Table 14

Out it is.

Man sitting at a table alone with coloured chairs around the room and bright lights on every table
Photo by 青 晨 on Unsplash

Friday night. Standing in the kitchen finishing off the milk staring at the cupboard. Tossing. Thinking about going out or staying in. Go out or stay in. Out or in. Thinking about the story about the guy and the vermouth and gin drink.

Out it is.

I stand on the balcony watch the moon streak across the ocean. A bright night and I see it all. My shirt flutters in the wind. Is what I'm wearing warm enough? We'll see. I take a deep breath. Soak in the night air. Ho, ho. Today's been a good day. A day filled with love talking with friends talking about the future grinning about the past learning creating grooving dancing.

Out it is.

It's cool enough to wear pants, warm enough to wear a partially buttoned linen shirt. Plus, a don never wears shorts (unless he has nice legs). Start dressing like you're at a French restaurant opening and see what happens.

Dinner passed hours ago. I'm full on the day but I could eat. Walking will bring on hunger. I move my feet and the thought I'd been thinking all day and yesterday and the day before comes back. I smile and think it through again and decide you know what? I'll do it. Oh yes yes I will. If the going narrative is we're all doomed I'll spread the reverse. Every yin needs a yang. Because hell, I hit the pavement and I smell the open air and I move my feet and I fill my day with love learning making writing fighting and it's hard not to feel like this. Feel excited a deep joy a deep joy for whatever's going on. So much joy for life it chokes me up and I have to remind myself I'm here. And that's all I ever will be. Here. For some, that's not enough. I turn left and walk down the hill.

Out it is.

Right at the old chemist and I'm at the pizza shop. The one you can smell from up the hill. I'd argue smell travels faster than light. Wood burns in the oven and sends smoke blocks away. And the smoke decides to fill my nose I let it.

I ask if they're still open and they are. I order a margherita and a ginger beer and say table for one please and the woman says table 14 is free and I pay and say thank you.

I see the pizza being constructed. Dough sauce cheese leaves heat. Simple things. And yet it's easier to tear down than it is to create something new. Who's chanting these doom songs ringing in my ears? I know. The ones afraid of creating something. Those who create give themselves the responsibility of learning magic, those who destroy avoid such responsibilities, they let themselves off the hook at the expense of others.

Two years into a global pandemic and no one, especially me, knows what's going on. But you can still order pizza and ginger beer. I guess we'll call it even.

Kids at the table next to me play on their iPads while their parents push pizza crusts around their plates. I'm about to eat alone. I guess we'll call it even.

Alone but never lonely. That's the trick. If I tried to describe it I'd fail. Sometimes I catch myself staring into a brick wall laughing inside. I got in trouble once. One of the girls said I was staring at her. Excuse me ma'am forgive me forgive me no offence meant I got lost you see lost in a lustful gaze on no not for you no but maybe perhaps not no no a lustful gaze for life. Yes, this experience we call Life. Onward. But not before I finish this pizza.

On my other side a table of two men and two women. One of the men complains about the beer being weak and another says did you hear Elon Musk could buy all of the houses in Tasmania and still be the 2nd richest person in the world?

None of the others knew.

I can't believe that he says. All of the houses in Tasmania! he could elect himself mayor and no one could oppose.

The subject changes to star signs. It's one of the man's birthday tomorrow. That means you're a Cancer one of the women says.

Cancer? Why's Cancer called cancer? What a terrible name.

Some questions don't need answers. Like what am I going to do after I finish this pizza?

Forget it. I know.

I'll go to the bar find my girl watch her sing dance and sit and write a story while the band plays.

Out it is.