Today's slack rating scored in the high nines on a ten point scale. I oiled up one of my favorite defenses against The End Of The World, and set the machine in motion. Selective denial. No talk radio. No headlines, or newscasts. No politics on the internet. If I pretend it doesn't exist, then it all goes away. Bye Bye.
And part of what made the slack a little sweeter, was knowing that I have an enjoyable shift to work tomorrow morning followed by a weekend, and then a week of my favorite detail. The bills will be paid, and some modest gains will be made in savings. All stuff to be grateful for.
But for today, I walked down the tracks, up to the corner, and talked to old John for a while. Or rather I tried to listen. We sat outside at the corner table, but the kids running the Starbucks had the music on just loud enough that I had to strain to hear John. To boot, they play a really crappy station, Grate XM: All Irritating, All the Time. No deejay; no commercials; nothing to let you come up for air in the nonstop jangle of irritating songs.
And I ended up missing most of what John had to say. Much of it I have heard before. Nonetheless, I try to tune in when he talks. You get his story in fragments- a little here, a little there. It's not easy to fit it all together. Today I could not glean anything distinct, and after a while I quit trying. It was enough to sit and listen.
The afternoon was taken with the small details- the 'chop wood, carry water' of life at this place and time. Sometimes you take it for granted; other times you hold your breath until bedtime. Then you exhale, grateful for an uneventful day. Mary gets home in an hour. We're going to have steak for dinner. It's good. Sometimes it is just plain good.