Sunday, May 5, 2024

Quite the Day

And that is over for another year.  I only have the garden to do today and the mulch will be smoothed and done.  The neighborhood people walking by, and this is a walking neighborhood, all had a friendly comment or two for me.  

"Looking good."

"I'll let you know tomorrow if I'm still the cowboy I was last year."

"That's a lot of work."

"The pile seems to get bigger each time they deliver it."

"Why'd you wait until it got hot?"

"Because I'm lazy and stupid."


It gets much more difficult near the end, of course.  It is a struggle to finish, but then. . . . 

This year it was coconut water that got me through.  

After a long soak in the tub and a shower, I dressed and headed for the shaved ice place.  I was looking forward to seeing the fellow there as a few people I have told about the place have gone and said I sent them.  But he was not there.  It was a woman instead.  She wasn't as much fun.  She simply took my order, took my money, gave me the ice, and said thank you.  There weren't any cool people hanging around, either.  Things can't always be magical no matter how much you want them to be, no matter how hard you try.  Still. . . 

I enjoyed the ice.  It hit the proverbial spot.  

Then to mother's.  She is not feeling so well since her fall.  Her blood pressure has gone up, too.  I'm getting concerned and sad.  It affects me in untold ways.  It is hard to carry on, hard to think about having fun when I know she is not.  I'm not so very good at compartmentalizing things.  

But the Kentucky Derby was coming on, and I wanted to watch it in a crowd rather than by myself alone at home, so I went to my favorite Italian restaurant and got a seat at the outside bar.  I ordered chicken and shrimp over pasta with a creamy vodka sauce and asked the barmaid to pair a wine with it.  The wine was meh but the meal was good.  I ate and watched the television and watched the crowd.  There were old men in hats and Hawaiian shirts sitting at the bar next to the woman with the shiny skin that I told you about before.  Down from me was another man in a Hawaiian shirt who is there every time I come.  It is a "regular" crowd that comes to the bar.  And so I ate and watched and felt conspicuous among the crowd.  

I finished my meal just before they began to bring the horses to the starting gates, and I ordered a Sambuca.  I took a sip as they loaded the last of the horses into the gate. . . and they were off.  

I had written my friends that I was betting on Forever Young simply because of the name.  It's an old Dylan song, but I just like the sentiment.  I didn't really wager, though, and I said that if the horse won, I'd be feeling silly.  But I don't like to bet money on things I can't control, so it was o.k.  The horse was sitting at 6 to 1 odds, not bad, really.  

There was no audio at the bar, and I didn't know which horses were ahead until the final turn when they posted a graphic showing the leaders.  And down the straightaway, the leaders changed radically.  If you have ever run a four hundred meter race, you have some idea how those horses are feeling coming toward the wire.  They try, but they've burned all the glucose off and the oxygen is gone and it comes down to who has what left.  And then, just before the finish, wild eyed, hearts pumping, veins about to explode, three horses pulled up neck to neck to neck.  

It was a photo finish.  There had never been a Derby finish like this one.  The crowd was going nuts.  The horse in the middle of the picture, in red, is Forever Young placing third by mere inches.  

When I got home, the cat was on the deck mewing in a new way, a double mew.  She was saying something, I'm certain, in cat language.  I didn't know the words, but I could feel the sentiment.  Poor kitty.  Her life is rough.  

She was insistent about eating, so of course I hurried to feed her.  Then I poured a whiskey and came out to join her.  The neighbor's cat came, too.  When he saw the freshly mulched drive, however, he was off to explore.  He is a curious cat.  

The sun doesn't set here now until eight o'clock and it isn't really dark until 8:30.  When I came inside, there was still the last glowing of the long day.  In the morning, I had gotten a message from Amazon that Woody Allen's new film, "Coup de Chance," was available to rent. . . so that is what I did.  

The movie was probably O.K., but I was bugged by having to read the subtitles instead of watching the action.  The dialog is machine gun quick, so I was reading most of the time.  I should go back and watch it without reading just to "see" the film. . . but I probably won't.  

Why oh why, Woody, why?  

It is, I think, like giving up your citizenship.  


It was quite a day to be sure.  Now I have to rip out the old garden and put in a new one.  I should.  But I'm not sure.  I feel like going out for a long walk in Gotham, having a mimosa at the Cafe. . . something.  But I should and probably will just do the work.  

The soundtrack to the Allen film is quite good, and the recurring song is "Cantaloup Island," by Nat Adderley.  Long ago, I met Nat when I was doing a series of jazz videos featuring Noble "Slim Man" Watts and Sam Rivers.  I don't know what happened to all those videos.  I wish I had them now.  I think they might be worth something.  

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