Sunday, March 10, 2024

It's O.K. with Me

I guess I made a mistake last night.  Somehow, I stayed up beyond the time change.  Bad.  I've fallen victim to the whole thing.  I'm already dragging.  ¡Ay, caramba!  

I guess that's not accurate, though.  I changed my clocks after midnight, but the official change I think is after the bars close.  I'm not sure.  

But it was a weird day all around.  I didn't leave the house until I had to go to my mother's.  She called and was miffed.  She had bought an exercise bike at a garage sale and wanted me to pick it up in the Xterra.  When I got to her house, my cousin texted the people, but they had just gone to dinner.  My mother and cousin kind of looked at me like I had somehow screwed the pooch.  WTF on two counts.  Why was it my deal?  And why is a 92 year old woman buying an exercise bike?  

"It was only $10."

While I was sitting there, the 90 year old neighbor stopped by on her tricycle.  She had her little dog in the front basket.  She usually loves me, but this afternoon she wasn't so very enamored with me.  I guess I wasn't funny.  

When she left, the pretty lady from another street came walking up with her two big dogs.  My mother and cousin think I should hook up with her.  

"Do you think she is going to ask me out?" I laugh.  I'm certain she has a plethora of suitors.  She looks like the pages of a magazine.  

Her dogs are pretty raucous.  They seem vicious.  But when she came up with them this day, they were all over me wanting love.  They are big, and the female jumped up on me where I sat and put her paws on my shoulders and started kissing me.  The pretty lady was surprised.  

"Oh, no. . . get down, get down. . . I'm sorry. . . ."

"No, it's o.k.  It's been awhile since I've been kissed."

"I know what you mean," she laughed.  Hmm.  

I had gotten there later than usual and stayed longer than I intended.  I needed to make a run to the liquor store and to the grocers, but it was getting late and I made a choice.  


I had eaten the leftovers from my steak dinner for lunch, so I wasn't really starving.  Maybe I'd have something at home to cook up.  Probably not, but I am a creative sort, so I chanced it.  

The cat was waiting and complaining when I pulled into my driveway.  

"Meow, meow. . . meow. . . O.K. . . O.K. . . . Hold on."

I sat my stuff on the counter and got the cat food.  She's been watching me pet the neighbor's cat when I give him a couple of kibbles, and now she follows me closely and leans in very near my hand when I put the food in the bowl, but I ain't touching her.  She's a wildcat.  Who knows what crazy shit she'd do.  

Still, you know. . . the women I am attracted to. . . .  There IS a history. 

After I had all that settled, I made my afternoon Campari and soda, lit a cheroot, and went out to keep Kit Kat company.   That is when I noticed something strange.  The tree pollen has been falling here like rain.  Everything outside is covered in a golden green sheen.  I've swept my deck a couple times, but within a few minutes you can't tell it was ever done.  When I sat my Campari glass on the glass table, I noticed it had been wiped.  The pollen was gone.  Then I noticed the deck had been swept in an evil way.  Someone had pushed all the pollen not out into the yard but up against the house.  The hair on the back of my neck tingled.  I ran through a catalog of people who might have done this.  Really, it made no sense.  I looked at the yard.  Nope.  It wasn't the yardman.  Was this supposed to be funny, or was it a warning of some sort?  

There was no way for me to know right then.  

The phone pinged.  It was a text from the girl who finally asked me out.  She was sitting under a palm tree somewhere.  I hadn't heard from her since Porch Fest.  There were no words, just the picture.  I texted back, "That looks awful."  

Ping.  Another text. This time it was her cocktail.  I sent back a picture of mine.  

I got back a red heart emoji.  Shit.  I always forget to like the photos people send.  

I put on a song that I have been playing over and over again.  It is what I have told my privileged friends "an anthem to my people."  

