Tuesday, March 26, 2024

I Worry About You

I wrote a blog post last night.  It began, "I think I like writing the blog at night. . . ."  When I read it this morning, though, I deleted it.  If I let all my blog posts sit overnight and then read them in the morning, I would probably delete the majority of them.  Now I will write in the usual way, straight out of my head with no re-reading or editing.  Surely it will be one I would delete tonight.  

Maybe it was the call I got from Q last night.  Apparently he had just gotten back from NYC.  The boy is always going somewhere.  I'm not sure where he stayed or what he did, but he seemingly had a good time.  He called me from his car on the way to the grocers, so the conversation did not last long.  Part of what he told me, though, was that I needed to get out, have friends, talk to people. . . .  The subtext was that the blog sucked, that people are tired of hearing the inside of my head.  

Wow!  If he thinks he's tired of the inside of my noggin, he should try living with it.  But he's not the only one who has criticized the writing lately.  What can I say?  You gotta dance with the date you brought to the ball.  

What else can I do?

He asked me something about retirement, if I was happier or having more fun or something.  That's when I was pretty certain he doesn't really read the blog.  

"For sure, dude.  My life is one hundred times better now.  All I do is have fun."

For those of you who do read (anyone?), you know that my retirement was the equivalent of "The Perfect Storm."  

Still, I know that people are worried about me.  That's nice.  

"How are you feeling?  Are you better?"

Puzzled.  "Better than what?"

"You were feeling kind of down."

More puzzled.  "Never better.  Fit as a fiddle."

"Oh, good."

Then it occurred to me.  There are conversations that happen when you are not around.  I mean me, when I'm not around.  

"Where's your buddy?"

"He's at home curled up in a fetal position.  His ovaries have been hurting."

Fucking Tennessee.  

This happened at the gym yesterday after I was not told I was dying.  That has to wait another week.  When I went to the doctor's office yesterday and signed in, I was told I did not have an appointment.  

"I have a card that says I do."

Brow furrowed, the woman with what I assume is a very low IQ looks at her computer.  

"I don't have you down.  Did you bring the card?"

"No.  It is at home."

Now she's got something.  

"You need to bring the card with whoever made your appointments signature on it."

Total bullshit.  But she is going to plow ahead.

"You should always call the day before to see if you have an appointment."

I'm too savvy to argue with a moron with some power over my situation, so I just stand there looking at her waiting for something to click in her partially developed brain.  She looks for another appointment time and sets me up for next Monday.  

I have another week of depressed anxiety before Doctor Death gets to fuck with me again.  

I shouldn't curse so much.  And it is not nice to call people morons.  I'm taking too many liberties here. 

When I got to the gym, I wasn't in a talking mood.  I am not one to start conversations anyway.  I never believe that anyone is hoping I will come over and say something to them.  I think, in truth, they would probably rather I didn't.  If I know someone, I will weakly smile and wave in recognition, but that is just a common courtesy.  I especially never start a conversation with women at the gym.  I watch fellows do it all the time, and I note the way women react.  If a women like some boy, she will let him know.  She'll smile and say hello or ask him how he's been.  But you can see the tension in their bodies when they catch a glimpse of some fellow making a beeline for them in the mirror.  

Not me.  No, sir.  Not old C.S.  

So I'm working out, keeping my eyes to myself, when one of the pretty, young gymroid girls says, "Where's your buddy?"

She's talking about Tennessee.  

"You look kinda lonely," she giggles.  "Do you miss him?"

"Oh, sure.  My life isn't the same when he's gone.  I don't spend a lot of money going out for dinner and drinks.  I don't have anyone sucking up my good liquor."

She laughs.  We chat.  I think she has a little crush on T.  

A bit later, another woman wants to know what's up.  "Are you feeling better?"

Jesus.  For awhile, Tennessee had people convinced that I was a Furry.  When I missed a few days at the gym, he told everyone I was at a Furry convention.  One older woman asked what that was.  

"Oh, he dresses up in an armadillo costume,"he told her.  "It's his spirit animal."

