Navel Gazing of No Great Importance

I was walking through a familiar and frequently traveled neighborhood but had no idea I was lost and mostly adrift until I ran into a professional acquaintance who asked me where I was headed. I paused for longer than can be ignored in polite conversation before finally responding “I have no fucking idea.”

All of the makings for a delightfully lazy Sunday where there – absence of agenda, a couple of cigars in my bag, and Washington Post and New York Times under my arm. Yet, I didn’t find comfort in this but was rather awash with ambivalence and on a quest for something I could no better define than I could reasonably hope to find.

I stopped at a too-slick-for-its-own-good Irish bar for a Half & Half and to watch some baseball. I left after three innings and one pint, driven away by annoying Philly fans (redundancy intended) on my left and a couple of blathering, bobble-head blondes to to my right.

I had another iced americano at a corporate coffeehouse and watched nothing of significance occur while trying to tackle some of the tasks on my too long to-do list. A summer rain, that I found more annoying than refreshing, began to fall. Any excuse to go find a beer.

I moved down the block in search of something but willing to use a beer as a proxy for the unknown and was struck by the sight of a hotel that had some memories attached to it. The memories and the woman associated with them had never been too far from my thoughts but rarely were they this close.

I once wrote “Time plays parlor tricks with memories of all but the most horrific relationships, and time was pulling half dollars from my ear for what was surely too long.” This was another one of those moments – every good moment, every great conversation, every stolen glance, every perfect kiss and every perfect night was stubbornly in my head. I’m not certain of how long I stood there, or how long it took for harsh reality to mingle with utopian ideals, but of course they did.

I wasn’t certain then, nor do I have definitive clarity as I write this, if that moment helped crystallize the void I could not label or define. By the time I got to my next band-aided destination, the question was immaterial. I did, however, engage the bartender in a toast to “muddled memories, definitions of the murky, and women that got away.”


7 Responses to Navel Gazing of No Great Importance

  1. magnolia says:

    ugh. i know that feeling well, and i hate it. sorry you had to deal with that today…

  2. Vie says:

    I had this feeling about a week ago. Though I wonder if it’s really him I miss, or the perfect memory, or just feeling that intimately connected with someone.

  3. kitty says:

    welcome back! the internet thanks you.

  4. i love drinking to the ones that got away…

  5. City Girl says:

    Beautifully-written, as always! May the void be filled soon! xoxo

  6. This was so lovely, so haunting.

    The walks of wondering. Yes, I go on those jaunts, too, from time to time. I don’t mind them much anymore—so long as I find my way back.

  7. Love, if you had a worthwhile baseball team, perhaps you too would be annoying (wink).

    I may not have a baseball team as (recently) accomplished as your Phillies, however, my football squad, the vaunted Steelers, has long been the cock of the walk, and I am pretty sure I’m not annoying about it… at least not often.

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