Yet another grey day. If it seems tedious to be counting overcast days, that's because it is. When you open your eyes to another day like this one, it makes getting out of bed seem silly. It's also 34 degrees. It's tough. I made the realization a couple of days ago that I am outright sick of drinking. I'm not sure if people who are not from around these parts understand what it takes to get through a Minnesota winter. The frigid cold, the lack of light, the tediousness of slogging around through piles and piles of snow. If you're a drinker, drinking becomes a necessity. You need it to stave off the boredom, and though it's counterintuitive, you need it as a comforting veil that everything is going to be alright. It's an illusion, yes, but it's a reliable illusion that gets you through each day after tedious day. And, as I've taken to saying these days, it's always good weather in the bar.
But as I said, I'm sick and tired. I'm so tired of bars, I'm tired of blowing what little money I have in them, I'm even tired of the reliable wine buzz I get in the evening when I'm padding around the apartment taking care of writing and wallowing in solitude. But without even a drink to soothe the doldrums, then what? I've noticed that I'm looking very much inward these days, which is boring even to me. A few things I'm grateful for, right now.
The gorgeous, richly golden farm eggs that I picked up from the Kreidermacher farm last week, their tenacious adherance to natural farm practices, and the belief that the natural order of things is best. There is no substitute for good, real food. The best thing I've had to eat all week-- a simple, substantive, egg, nurturing as a hug. I can't wait to have two more today.
HG's company. I didn't mean to get so close to someone at this point in my life, again, again, but I find it difficult to turn down love. It just seems foolhardy. I tend to think of the Janice Joplin song, Get it While You Can: "If someone comes along, he wanna give you some love and affection, you better get it while you can. . . " I noticed how much I had begun to enjoy HG's company. He's smart and weirdly funny and he's always game for anything. Instead of thinking up excuses for why we shouldn't do something, he's preparing for how to do it, unlike most people. He's got a beautiful smile and kind eyes and a generous soul. Last night he expressed how sad he was that I'm departing. I feel guilty for letting us grow so close, and then leaving so abruptly. Through his tears, he said, "You just make me so happy." So yeah, I'm grateful for HG.
For this city, which I know as I know the nuances of my own face. Its streets that allow me to easily travel on two wheels, on my own two feet, where I always feel safe, where I know the characters as I turn every corner and make my way through my days: Scott Seekins (who's in his white suit now, despite this weather,) Uptown and its hip yet small town vibe, the baristas and bartenders and shopkeepers who ask sincerely how you are doing before you begin a transaction, who stop to make eye contact, who have a chat with you. I'll miss these streets and sidewalks, and yes, the bars. I'll miss the cave like Thai restaurant bar that I've adopted as my own, the adorable bartender, the delicious green curry. I'll miss this neighborhood, and this park (in spite of what little time I've gotten to spend in it,) these blocks, these people in my neighborhood.
My beautiful niece, and when she deigns to sit in my lap, so that I can smell the top of her head and nuzzle the back of her neck and soak those moments into my bones, those fractional seconds and minutes that calculated, would probably only equal an hour, but one of the best hours anyone could ask for.
For life, and health, and fresh air, cold as it is; for the sounds of my radiators kicking on when it's cold in the apartment, for the incomparable free sensation of rushing through a city street on a bicycle, for my faculties and the use of my body parts, for making love and the perspiration between two bodies, for handfuls of curly salt and pepper hair, for burying my nose in fresh sheets, for blinds that can close off the grey, for a good wholesome plate of food, for a song that makes my hairs go up on end, for the privelege of being alive.