Good for Nothing

Too much more upward growth and we’ll need to find another house. Do note the books that aren’t sorting themselves.

It is not a good sign when you wake up during the night wondering when it will be daylight so you can take a nap.

That’s what I did Friday night, multiple times. We’re somewhere around a full moon, and the other day I saw a headline, although I didn’t pursue the story, suggesting there might be real reasons for not sleeping as well during full moons, but what it really reminds me of is the semester in college I worked at a gas station in Boulder.

I was assigned two shifts per week, each of them eight consecutive hours, no lunch break (plenty of time to eat a sandwich between customers). One of them started in the afternoon and stretched past the evening; the other came on Sundays, starting at 6 a.m. and ending at 2 p.m. Without fail, I would wake up at some ungodly hour on Sundays, and the first thing I would tell myself was: Only eight hours until you can come home and sleep.

And that’s what I would do, again without fail: come home and sleep, then probably do some homework. I was going to say, “Not a very productive day,” but I made some money, sometimes sold some gas to the Beat poet Allen Ginsburg (the only famous customer of my entire gas-selling career, which started here in Gunnison during my high-school years), stayed on top of my schoolwork . . . I guess those Sundays maybe weren’t as horrible as I recall them. But I did give my notice at the semester’s end so I could come home for the month-long winter break, and didn’t opt to go back, so let’s not get too idyllic here.

Perhaps yesterday wasn’t as unproductive as I’m recalling it, either, but it’s hardly going down in the annals of doer-dom.

Saturday started in semi-celebratory fashion, at least on the small scale I rely on: Lynn was walking Oz for the morning shift, so I stayed in my morning shift, which is really t-shirt and sweatpants, and luxuriated in not having to get dressed or be anywhere by 10 a.m.

Generally there is always somewhere to be by 10 (heavy on the “ish” these days). In the old days, back in December and commencing again perhaps as early as Tuesday, Lynn is long gone to work, so the morning dog-walking shift falls to me, including on Saturdays, when I don’t often have work —

[I would like to interrupt myself here to mention a customer and why they should all matter. The last Saturday I worked, I locked the door at 2 for closing when a woman wanted in. I let her in, and while she knew what design she wanted, she was indecisive about the particular shirt, and asking her what color she wanted the design to be provided another 10-minute delay in my departure — and then the other day she left us the nicest, most-detailed five-star review on Google . . . sometimes the pay-off is more than the shirt sale itself.]

— but frequently have an entire to-do list that never gets more than half done, no matter how well-intended or industrious I am.

Yesterday, though, Lynn was walking Oz and I had yet to even start composing or thinking about my to-do list, so there I sat in my pajamas, reading anything I fancied in my e-newspaper without any time constraint whatsoever.

Then I picked up the puzzle book I made Lynn buy me on our last trip to the grocery store, the same puzzle books I haven’t touched since before moving and that I haven’t seen in the grocery for several years.

I retired to the guest room and our old recliner with the puzzle book when my nighttime wish became reality, and there I was, sound asleep in the daylight, catching up on all the Z’s the full moon cost me.

By the time I woke up, still very sleepy, it was late enough that Lynn, who appears to have spent her entire day knitting, watching a video about knitting, unknitting, watching more video, then knitting, repeating this on a nearly infinite loop, was wondering about lunch. Instead of addressing that, I decamped to the couch, joined by Marrakesh as I lay there contemplating the thickness of the Norfolk pine and eyeing the inches left before it hits our much-taller ceiling. We may be moving again soon . . .

The sole actual action of the day for either Lynn or me came at our belated lunch, with a stop at the only item from my usual Saturday to-do list, the health food store.

In the really old days, a couple-few years ago, one of our Sunday breakfast outings with our peeps was a food truck called Burnell’s. The folks who own and operate the truck then decided to focus exclusively on catering, until Pandemia cratered catering opportunities. They opened their truck back up for the summer, although I didn’t make it their way, but for the winter they’ve set up shop three days a week in the health food store’s deli. While I’m shopping for my milk and bagels, I get sandwiches from Burnell’s that we save for Sunday brunch.

Having secured a Sunday meal, we then went in search of a Saturday meal, driving past the half-block that has occupied our contractor’s time since he finished with our house. He bought a house that came with a bunch of lots that previous homeowners used for a gigantic lawn, remodeled the original house and sold it, built a house and garage immediately north of it for a client, and now is working on a house with mother-in-law apartment, all of it intended for rental income, with the final portion.

We found Saturday sandwiches to go at 5B’s BBQ where the staff wore their masks in the front of house but not in the open kitchen directly behind, which I feel is about what most restaurants in town are offering and yet another good reason to not linger in them, but the food was prompt (even delivered out to our car where we were waiting) and quite tasty.

And that was the event of the day. I could, virtuously, tell you how I unpacked a box sitting on the guest room floor, but the unpacking mostly consisted of taking things out of the box and setting them on the guest room floor, awaiting that momentous day sure to happen any ol’ day now — if only I ever had some free time — when I miraculously get all my books and papers arranged and suddenly find myself with oodles of shelf space for things like pirate ships and SpongeBob water bottles.

I’ve been squandering a lot of my weekend time sleeping and not doing much this new year, but I feel I took it to a whole new level yesterday. But even though sloth might be one of those venal sins, I can’t find it within myself to be mad at me. Maybe later today, when the entire weekend slides by with nothing much to show for it and I can suddenly look around at the 5,000 things that needed doing and wonder why I didn’t do a single one (although there was that box I unpacked), but yesterday doing nothing just felt darn good.

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