June 24, 2012
Today I am sad.
This is just a statement. It's not a complaint; it's not a cry for help. I am not fishing for attention – no more than usual, anyway. It really doesn't have much to do with circumstances, either. I mean, I can't say that if I had more money then I wouldn't be sad. If I fixed problem x then things would by fine. Things are fine and I am sad.
This is how it goes:
I got up yesterday and took my medicines. I drank coffee and then had a bit of breakfast. Then I putzed around the apartment a little bit, read on the patio while the cats played outside. Then I laid down for a "nap". Four hours later I woke up, and it felt like most of my Saturday was gone. So, this morning I woke up, took my medicines and went to a corporate coffee shop for morning coffee instead. That's when I noticed that I was sad.
As I've mentioned before, the meds I take have a certain side effect that kicks in when I eat or drink something other than water. (I have to take them on an empty stomach.) I made myself be out of the apartment when it hit, and that kept me from taking a nap for the rest of the day. But, it still felt strange. I don't quite know how to explain it. I saw a person drinking his coffee and I felt like I could feel how sad he was and that his whole life was futile. I felt very sorry for him. Then I felt very sorry for me because I live alone and don't have anybody to come home to in the evenings and don't have any prospects for finding somebody to come home to in the evenings. I tried to read a book called Room, which my little brother recommended as a feel-good book. Perhaps it is, but any book that actually has a plot inherently has a problem to work through, and the problem in this book made me feel very sad; it underscored how sad I felt, anyway. So, I put it down. I thought about rereading some of the letters from The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, but I could tell that wouldn't be a good idea.
So, I just decided to be sad.
I got restless so I picked up my things and left the coffee shop (where I'm currently writing, by the way) and started driving. I felt hungry, so I decided to eat something, because if I don't eat something then I become Very Angry Indeed, and that takes hours to get over sometimes, so it's best just to eat something. I had a couple of tacos at a place that's supposed to have very good barbecue and breakfast tacos, but I always think that their food is just so-so, but they were there and they have fountain drinks and it was sustenance.
I went by the Goodwill that I like, but they're remodeling. So, I went over to the one on Lamar and Koenig, next to a Half Price Books store. It turns out they don't open until 11 AM, so I went into HPB and spent some time. I picked up a copy of Guernsey Literary etc. and read some of the letters. They made me feel good, but they also made me cry. It's beautiful how the characters get to know each other, and that made me cry, and it also made me cry that I don't have anybody to write a letter to. I felt very lonely. So, I put the book down and looked around at the people milling about. Some people had healthy legs, some people had skinny legs and one person had legs that made me think he constantly struggled with his weight and always would. One scruffy-looking guy was looking around and I fell in love with him. For no particular reason. I just needed to fall in love with somebody and he looks like somebody who's been to the school of hard knocks and knows how to work. He actually looked a little out of place, but one doesn't judge in a bookstore. Another guy was there who looked like the stereotype of a guy you'd expect to see in a used bookstore. Goofy clothes and haircut, thick-rimmed round glasses, walking around with his nose slightly in the air like all of this was actually beneath him but he had to be here so he may as well look and see what the cretins had on their shelves.
When it seemed that Goodwill would be open I went over there. I wasn't looking for anything in particular. I had my eyes open for interesting jars for a project that my friend Tami has on her blog, but I'm always interested to see what treasures people give to Goodwill. In the past I have found hand-made pottery by artists that Nameless recognized and there are frequently good books. I didn't find any good jars, but I did see at least three of the people from HPB. The guy with the round glasses was there with a child. Another rather young guy was there and seemed to be flirting with me. Or, should I say fishing? He looked like he was interested in something, but probably not in getting to know each other, eventually buying a house and making a life together. The impression I got was that he was interested in a more ephemeral pleasure. (I've noticed that since I turned 40 guys in their early 20's are suddenly much more interested in talking to me than guys in their early 20's were when I was in my early 20's.) Also, the guy I fell in love with was there; he was working – volunteering I think. Probably working off community service. If I had to guess I'd say it was a drug-related offense. (I set my standards high.)
After perusing the glass section 5 times and deciding that I wasn't going to find any interesting jars or Waterford crystal I got back in my car. I was heading home but it felt good to drive. Jack Johnson was playing on the radio and music is very soothing. I drove down Burnet to a junk store that I know about. The windows have the words "Antiques" and "Collectibles" in them. Mostly it's junk. Shelves and shelves of dusty junk higher than my head and a labyrinthine layout that has about 2 feet between the shelves in some places. It's fabulous. I stayed there for about 30 minutes. I didn't find any jars to buy, but I had a very pleasant time.
Driving home I left the windows of the car down and drove slowly. I have 3 weeks worth of laundry to fold (literally) and I have pictures to hang and carpet to vacuum. It's a beautiful day, even if it's a little hot. When I got home I let my cats run around outside a little and I talked with a friend on the phone while I watered the plants on my patio. I got some of the clothes folded and answered a few emails. I was less sad than I was when I was first drinking my coffee this morning and felt like everything in my life was futile and I would never be happy.
Now I'm sitting here back at the coffee shop writing about what it feels like when the medicines that save your life affect your mind. It's a dilemma. Clearly I'm going to continue taking the medicine that keeps me from dying, but I have to learn to live with these side effects. Any choice of medicines will have side effects and frankly, these are preferable to perpetual nausea and diarrhea. But, sometimes they make me sad.
I'll write more later.