I did very little yesterday. At breakfast, a friend came to my table at my habitual coffee shop, sat down, and we spoke briefly of cancer and at greater length of our writing projects. Then I had coffee with two more writers and went to my Tuesday writers’ group. After that, it was off to the KP lab to have blood drawn for tests.
I checked my phone and saw an outpouring of care and concern from old and new friends. I went home and reacquainted myself with old buddies, Calvin & Hobbes, two characters who have always cheered me up. I slept four hours, and had dinner with yet another friend.
I’m generally not that social, but I have, for the past several months, tried to see at least one person a day. I attend three or four writers’ groups a week, and overuse my Movie Pass. Being alone is good, but being too alone is not and leads to isolation, sadness and self-pity.
This morning I went for a CT scan. The young Eritrean technician and I spoke of soccer and he asked if I knew Thierry Henri and what were France’s chances in the World Cup? Slim to none, I said. The French are extraordinary at individual sports but stink at team efforts. A lone Frenchman will cross the Pacific Ocean in a one-paddle kayak. A Frenchman (honorary, admittedly) in a soccer team will head-butt an opposing player and cost the country a win.
I decided on the way back from the clinic to make a meaningful change in my life. I stopped at the grocery store and purchased three expensive cans of tuna fish ($2.49), instead of the cheap containers of tuna mush ($1.39) I normally buy. Thus empowered, I followed this effort with five shots of espresso and began to ruminate on things I no longer had to worry about, like moving.
I’m not fond of where I live, and had thought to relocate, but have now decided to stay where I am. Moving is a nightmare I don’t need right now.
I’ve also decided not to buy a stupidly expensive sports car to replace my old Porsche that was destroyed a year ago. I am thinking of perhaps renting a stupidly expensive sports car for a week or so, though. I plan to give my plays to a local director who did a wonderful job of producing a couple of them, and I need to pass on some other stuff to friends.
I am appreciating the Kafkaesque humor of life. In the past three days, I’ve received four solicitations for life insurance.
I began ruminating about death and decided that we’re afraid of it for the same reasons we fear the dark. In early times, the night was full of fearsome, carnivorous creatures. It no longer is. In fact, having walked into darkened rooms thousands of time from childhood on, the worst that ever happened was a stubbed toe. Oh. And embarrassment when I walked in on a couple engaged in primal activities.
What I have to deal with is a way to contain the churning in my stomach, and the dismal outlook I’ve espoused on my immediate future. It’s foolish to pretend life hasn’t suddenly changed, but even more foolish to act as if it has already ceased to be.
There are books to be read, and books to be written, and people to see, and love and admire. The quicker I start with that, the better off I’ll be.