The Only Living Boy in New York

What would you do with five days to spend at home, mostly by yourself? Sure, you’re thinking of activities and projects you’ve been meaning to finish. But I meant what would you do in the spiritual sense, the emotional sense.

You’d be lonely. Even with your imaginary friends from the internet or on TV, whether they’re engaging directly with your avatar or blathering on from a screen on the wall.

Recovering from surgery this week, it occurred to me how little free time I normally have – and how little I want to have when I actually do get it. Free time in small amounts is wonderful. A week’s worth, for someone like me, feels like a punishment.

Sure, I filled the days…

Yesterday I saw Darren Aranofsky’s Mother!, which is one of the top five weirdest films I’ve ever watched. (I think it’s an allegory for fame or social media or possibly religion, still unsure…). I saw it in a mostly empty theater other than some old ladies, which was good because my nostrils are a twin set of blood faucets and I can’t go anywhere without gauze and a big rectangular tissue box. They should’ve called the police on me.

I also read George Orwell’s 1984 for the first time. It’s amazing how many people reference it without actually having read the thing. I was one of those people up until now. It’s a perfect novel. Just perfect.

And I responded to some emails and direct messages and tweeted out some links. My firm’s in the midst of a compliance project so there were some responses due there as well. I followed my stocks and funds. I kept current on the latest news which probably doesn’t matter a lot. I get all the news I need from the weather report…

I caught a few glimpses of the kids from behind codeine-lidded eyes here and there – they’re grabbing their lunches for the school bus, they’re running from after-school snacks to dance and tennis and hangouts and whatever. I don’t really see the orchestration of these activities that my wife conducts each week, at least not in-person and close-up; it’s quite impressive.

Mostly, I spent the time thinking about what I will do when I get back to full strength. More than full strength. Able to breathe deeply and fight the fight as never before. This gave me some respite from the loneliness.

Paul’s talking about the time his friend and singing partner Art got cast in a movie that was being filmed in Mexico. He bided this time alone by doing nothing. The song is partly a distraction from lonesomeness and partly a reminder that these periods come and go. Half of the time we’re gone but we don’t know where…

I’m coming back next week. It’ll be slow at first but then like a maelstrom. I’ve got a massive investment conference to put on in November. A speaking engagement in Detroit and another in Times Square. The firm is in the midst of an expansion into cities outside of New York, outside of the east coast. Major things are going to occur.

All in good time.

But for now, more rest. I’ve got nothing to do today but smile…

Now where’s my italian ices?

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