A bottle of wine. It's the recommended daily allowance, more or less, for that which we call 'processing.' It wouldn't do to go to sleep right away, and that's why I am writing at 5:30 AM, after the night shift. The mind needs the time, needs the staring off into space, needs being drawn into the movie Chinatown. I have seen the elder men tonight at the bar over the company of young women. The older one leans over at me, appalled at the behavior of the one on the other end of the bar 'after only one thing,' then proceeds to chuckle over the cleverness of his own bald innuendoes, after his rival has left, continuing with his full court courting.
When the bar crowd has left, the waiter makes an exit. He talks to two pretty girls, explaining he's going to a show, a band at a club. See ya, he nods to me--I don't begrudge him his escape and the possibilities of his night--as I discover how I must now chat with the last three two tops, quickly buried by the final duties and disorganization of printing out checks, taking payments, the last bit of hospitality, the last round of ho ho ho, yuck yuck yuck, you liked your weekend away.
Up the hill on my bike to look at a darkened place, a site of something new, a restaurant project. Then home I head.
It takes a long time to process the voices of a night, at least if you listen to them, as you would while herding the conversation along as well as you can before it gets to the negotiations part, the nice young lady having to shut down the advance on her own. We're Americans, Tocqueville-ian in our humor and our rubbing of elbows, generally tolerant.
Some would manipulate this basic human trait. Ted Cruz holds up the confirmation hearing of the new FCC Chief (bravo Tom Wheeler) over not wishing that branch of government making it necessary that groups who place political ads on our national air waves reveal who they are, where their money comes from. This is the opposite of the public thinker, the good intellectual, who obliges by that golden rule of revealing the source of thought and opinion. Ted Cruz knows, 'just keep hitting them, over and over, with ads and distruths and deceit and shadowed motives, and eventually they'll be worn down,' unable to process, the break free of the suitor's wall of sound and pushy will.
One can only hope, eventually, the thorn in the national skin will be encapsulated by something like pus, finally work out from the painful depths and be ejected.