Friday, March 30, 2007

Pain And Blood

This morning, I started out my day at the gym. Great workout! I'm usually not there in the mornings, when it seems I'm a good twenty years below the median age, but it was nice. I didn't have to wait for any of the weights or stations I needed. Not even the cable machines. I got an early start because the Baron drove up to spend the day with me here in Bucks County.

So cool. The Baron and I hung out in Doylestown for awhile, talking and talking and talking. Once again, the Baron commiserated and had kind words and thoughtful insights as I ran through a story he's heard more than once before: I meet a guy, hit it off, it seems to be a mutual thing, but then before I know it, I seem to be the only one riding the train. What is up with that? Is it my breath? Do I have an enemy who is constantly taping a sign on my back that says "Get Out Fast!" on my back? Perhaps there's been something in the news that I missed about a guy with a chain tattooed from his right ankle to left wrist who is coincidently wanted by the Federal authorities for identity theft or eviscerating kittens or something? What? Or maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm the only gay man on the planet who read and took to heart all that 18th Century English poetry ("Thy coyness lady were no crime if we had world enough and time, but at my back I always hear, Times wing'd charriots drawing near...").


The weather was beautiful today, the Baron was in a rare good mood. After spending the afternoon in Doylestown, we headed up 611 to Plumsteadville. I had to buy a rake at the hardware store there. (If you drive by the Ol' Homestead, you'll see just how badly I had to buy a rake.) And once again, I had that experience that's so much a part of being my father's son. The first time I went to a lumber yard, I was flabbergasted to discover that for not a lot of money, you could buy... say... an eight foot long two-by-four. My father, e'er the miser, was big on saving every scrap of wood. (This actually worked in my favor when I used to build treehouses.) The loss of a nine inch plank was for him an unimaginable disaster. So I assumed that the price of wood was about the same as the equivalent weight of saffron. When I learned that for $2.50, you could buy just about any board in the yard. The rake that we have, and that we've always had, probably since my father bought it in the 1950s, has had fewer and fewer teeth (tines?) over the years. During my raking years in adolescence, about half of them were still in place. These days, I'd say there were six, and they're not even grouped together. I was planning on spending not more than $40 on a new rake at the hardware store today.

Whaddyaknow, a rake cost me $6.50. And I even upgraded from bamboo to steel.

And of course, the Baron and I had a delightful time stalking the teenagers working in the hardware store. We did some grocery shopping so I could get the fixin's for a nice minestrone soup four our Friday-night-in-Lent supper tonight, picked up a prescription for my father, and had some pizza. The Baron suggested we take a drive down to New Hope. And so we did. The Delaware River is high, and the sun was beautiful as it reddened the western sky. We visited a couple of the tchotchka shops that drive the economy in that town, and I decided to drop in on my tattoo guy. And there he was, standing outside his shop by the canal, greeting me warmly. I mentioned in passing that I still had to come by for the touch-ups. A look of concern crossed his face... "What? Anything wrong?" No, no, no, I reassured, just the lines get a little thin in a few places. So Tattoo Guy got out his appointment book and scheduled me for two sessions, the first one on Thursday, May 3rd.

I'm trying to think about where exactly I've noticed those thin lines... One on the top of my thigh (won't be too bad), one on my shin bone (Yow!), one on my collar bone (Double Yow!). I just had this image of myself, the shaving, that sound of the needle, the scrunched up face Tattoo Guy makes when he's working, the pain, the blood.

Again? So soon? Does it need to be Perfect?

Yeah. Well. I'll just think Spartan thoughts.

And maybe--hope against hope--something will come through for me in the Romance Department and I'll be able to drag somebody along with me to offer moral support. Or at least call afterwards.

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