22 December 2015 – If I didn’t know any better I’d think I was making up for lost time. No. Not quite. Morelike for not having kept better track of time passing. Now I’m faced with a logjam. A ball of rolled up threads. So densely packed and tightly wound it’s tricky to pick out one without unraveling another.
Wheels within wheels….
Start with this instant.
In a cafe near the museum.
Where I’m to meet Liz in about an hour.
At the risk of straying into distraction, I should note that I’ve been on a fixed schedule at work. Since about mid-November. MWF at the mega-complex near home, T and T downtown (with the inimitable Pat). Both facilities easy for me to get to and from—the former by foot, the latter carpooling with Liz. Took some getting used to but the work routine has rather smoothly expanded to include exercising after work. The elliptical and occasionally a swim on MWF. And when downtown, yoga with Liz. Where we’d be right now had she not a function to preside over.
Spider in a web.
Outside it’s mayhem. Traffic at a standstill. Steady throngs of ballistic bodies and so many huge umbrellas bobbing aloft it seems a confluence of streams has flooded the street. The profligacy of shopping bags reminds otherwise. And here and there the colors of Christmas.
Christmas. Yes. This is what I wanted getting to.
Jeremy Douglas. One of the oddball regulars who comes into the downtown facility. Likes to go by JD. Often at the door waiting for either Pat or me to let him in. Goes for a long sauna to start his day. Like clockwork he’s out front again for his 10 am spliff, ‘to take the edge off.’ Thereafter he sees out the morning in the front sitting area chatting away with one or another of his cronies (there are about four of them—each entering as if clandestinely, none venturing beyond the sitting area save to use the washroom), cycling among them, one by one, never sitting between two of them, and never talking to more than one at a time. It’s like watching a haphazard game of musical chairs.
They mostly talk about the news (favorite topics of late = Donald Trump [particularly as relates to the fluctuating betting odds of him becoming the next President—the sad reality that the deeper he jams foot in mouth the better the odds] and this BigPharma kid, Mark or Marion somethingorother, who’s infamous for jacking up the prices of do-or-die drugs but has recently been collared for securities fraud [or somesuch related gold-collar crime involving silly amounts of money the rest of us could live lives off]), unless JD’s outside smoking weed, in which case the cronies talk about JD as if he were a stranger who just walked in off the street and started blathering nonsense.
From what Pat says JD’s independently wealthy. Made a mint on futures and has been playing the market ever since. Never touches his nest egg. Lives completely off the interest from his investments. Something of numbers whiz. But socially maladjusted.
His cronies are also financially independent and socially misfit. Pat’s not certain what their stories are, or who’s attached to which story, but one of them lives on a monthly stipend off his father’s estate and another got lucky working for an upstart software company that went from small to huge overnight and sold up.
All of which is preamble to this morning, when JD came up to the counter and asked to use a pen. I said of course and watched as he placed a Christmas card and a book of postage stamps on the counter, followed by a heap of papery things from one coat pocket and from the other a sheaf of lottery tickets and scratch cards. He grabbed a pen. Opened the card. Wrote ‘Coops,’ in a meticulous and surprisingly ornate hand, then stood there awhile looking at the factory inscription and puzzling his chin. Eventually he skipped to the bottom of the card, signing off with, ‘XO, Dad’. Next he lumped the lottery bits inside the card and put it in its envelop. He sealed the envelop, licked and affixed three postage stamps, and wrote out the name Cooper Douglas. Finally he dug through his heap of paper, pulled out an old folded envelop (also to Cooper Douglas, but with an address—all in his ornate handwriting), and copied the address. Which was local and not too far away.
Have to say I was shocked. About, well, all of it.
And it was everything I could do to stop myself saying it would be quicker for him to hand-deliver.
Shit. Gotta go.