By mid-morning, my chest hurt when I breathed deeply. I fitfully sipped at my morning water and coffee. Dreading another day of stressful breathing, I went to the grocery store. Not even the usual store-playlist trainspotting could distract me: oh, huh, that’s Seal’s “Crazy” followed by The Beatles’ “Come Together” and a half-dozen false starts on The Emotions’ “Best Of My Love,” before settling on REM’s “Orange Crush.”
So I was pretty happy when I got the call back from the family-run chain hardware store in Jack London Square. True to their word, the owner’s son rung me just as we got to the checkout counter: their latest shipment of masks had just arrived. So we went over and I bought a box. Then I went home, read the instructions, and took their admonitions seriously enough to shave: goodbye, goatee!
Then I went to work, settled in at my desk and masked up. After several hours of breathing with reasonable levels of comfort, I ate lunch and thought about how odd it felt to wear this thing on my face. I’m not anywhere I can’t be mistaken for anyone else, I’m not hiding my identity, and I can still answer phone calls. I’m just breathing easier.
It can take a long time for a proper future to get the showing it deserves, one both highly plausible and impeccably attached to an earlier vision. Tonight, it took almost three hours. But here A and I were, spending Cinemark XD money (unicorns and all) to see how things turn out and what more is still left to learn.
I was less spooked by the new characters as doppelgangers to earlier ones than I was by the cities and the climate, and the gaps that viewers are left to fill in, the history left to infer. That leaves at least three more videos to finish watching, as well as whatever useful video essays come down the assembly line.
It was one of those most wonderful times of the year: the opthalmologist visit. It’s when I get to see what I’m going to look like for the next year or two or longer after picking out new frames. It’s also when I get a decent sense of how my eyes are holding up under the strain from all the tiny screens and bad lighting and poor information-consumption choices. Nice as the glasses look like they’re going to be when they’re ready in a little more than a week or so, it’s the contacts that are most exciting. I spent most of the day walking around in a trial pair and even with the left eye’s prescription seriously underpowered, my fit felt really comfortable.
After I finished work, I swung around from one side of the lake into downtown and slipped into Bar 355 to wish a musician I know happy birthday. As it turned out, a guest of honor was at the bar: a veteran bartender from previous watering holes who had moved to Hawaii but was visiting. On top of that, it felt good to see a couple of the folks I’d hit it off with at other places last year while A. was out of town, like the DJ spinning tonight who put on Toto’s “Georgy Porgy.” Places pop up and go under, but I’m glad the bar and the people have stuck around. I guess I shouldn’t make it so long between visits.
I had it for years. I’ve fallen off it hard and gotten right back up and kept going. I spent the last five months getting serious about tracking my trips. I was seeing more and more of my city. I had a way to get around that didn’t require gasoline, but balance and effort and sweat. I actually started losing weight and gaining strength. But you took it off my second-floor apartment’s porch in seconds. It was mine. It didn’t belong to you. You’ve made me feel safe where I live and less trusting of my neighbors. I hope somebody finds my bike and brings it back to me. I’m going to stop writing now before I actually say what I hope happens to you.