Day Off

Saturday morning.  I woke up and realized that being me is a full-time job and that I needed a day off.  I rolled over and stayed in bed till 8, two extra hours.

Today’s post was going to be about the Ryan pick.  In preparation I got up and watched a half hour of Up with Chris Hayes on MSNBC and then a half hour of Fox and FriendsRichard Belzer was on the UP set.  Mike Huckabee was a guest on FaF.  This wasn’t an exercise in understanding different world views.  My hour was more like an old Star Trek episode.  I was transported to parallel universes.  All of the names were the same, but the actions, motivations, and even right and wrong were completely reversed.

An hour of television left me frustrated and agitated.  My reality, my day to day interaction with clients and peers, didn’t jive with either of the USA’s the pundits described.

I needed a walk, a mind clearing pure escape from the drivel that passes as political discourse.  I grabbed a bottle of water, gave it a squirt of Mio, and headed to the Beachwood Park with my IPod.

Three or four miles would be perfect.  I clicked on Just Like Gravity, David Crosby’s CPR CD and set out to decompress.

I was walking at a pretty good clip.  Too fast.  This was about relaxing, not cardio.  I reduced my pace and concentrated more on the trees, bushes, and the other people on the paths.

As I got closer to Richmond RoadI could hear a group of young girls screaming and laughing.  They were promoting a free car wash at the junior high school.  I was annoyed that they were intruding on my music and peace even though they were hundreds of yards away.  And I realized that being annoyed was proof that I was still really agitated.

I stopped at my car and lit a cigar for the second leg of my walk.  Now before my favorite nurse weighs in on the evils of smoking, let me point out that we are all entitled to our own vices.  My only two are cigars and self-aggrandizing bullshit like this post.  The cigar, a CAO Mx2, was excellent.

The park, once I was far enough away from Richmond, was quiet and peaceful.  There were a couple of dog walkers and a few bike riders.  I didn’t count much more than a half dozen joggers and runners.  I was anonymous and ignored.  I thought about my father who died eighteen years ago this month.  I wondered what he, an employee who had chained himself to his job, would have thought of blowing off an hour on a Saturday morning.  I don’t know if he ever gave himself an hour in a park.

The cigar and the walk ended simultaneously.  What had I learned?  I was again reminded that walks in the park, like deep tissue massages, aren’t a luxury.  They are the salve to my wounds, real or imagined, that I work through daily.  Those are mine.  What are yours?  What are you doing?  Do you indulge in smoking, or does some other vice call your name?

I had one last stop to make before I returned to responsible adulthood.  I stopped at Menchie’s and had a $1.50 worth of no sugar added frozen yogurt.