Monday, October 14, 2013

City Lights

Yesterday with a buddy, a morning jog out of Nob Hill past the Ina Coolbrith park to Fisherman's Wharf where we ran the risk of being deep-fried and eaten and then down the steep five block hill towards the bay and back up it returning. Real-life exercise is nothing like an elliptical machine. 

There was a brunch in the neighborhood where I should have had what my friend had (below) but had a light Asian Salad instead. Then, a walk through Chinatown to City Lights bookstore. I wandered among the shelves without buying anything. I had a copy of Joyce's Dubliners and Alice Munro's The Beggar Maid still waiting for me at the unfamiliar place that I now temporarily reside. My friend bought a copy of Light Years by James Salter upon my recommendation. It is a book to read if you want your heart broken, or if you wish to feel that yours is not alone or even unique in the feeling of breaking. The pain of it is mainly special to you.

It turns out that I was quite right about Alice Munro. She won the Nobel last Thursday. It was reported to me by a friend across the phone.

I came back to the apartment in the afternoon and tried to read but couldn't. I was not able to focus, to sustain attention for any period of time. My mind jumps too much among the memories of the last few years. For the purpose of clarity I have been reading through old emails. The once enjoyed past is now troubling, or it can be, when you see first-hand the love and effort that goes into making the present, meant for the future.

I had intended to spend my time lying in bed reading but there was no point to it. Another friend called and we walked around until we found somewhere else to eat. We tried a fancy vegetarian place but the staff ignored us. We had Thai instead. We sat in the dark near the cathedral at the top of the hill, chatting until it became too cold. He asked if he should be concerned for me. 

This morning, the other buddy and I have promised one another to do the same jog again. In the dark and cold, without having to navigate the many waddlers. I wait for him to text and let me know that he is ready. 5:30 a.m. is the agreed upon time. (No, we just returned. Jogging in the pre-dawn is only darker, not any easier. My body still has not quite recovered from yesterday.)

People keep telling me to hold on, that this unsureness will pass, that things will fall into place in some sensible way.

"Uncertainty is an uncomfortable position, but certainty is an absurd one." - Voltaire