense, too.  Last year the scent was frangipani.  

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