Saturday, June 1, 2024

And the Living Is Easy

My week of gluttony is over now.  I hope.  I've been eating and drinking with friends for a solid week, but more if you count my sushi and pizza dinners alone.  I'm a bloated cow.  Now back to the hippie life, I'm hoping, of vegetables and tofu and teas.  I need badly to hydrate.  If I had an Apple Watch, I'd set it to remind me every hour to drink a glass of water.  But I don't.  

I've not been sleeping well at all, and I chalk that up to the bad diet.  Last night turned into a horror show of anxiety as I thought about all the work I have put off for too long.  I have to get the deck scrubbed and painted before the rain comes.  I don't want to, but I must.  It is one of the joys of home ownership they say.  That is not the only thing, but it is the most important.  I don't know why, really, I am so hesitant about doing it.  Maybe it is because I got so sick after pitching the mulch.  Or maybe it is just my overall well-being.  

AND. . . I am going to try to replace the wax seal under my mother's toilet.  I don't want to, but I feel the need to try.  I've asked.  It is not difficult they say.  I keep meaning to watch a YouTube video on it, but so far have managed not to.  As I know it, you cut off the water, drain the tank, remove the floor bolts, lift the toilet, scrape and clean the old seal away and replace it with the new one.  Then you put the toilet back, bolt it back to the floor, and reconnect the water.  What could go wrong?  

I could drop and break the toilet for one.  The bolts into the floor might be corroded or once I get them out, they won't go back.  I don't know.  I'm just spitballing.  If I had any sense at all, I'd just call a plumber to do it.  

C.C. and I had a nice, long lunch on a shaded patio with a gentle breeze.  Burgers and beer.  We sat long enough to see the shift change.  We talked about his recent and upcoming travels.  We talked about art.  He talked about going back to work and I talked about how lazy I have become.  Then, just before we left, we had a little adventure about which I want to write but can't as my only way to describe it is so off-color and wrong that I would be cancelled, I'm certain.  As we walked away, C.C. said, "That'll be in tomorrow's blog," and I said, "Of course," but as I wrote about it in my head, shaping the descriptives I would use, I knew I could never use it.  Race, gender, age. . . it is all wrong.  

But at least it was something strange, something out of the ordinary.  That can happen when you leave the house.  

It was so late in the afternoon when we finished up, I had to go straight to my mother's.  She seemed to be doing well, and her 90 year old neighbor came over with her little dog that runs like the devil when her leash is released and jumps up immediately and without warning into my mother's lap.  It is good dog therapy.  Science tells us that we release endorphins and feel the pleasure the dog feels when it is being petted.  Science?  Maybe only psychology.  There may be some science behind it, though.  I think it is good for my mother.  She gets the love without having to let the dog out to pee in the night, without cleaning up poop, etc.  

Her neighbor is a hoot and we always have a good time.  But. . . as we sat in the afternoon breeze and I told her about the canasta travesty, a car pulled into the driveway.  It was the across the street neighbor.  He was on his way to a pool tournament, but he stopped to tell me that he bought all the canasta paraphernalia.  He and his wife have been learning to play.  I laughed and said I knew nothing about the game, and he said, "You'd better learn.  We're playing on Sunday night."  WTF?!  How is it possible?  

When he left, the 90 year old was in stitches.  

"I told you," I said.  "Now what?"

I had told myself I would skip dinner that night, but after I got home and fixed a Campari and soda that I had on the deck with the feeding kitty, I got hungry.  Was it physical hunger, I wondered?  Surely not.  It had to be a psychological hunger, a food addiction if you will.  All the new medicines like Wegovy and Ozempic, the semaglutide drugs that people are using for weight loss, work by curbing appetite.  People don't eat as much.  It doesn't do anything else.  It doesn't dissolve fat or speed up metabolisms.  People just eat less.  And when they stop the drug, they put the weight back on.  There are plenty of side effects that accompany the drug use, and I think, "Why don't people just learn to control their appetites?"  That is what I was thinking as I did a mental inventory of what I had in the house that I could make a dinner from.  In the end, it was soup, salad, and scotch.  

While I ate, I queried YouTube for documentaries on Lucien Freud.  He was infamously allergic to cameras and was a recluse, it is is often reported, for most of his life, but it seems that toward the end, he began to give interviews here and there.  It is a shame, I think, that we don't have interviews with the young, roguish Freud.  But at least we have something.  Here is the most well-done and revealing, I think, of what I watched.  

There are others that are interesting, and you can search them on your own if you are curious.  After all I had read about him, however, I was surprised at how introverted he seemed in conversation.  More than surprised, really. One never knows.  

On the Trump thing.  I think I lost a friend yesterday, my longtime conservative pal.  His MAGA conspiracy shit just stirs me up, and I wrote some things that he took personally, I guess, and said he was signing off as I was being "smug."  It was a like a sudden slap in the face.  It stung, then hurt.  I, of course, did not respond.  For awhile, I thought I was angry, but then I realized it wasn't anger but embarrassment.  It was, I realized, true, and he was incisive in using the word.  Unwillingly, I thought about it, thought about the concept wondering how often I have been smug.  It took awhile.  All my defenses were up.  Slowly, however, I would let some self-revelation seep in.  I couldn't look at some of it head on, you know, but only in sideward glances.  Of course my brain would slide away from it, but last night lying half awake in bed, the dam seemed to burst and I was covered in it.  It was painful.  

Isn't there a smugness to self-deprecation?  Doesn't it seem to give you license to denigrate others?  I was like a man on fire.  

I could fire back, of course.  He is in no way a humble man.  I could go back and find instances that would implicate him just the same.  But I don't want to be defensive.  I want to be corrective.  Humble is the antonym.  Thoughtful, I think, would lie somewhere in between.  I am often too prideful of my ability to argue, and there is always great danger in that.  What is won in an argument?  What is lost?  

Right now, my corrective is simply to smile and nod like a dolt.  That won't last, I know, just like my decision that girls don't like me anymore.  But for now, I'm all smiles and dolt nodding.  It seems the safest bet.  

It is June.  Just.  I will prep the deck for cleaning today.  I've decided that I want to spend a carefree Saturday getting back to my hippie lifestyle.  Maybe I'll pump up the bike tires and ride for awhile.  Exploration.  Otherwise, there are some little markets I'd like to explore.  Then, after I am satiated, I'll move the furniture and plants off the deck and prepare the materials I will need tomorrow morning first thing for scrubbing and pressure washing.  I think I might be able to do much of it before the sun is beating down on me.  

But it depresses me just like canasta and changing the wax seal on the toilet does.  I am fat, anxious, depressed, and ashamed.  That's a hell of a combo.  But I think after the deck is done and the toilet resealed, and after I get over my friend's snub and become indignant again, everything will be fine.  

What I really need to do, though, is make some art (link).  There is something healthful in that, so they say.  I mean. . . just look at Freud.  


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