Yesterday I had no meaningful interactions with a single other human being. It was wonderful.
Lest this reads as a hermit’s manifesto, it happened organically. I had half-arsed plans to do things with other people, and they didn’t come to fruition. I also had some potential errands to run. I needed a costume for a party next week, and I was tempted to go out and find some nice coffee beans to keep around home. Easy errands. After a late night of hard dancing, my legs were shot. Still, I’d only been to the gym twice that week. I figured I had nothing urgent to get to, I could have a smoke and do a basic upper body maintenance workout, then pick up those two things. I made a post gauging interest in having a Make Your Own Pizza night, in case anyone wanted to come over.
The gym went quickly enough. A friend recommended this artist BØRNS, and I gave his albums a listen. Fun bouncy electro stuff. His second album, Blue Madonna, was a real good time. Pretty cheesy/campy, but with a fun slick 80s vibe. Very theatrical, but also supremely goofy. It’s great music to make a workout tick by. I kinda zoned out and got stuff done, but mostly spent an age stretching. I can’t emphasise enough how integral stretching has become after a night out dancing. If I were a smarter gent, I’d stretch before too. Thing is, I normally have to be a drunk enough gent to dance in the first place that stretching is my last thought. Stretching post was time well spent. My legs don’t feel like they’re gonna drop off today. Bonus.
My mind wandered and this scene started playing out; two strangers in public who were listening to the same song simultaneously. That was it. I had no idea what song, where they were, just that. The same song. Maybe the song would make them think back to certain memories. Maybe they’d have entirely different views of the song, read lines with alternative meanings. I thought back to the time when I went to a silent disco. There were three different DJs. The DJ you were listening to was denoted by a coloured light on your headphones. You could look around and notice others on your wavelength, see that they were dancing to the same beat. What if you were in public and noticed that someone was dancing as if to the song in your headphones? What if it was actually the same song. That’d be crazy right? I showered up, still with this idea playing through my head. It looked like pizza was not a go for people that night. I thought about seeing a movie. The Favourite was on at 7pm, friends wanted to see Spider Verse and I was happy to see it again. I asked if 9.15 worked. I had all day and I wanted to take my time. My friends were busy, so no Spider Verse, but I still had stuff to do, right?
I still wanted my costume shirt and coffee. I could hit up Black Market, then walk East towards M Street Coffee to pick up some Phil & Sebastian beans. Deal. Black Market is a great place. A bargain basement where most everything is $10, nothing over. I found a couple of shirts, but none of them fit. I’ve also had a side hustle of trying to get a cheap burgundy leather jacket for a few years. I found one that mostly fit. Mostly. The shoulders were a little narrow and poked up when I zipped the jacket. It looked dumb done up, but kind of fine while open. The rack said $5.99. Was $5.99 a fine price for a consolation “close enough” jacket. Seemed that way. I took it up to the counter, and it turned out to be $10. It was a leather jacket, was $10 still a fine price for “close enough”? It was. I tried it on again this morning. I might be KonMari-ing that shit. Unless it’s exclusively for costumes. I tried a couple of other stores for this ugly orange shirt (Nic Cage, Leaving Las Vegas), but their tastes didn’t stray so low. Apparently.
Turned out M Street Coffee was closed, so no deal on the beans. Since I was near Chinatown, I figured I’d drop in at some of the stores. I had ideas of cooking liver and other offal while my girlfriend was Down Under, and the Chinatown shops were filled with the stuff. I got myself a big ol’ pork liver, some fancy apples and a big jar of kimchi. I’ve never kept home kimchi and I’ve got no idea why. I love the stuff and it keeps well. A friend messaged about her storytelling night at 7pm. It was already 5pm and I’d had no time to chill. Was it worth busting my ass to get there? She’s an excellent writer who gives a lot of herself in her work, but also I’d been on my feet for hours. I was even allowed to stay in and not get roped into Saturday night partytime. The stranger song idea was still in my head, and I wanted to get it down on a page. I told her I’d need time to decompress, and if I could make it out of the house, I’d make a beeline for the event.
I didn’t make it out of the house in time. I got back, took ten to catch my breath, then started writing. It wasn’t a fast process. When I do this kind of writing, my normal writing, it flows a lot easier. I don’t have to think about reasonable structure, if I’m reusing words or expressions too much. I don’t have to think about tenses or pronouns, perspectives, etc. I can just write. Fiction is so far out of my wheel house, even for a low stakes story, that it takes eons to get anywhere. I lost hours to yesterday’s writing. I kept writing, deleting, writing, editing. I was maybe 500 words in before I even figured out what song they’d be listening to. A friend had recently written about her and her boyfriend bonding over it. The song had some sweet sentiment, but also it was well known enough for people to catch on. I didn’t even plan for lyrical coincidences, they just happened. Nothing about the idea was well thought out, so I had to think as I wrote. It was sort of exciting.
Then it was somehow almost 9pm and I hadn’t even eaten dinner. While everyone opted out, there was nothing stopping me from having a pizza night. I had a little tub of gravy in the fridge left over from the other day’s pork roast. Had I ever tried gravy as a base instead of tomato? Why not experiment? I pre-heated the oven then went to the supermarket to grab bases. I remembered that people had suggested bacon to cook with liver, so I grabbed some. Back home I spread gravy on the base, and put it on the pizza tray. I thought about caramelised onions with the gravy and roast pork tenderloin. I chopped the bacon up and threw it into the pan with the onions. It was all coming together. Sundried tomatoes, pickled jalapeños, cumin, cayenne and a slathering of cheese. It was magnificent, decadent and exactly what I wanted. My friends had opted out, but there was no reason I couldn’t watch a movie by myself. So at around 11pm I sat in front of my computer with a delicious pizza and watched Roma.
It was fucking perfect, and I was in perfect company.