Sorry About That
Sunday. The area around my morning café fairly deserted this morning, some cars parked in front of Weight Watchers across the street, but otherwise there was comparatively little or no traffic. I arrived about a quarter after six, the café opening at six, but, although the doors were open, the place was empty and almost dark. A younger guy was standing just outside the front door where I'd entered through the side, saying he was the one who came in the mornings to unlock the place and that the staff would be arriving soon.
OK, I guess they don't open on the weekends at six anymore. Still, my waitress arrived, the lights were turned on, the coffee was served and I read the Sunday Chronicle in a good mood, all the delays a matter of minutes. The morning sharp and clear, the temperature crisp and cool from the wind off the water throughout the night. Reminds us why we came here and then stayed. Those of us who stayed. Does me, anyway.
I have no idea what to do with the day and maybe the problem is in just asking the question. Let it go, let it flow. Anything else is too anal. Why do you need a plan? The head at least is in halfway decent shape. I often think these pain pills they give me don't really work, but I'm shown from time to time that they do. I take one in the morning and another again in the late afternoon. If I miss the late afternoon I can feel the difference by early evening. Some days I skip the morning and that works out OK. Some days I don't and it doesn't. So what to say for today (getting back to being anal about it)? A walk somewhere? A trip to a place I've not been in a while? The questions I've had now every day for, well, since I retired?
Then again who doesn't ask these questions? For maybe the first time since school retirement gives you the option. Other friends have taken on volunteer jobs and activities that keep them busy. If it was busy I wanted I could do the same. But I have options, will continue to have options for a while, although you can never know how far “a while” might be. You learn that. Dead at sixty, he was, waiting for his life to start (he was), fool that (he was). So let's set out and see what we can get our pin sized little brain around today in the way of starting (and quit carping).
I believe you've managed to start every one of your journal entries with the same description of breakfast, laying out the same conundrum of your existence (“what am I going to do with the rest of my day/life?”) and you don't seem to show any indication you'll quit.
Like the journalism of today in general, we're focusing on our navel and skipping out on reality altogether. The madness before a fall. People write books about it.
Yeah? And so why does everyone watch so much reality TV there buster? Tell me that!
Later. A walk down the hill to my bus stop. Ten minutes to wait on a bus so I walked across the street and looked over the lake toward the construction area, how much progress had they made in this last week? No urge to walk in that direction toward the Highway 580 overpass and beyond to the Grand Lake theater, I'd been by there this morning going to breakfast.
A walk back across the street and then down the way another two stops, thinking I'd catch the bus heading downtown. A walk then farther on to Jack London Square? No. Been there, done that. Sit in the City Center deserted but for the occasional security guard in a dark blue jacket, there to keep the riffraff from doing whatever the riffraff does on a Sunday morning when there are no guards around? Nothing will be open but the hot dog stand and hot dogs, although I can eat them, don't much call to me anymore. So I'm standing there waiting on the bus, thinking these thoughts.
The half mile or so along Grand heading toward the downtown is planted with oak trees that spread out over the sidewalks on either side and provide quite a bit of shade; the store fronts, restaurants, coffee shops and building facades interesting in that narrow car wide alley ways lead to parking areas for the apartments; the building walls of weathered brick, the nooks and crannies interesting and fun to see.
Then there's a half mile or so beyond, again on the way downtown, where it's wide open space without any sidewalk shade and walking becomes a task. The downtown itself turning left on Broadway again has trees on either side and walking becomes pleasant again. I'm standing at a bus stop thinking about this things and thinking maybe I'll just walk back home, bus be damned.
This is a description of limbo rather than a description of angst, but it's been around now, as I've said, since before I retired. I've been told to get out of my rut and rut I suppose it is, but I've learned through experience moving from one rut to another is no solution. Moving into a condo? What, three months? Three months of novelty and then you notice your condo and your apartment both have walls, rugs, ceilings, book cases and windows, one much like the other and you, dear you, are still there sitting inside?
Travel? I guess. Sounds good. Gets the juices flowing. Travel outside the country? Hell, move outside the country? I dunno. I've always understood I'd have done that when I was younger and working, that I was wired together to live an expatriate's life, but I'm not sure how far into the horizon I want to travel with a sinus afflicted head and knees that tend to tweak when going down stairs.
Napa was nice, don't want to go back. Places farther north, the Russian River area perhaps. Still, small town, what do you do after a while? Find a place at a local bar, drink yourself to, um, sleep? I'm skipping along the surface here, wondering out loud. No real gloom and doom, just thoughts. A “head's up”, perhaps. I've done this before and it's always worked out. The last time was in 1994. Before that 1984. Before that '81. Before that, well, a number of times in the seventies bouncing between extremes. Does this jump need to be extreme? Haven't I learned?
They all turned out for the good, those jumps, the good ones and bad ones too, although I realize they happened because time, circumstance and running out of money provided a helping push. Time, circumstance and money are allowing me to vegetate, comfortably vegetate, take pictures as I vegetate, day in and day out. With minimal regret, expressed here at great length. (Sorry about that.) So we'll see, Ms. Emmy and me, here in Oakland (no doubt).