Halfway through the week, preparing for shift three, tiredness has come to the body, normally, to be expected. The body sleeps longer, the moments turning over on to the side waiting for more become more frequent. Time spent rehashing the previous nights; just when you think it's over, the quiet Monday Jazz Night with The Bitter Dose Combo playing, the French guy and his two Argentine buddies come up after dinner. The musicians are packing up. Louie Armstrong is working on Pandora. Oh, shit, here we go. The French guy knows me. I see an unopened bottle of Rosé from Provence sitting out on the table. They order three espressos, after a woman, a nephrologist, it turns out, from India, orders one, having sat down with them. They are the only ones here. One of the guys is a wine importer. "I love people," I hear my French friend tell the lady. He tugs on her shawl. I go over into my corner by the stove and have a bite of paté. It's that time, the stomach growls.
The French guy asks me to open the bottle, so I do, sure. He's cool He is a nice guy. I just don't ever get to do the late night oyster happy hour at Old Ebbitt, nor do I enjoy going to the strip club up the street. "Have a glass with us please," he says, as I open it, to his left before coming around to his right to pour. "Smell the bubble gum," he says, raising the glass he's tasting from for me to smell as I lean over, and then he smiles, eyes wider, holds out his hand, recognizing me. I shake his hand. Two nights ago, the night ended on a sour note. The loud guy previously content to sit at a table, what a nice change, away from the bar comes to the bar to use the presence of our friend who eats quietly alone on Sunday nights as an opportunity to begin his harangue on the underfunding of NATO and how Germany will end up being swallowed up by Putin's new Russian world order. And where it starts out kidding, soon enough, in a passive aggressive way, out comes a condemnation of all peace lovers, who, unsupportive, somehow, of the American military, were asleep on the morning of September the 11th, blindly enjoying the pleasures of an easy life, unappreciative of their defenders. Used to this, the engagement to such is minimal, and so our conservative friend seeks to find a piece of music to play on his smart phone above the sound system, which is quietly going through its Dire Straits shuffled no surprises playlist. Friend of loud guy remembers suddenly The Lemon Pipers. I clear my friend's dinner plate, an Italian overture at a Beef Bourgignon, let him eat a last bite of bread and butter, a splash more wine, and prep an espresso. It's been a fairly busy night. It ends with the words of Jesus hanging silently above, "how long must I endure this faithless and perverse generation..."
And so I get up late before Tuesday the wine tasting night, take an allergy tablet, Tyrosine, astragalus and one ibuprofen for good measure, green tea with carefully stirred ground chia seeds, unpleasant if it clumps in the bottom of the cup.
"A lonely thinking heart that makes no show/ is to a woman but a kind of ghost." A line from Donne, taken me many years to really get, the thought of how stupid I was so many times coming to me not of my own will. And Jesus, look where I am now. Well, could be worse.
Then I wake on a premature day off, a switch in the schedule, and like the Larkin poem, 'think of being them,' I feel I stuck in a dirty apartment, a strange person, not knowing what to do with himself, no where, really, to go. Drive eight hours to see my mom? The bathroom is full of dust.
I remember a helpful conversation with my accordionist friend, who is also the son of college professors. He talks of how his father is hounded at a conference, little free time.
My early foray onto the internet leaves me wondering what to do about replacement shaving razors. I stare out into the fog of it, not knowing what to do, and an hour has gone by. Did I forget how to be a person, or how to look the part? Might as well do some laundry.