Tuesday, July 9, 2024


Two grand.  That's what the a.c. is going to cost me.  I'm doomed.  I'll never go anywhere again. . . except, maybe, back to work.  Or I could invest the way the smart boys do.  I could become a gambler or join the Mafia.  Do people still deal drugs?  Or maybe I'll just give up and join a cult.  

When I dropped my car off at the shop, I had a decision to make, Uber or walk.  I hadn't walked that far in over a year.  I'd just come from the gym, so it was almost noon.  

"Don't be a sissy," was the last voice I heard.  "It's just walking."

In ninety five degree weather under a cloudless sky.  Dumb.  My knee hurt.  My back hurt.  I hadn't drunk any water.  

As I limped along, early on, I thought, "This will get you ready for NYC."

I sweat through my t-shirt.  Then my head began to ache at the base of my skull.  Then it got worse.  

Five miles later, I was back home drinking a quart of coconut water.  Good electrolytes and plenty of potassium.  I started an Epsom Salts bath, got a can of sparkling water, and sank into the tub.  I showered.  I dried my hair well and fell into bed.  I'd sleep away the heat of the day.  

When I got up, I called my mother and gave her the news.  "I won't be over today," I said.  

3:30.  No car.  I had to wait 'til four, I said.  Then I made a Campari and soda.  I decided to add a bit of sweet vermouth and a little gin.  The cat was on the deck, waiting.  I'd drunk a half gallon of water, or so it seemed, and I still hadn't peed.  As I sat down on the wrought iron chair, I realized I had not eaten anything all day.  I'd loaded my drink with ice.  It tasted good, bitter, sweet, and cold.  Having not eaten, it had an immediate effect.  

I got a text from a girl who had not bothered to respond to me on July the 4th.  Fuck her, I thought, and didn't reply.  I don't care anymore.  

The cat finished eating and lay down on the deck facing me.  In the not too distant north, the sky was blackening.  The cat sniffed the air.  

"You'd better get somewhere dry, kit-kit.  There's going to be a storm."

We both could smell the rain.  

It was five.  I could heat up some dinner, leftovers from dinner with mother.  Little red beans, pork tenderloin, rice.  I cooked up some fresh Brussel's sprouts.  As everything heated, I turned on tv and watched some news headlines.  Same old stuff.  Biden's defiant.  He'll bring down the whole party ticket "downstream."  News speak.  I disdain word fads.  I turn it off.  

Dinner.  I watch something unremarkable.  I'd made too much food and push my plates away.  I go back to the deck.  The sky is getting dark.  I sit for awhile thinking.  I'd gotten a text earlier. 

"What year is your car?  Do you think it is worth spending two thousand dollars?"

I was surely getting ripped off, but. . . I don't know.  That's the thing.  I don't know.  I'm not ready to buy a new "vehicle."  Cop talk, broad term.  My choices right now, if I were forced, would be a Mazda something, the little CX 5, I think.  They are not so expensive and everyone--well--every woman--at work had one and loved it.  The people across the street from my mother have two and the people who make us come to dinner have one.  $30,000 base.  The boys at the gym could make fun of me.  

Or, an F-150.   Maybe.  There are many different versions.  $40-80,000.  I wouldn't be entertaining the $80,000 one.  

But I don't want to right now.  I'll keep driving Old Paint for a bit longer. . . just like my Volvo.  

But you know. . . driving a shitty car was more attractive when I was younger.  I mean, it was just a sign that I didn't care.  Now. . . it seems something else.  I remember giggling about old people driving their twenty year old Chryslers and Lincolns.  

But by God, I'll tell you one thing.  I won't be buying a Camry.  

The rains came.  Big rain.  Good rain.  It is early still.  Whatever.  I'm stuck in the house.  I turn on "Babylon Berlin."  But wait.  I'm starting Season Two, but I've been scammed.  Amazon Prime gave me Season One with my subscription without telling me I'd have to sign up for another network to watch Seasons Two, Three, and Four.  This is why I hate unregulated capitalism.  

Fuck it.  I sign up for the one week free trial.  Things will get complicated after that.  But the show is too good not to follow.  I watch two episodes.  It gets better and better.  It is almost ten.  Almost.  I make an executive decision.  I will go to bed.  

I wake up thinking I must have been asleep for a good while.  I look at the clock.  11:10.  WTF?  It will be a bad night.  My back hurts.  My knee hurts.  I am unable to find a comfortable position.  I am up and down.  At four, I take some pain meds.  At six I am up.  They did not a bit of good.  The long walk in the heat was not good, but I will continue to take those especially long walks.  Today, however, I will pump up the bike tires to ride to the gym.  Low chance of rain until later this afternoon.  The cleaning crew comes.  Without a car, what do I do?  I'll have to play it by ear, I guess.  

I took the photo on Saturday.  I was coming back from the farmer's market in the cute town to the north when I spotted this on the other side of the highway.  I turned the car around and drove into the lot.  Apparently, they have car worship.  But it is in the back field of a very big church.  Maybe this is just additional parking.  I got out of my car in the main lot and crossed a ditch carrying two cameras.  I walked around looking at different angles.  Two cars pulled into the main lot and sat near my car.  When I got back, I got that little tingling on the back of my neck.  I lingered a minute waiting to see if someone would get out of one of the cars and approach, but nothing happened, so I put the car in gear and drove to the exit.  The two cars followed.  I had to go up the highway to a light where I could make a U-turn to head back to my house.  They pulled into the turning lane behind me.  Then they made the U-Turn, too.  Weird.  They follow me until I get to the Turnpike and take the exit.  They drive on.  

I wondered what that was all about.  

Just more photo-fun in the modern world.  

I've written this morning before reading the news.  I will go scan the pages now and see what I have missed.  Today promises to be a real shit show.  

Selavy.  Selah.  

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