Saturday, May 31, 2008

Transitions

Yesterday I went for my monthly hair cut at Richard's Barber Shop, in the strip shopping center where I spent a good 9 years of my life.

First, it was Leisureville Pharmacy. The owner of it sold out to Walgreen's in 2004. Enter Express Care Pharmacy, same plaza but within a different unit. I stayed there for 2 years. Last year, it closed.

While I was waiting for my preferred folicle maestro, I strolled down to Americare, the latest attempt at an apothecary in this locale. Leisureville is a sprawling community of retirees. I got to know many of them quite well between 1997-2006. They've been beaten up by all of these changes. I wouldn't blame them if they are hesistant to give these new proprieters their business. Exhausting process for some seniors, transfering your Rxs when you're less mobile than you once were.

I met the new owners, even gave them some advice; Leisureville Pharmacy was quite successful. Express Care didn't fare so well. One reason, they refused to open on Saturdays due to religious rituals. The new owners will be closed the entire weekend. Bad move. Maybe they'll change their minds.

As well, a restaurant called Chaz & Pauli's also closed their doors since my last visit. This was astonishing news. This place had been in the black from almost their first month. They were a massive success, enough so that they moved from a smaller space in the plaza to a larger one---where Leisureville Pharmacy once stood. Another bad move. Now, they're gone as well.

I've noticed a lot of this in my days. Businesses come and go, part of life. Some stalwarts remain for decades, others are a mere glimmer in time. Every time I see another abandoned space where I had previously dined or otherwise utilized, I am reminded of how transitory our time on earth is. I have more reminders than I would care for these days. Yet another bold clue that my faith is only thing that will remain when everything else turns to dust.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Thank You, Dr. Jones

I love my fiancee. I can't even adaquately express the magnitude in mere words. I've known this for nearly 8 years. I had a delightful reminder on Memorial Day.

We were at the theater, watching Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It was great fun. Even better than the movie was glancing over to see my lady smile. She grinned uncontrollably and gasped during those break neck chases and impossible escapes. Her smile widened when those crazy monkeys appeared. She clapped in the delight as the credits rolled.
I shared in her joy. I could've turned in my seat and just watched her watch.

Our jaunt to the movies was a well deserved break for her, as she spent a good chunk of her holiday weekend at the office, deep into a tedious project. But more than that, it was a time for me to bask in he sweetness of my love. Words just don't do it; you have to experience it yourself.

I love you, Sonia.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Focus

The more I learn about it, the more I believe I have ADD. On symptom checklists, I usually tick off 80 percent. Inability to concentrate for any length of time. Mainly that one. I get so distracted, with nonsense at that. The real corker was cam e in article by someone who had the same musings. "ADD isn't just the inability to focus on something, but rather something you don't want to do.

There are PLENTY of things I hate doing. Ironing, washing dishes, navigating Word, writing out checks. But, I still struggle with assignments I need to do for school and work. I have to practcally bind myself to the chair to get through PowerPoints and articles. Do I need Ritalin? Adderall? Strattera? I wonder....

In fact, there are projects that need my attention NOW. Rather, I'm tying this blog entry. Damn you, invisible audience!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

5043-B

I still think about the old place. That dim, musty apartment which once provided shelter to my mother. She quite unwillingly traded it for a dim, musty rehab center, where she struggles daily through dressing changes and the fears that prevent her from literally taking the next steps toward her recovery.

That old place was also my home, for nearly 10 years. It became famiiar, comforting, but it also represented something so lonely and sad. While my mother was there, there was life: piano playing, a siging parakeet, the din of TV Land. It went on for years, semmingly never to end. I slept there, sweated out lots of school assignments there, exercised there, and spent many a solitary time wondering out loud about my life. Little sunlight penetrated the place and it always felt as if time had stopped, roughly 30 years ago.

After my mother was admitted to the hospital, I remained there for nearly 5 months. Never a sadder time. All the memories, and the neglect. When I tried to prepare the place for the next tenant, well, years of dirt and apathy was revealed. This was a tangible piece of what happened to my mother. As mountains of artifacts filled the living room, I still talked to the walls. As the time drew nigh, I asked the apartment to remember my lovely mother, the sweet little parakeet who spent many hours alone in the dark while my mother helped my grandmother in 5063-C. It was time to leave.

So now, closing in on the anniversary of my departure from Cresthaven, I still thonk of that sad place. My grandmother still lives across the lot from where my mother was. The apt. appears empty. What goes on inside of 5043-B? Do ghosts whisper in the humid darkness? In the wee hours, can the chirp of the long deceased sweet little canary be discerned? Does the ancient furniture breathe under years of dust? I wonder. Every abode that has stood for any amount of time has history, much of it lost to time. As I sit in my lovely apartment of now, I still salute the dreary past, still think on it. But it's time to breathe, time to embrace the light.

That goes for you too, mom.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Le Grande Soiree

Last Saturday I attended what was probably one of the most enjoyable parties I've yet experienced. Parties never held much appeal for me. One is expected to mingle like a fervent honey bee among the mums, going from petal to petal. Never liked that. I prefer qualitative discourse with one or a few versus the empty drifting and painful attempts to make conversation with as many individuals as possible. People I'll likely never see again. That sounds awfully cranky, yes. But that's how it is for me.

Sure, I've struck up converstaions at parties that led to strong friendships, but such are not usually fostered in these environments. Groups of people make me jittery, suck my energy. But not this time.

My former co-worker, a pharmacist who emigrated from France last year, called and invited me to a shindig ostensibly to be populated by other former co-workers. Indeed, many of them were there, with some real surprise guests. My fiancee was with me and it was a kick to introduce her to people about which I once spoke at length. Everyone was very complimentary of me as well. My Hopsice family. Yes, I worked at Hospice of Palm Beach County for almost a year. The first month was a bit dismal, but soon these folks impacted me far more than I would've ever guessed. EASILY the best work environment I ever had. I would've never left if the organization had a place for an audiologist.

So this night I ate too much, did a jello shot(!), and laughed with my former compadres. How I miss them. I even got to meet some new folks at this party. Quite a few, in fact. And the conversations weren't the usually watered down pseudo-clever attempts at wit. Maybe I'll attend more parties. Actually, I think it's Hopsice. It's magical, and it seems to bring out the best (and the best in) people, even after-hours.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

In Pieces

Some weeks ago I found a torn letter, its many pieces littered over the lawn of the Chapel-by-the-Lake, the ampitheater across the street from my old church. That venue has plenty of meaning and memories for me, and will merit its own entry. But the pieces of this letter.....


I was able to discern a few phrases, things like "I know, but...." and "it's better if..." The handwriting appeared to be female, an elegant cursive with ballons dotting the "i"s. At first, I thought it was a Dear John letter. I imagine some dejected fellow had come to the Chapel, to gaze out over the lovely Intracoastal, to read this missive of pain. He read it several times, then ripped and ripped, letting the wind take it away. I'd been here, litterally. I'd gotten such a letter nearly 20 years ealier as a college student at the university which lies right across the street. It was an odd moment. All the drama came back. Still happening, and how many times before I set foot here?

As I collected more pieces, I started to find remnants of Bible verses. Hmmm. Maybe these were sermon notes? Now I wasn't sure. I brightened a bit, thinking maybe our anonymous lovelorn wasn't such at all. But worse, maybe someone having doubts about their faith. I suddenly lost my hope, then regained it. I've been there too. And back.......