Saturday, February 18, 2012

at a distance

I ask for little in this life.  Healthy family members, a job that doesn't suck the life out of me, loose fitting neutral-colored clothing and on Saturday night I get to sit at an old downtown bar and eat some pretty decent pizza.  And the friendly barkeep keeps adding more whiskey to my cocktail to keep things interesting and when all this occurs the universe will spin and percolate as it should.  These requests are more than reasonable.  They are superlative and necessary to my existence.

But today I find myself tripping over invisible stones in the street and I swear people are looking at me like I have something voluminous hanging out of my nose. And it's all because Dave has invited Crazy Tom to join us for pizza and my natural rhythms are now threatened and interrupted.  The big guy should know better but he gets gregarious after his sauna at the health club and he does things like this.

Fast forward and I am wearing my neon orange pizza bar t-shirt that says "I just dropped in for a piece".  The staff cheers when I take off my jacket and I am home, sweet Jesus, I am home.  Then Crazy Tom slides into his chair and I order another drink really fast. Now I need to play the game of social interaction and it's not that I don't like people.  I just prefer them at a distance.

And Tom's okay, he really is, a single guy in his 50's who works at a group home for wayward boys, and that's putting it nicely.  He cares for his elderly parents, setting up his mom's Alzheimer's meds and arguing with his dad about, well, everything.  And he's holding onto the remnants of a disastrous relationship with a woman who harbors a piranha personality and she has relocated back to Florida, thank God, but he still bemoans her absence even after eight torture-filled months.  So we sit and listen to his rationalizations and maddening excuses for her insensitive behaviors and then I lick my pizza-stained fingers and bid good-by to Big Dave and the crazy boy.  They will be traveling across the river to a quaint little town where Lincoln once made a campaign speech and they have plans to hear a kickass blues group.

I know I would enjoy this band, middle-aged black men and women all from Chicago and Milwaukee so you know they will create good sound, you know they paid their dues.  But  I was divorced for seventeen years and spent way too many Saturday nights glued to bar stools staring up at band after band after band. I'm heading home to my down comforter and more Kessler's, good night sweet princes, good night and hopefully we'll all sleep well.


MrDaveyGie said...

is that the guy with skinny little pony tail, and never a hair out of place wearing muscle shirts until it is a below zero?

dawn marie giegerich said...