Friday, November 10, 2023

Mistakes and Blunders

I may have made a mistake.  I told my beautician that I wanted to go a bit darker for autumn and a bit shorter.  It looked fine in the beauty parlor, but when I got up this morning and saw myself in the mirror, I was alarmed.  My hair seems to have darkened and shrunk in the night.  I had become something of a platinum lighthouse, but now I think I have become just another lightless ship in the night.  I will be ridiculed by the  gymroids and shunned by strangers that I meet.  I must resign myself to a life of solitude.  I am worse than hideous.  I have become another unremarkable member of the horde.  

Maybe I'll wear a hat.  

I couldn't really pull myself together yesterday before my beauty appointment.  I thought to do my knee exercises and take a walk, but the minutes, then the hours, passed and it was time for me to hustle.  My Jewish Russian beautician is five months pregnant now and was showing quite well.  Somehow we got on a topic we should have left alone, the Jews and Palestinians, and maybe neither of us was paying attention to the hair process.  But as I say, I was happy enough in the salon.  When I left, I went straight to my mother's house to take her to a doctor's appointment.  That went as well as it could have, and I think she left with a little relief.  The day was practically gone when I dropped her off at her house.  Not quite.  But it was more than mid-afternoon.  I hadn't eaten, but what I wanted was a drink.  I looked at the clock and added an hour.  I mean it would have been four if the time hadn't changed.  I sat on the deck and chilled with a Campari and soda.  When that was gone, though, I was very hungry, so I pulled out the leftovers from the "bowl" I had the day before.  There was quite a bit left, but I ate it all.  "Now," I thought, "I have ruined my dinner."  So I poured a whiskey and sat some more.  "Christ," I thought, "I'll be in bed by seven."

I had no plans for the evening which is what I had been hoping for, but now it seemed a sentence.  The house was quiet.  I listened to the humming of the refrigerator.  What should I do, I wondered?  I decided to try to fix my tv/stereo hookup.  After cancelling cable and turning in the box, my t.v. quit playing through my stereo speakers.  I hadn't figured out why yet.  I got a flashlight and went to work.  Up and down, up and down, I was trying to be agile on a bad knee, but it wasn't just my knee that was the problem.  I've become an overall board.  Painfully, I moved cables on the back of the television then on the back of the stereo.  I goofed around with the seeming hundreds of settings possible on the receiver.  I worked on it for over an hour but could not figure it out.  Then it occurred to me that maybe the optic cable had gone bad.  How could I tell?  I hadn't a clue.  I thought about calling one of those tech groups to come out and set it up.  How could that be, though?  Am I losing my mental capacities?  Am I becoming like my mother, unable to figure out technology any longer?  It was a bit frightening, I tell you in all candor.  When I stood up, though, I felt better.  Getting up and down, bending and kneeling for the past hour had been as good as yoga.  I was feeling more like Gumby again.  

So there was that.  

But I wanted the goddamned thing to work.  

I poured another drink and sat on the couch.  I had YouTube Music playing.  YouTube is making music stations for me now that I subscribe that are better than what Apple Music is giving me, but I was listening to it through television speakers.  Whatever.  I poured another drink.  

Friday night alone, I thought.  Wait.  It wasn't.  It wasn't Friday night.  It was Thursday.  It wasn't only my clock that was off, it was my whole calendar.  It was five-thirty.  The sun had gone down.  I sat in the half light on the couch and closed my eyes and let the music carry me away, but I was getting more morose than melancholy.  Why should I be sad, I wondered?  I wasn't in prison.  That was a big plus.  I could do anything I wanted to do. . . except for the thing I wanted to.  There is always that.  

The phone rang.  Tennessee was giving me an update on something.  Then he said he had to go.  His father was calling.  

I didn't hear back.  

My friend in the midwest texted me a picture of her beer and a bar mirror that said, "I've only been in love with a beer and a mirror."  The bar was empty but for one man at the other end of the room.  They both had on coats and hats.  It looked like '50s midwest.  "I'm in a town on the old Route 66. You'd love it.  I'll bring you here when you come."  

I should be there tonight, I thought.  

"I was at a microbrewery.  The owner told me he was looking for someone to take pictures of his beers.  Your cocktail photography might fulfill a niche market."

Indeed, I thought.  

It was seven.  Maybe I should eat something.  I fried three eggs and cut up a baguette to make toast in the toaster oven.  A glass of milk.  It hit the spot.  I cleaned up the kitchen.  It was eight.  

I decided to YouTube some poetry.  I would sit with my eyes closed and listen.  Bukowski didn't cut it.  Yeats.  Yea, that was good.  Then Frost.  

It was eight thirty.  I pulled a pint of Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Ice Cream out of the freezer.  I turned on a tv show.  

It was ten.  Time for bed.  I took nothing.  A night of natural sleep ahead.  

When I woke and looked at the clock, I had to do math.  It was five minus one.  I need to change the clock, I thought.  I'll get up at six minus one if I need to.  I got up at six-thirty minus one.  That was o.k.  

And then the shock of the mirror.  Shit.  

The news read no better today than yesterday.  Nothing has improved.  I copy and past things to annoy my friends.  

"Ms. Niederhaus drank heavily in the wake of her husband’s death. Her alcohol use had initially increased eight years earlier, when she became his caregiver after he had a stroke; after he died, it got even worse. In another alarming development, she started messaging with a con man who claimed to be her former boss. Over the course of two years, he swindled her out of hundreds of thousands of dollars."

News or the beginning of a short story?

I sit.  I think about the people I know.  They are all in their places settled in their lives.  Whether I envy them or not. . . .  

Texts come in, one, then another.  They are from my former secretary.  I am not sure what they mean.  She is not settled, but she has a dog.  Another from my friend in the midwest.  Come, she says.  You will love these places.  

"But will they love me?"

"Who wouldn't?"

"Most people," I say.  It is true.  It isn't.  It is just a problem.  I can be quite polarizing.  

It is Friday.  Yes.  Today is Friday.  Apple informs me that it is Veteran's Day.   I must involve myself in something, I think, or I am lost.  Don't get lost now, I think.  Not now.  

I'll wear a hat.  Maybe people won't notice.  I don't want to sit home tonight.  I don't want to go out.  

Life is full of shitty dilemmas.  It feels abstract now, like something I am watching on t.v. that I am not really interested in.  

People are walking by in the street now.  Most have dogs.  It seems like Saturday.  I think I want a mimosa.  It seems much more appealing than what I am going to do.  A big breakfast and mimosas would be nice.  

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