I had the afternoon to myself today. First, I stopped in to a dark, windowless bar the size of my living room I discovered recently to tune the world out, play video slots, and have a whiskey with a handful of the geriatric set having lunch. The girl tending bar remembered me from the single time I had hidden there one afternoon not long ago, and she made a nice fuss over me, patting my shoulder and making sure I was comfortable. The busy, well-lit places I used to go every couple of weeks have recently closed their doors. Times are tight. Despite the troubled economy, I won $1.10 after playing for about an hour, cashed in, and said my goodbyes. I then escaped out of the heavy, halfway hidden wooden door back out into the humid afternoon and drove to a used bookstore I have never stopped in but have wanted to for four years now. I made myself at home in the stacks and selected a true crime novel about a criminal profiler, a Stephen King book of short stories I never heard of, and some true stories about the American West by Zane Grey. I always wanted to read Zane Grey but never have. With the male half of my personality satisfied, I applied lipstick and declared it official girlie-girl time. I headed next to the ugly, bustling little strip mall to visit the salon and slipped cash to the merciless woman half my size who takes me to the back room and rips off most of my eyebrows. She displayed the muslin strips covered in my former facial hair like trophies and shook her head. Despite her stern facade, I laughed and told her I had missed her terribly.
It was glorious time well spent.
While I did this, I tried not to think about my friend lying inside an MRI machine imaging his lungs, which turned out to contain food and debris he can no longer seem to funnel down the correct tube because of his ALS. He has a resultant infection and needs to be on IV antibiotics, as the normal ones do not seem to have much effect anymore. He seems to be constantly battling lung infections now. I now wait for a phone call to see whether he is hospitalized or not.
Life is so strange. But I'm ready to face it again after just a few hours to myself.
Labels: alone time, ALS, beauty, books, cocktails