Blurred Lines and Infinite Choices

I’m all alone for the weekend. I suppose I should feel ebullient and free on some level, but in my heart of hearts, it only reminds me that I am bad at making choices when faced with an infinite array of outcomes, all written and produced and starring me. 

I set out to buy a lightning wire (probably the 5th I’ve bought due to attrition, poor craftsmanship or misplacement) at Best Buy. I still want to get that sound bar for the TV. They’re offering it up for $199, and I do have that credit card that they foolishly gave to me back when I used and returned that iPad last year. But I walk by and walk by and walk buy, but none of them jump into my arms, so I keep on going. Next time. 

I remember the girl at the cash register, as her small talk was a little more nuanced and cool than most last week when I contemplated that same sound bar out loud last week as a self-birthday present. She was very Nordic and nice. It wasn’t flirting. Wigga please. It was fun. But if she makes commission she won’t be getting much from me tonight.

I want Chicken Wings .In this area of the state there’s not much at hand. I check my phone and the nearest place is downtown Durham, about 5 miles away, but it’s raining and people are driving like twitching monkeys, so I stop into Barnes and Noble. Read The John Lennon Letters for a while. He was, in a word, impenetrable, it seems to me. Also sort of a jerk. Trying to find a good reference book, but they seem to sell less and less. 

I catch the eye of a woman I’ve met somewhere before. It turned out to be the kind girl who let me have my first CD release party at that particular B&N. She was a widow in her 30’s when we met. Her husband died unexpectedly and she was just recovering when we had done business. Now she was remarried and preggers. Due in November. I said I’d send her a CD. I’ll probably just deliver it by hand Sunday when I return the lightning wire next door.

I flashed back to the day my first CD’s arrived at my house. I raced out to give copies to everyone I saw. The first person was a terrified gal in that very parking lot. Who KNOWS if she ever listened to it. 

The treacherous negotiation of the intersection from hell, 15-501 and Mount Mariah, to maybe Five Guys? Hamburger and fries? Take them home? Maybe? Too many people in line. Get back in my car and think about having shitty pizza and wings delivered from Anna Maria’s. That will set me back $20 and there’s NO consistent quality. Sometimes it’s amazing. Sometimes it’s shit. The guy delivering the stuff seems to be operating on “Friend who’s always maddeningly late but you forgive him because you’re young and free” time, so maybe not that. It’s Friday and Harris Teeter has subs $2 off. 

The girl making the subs apologizes with her eyes as I approach. No rolls left. Only half rolls. Tomato slices swimming in their death brine. The dregs of sliced onion land. She nicely makes me two half-subs, one turkey, one meatball. I’m the last sub of the day. I just ate one. It was delish. 

Bought a baguette and a pizza crust for tomorrow. See, when left to my own devices, my choices are wild and not well-planned.

Then, just past the mixed nuts and at the hard cider end-cap I run into Nordic Best Buy Girl! What a meet cute it would have been, save for the hulking boyfriend bearing peperoncini and a rugged head of tousled black hair. Damn his firm handshake. But she’s really swell, and invites me to return my lightning cord Monday when she works again. 

Back home into stand-still traffic. 

The silence in the house is disconcerting and the infinite array of choices bear down again. If I had more friends here, I guess it’d be OK, but I don’t. Those were choices, too. Theirs. I’m supposed to be productive and motivated. But I’m not feeling that way. I sort of feel homeless. 


4 thoughts on “Blurred Lines and Infinite Choices

  1. rhijulbec says:

    Ahhh, that international feeling that is “Yay! I am alone for the weekend, now what the hell do I do?” That time when left alone for the first time in dog years and the slience envelopes you like a warm blanket but then seems kind of suffocating. That “what am I going to do to make this time not seem like a wasted weekend.” Its actually called empty nest syndrome. Once the babes are grown and flown the coop, it becomes very, very real and it truly does suck, unless you have, while younger, remembered this time will come and developed interests that will sustain you after. I didn’t and that wierd feeling that you have can become a bit of a pain in the brain. It can make days stretch forever, while time flies. Just a friendly bit of advice…develop outside interests to avoid that feeling of falling into that permanent abyss of “okay…whats next?”

  2. I have a nice guitar and some recording equipment. Songs that need to be sent to my drummer. See? I have choices. What’s holding me back?

    I’m going to see “Get on Up” alone in about an hour. I’m nervous about going to a movie alone. I did it all the time as a teen/pre-teen.

  3. Dark Munc says:

    Thanks for the description of a concept so foreign to me that I almost feel voyeuristic reading it… freedom as a paralyzing array of options. All I have ever known as an adult is freedom and so hearing about it from an adult who has children helps me understand that I made the correct choice for me, namely not having children.

    Everyday, I wake and decide what I will do without any constraints of family placed upon me. The day is always mine to share with others or not. My wife also enjoys the freedom to do as she wishes everyday and sometimes we spend the day apart doing things that each of us enjoys.

    IMO, as I get older I find I am still inspired to make music but sometimes lack the will to record it so this maybe what you also are experiencing.

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