i saw an older man come out of the movie theater next door with two older women. one looked like betty white. the man had a golf cap on. watching their gait as they left the theater (they walked as if all were not lost), i knew they were about to mosey in to grab a bite.
the man, and i’m not sure if it was because he had pain somewhere, but he took a good 10 seconds to get in his seat at the restaurant. but then he carried on conversation with commanding gestures, as if a former politician or CEO, or a member of toastmasters international.
there was another man, middleaged, at a nearby table whom i found funny. he had a wool hat smushed down over his brows and touching his black-rimmed glasses, and he wore a puffy jacket. he was literally standing near his seat, patiently putting noodles in his bowl from a family style order of soup, and then meticulously selecting vegetables and tidbits of fish with a small ladle. when he was done, i thought he’d sit down to enjoy the fruits of his labor, but he handed his bowl to his wife to eat, which i thought was sweet.
i ordered spicy eggplant with shrimp, spice level 4/10. when i paid the bill, i felt magnanimous because i left a $5 tip, but i figured the food was consistently great at this place, and i wanted to support local thai food.
There’s a young couple that lives across from me where it seems there’s constant strife. Frequently their spats take place near their garage, and so everyone can hear the details. Typically, first their garage door will open, and then we know we’re in for a show because that’s when things invariably get going. So I got the idea that the garage door is like the theater curtain, and when it goes up we get these quarrels, like one-act plays. The sparring lasts a good 10-15 mins, and sometimes the music from their car is blasting on top of everything else. Then the garage door finally comes down, and it gets real quiet again — the way it should be if you’re paying top dollar in rent.
I frequently have thoughts that make me laugh, which is something relatively new for me. I’m wondering if I’ve developed a talent for humor or whether I’m just going mad. I’ll laugh out loud in my car now, for instance, like last time when I imagined a dog going grocery shopping, complete with squeaky cart. Perhaps a sign of stress?
Anyway, I dig absurdist humor, eg. when Kafka gets ridiculous, with his singing mice & all.
On a similar note, this morning I woke up with an interesting & grammatically awkward phrase in my head: Slip silently by yourselfaway, which I think I’d like to use for the title of a book. As well, the sound of it reminds me of J.D. Salinger, eg. Raise High the Roof Beam and such. I was so inspired by it that I changed the URL for this site to slipsilentlyaway.blog.
There’s a glum & hopeless element to the phrase, as well, like dying alone. But thinking about it, the phrase sums up my life succinctly, because for as long as I can remember, my experience has been all about not fitting in and subsequently going off by myself.
I’m at the point where I more or less feel it a chore to seek someone out to hang out with. Does anyone do that anymore? I’d rather just read or go to the park alone or do solo hiking.
Two men had the pool to themselves when I walked by earlier. One was at the low end of the water, facing toward the other end as if at the head of a table. He moved his arms as if smoothing a bedspread. The other man lounged on a chaise unabashedly, like he might do in the privacy of his own living room. He uttered things in a foreign language, lazily, matter-of-factly, to which the other man responded as he began moving slowly toward the other end of the water, walking slowly, as if a reluctant giant, then finally a segue into a swim. He made a surprising amount of turbulence for one man. The water slapped against the pool walls. Ripples formed and moved in sine-like fashion, as if jello responding to a bang against the bowl. The sun-filled afternoon topped out at 70 Fahrenheit and everything was quiet, save for the water and their voices. Now I’m listening to Chopin, and his piano notes trickle out of my Bluetooth speaker.
Should i be doing something more valiant with my free time other than sitting in my chair reading all day, occasionally succumbing to a cat nap.
Reading-wise, i’ve been very gymnastic, bouncing between Ovid’s Metamorphoses (the Penguin Classics translation) and Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid, as well as Poetry 180, an anthology put together by Billy Collins, and re-reading Great Expectations in an exquisite and sparkly edition put out by Chiltern Publishing (pictured below).
I recently read Henry Thoreau’s Walden and was enamored not really by his lambasting of conformity and his boasts of individuality, but by his exhaustive accounts of certain features of the forest where he lived, most notably Walden Pond, unashamedly leaving no detail unmentioned. Eg., he describes its color through the seasons and different weather conditions, its aquatic life, its dimensions, how townspeople have used it, how it came to be developed and who once resided in the vicinity.
I had the thought of Thoreau as a writer who is anchored to place, as opposed to someone like Allen Ginsburg, whom I admire and whose life and writing were busy with near-constant and often dizzying movement, with rarely a moment of stillness, with the exception of spiritual interludes, such as Sunflower Sutra, or laments like Kaddish.
I am writing to pronounce how bummed & perturbed I am regarding the time change, being as it’ll be daylight when I go for my morning jog. This spoils part of the magic of being out so early: I’m usually running before 6 a.m., & the stars & moon are still plainly visible at that time. I mean, for those of us who work during the week, the extra hour is quite glorious on a weekend. The upshot is may I set out an hour earlier until we spring ahead again.
Pine cones in lieu of flowers. In October we celebrate decay. All things drying out and brittle — colors far different from when the thing was alive. We celebrate spooky. We create bouquets of whatever we find in nature that is emaciated. This goes on straight into November — until Thanksgiving, when we gorge and are OK again with plumpness, the vitality of food consumption and digestion.