She thought that was nice and asked if I would be willing to dress up one day and read to he children's group.  That story just about never died.  

The two retired nurses come by.  I tell them about my morning.  

"Who's your doctor?"

I tell them.  

"Really?  Do you like her?"


They suggest that I get another doctor.  

"As you get older, it is important that you have a doctor you feel good about."  

I tell them how I feel about doctors.  I complain about the psyche evaluation questions I have to fill out every visit.  

"Do you ever have thoughts of harming yourself?  Really?  They make sure that everyone lies to their doctor.  She gets paid for that!  What a scam."

"It's required by law," they tell me.  

Wow!  What a crock.  Some lobbyist got that through.  Cha-ching.

"It's also required by law that she report anything like that to the proper authorities," I say.  

I realize that I am not doing myself any favors here if I want people to quit asking me how I am doing.  

"Oh. . . he was talking about lying to his doctor on the psyche eval.  That's scary." 

I think the blog has started spilling over into real life.  Maybe there has become a blurring of lines between the character here and the real me.  

Real me?  Wouldn't that be something.

A long time ago, a photographer from Belarus with whom I traded photos wrote to me, "When you can't take pictures, don't take pictures."  Good advice.  And when you can't write?

Well. . . I like the photo I posted today.  I wouldn't know how to explain it to someone not schooled in "the fine art of photography."  There is a visual history you'd have to know.  Eggleston.  Cohen.  Etc. Fragments.  Uncertain elements.  Negative spaces.  Intrusive, provocative, imbalanced. . . blah blah blah.  

"Everything is photographable."

"Why do you take photographs?"

"To see what things look like when they are photographed."

Do you know who said that?  Those are famous quotations.  

"How can they be famous if people don't know them?  That's rather contradictory, don't you think?"

Yea, I guess it's like those song lyrics--"Can you still have any famous last words/ If you're somebody that nobody knows?"

Last night the street collapsed on itself
In fact, it broke right in two
And I fell in
The strawberry vines
Into a pool of strawberry wine
Strawberry wine and clouds
Burning in the desert, surrounded in flowers
But the stems breaks the armor
And the morning comes
Until it's all just the same things again
Oh god
Don't spend too much time on the other side
Let the daylight in
Before you get old and you can't break out of it
My old friend
'Cause its getting winter, and if you want any flowers
You gotta get your seeds into the ground,
And I worry about you
Why? Because you want me to

Can you still have any famous last words
If you're somebody nobody knows
I don't know
Somebody go and ask Clair
She's been dead twenty years just look at her hair
Strawberry blonde with curls
She gets hair done then she gossips
With the younger waitress girls at the bar
The old Irish Rose
Drinking strawberry wine
Until it comes out her nose
She spent too much time on the other side
And she forgot to let the daylight in
Before you get old you'd better break out of it
My old friend
'Cause its getting winter and if you want any flowers
You gotta get your seeds in to the ground
And I worry about you
Why? Because you want me too
This fella downtown, he jumped off a bridge
He was angry about a letter he received from his friend
He fell in
To the arms of the most beautiful girl
That have ever, ever lived in the history of the world
And with nothing left to lose he got screwed
He sold his apartment before they made him move
Then he jumped straight in
To the San Francisco Bay
Now he lives on Molly's farm
Picking berries all day
Don't spend too much time on the other side
Let the daylight in
Marty was a kid when he learned to steal boats
His dad was a deejay on the radio
He fell in
To a life of riverboating crime
He's the man you see in prison
If you want strawberry wine
Strawberry wine and smokes
He sent a letter to his friend
Explaining one night on coke
He and Clair
Jumped right in to the strawberry vines
And lord knows you get lost
On that strawberry wine
Don't spend too much time on the other side
Let the daylight in
Now I'm getting old and I gotta break out of it
My old friend
'Cause its getting winter and if I want any flowers
I gotta get my seeds in to the ground
And if you worry about me
Don't bother
I'll be fine

I'm just sitting here laughing
Little old me and my
Strawberry wine

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