Thursday, January 18, 2024

Am I Content or Am I Blasé?

The air was cool.  The sun was shining.  I sat in the house until two.  I felt ashamed, so I put on some ragged clothes and grabbed some cameras.  I didn't know where to go.  I drove the "regular" route.  The town was quiet, and I was disinterested.  I didn't stop the car until I had driven a useless loop around Gotham.  Then I headed for the cafe.  My life seemed useless.  I felt myself an empty husk, a shell of what once was.  A ghost.  

After a cafe au lait and some journaling, I went to my mother's.  Her across the street neighbor stopped by.  She was having surgery to put stents in her groin the next day to correct some blockage to her kidneys.  It was the first time I'd spoken since the night prior.  I put on a show for her, made her laugh.  It is my lot in life now, to cheer the infirm and aged.  

Then the grocers.  I bought some smoked chicken and the fixings for a Greek salad.  

When I got home, I had two impatient cats waiting on me.  I dropped my cameras and groceries and got the cat food.  The little feral is always excited at feeding time when her boyfriend is there.  She runs circles of uncertainty crying for ALL of the attention.  

Then the phone rang.  It was Tennessee,  

"What are you doing?"

"I just got in from the grocers."

"This not drinking shit sucks."

"I know.  I am boring and bored.  Last night, I had nothing interesting or clever at all to say." 

He had barely left the house that day, either.  

"I don't know, man. . . I think I may be depressed."

"Me, too.  Not leaving the house is one of the big signs of depression."

I trusted him on this one.  Though he has never mentioned such a thing, I would bet money he has seen therapists before.  I'd even give odds.  He has money and he does all sorts of bodily treatments.  Why not mental?  It seems to be what people do.    

"I've become like Great Garbo in her old age."

I did an impression of "I want to be alone" from "Grand Hotel."

Garbo did, in fact, live the life of a recluse.  She left Hollywood at the top of her career and was seldom seen in public after that, living alone in a Manhattan apartment for the rest of her life.  She never married or had children.  Like me. . . she was a True Beauty. 

But as she aged, she was rarely seen.  She did not want to be remembered "that way."  

I truly believe that "misery loves company," and I felt better after talking to Tennessee.  I think that therapy might deepen my feelings rather than alleviate them, though.  This was more like an AA meeting where "losers" sits with a group of fellow travelers and share their misery.  It's probably the same reason people join political parties.  I could sit in a Wobbly meeting with communists and socialists and get the same feeling I imagine.  I have to imagine because I am allergic to groups.  It is impossible for me to join.  I tend to blow things up in any meeting I am in.  

I think the term is "miscreant."  And I am better off with fellow miscreants.  

As I ate, my phone was pinging.  I had texts.  Some were funny, some mysterious.  Then there were the ones I didn't receive.  Those were troubling.  I bantered with the funny ones and texted obscurely to the mysterious ones.  I kept my fingers off the keyboard to those missing.  

One was from my friend traveling in the far east.  She sent me a plethora of photos from Kuala Lumpur.  

"The name alone teases the imagination with intrigue and romance," I wrote.  She "hearted" that one.  I envy her.  My Liberator camera sits ready 100 miles to the north, and I can't bring myself to go and get it.  I tell people I have become "content," but I fear that I have become blasé.  Or worse.  

Cole Porter was the King of Blasé.  He entertained his famous crowd, the McMurphy's and the Fitzgeralds, and the rest of the '20s Royalty Blasé mob fueled by money and liquor.  I have always thought that he wrote the song, but I have been wrong.  It is hard to believe.  Not that I was wrong, but that it wasn't written by Porter.  I've listened to the song a million times.  A hundred thousand?  Tens of thousands?  Well, thousands of times, anyway.  At least hundreds, and it always makes me want a drink.  

And, of course. . . more money.  

And MOTL.  

But, you know. . . I've developed the Garbo Syndrome.  Maybe it is a form of contentment.  

Or maybe it is something else.  

I think I'll take a walk outside.  That is what George Willard's mother tells him to do in "Winesburg, Ohio" when he seems down.  One would have to be a fool not to read that one (link).  That is what is wrong with most people, I suspect.  They have not read it or have not understood.  

Yes. . . I think I shall take a walk outside.  That should do the trick.  

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