Friday August 31, 2018 – Columbus (home)

We are so excited to go on holiday, but getting home also feels so right. The last 3 mornings jet lag has driven me from bed by 4:00 or so. And so then I was able to take a long slow coffee or two on my deck. The dog is still with mom and dad which makes me a little lonely but takes off the pressure for a long walk. I enjoy our early morning long walks, but this has been nice just to read the paper, read some Kapuscinski or just daydream about a life that did not involve me working 11 hours a day for a corporation. Of course I could quit and piece together some low paying jobs, but when you do the math the change in lifestyle is immediate and dramatic—not gradual and slight. So, give up international vacations, expensive meals, motorcycles and boats and good whiskeys and some of the other pleasures that require money or keep on serving the man. I have thumbed my nose at the man a few times in my past and will do so again, but now is not the time. I am still recovering from past sins—primarily a poor choice of life partners who captured much of my energy, money and creativity for a decade. But as always, complaints and regrets have no place in our hearts or minds so onward we go. And I have had more fun in this lifetime than I deserve and probably more than most, so how can I complain. Still, I am plotting a way out of this soul-sucking corporate death march once again

Evening now. I took my FNM at Hudson 69 in New Albany. Two terrific martinis in an otherwise completely forgettable Cameron Mitchell restaurant. Now I am on the deck drinking a beautiful sparkling rose and wishing Mandela were here to keep watch over the estate. Weather is perfect. It was hot today, but the sun is beginning to lose intensity in evenings and now it is fine. Listening to Johnny Cash. I rode the motorcycle to work and to the restaurant and back. Perfect day for riding. Amazing. Beautiful. Now just slowly chipping away at dinner. Baking a potato which I will then remove from the skin, dry in an iron skillet for a bit and then mix in butter and sour cream, chives and bacon bits and convert to a twice baked. And of course with my preferred Friday meal of New York Strip. Maybe a small side salad and a movie with a great Louie Martini Cab. Life is good no matter how hard I try to sabotage by dreaming of other adventures that remain unrealized.

I bought 3 tickets to see Buddy Guy next Saturday. Me, Larry and Jerry Mayab. Jerry is someone I need to get to know better. Very interesting dude. Smart and reflective but I think has had some difficulties behind him. As we all have I suppose, but Jerry seems to have a depth that is intriguing to me. I just don’t really know him well but want to get to know him better. Larry’s birthday is the next day so this is our birthday tribute to him. 60 years on that dude. 5 years ahead of me.

It’s hard to overstate how nice it is to be out here on the deck right now. I started out here this morning around 4:30 with coffee. It’s now 8:00 and still beautiful. I bought a nice cigar but not sure I will be able to be awake long enough to enjoy it tonight after dinner—but it will be there for me tomorrow. I am supposed to meet Sukanti and Pete for some beers tomorrow afternoon. But Mom said Mandela doesn’t seem to be feeling well so if she is not better tomorrow I will head over and fetch her and take her to the vet. If she seems to be better I will just pick her up Sunday as scheduled and take her in next week.

Kapuscinski is amazing. An elegant and beautiful writer that rivals my heroes Stegner and Steinbeck. He has a way of getting to the essence of Africa in a way that few are able to do. I certainly was not able to capture the sights, sounds, smells and experience of Africa and convert the senses to words in a meaningful way.

Saturday now.

Change of plans. Mandela deteriorated and is just not feeling well. I met mom and dad at the rest area off of Highway 70 near route 13 and we did a dog-exchange and I brought her to the emergency clinic. She is now back getting probed. The doctor found a large mass that I certainly never noticed before and apparently was not there at her last check-up around 4 months ago. So now we are getting blood work and a biopsy on the mass and a chest x-ray. We will see. I don’t want to jump to conclusions and get worked up. But Mandela clearly is not herself. She does not appear to be in pain, but has no energy and little enthusiasm for anything more than lying by my feet. She never likes being at the vet and her look back at me while the tech took her away was one of confusion and betrayal. But she will be back soon and within a couple of hours we will hopefully know more. The biopsy will have to go out to a lab of course and since this is a holiday weekend I am sure it will be Tuesday or Wednesday before results are back.

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