Saturday, February 24, 2024

Could Be Fun

Traveling and eating.  One has to make choices.  All the good, healthy shit at home is gone.  Sure, you can buy an apple or a banana, but meals are going to be cooked by someone else.  I like the travel shows.  They always know where to eat, and it is always good no matter if it is in the streets of Viet Nam or a Michelin starred restaurant in Paris.  I don't remember Rick Steves ever saying, "Well, that was just about the shittiest meal I've ever eaten."  

For the rest of us, though, without a crew and on our own. . . .  It can be an expensive crapshoot.  I am not one to spend much of his travel dollars on expensive meals alone.  It's too risky.  

I left Miami with an empty gas tank and had to stop at the first service plaza available to buy the country's most expensive gas.  I was going to get some coffee, but the line for Dunkin' Donuts was out the door.  Nobody was at the Wendy's counter.  So. . . I got coffee. . . AND. . . a Wendy's Breakfast Sandwich.  My god, how do they do it?  How do they take the cheapest food sources they can get and turn them into something so delicious?  This was the best breakfast sandwich I have ever eaten.  O.K.  I never eat them.  But it was good enough that I was considering stopping at the next service plaza for another.  

Oh what a way to start a new day!

This, of course, after dissing Q for the Sandwicherie.  I should say that the sandwich there was about the cheapest thing you could eat on S. Beach.  I should thank him.  I was just tired, I guess, and really disappointed that I couldn't get a beer.  

I could turn my drive home into an Odyssey, a Homeric epic drive against the brutal forces of Aeolus, the God of Wind, and Chaos, the Greek God of. . . well. . . chaos.  But I won't.  I'll just say that Miami is like all the big cities in Florida, completely unplanned, and the highway system is far too small to handle the influx of meatheads.  Florida rose from the swamps and wetlands to become a morass of haphazard shopping centers and retail outlets.  That's what the highways are for.  

Home, I unpacked, changed, and went to the gym for a sweat.  I needed to stretch my legs.  Then mid-afternoon, I went to my mother's.  And there it hit me--my so-called life.  My mother and cousin were sitting inside the darkened house, my mother watching television, my cousin looking at her computer.  There was no lilt in their voices.  I tried to tell them about Miami, but they wanted to talk about the financial lunch they had gone to.  My spirit sunk.  This is what I do.  Every day.  Just a minute away and. . . you begin to see again.  

So, even before showering, when I got home, I made a drink.  

This was not routine, I told myself. . . it was ritual.  I waited for the cat, but she never came.  The neighbor's cat did, though, and he was unusually glad to see me.  Well, I thought. . . it is good to be missed.  

After the Campari, I took a hot Epsom salts soak.  O.K.  I freshened my drink, too.  I lay in the tub, drink at hand, and slipped into dreamland.  I lay there with a head full of pixies and sprites.  The cooling water, however, made me move.  Shower.  Beard trimmer.  Unguents.  Nail clippers.  A check in the mirror.  Did I lose weight?  

A dinner of cut carrots and cabbage, avocado, chick peas, garlic, and chicken in a deep bowl.  A citrusy New Zealand Blanc.  Then the rain.  Texts.  T.V.  No. . . I couldn't do t.v.  I picked up a new photo book that came while I was gone, works from 1972-73 shot in a fishing village in Newfoundland by a graduate student in art on a big 8x10 camera.  Fairly fascinating.  I was bushed by Epsom salt, hot water, food and drink, but it was far too early for bed.  I struggled out of my chair, cleaned the kitchen, and grabbed the card out of one of my cameras.  I would just download the images and see.  I was feeling glum, though.  I wasn't sure if I did anything good.  I wasn't up, really for a big disappointment.  

The files were large and took a long time to show up.  Then. . . oh, no. . . shit. . . wait. . . oh!  And another.  I'm not sure, but maybe. . . there might be one or two good ones in here.  I put on some music and decided to do the first, preliminary adjustments to the files.  I would just go through, rank the ones I would look at again, and get them ready for processing.  

Text.  "Meet us at the Porch Festival in Grit City tomorrow.  We have a golf cart for six."  

It was the girl who almost asked me out.  She was going with two other women from the factory, part of my crowd.  

"I'll text you if I go.  I'll be the fellow with the cameras." 

Grit City.  The music festival takes place on the deep front porches of the old houses all over town.  It has been called the best music festival in the sate.  It is not my kind of thing. . . but. . . you know. . . a more active life.  Next week there is a Strawberry Festival in a distant town, too.  Yea. . . I need to get out.  

The music. . . the images. . . I thought I'd just try cooking one up to see what it would look like.  

Oh, yes. . . I liked it fine.  Maybe another.  

I looked at the clock.  It was almost one.  I was cranked.  This was like the old days when I had the studio and would work at the computer with music playing far too late into the night.  Jacked.  It is something.  

The cat was waiting for me when I got up way after sunrise.  I had asked the tenant to feed her while I was gone, but she said she never saw her.  Well. . . the cat is fed now.  And the sun is bright and the sky is blue and the day is like an oyster with a hidden pearl.  I must eschew my old ways, must not fall back into the pattern.  Maybe I'll go to breakfast now.  Hell--there's a Wendy's not far away!  But maybe an omelet at my favorite breakfast joint.  

Yea. . . let's get ready for the pickathon.  Who knows?  Just got a text confirming my friends will pick me up wherever I park.  Yeehaw!  Who knows?  It could be fun.  

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