Some say the world is made for fun and frolic 
And so say I, indeed oh so say I 
But I’ve got to go and earn my greasy dollar 
So I can keep on working 'til I die

The woman is from West Virginia and announces herself as a full on hillbilly.  She is, of sorts, kind of like me.  Ph.D. and pretty as a picture.  She likes hillbilly music and I think to send the song to her.  But it seems too eager to me, so I stop myself.  I sit in the last light of the day and play the song again singing along with the lyrics suddenly realizing I have them wrong.  Why?  Why do I keep singing,

"So I can get to heaven before I die."


It's a clever mistake on my part, sure, but a mystery, too.  The second one, the swept deck being the first.  Were I Thomas Pynchon, I'd be thinking "conspiracy."  You've read him, surely.  If not. . . there's a pretty good movie.

But why haven't you read him?  

I can barely see the cat now in the dying light as she slowly walks back to wherever she lives and disappears behind the wooden fence.  I Google "David Childers."  Turns out he's a hell of a guy.  Reminds me of that journalist who lived down in Mexico that Travis keeps telling me to read.  I've read some. They are similar.  I take it that Childers is a reformed attorney.  Ha!  I like that.  I listen to the end of the song once more, pick up my things and, turning my back to the darkness, go back into the house.  

What to do?  I'm not really hungry, but I will be.  I search the fridge, the cabinets.  I have the rest of the Brussel sprouts I didn't cook last night.  There is some left over brown jasmine rice.  I pull down a pack of spicy lentil stew.  I look in the freezer.  That is always an adventure.  I spy a package of. . . freezer burned cube steaks.  

I cook.  I make a mess.  It isn't worth it.  The dinner was fairly appalling.  At least, though, I had gone to the liquor store.  

I check my email.  There is one from Q.  He is complaining about an argument he had with a woman in Tahoe.  He explains.  I write back simply, "Mansplaining, silly."  

In another email, Apple News has an article complaining about the masculine toxicity of Hollywood and the Oscars, so I add. . . "Fuck Oscar.  And the Barbie goes to. . . ."  

Q argues with me about Taylor Swift.  I just don't get her appeal.  I've said, though, that I might like her in a club playing acoustic.  For me, her music is WAY overproduced.  But then I come across this. 

My argument collapses.  "I was wrong," I write.  "She needs to be overproduced.  She needs all of that."

But I have fallen into the trap.  Just another toxic male, I know.  I get it.  I understand.  

O.K.  Sorry.  Sorry sorry sorry.  I know it's the time change that's messed me up.  I'll be better in a few days.  

After dinner and a little t.v., I look at the clock.  Uh-oh.  It must have been the whiskey.  Or maybe something else.  As I say, I hadn't left the house all day other than my mandatory trip to mother's.  I worry.  Have I fallen back into the old ways?  Am I depressed and housebound once again?  

I'd need something to sleep.  

I wake late.  Or is it?  I had changed the clocks before bed.  The sun is up.  I don't know.  I get up to coffee and texts.  A photo of a coffee cup on bare legs looking out over a balcony to the beach.  

"Where are you?"

"San Juan."

"Be careful.  That's where the whole Depp/Heard fiasco began."

She is hooking up there with my friend who moved to the midwest in a few days.  She is alone now ready to explore the old city.  

"Girls Gone Wild."

"Ha!  I was in bed before ten."

Well. . . that's attractive.  

I have things I must do today.  I have plans.  But I have a terrible feeling none of them will get done.  I think it's O.K., though.  I haven't simply been staring into empty space.  I've been working on photos.  I started building a website, but it looked like shit and I deleted it all.  That is going to be a lot of work.  It is going to be hard.  

But the photos!  Oo-la-la.  

I know one thing now.  I need to get out.  I need to talk to people.  I need to travel.  

My friend from the midwest sends photos of her mother and father on their honeymoon in Puerto Rico.  Holy shit are they gorgeous.  The color has faded from the snapshots so that they are mostly reds and browns.  She is going to meet up with the other woman in Rincon where her parents spent their honeymoon.  

"I think my father has a Hunter Thompson vibe."  

I send her the same message about Heard/Depp.

"Buy the ticket, take the ride."

She hearts that.  I think she has.  

But goddamnit, I have once again forgotten to like the photos she sent.  

Crazy ladies.  It's O.K with me.  

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