Here's how I spent most of my afternoon: sitting on a lawn chair in Newport reading the New Yorker. Mark had a big meet today and I decided to drive to Newport to watch. I packed sunscreen, hat, gloves, water, snacks, and reading material. Usually when I go to meets, I'm with Marty, or sitting with other parents. Not wanting to appear unsociable, I forego reading even though that's what I really want to do between races. Track meets can be interminable, so you need to be prepared. The weather was fickle today, at first sunny and hot, then cold and windy. I used all the gear in my arsenal.
I sat on the opposite side of the track from all the spectators, pretty much guaranteeing I'd be able to insert my nose into the magazine for meaty chunks of time. (Marty is with his mom in Florida celebrating her 85th birthday.) Sure enough, I read a long article about Phil Schap, a jazz aficionado who's been broadcasting from Columbia U. since my early years in NYC. He knows more about jazz and jazz greats than the greats themselves do. Unfortunately, Schap himself doesn't have much of a life, having dedicated his heart and soul to preserving the memories of the jazz era. After that, I read a typical New Yorker story that reminded me why I don't like to read short stories like this sad, life-denying piece about a relationship doomed to failure. Finally, I skimmed a longish book review covering several books decrying the end of food, or the end of tasty food, or something. Do you realize most of what you eat is less nutritious and less delicious than the food you ate as a kid or even a young adult? The food industrial complex is ensuring that we eat food that's crap, food that makes us obese, and worst of all widens the gap between the haves and the have-nots. Some people are blowing up like balloons while others are starving to death. I really did not know that soy is the enemy.
All this material might have made me blue, but not today. I felt strangely serene sitting there. Physically, I was bullet-proof. Not one ache, no cancer thoughts, zero responsibility. I simply enjoyed the solitude. Watching Mark handily win a few races didn't hurt either. I wish I could bottle this joy juice so I could sprinkle it on myself when life is a little more hellish. I wanted to write about this heavenly state before it drifts away. Done.