Sleepless Somewhere Else

I went Somewhere Else to see my niece while she was in town. I wandered the hotel lobby like the ghost in Macbeth. I do not sleep well away from my husband. I checked and responded to email at 1:30A. As exhausting as it is, I love Somewhere Else.

I was in a shop trying to find a pair of comfortable shoes. I like to have something with a neutral to negative heel, for walking in the fall. I was alone, unattended, enjoying the mission. The phone rang.

I answered, clarified a few inconsequential matters, and inquired of other undertakings. At the near conclusion of the call I was given to know the INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE had called and left a message. A message from the IRS is what we lead a conversation with, not the way we end the evening broadcast. The sun shone and there was a slight breeze, people ate and pets were fed, by the way the Internal Revenue Service called. That’s it for tonight folks, tune in tomorrow… .

I am fastidious in financial matters. I have receipts for receipts. I run monthly balance sheets, quarterly balance sheets, year end spreadsheets that make my fragile heart go pitter-pat in their virtuous accuracy. I prove totals in every conceivable way. I can defend whatever it is we have done. I abandoned the shoe search and called the IRS. I heard a recording, from a department I had sent correspondence to almost 3 years ago, about an issue that is now irrelevant.

The following morning, I was out on the loose before seven, when my favorite bakery opens. I wanted coffee. The downtown Starbucks was open. I could have gone to any number of breakfast joints but I didn’t want to smell like grease for the remainder of the day. I could have gone to Dunkin Donuts too but there’s a Dunkin Donuts here; I don’t go to it very often, so why would I seek one out Somewhere Else?

I look forward to coffee in the morning. It’s one of the few pleasures left to me.  As I opened the door to the Starbucks’ living room, I noticed background laughter. I ordered my coffee, took it to the condiment counter, spoke for a moment to the gentleman next to me, while I added cream to my coffee. I was sussing out the available seating when I heard an uproar of riotous laughter. Hmmm, I could sit in the corner like a wallflower or I could sit next to those happy, noisy, people.

I sat next to the raucous, fun, people. All three of them had grey hair and spectacles. They did not hold back. I overheard them talking about the bracing turn the temperature had taken. I commented. I became a cacophony contributor. They asked me if I was a writer. I was wearing wide wale corduroy pants. They insisted I was funny and suggested I do stand-up.

People often think I am funny. I do not intend to be funny. I am direct, which is often mistaken for humor. It could be that my life is sadly pathetic and people laugh because they think it must be a joke. I’m not sure.

Anyhow, before I was done with my coffee I’d told them about the underlying love in my husband’s delivery of the disconcerting IRS message, explained to them that I work all the damn time for no good reason that I can discern, that blended families are an urban myth, that testosterone should be regulated, and lamented the days gone by when I burned the candle at both ends came home in the wee hours took a shower went to work and did it all over again. By then it was seven. I left to go to the bakery.

I took coffee and pastries back to the hotel for the Red Haired Philosopher. She was in town for two weddings. I loved seeing her for the the short time that I did. She was very busy with her friends and their weddings, busy burning the candle at both ends. I didn’t mind the least little bit. I’ve been where I am for a long while, so long that there is nothing new about it, or me. Like summer flowers, I have gone by. I don’t mind. I’m glad to be home so I can sleep.


About elroyjones

Married, no children, responsibly self-directed, living happily.
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25 Responses to Sleepless Somewhere Else

  1. I get that too, people telling me I’m funny. I’m so not funny.
    Hey I’m glad you joined the fun people though 🙂

    • elroyjones says:

      Maybe the thing is we’re more forthcoming while others are more reserved? The fun people were great, I skulked right over to the table next to theirs, excellent strategy.

      • bodhisattvaintraining says:

        Nah I’m pretty reserved..but I’ve learnt to hide it well 🙂
        Yes, too easy to sit away from them; and always the potential for new friends!

  2. John says:

    I do love you, you know. Your wit, your way with words, your pithy observations. I’m just sad that this post was so short. 😦 It was so much fun to read!

  3. judithatwood says:

    Such a lovely morning, and you write of it beautifully. 😎

    • elroyjones says:

      Judith, in between the wailing and wringing of hands, I have a good time. It’s good to be of an age where I can appreciate my haphazard existence. You see the value in ordinary experiences; we’re both lucky to be able to appreciate them!

      • judithatwood says:

        We most certainly are, and I am making up for some lost time. I love to write descriptively, but I haven’t done it in weeks. Maybe this afternoon!

  4. Doug says:

    Damn Well Written. And here, as in some of your other offerings, you stand up to that bully; Bathos. Many don’t. Most would fail to recognize ’em. You do and I think that’s why others think you should take a turn at stand up.

    Sleep well.

  5. gkinnard says:

    You should charge for a day of your company! (That probably didn’t sound right, but you know what I meant!)

    Your wonderful words, “Like summer flowers, I have gone by,” have been copied to my computer so I can use them later. Beautifully said!

    • elroyjones says:

      Funny you should mention paid company, George. I had a conversation, with someone my age, at some point in the not so distant past, and I happened to mention that as a young woman I didn’t worry overly much because if I were starving there would always be the oldest profession to fall back on. Now as a faded flower, that particular door has closed to me and I will starve to death. I made that comment in a political context, SS/Medicare, retired people getting screwed. From the expression on the person’s face, you would have thought I’d spent my working life giving hand jobs at the Greyhound station. People need to loosen up.

      Flattered that you saved the phrase, thank you!

      • gkinnard says:

        Sitting here having a reply-reading-coughing fit!!!

        Turn the lights down low and pair (i.e., camouflage) the ol’ “faded flowers” with some baby’s breath and a well-placed rose or two and they get the job done just fine! Most guys aren’t connoisseurs in this regard: just having flowers in the same room is enough at times.

        Damn, I just got a second laugh—and one a hell of a visual—out of the Greyhound Bus station scenario!

  6. My God. Now you’re taking on whole groups. Another week, and you’ll have enough material for a book. I’d buy it of course.

  7. Reblogged this on Tis Pity He's a Writer and commented:
    A great post from Poke around the website; there’s lots of good stuff.

  8. There. I’m caught up, too.

  9. Now stop going someplace else. It makes me nervous.

  10. Peggy says:

    But, you ARE funny. It’s your openness that makes you so funny. I just LOVE you.

    • elroyjones says:

      So I thought of you when I read an article that equated affluence w/elderly residential independence. I’m not sure what we’ll do but I’m hopeful that I can come up with a palatable communal situation. I canNOT live with the sibs; things must be MY way. If I win the lottery I’ll buy an apartment complex so we won’t be homeless in our dotage. I just LOVE you right back!

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