A collection of things I create and things I find that I like.
Routine. Part 1
Friday night routine involves slipping out of work early, sending out texts to the usual suspects and getting home as quickly as possible to crack open a beer. A few texts come back and a plan forms. This plan nearly always resembles, “dunno, nothing, want to get drinks?” “Sure. Where?” And on from there.
I’ll fool myself into thinking I can spend less by taking a shot or two before leaving for the night. That never works. The side-effect is that I leave the door yearning to meet new people, try something new and get into a bit of trouble. All of this I have found to have a knack for. One that has lead to being bought drinks in the hopes I’ll get some super power like Popeye with so many cans of spinach.
Side note, how many people actually eat canned spinach? I’m unsure if I have ever seen it and I am certain I have never tried it. Popeye may not have been special and canned spinach is a steroid to a lot of people, but the rarity of canned spinach in diets prevents the world from knowing the truth.
Hopping bars and picking up new friends for the evening is common. Dimly lit lights and cheap beer makes the word stranger seem strange.
We abruptly left one bar to go to another with the intention to record a podcast. It was an interesting opportunity and something I had not done in a while and really do miss doing. The bar was crowded, filled with similarly dressed guys who tried just hard enough to make it look like they didn’t try at all to get ready to come out tonight and women who did as little as possible to look like they had put in a lot of effort. A few overpriced beers later and we left in hopes of getting to a liquor store.
I lead us on a winding path to a liquor store who’s memory existed only on Yelp anymore. What followed was a mad dash through Old Town to make it to the only other place nearby that sold alcohol. Wheezing and spinning we made it.
Our new friend took us to the reason he was in town — a restaurant only half finished — and continued with introductions there. It was an interesting place and would have been a good enough story to share for a couple weeks. It was then we left, locking up and being sure to make it look like no one had been there, that he took us to where he was staying. A place that had been everything from a halfway house to a set for a Playboy shoot with a mob boss’ daughter. A place that would be the backdrop for one of the more interesting days of recent memory. A place I will refer to as The Mansion.
To The End
Finding the start just makes me think of the end. The reality that there is going to be a finish to everything — and as much as I live for the journey, there is that nagging voice tickling my inner ear reminding me that it will end. Of course I don’t know when it will end. If I did I would have a little shop over a dry-cleaner with a neon crystal ball hanging in the window and a small room covered in pillows and smelling of sage.
But every story has a final page.
Every so often I pick up a book and read the last line. It’s cheating, I even feel guilty doing it. That last line is unique from all other lines in the story though. It will be the final and freshest thought to that work. You will never be able to have the story be new again. Relive it, reuse it, discard it, whatever it. The newness is gone and the closest thing to new is the last line.
Some days I wish I had my smokey pad with tarot cards and crystals strewn about. All of it a show for others who just want to know the last line of their story. I’d sit in the center of the room trying to catch a glimpse of mine, knowing I can’t, that it is all a sham. Others would know that too, but they forget about it because I would cure their worry for a bit. Even if it is bad news they would walk out relieved. Any answer is better than no answer.
But I know I have to earn that answer, no amount of neon lights and pillows will help me here.
When life gets tough there is the urge to give everything up and move far away. The hope is that abandoning all the good in your current location will also keep all the bad there too. That’s only fair, right? It makes sense, especially to someone under stress. The clean slate that we so hope for when we wake up in the morning. Waking up half way across the state, or better yet the country. That’s the fix that you need. Toss the couch you hunted for weeks on Craigslist for and the cobbled together kitschy dining set you found between a half dozen thrift stores. Sell off everything that doesn’t fit in your one trusted piece of luggage that got you to Costa Rica and back safely that summer when you know what happened. You know the one. Empty the bank accounts, turn off the utilities, pay the rent, buy a ticket, go.
Reset button pressed. Life will be great here in moderately sized American city. That’s the American Dream. Pick yourself up by the laces and make it anywhere with a bit of drive and some luck. Luck may not be your best resource considering you just had to run halfway across the country because of… what was it you ran from anyway? A love? A job? Boredom? Whatever. Plenty of grit though. So, what do you do first? Get a place, get a job and get friends. Find a couch on Craigslist, put together a dinnerware set from a half dozen thrift shops and adopt a cat for good measure. That’s a great plan. It worked swell last time.
Fool me once though, shame on you, you fucker. Fool me twice and I’m an asshole.You learned from your mistakes though, worked out the kinks, oiled the gears. It will run ::::smooth:::: now. Like hot syrup over a fresh pancake. Just pour it on, saturate, you glutton. Breakfast is going to get cold though. The bacon fat will turn white and greasy, coating your tongue in wax making each time you swallow a bit more of this sweet piece of life you carved out for yourself taste a little less savory.
Fuck. Maybe this was all a big, fat mistake. Your hard-on for this grand reinvention has gone limp. It’s all the same thing. Winter’s not as bad, but summer isn’t as good. And your bar, no where here fits just right. Go for a visit, see some of the good stuff back where it used to be home.
You get there and all that bad stuff you left because of is gone. Everyone missed you. How’s life? Love? Work? School? Come back to my place? See you soon? Dinner? That sounds awful, why don’t you move back?
Why don’t you just move back? You could probably get some of your stuff back, get a place, find a job, already have the friends, the bad stuff is gone, and there is bad stuff at the new home. Let’s do it. Experiment over. Toss the couch, get rid of the dinnerware, give the cat to a friend, go.
Because this time will be different, you fixed it all. And this time, you know where the kinks in the plan were, you’re wiser and better prepared. Time to carve out that big, savory slice of life. Again.