Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

I have to make up my mind in a minute or two whether or not I am going south for a few days.  I think the deciding fucked me up last night.  I woke at one in a panic.  I tried to go back to sleep, but it was useless.  I got up and took a Xanax.  I lay back down and waited.  When it hit me, my body relaxed and the anxiety subsided.  Mostly.  I still didn't sleep.  I lay in my poorly made bed (more on that in a minute, perhaps) and thought, "Is there something wrong with me?  Have I developed some psychological illness?  Have I become afraid to leave the house? " 

And the answer was an unimpeachable, "Yes."  At least that is the conclusion I drew.  I have become housebound.  Not the house, actually.  But in the main, I guess I take some solace there.  This morning, as I sit here at sunrise, I tell myself I should pack and go.  

"It will be fun."  


"What do you mean?"

"It's expensive.  There will be a lot of traffic.  It will be hard to get around to do what you want to do.  You'll be alone and there will be a very little chance of romance."

And that is true, I think, for a number of reasons.  Travel and romance were once synonymous.  I knew.  Later, traveling with my girl, I was content.  Now, traveling alone. . . I don't know.  So many places have become homogenized clones of one another.  I don't want to go to the mall.  That's what places have become whether literally or figuratively.  They all look the same, whatever "they" are.  

It is the expense that is killing me.  I used to go lay up in some little mom and pop place on the beach and walk on the beach, sit by the pool, go for excursions, all for very little.  This weekend, a cheap room in Miami--and I'm talking about a Yotel--is just shy of $300/night.  Plus $60/night to house the car.  I could buy a new Fuji X100VI for less than a three night stay.  

Whatever.  Consider it therapy money, right?  Unless, of course, I fall apart.  Come undone.  Unravel at the frayed edges.  

Travis is raging at this and will send me caustic texts when he reads this.  But he now travels in the main with his wife.  Q travels, but never alone.  He doesn't even stay in hotels.  He's always bedding down on some family's couch.  C.C. now travels with his wife.  My mountain boy has an entire family with him most of the time.  Tennessee either goes with family or friends or goes to where he has friends.  Sky travels for work or with the fam.  

These are the people telling me to go.  

The thing is, I have travelled alone most of my life.  It started after college when I hitched the country for three months on a Kerouac-style adventure.  But as I have said, travel and romance were inextricably combined.  Now. . . "Hey lady, can you help me up these steps?"

You know what I mean.  

I swore I wouldn't put this in the blog, but I am unable not to confess.  Crack my head open and watch the writhing snakes.  A quarter a shot.  Step right up.  One single quarter and see for yourself.  

Nah.  You get it for free.  

I probably won't go.  It's cold.  It's expensive.  It's far.  

O.K. The poorly made bed.  I was a mess yesterday.  I woke up late but felt funky.  By the time I did my usual and then cleaned up the house for the maids, I started sorting camera gear, packing it into bags, trying to evaluate what I could and should take.  The morning was gone.  I'd go to the gym in a bit.  I made avocado toast with eggs.  Full, I needed to wait.  I sat down and wrote and answered texts.  Suddenly it was three.  I wasn't going to the gym.  At three-thirty, I decided to take a shower and go to my mother's.  It was 4:30 when I left the house for the first time that day.  

I left my phone in the car when I went into my mother's house.  The maids were on their way when I left, so I thought to stay awhile.  When I got to my car to leave, I had a message from Lamine.  

"The sheets were wet.  We couldn't put them on the bed.  Sorry." 

Shit, fuck, piss, goddamn!  I had forgotten to put them in the drier.  My favorite part of having the maids is having them change the sheets.  

I didn't go home.  I went to the good Mexican restaurant instead.  I ordered Carnitas, big chunks of pork that have soaked in beer for over a day.  There is nothing so tender as those great chunks of pork.  

And two spicy skinny margaritas.  I could have been sitting in a restaurant on Calle Ocho, but I couldn't have eaten or drunk any better.  

Back home, belly swollen with food and drink, I had to put the sheets and pillow cases and blankets on the bed.  First the fitted sheet.  Once.  Nope.  The other way.  Again.  Nope. What the fuck is wrong?  I saw a tag.  The sheet was inside out.  Start over.  Nope.  Turn it.  It didn't seem to fit any way I turned it.  I stretched it as best I could and said it would have to do.  It didn't lay flat, though.  I lay out the pillow cases, different sizes for pillows of different lengths.  How in the hell do you get the King Size pillow cases on the long King Size pillows?  I tuck one end of the pillow under my chin, but my arms aren't long enough to reach the bottom. And why do I have three of them?  Two new pillows that I can't sleep on.  Three regular sized pillows.  I throw them toward the headboard and grab the top sheet and then the heavy comforter.  I am sweating.  My shoulder muscles are burning.  I'm breathing heavy.  

I try tucking the bottom in the way the maids do so I am swaddled when I sleep.  When I am done, though. . . I would have been kicked out of the service if I had been drafted.  I can't make a bed.  

And, indeed, the sheets and covers were all pulled into a ball when I got up this morning.  I was not swaddled.  Maybe that is why I slept so poorly.  

I've not decided to go.  Remember, as the hillbilly song goes, I'm more to be pitied than scolded.  I need support, not criticism.  I'm a sweet boy.  Love me.  

What do want from the liquor store?

Something sour or something sweet?

I'll buy all that your belly can hold.

You can be sure you won't suffer no more.

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