Lunch on the Embarcadero

It is 4:15 AM, and I am inexplicably awake. I might have been inexplicably asleep. Everything is inexplicable at that hour of the morning. My awakeness continues without further illumination. Our cat, Nutmeg, howls. Jane rises and attempts to soothe her. She announces that it is 4:45 AM.

I am now aware of one important thing, the state of my nostrils. They are blocked, and this is not a good thing. Actually, it isn’t a bad thing. But the blockage is enough to make an anxious person more anxious. Something in me has never fully adjusted to quadriplegic breathing, i.e., diaphragmatic. On some deep level I get slightly panicky with even mild restriction of airflow. Even though I am more than slightly sleepy. And there is that other thing, the doctor’s recommendation to avoid over-the-counter nasal decongestants. I have a prescription variety. Dammed if I’m going to get up and retrieve the latter. The other, forbidden nose drops are right beside me. I don’t know why my life is arranged this way, but at this hour, ours is not to reason.

Once I am mobile, I am energized and ready for action, which for the retired person means only one thing: lunch.

Delancey Street, happily staffed by ex-cons, offers a pleasant bayfront refuge on a rainy day, lunch included. I meet friends, people who have worked in various nonprofit settings, like me. We have mediocre food in a spectacular setting and share various political perspectives. Sam thinks Trump might win. This seems unthinkable, but then our current president is equally unthinkable. I have enchiladas.

I head back to our home. I am tired, the night having been unnecessarily abbreviated. My back aches. It’s great traveling around town to see friends, but it is also exhausting. Thus, cities, all of them, everywhere. Over lunch, I pitched my friends on the political intern program that currently fascinates me. They listened. They are probably the wrong people to approach at the wrong time, tax time. Whatever. Another idea occurred to me, over lunch. An article on this worthy topic.

I have more ideas and noble causes than any human being can address. I don’t know what this means. I grew up with an inflated sense of healing the world. The world being rather larger than myself. The inflation having to do with the fact of being a child in a wounded family.

Now, healing myself takes a fair amount of effort. Still, just being involved with people around me does give a sense of hope, and of possibility. If nothing else, lunch on the Embarcadero did give me a chance to recount all the volunteer stuff that fills my days. A worthy exercise, I suppose. And now it is time for a nap.

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