Plywood and Heartbreak: Year of the Mad Dog

February 10, 2021 at 12:45 pm (The Easy Chair)

The year of 2020; it was something, wasn’t it? I’ve been meaning to do a year in review, but I wanted to make sure I lived through it first.

So, how you doin’? At the risk of sounding smug, all things considered, I had a pretty good year.

I didn’t come out unscathed, though. My sister was walking past my open door, and looked in. “Are you okay? You look depressed, like it’s the end of the world…”

The woman knows me. I have been spending a lot of time thinking about both.

Before anyone gets too concerned, I’m not talking Taxi Driver stuff here. My usually chipper ass has been down in the dumps, for reasons shared by many. The pandemic, loss of loved ones, whether because of sickness or just plain life. I miss Rain. I miss Mizelle, who is still around but has been scarce since the airlines shut down.

I miss downtown. I’m still there, the last light on, but goddamn! It’s a never-ending maze of plywood and graffiti, with only drugged-out zombies and kiddie-bike-riding forty-year-old tweakers for company. On the rare night when the normal people come out? That’s when I remember why I’ve done what I’ve done for forty years. It’s fun!

That’s part of the depression. The sadness? The end of the world thingy? End of the world happens for people every day. When I was a young’un, I thought if I lived until sixty I’d have had a good life. (And I was right.) I’m in pretty good shape at 59, doing better than the sixty-year-olds my parents knew. My problem these days is… even in a best case scenario, I have twenty or thirty years left. Then it’s death, the one life event I’m not going to be able to squirm out of.

I’m not scared of dying, not that I’m in a hurry. I figure most likely the lights will go out some day and I won’t give a good goddamn when it does. My problem with it? I don’t want to miss out on all the fun!

I’ve been spending too much time what-iffing. I need to focus on the present, not the inevitable. Those first steps are the hardest, and my knee hurts. But once I get going…

Sounds like the bars are reopening this weekend. All my “drinking buddies” will be back, but I won’t recognize them at first, because masks, and they’ve all gained weight. (I’ve no room to talk, everything is tight these days.) I can flirt with girls who don’t have three personalities manifesting!

Time to get on the old sterile bus and roll toward the dirty sunset.

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