Friday, September 28, 2007

Keenly, I Walk

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.


Anonymous Boxer said...

"Felt like I could take on the whole world in one big embrace earlier."

You are gifted, that's for sure. I love reading your posts - truly, it's why I return. Have a wonderful Friday.

KYRIE said...

Yeah, I am happy for you!
Glad to read today's post.
Nature is never mundane my friend :)
Can't wait to see ur paintings one day. Let the pleasures of aesthetics of the arts fill ur life vibrantly!

SOUL: said...

that's some good stuff there my brotha...great to hear that you feel well again!
LOVE the last sentence!
take care!

Portia said...

that was quite the thoughtful and generous gift for clara! i hope you and your ladies have a great weekend:)

Michele said...

Andrew, I once watched a movie called Ruby in Paradise. The movie made me feel sad but in a nice, peaceful kind of reflective way. Since then I've loved any movie or song that could bring me back to those feelings. I recently discovered your blog and I have to say that it makes me feel that same way. I love reading about your life and your daily struggles and especially your accomplishments. Thanks so much for sharing your life with us.

Chandira said...

Glad you're having a great day!! :-)

Josie Two Shoes said...

I am grateful that you have found an oasis of respite from the struggles of your week. Time to focus on the good things of life again, instead of those darn labels! You are so generous and kind, Andrew - using your much awaited Google $ to buy a warm sleeping bag for Rosa. You are always feeding friends and caring about their situations. You have a beautiful heart, that I much admire. I too look forward to the cooler weather, and Halloween festivities, we mark our lives with the seasons, and this year you can celebrate them in your own house with Maggie and Rosa!

Jbeeky said...

How nice of you to spend your "free money" on Clara! You are a sweatheart. Glad you are coming up out of those blues, I swear everyone I know has been struggling this week!

Stacy said...

You have a heart of gold!

abbagirl74 said...

Well, well. First, I am so happy you are getting Clara an early Christmas present. I know she will be thankful. It's funny, I just read your post and posted something similar about fall and winter coming. It's going to be a great year Andrew! So many friends who love and care about you. And let's not forget about your awesome family. You are in a wonderful place now. I hope you have a great weekend and hope it is full of alcohol free good times. ;)

Cheryl said...

Great post. I just love to hear you happy. Have a great night. I'll 'talk' to you tomorrow. After Border's.

Summer said...

You made me smile this morning.


I too love Halloween!! The crispy smells outside..and it always rains...the smell of rain so strong in the late seasonal changes..'s to a good season for all of us, misfits. :)