The rains of yesterday were a distant memory on this gloriously sunny morning. I trudged through my neighborhood on the long thirty minute walk to the shopping center -- keen to tell Clara I had ordered her a nice goose down sleeping bag. My Google check having arrived and being much more than I thought it was going to be. Dew glistened in the grass on the side of the road like little twinkling diamonds in the rough. Mesmerizing me. These days I seem to see beauty in the most mundane things -- an artist's eye I hope to nurture when I start painting in a few weeks.
Stopped by the convenience store on the way there -- the beer was so tempting, but I purchased a harmless Gatorade instead. My favorite clerk had long gotten off for the day. No doubt sleeping. The little lady cashier was abrupt and surly making me want to respond in kind. Brusquely, I thanked her and continued on with my journey -- a journey of good news and good tidings.
Arrived at the shopping center to only find Big S. The rest of the gang was nowhere to be seen. He was sitting in front of the little Korean restaurant drinking his sweet tea from a straw. He had on his characteristic overalls which prominently displayed his Buddha-like belly.
"Seen Clara?" I asked, shaking his hand.
"She is panhandling over by restaurant row," Big S replied as he pointed to the east.
Near this shopping center is another shopping center where all the restaurants are located. An Internet cafe. Mexican. Chinese. Pizza. Barbecue. Steakhouse. A little English pub. All can be found the twenty minute walk away. Clara has learned that satiated shoppers are more likely to share their wealth after a good meal or a few drinks. She pounces upon them as they leave the restaurants for their cars. I was far too lazy to walk over there after my initial walk to the shopping center, though. Clara's good news would have to wait.
I took a seat down near the grocery store to smoke and finish my drink. I can see why the gang hangs out down here every day -- the shopping center being so vibrant, social, and the center of activity. If you wait long enough, something is bound to happen. It seems to draw interesting people out of the woodwork. I thought of all the interesting people I have met these past few years hanging out with George and the gang.
Back to blue skies again today after the gray of yesterday, cloudless. The last of this old year unfolding hesitantly as if it can't decide if it wants fall to start -- heading towards Christmas and the new year. The holidays will be here before we know it. I can't wait for Halloween, the smell of burning leaves, and the sound of my doorbell ringing as children come trick or treating for candy. Candle lit pumpkins on my front steps. The planting of fall mums in my flower boxes also being a favorite ritual of the year that I always shared with my ex-wife when we lived together.
I feel really strong and well today. A fitting reprieve from the dour doldrums I experienced for days earlier in the week. Felt like I could take on the whole world in one big embrace earlier as I sat at the shopping center enjoying my surroundings. Thus goes the teetering tenuousness that can be schizophrenia. Maybe, it was because my medications had run out for several days before I got my next injection. I don't want to dwell too much on the whys as I want enjoy what is. These little eyes in the storm should be savored and lived like no other moment in the life of a mentally ill person as sometimes the good days come only seldom -- like little oasis of light on a dark, moonless night.