Monday, December 29, 2008

Year End Thoughts

Yesterday after lunch, I went outside to take a nap with the cows. I wanted to think about the past year. When I work, I work hard. When I play, I play hard. When I think, I go to sleep. Bebe and I ate at an upscale Italian chain restaurant for lunch. They play Italian music in the dining area and have a Berlitz language course running in the restroom. I used to be able to learn maybe one or two words when I visited the necessary room, but now I can learn whole sentences. The food was very good. The ambiance was only broken by my thoughts about the people I was watching. A young lady apparently hosting her parents sat adjacent to us. She looked like she might play violin in some symphony. Her posture was perfect and her fingers moved as though she had trained them extensively. Her parents ordered tea and coffee to drink and she a glass of Chianti. When her food arrived she ate from the bottom of her fork using her knife to stack. I suppose she studied in Europe. It might have been the only restaurant in town where these skills could have been displayed without any questions. I then got fascinated by the way people eat the little loves of Italian bread they bring to your table. Some were trying the cut the bread while others (including me) tore it apart Viking style. After the meal I tried out my newly acquired ability to lift my considerable bulk from my chair without holding on to the table and grunting loudly. I have been doing squats with heavy weights in the gym to provide the necessary lift. I was up like a feather. Well, a big very heavy feather. Next we went a few doors down to the Barnes and Noble Book Store. I wanted to hurry and cash in my Christmas gift cards before the stores went out of business. I couldn't disengage my mind from the people there either. A lithe young woman with artificial carrot red hair was doing Pilate moves in front of the books on Yoga as she shopped. Near the books on relaxation, a man sat in the aisle and shopped the bottom shelf. I thought it must be theme day so I joined in. I was going for the mystery section. At the end of each aisle, I put my back to the shelf end and did quick peaks around the corner before moving to the next one. I put my sunglasses back on when I reached the new best sellers and pretended to be on surveillance. I kept waiting to be told I won the prize. Bebe was nowhere to be found. After I checked out she reappeared near the rear exit. I knew I would be spending the afternoon with the cows.

The very purpose of existence is to reconcile the glowing opinion we have of ourselves with the appalling things that other people think about us. - Quentin Crisp