Hello, World

It’s Sunday morning in my town, and I am doing the weekly grocery shopping —


— the farner’s market down by the marina, Whole Foods just across the street. I have to drop that stuff off at the house and then go to Trader Joe’s for the things it seems you can only get there, like gluten-free, wheat-free tortillas, and then Costco, for the 55-gallon drum of dish soap and the freight car full of toilet paper.

I am filled with wonder and awe and sadness and joy at this beautiful and fearsome universe, at the fires in the Angeles National Forest that thoughtlessly kill and destroy; at the woman sitting on the curb with her dog and her sign “Homeless Veteran, Any Help Appreciated”; at the half hour of Beatles in mono they just played on Breakfast With the Beatles; at the young man working at Whole Foods who spontaneously sang along in perfect falsetto with Dusty Springfield’s “Son of a Preacher Man”; at the red Ferrari I followed on the freeway all the way home from the store, suddenly realizing, after all these many years — “Hey! I want one of those!” — and thinking it’s OK to desire, to covet; at the way we are sliding from summer into fall, and the sun is washing the world in gold; at the friends I have known and lost, and the ones I haven’t yet met; at the brave and beautiful plumeria in the back yard, who brings forth a flower every now and then, in spite of our neglect most of the time; at my little cat Tigger, who stays in the house even when the door is open and unguarded, because he knows it’s what I want him to do — what love, to tame your own instincts to please another!

I’m not who I want to be, and my life hasn’t turned out as I expected, but some days, days like this, I am happy to be here, to be able to go outside and just…Â see what’s there, feel the breeze, and sweat in this heat wave we’re having. I’m happy to have an extra day off my crummy job this week, happy to have my Telecaster and my Blackjack and my Fender Hot Rod Deluxe and the chance to play them in my band a few times a month.

Yes, katz and kittenz, I am Pollyanna, thanks.

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6 Replies to “Hello, World”

  1. You’re not Pollyanna, man, you’re human. What a fine thing it is to be able to appreciate the world for what it is, rather than what we want it to be. Have a GREAT Monday off work tomorrow!

  2. I had similar thoughts, perhaps. I was at Ralphs supermarket at 6:30 p.m. on a Sunday, tired and hungry, exhausted from work (selling my hippie treasures on eBay so that I can pay for health insurance), and depressed by the fires.

    I almost wept with gratitude and astonishment at the seeming millions of fresh vegetable and fruit items that were available and perfect, and the realization that there are tens of thousands of supermarkets like this in the U.S. alone, also with abundant produce.

    How do we humans do this? Sure, I know, we do it for the money. But is it really that simple? Isn’t there some component of affection and service afoot?

    The produce abundance seems like a delicate miracle, something that could disappear overnight. I was simultaneously fearful for the future and grateful for the moment.

    But then I heard the goddamned piped-in music, and I got pissed off and nasty again. I thought of complaining to the manager, asking him or her, What the fuck are you trying to do with this music: make me feel happy so that I’ll buy some useless piece of shit?

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