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Friday, December 21, 2018

A Modern Day In A Modern Life

I wake up at 3:30am in the morning. I shut off the alarm, leak the lizard, make a whey protein shake with coffee, and drink it along with a few OTC vitamins while I check the headlines online. If the mood hits me, I'll make a few comments. Some are useful, too many are argumentative. So it goes. I sit on the porcelain throne, and meditate upon universal secrets. I dress and leave, sometimes forgetting my lunch.

I walk a few blocks to the beginning of the local bus line. The line there seems to be getting longer and longer. Either more people are working earlier, or they've figured out that by the third or maybe even second stop there are no more seats - even at 5am. It's cold, but it's not bitter, and I'm thankful. There have been far too many winters lately that have felt bitter, when three or four thick layers seemed to do nothing, when I had to work outside, or when our old apartment only had the bare minimum of heat, and it felt like there was no comfort anywhere. Things are much better now, and I feel thankful - but apprehensive. Kurt Vonnegut once said that his uncle told him to take the time to validate when things are nice, because they never last. So I do.

Right now, life is nice.

The 5am Q64 doesn't show up, as it doesn't almost every Friday. By the time the next one comes, the line is around the block. Sometimes on my commute, I'll listen to my Android read my books in a Speak-And-Spell voice. I just finished rereading (relistening to?) VALIS by Philip K. Dick, and I take a few minutes to question the nature of reality. I also question why Dick was so sure that Nixon was the (foiled) biblical harbinger of the Apocalypse when Hitler would have been a much more realistic choice, but that's the 1970s for you.

The bus takes me to the subway. I choose the empty local M over the packed E express. I plop my ass down on the bench, and work a bit more on my next short story collection. It comes in drips and drabs, but I'm happy with them. Debris of Shadows Book III is all planned out, but I would like to see The Forgotten Cathedral pick up a little steam first - especially since it's my favorite thing that I've written. How effective would advertising be, or would it be just another drop in a slightly smaller bucket? I've considered standing on a disreputable street corner with a sign saying "Will 'work' for Amazon and Goodreads reviews," but I'd feel bad if I put any professional streetwalkers out of business...

I find myself thinking about once close friends whom I haven't really spoken to in years, despite (or maybe because of) social media. Maybe they still think of me as a friend, maybe they don't. Maybe I've committed some real or imagined slight that I'm unaware of - possibly in an online manner that had nothing to do with them. That's happened before.

But of course, the truth is that everyone everywhere is just getting through their own lives, with all of their private hurts, ups, and downs. Let's be honest - there's been lots of times when I've sadly been too busy or exhausted to be available to everyone who needed me. I just shrug, and wish everyone who's touched my life happiness.

Everything feels exhausting, these days.

It's almost Christmas. I used to look forward to it so much when I was a kid. I guess we all did. Nowadays, I sympathize more and more with my father and how he always despised holiday travel. I also mute TV commercials, and talk back to them.

As the 2000 Year Old Man once said, "We mock what we are to be."

A little old lady sits across from me on the M, as she does most mornings. Her hair is dyed yellow, her walnut-wrinkled face is slathered in Tammy Faye Bakker caliber makeup, and she's wearing pristine pre-ripped jeans and leather boots that lace up to her knees.

You go, Grandma!

Merry almost Christmas to all, a happy Chanukah, and a krazy Kwanza.

TTFN
-Tony