Friday, June 22

Dear Jim,

It’s gonna be hot. It was hotter last evening than at midday, so I knew today would be 100° or more.

I’m at my favorite coffee shop. I’m surprised it isn’t crowded because the weather is so nice. I’m also surprised there are so many women.

Women come with other women. I think women justify the expense of gourmet mochas and expensive pastries as the price they are willing to pay to keep up their friendships.

I justify the expense because I need to be outside to read and write, to read their newspaper, and to have somewhere to pee. But too many men are too cheap to come to a coffee shop and spend some money to enjoy their friends, or to have a classy place to sit.

I’d love to have a garden to sit in to write and read. Since I don’t, I’m thinking of renting office space – $50 a month – to go four days a month. The lighting is relaxing and some places have outdoor areas. It’s important for me to do that since I can’t sit outside for five hours anymore when it’s really hot or really cold. Besides, as I get older good office light becomes more important.

It will get me out of my rut. I will be around young business people and young dynamic people. It will broaden my scope a lot.

I’ve gotten out of my rut this week. I worked at one of our offices in a different part of town, way down in the South Area where the sky is big.

You should see the building. The north wall is three stories and all glass. There are windows everywhere and soothing electrical light. I was in my glory feeling relaxed and looking out the window all day. I might be working there a lot this Summer.

Even though I was in my glory and can’t wait to go back, it kills me to think what my life would have been like if offices felt good to be in. I’d be much less pissed off.

To get to the office I had to take lite rail. It’s only been a year or so that lite rail went that far south. When the train left what used to be the end of the line, I closed my eyes for what I thought would be a one mile trip to my stop. I wanted to relax a minute.

Well, the train kept going and going and got faster and faster. The car was rocking and the wheels screeched and squeaked. The train stopped at two stations, then I opened my eyes for the last stretch.

It was great. There is a bridge that goes up as the tracks curve over a creek. I looked out as the train went up and over to see the beautiful expanse of what remains of the wild South Area. Then the train came down and grooved straight into the last station.

On the way home I kept my eyes open the whole time. For most of the trip I was the only one in my car. I ogled at the long shadows and evening light, thinking how great it would be for a kid to grow up wandering the South Area.

I thought too, ”God I’ve got to come down here when it’s raining to watch the rain blow,” and on blustery March days when everything is lush and there is a lot of water to reflect the clouds.

It connected me to nature. I wasn’t expecting that. There’s something else I wasn’t expecting.

My friend went out of town and wanted me to go over to feed his cat for a few days. So I did.

Wow! Talk about connection. I’ve always loved his cat. She purrs a long time when I pet her. I go down her back to the end of her tail. Sometimes I start at the head and go to the end of her tail. Then she’ll turn on her back so I will pet her stomach. She gives me lots of love bites but I have to tell her to stop.

I went from seeing and fantasizing in the evening light on the train to touching and cultivating a relationship in my friends’ dark abode. I got out of two ruts. I feel lucky, but I am afraid I will not be able to stay out of them.

It’s getting hot. As I stop and look around, I see professional women on their phones and women with kids on theirs. These phones are more important to women than to men.

For men the phones are a tool to make money or a gadget to kill time with. For women the phones are a way to keep track of their kids and pester their husbands, to have more control over the family than they had when we were young.

Remember when our photographer cousin said his camera was an extension of himself? That’s what smart phones are for women. I think that women with phones are the new technology, that if you want keep up with the times you have to use a phone like a woman does.

I wonder what a wife would say if her husband said ”I’m getting rid of my phone. I don’t want to be standing in the superstore listening to you tell me what to buy for dinner.”

I wonder if any kids ditch their phone at a friend’s house while they go out to get stoned or steal. Mom would be outraged. Just like dad used to be when the kids weren’t home on time. Poor dad doesn’t have any power anymore.

I look at these moms with their baseball caps, their phones, their stressed faces. They are tough, confident, determined. And so male.

It’s no wonder there are so many lost men. Who wants to chase pussy or court when, except for the organ, you’re sleeping with a man.

That’s it for now.

Love,

Dave

Copyright © 2021 by David Vaszko

Monday, July 3

Dear Jim,

I talked with dad this afternoon. He is stifled. He was in love with one of the other residents, but she had to move. He won’t be able to see her again.

It shocked me when he told me. It’s incredible. 95 years old and he is in love.

It hurts to listen to him. He says, “This too will pass.” I told him, “Yeah. But it doesn’t make it hurt less.” He appreciated that.

Hearing dad talk about love makes me embarrassed that I haven’t been in love in so long. It scares me.

There was a woman here a few years ago I liked, but I thought she was married. I always saw a guy her age leave what I always thought was her apartment. When I talked with her a couple of days before she moved, I realized she was single. I said to myself, “Oh no!” She looked at me as if to say, “You dumb shit.”

I tell myself to count my blessings, but that doesn’t make me less lonely. However, it does keep me from complaining. I want to complain less as I get older.

That’s a great thing about dad. He doesn’t complain. I remember when I tried dating through newspapers in 1990. Several of the women had ads that said they didn’t want the strong silent type. I was offended because dad is the strong silent type, and I try to be.

Women think because a man doesn’t say much, he isn’t in touch with his feelings. Dad’s very much in touch with his feelings. He used to tell me, “Always be honest with yourself.” Did he say that to you?

Dad has always counted his blessings. He often talks about how much he loved mom and what a great marriage they had, and how lucky he was to have her.

We were lucky having dad, and seeing the great marriage he and mom had.

I know you agree.

Take care,

Dave

Copyright © 2021 by David Vaszko