Clinton, South Carolina, Monday, October 21, 2019, 12:57 p.m.
Let’s just say I’ve been in a pensive mood since I got home from Greenville Saturday. It was windy and rainy enough at Furman for me to feel cold all night, and the football game was even colder. By this morning, I was down to one K-Cup tub of coffee, a single can of Diet Dr. Pepper, four slices of bread, and two eggs, so I watched a funny James Cagney movie, shaved, showered, stopped by Steamers for breakfast, and soldiered off to Ingles for a heap of groceries.
The satellite radio was playing Johnny Cash singing “Sunday Morning Coming Down,” and it was perfect for all except it being Monday. I appreciated the simple pleasure of walking into a cafe on the Square for breakfast and not even saying a word when Debra brings coffee and automatically puts in an order of the “meaty breakfast.”
You wanna go where everybody knows … your name. Duh-duh-duh-duh-DUH-duh.
I played my usual game of trying to buy as high a percentage as possible of items discounted with my Ingles card. The latest bargain tryout is of some kind of microwaveable breakfast. While I was loading the truck, a fellow I know but haven’t seen in a while stopped by to chat about politics. I try not to volunteer my vast array of opinions unless someone asks me, and he did, so we talked a couple of minutes about how crazy the president is, and he walked on into Ingles.
I was thinking about the absurdity of getting tired hauling the groceries in, and, over the weekend, I had done what old friends always do, which is size up one another, and it occurred to me that when someone asks me about my health, I should reply, “I’m 61 years old, overweight, and my knees are so arthritic that if I walk more than a half mile, it hurts to get out of bed the next morning. What do you think?”
I didn’t have time last week to put together an original YouTube video, so, on Sunday, I started rummaging through my laptop for old video footage and found clips of me performing 10 years ago at a barbecue joint in Richmond, Va., and I put together one song of mine, “The Way I Do,” that I had almost forgotten writing, with a song of Kyle Petty’s that he came up onstage to perform that long-ago night. Here’s the link.
I was happy that I don’t look too different, other than the fact that 10 years ago, my hair was still mostly dark brown, and now it’s gray-headed-white in a hurry. I don’t mind … much. I look distinguished.
And I believe it’s time for me to write a new song.
Working title? “What Do You Think?”
Another way I cobble out a living is with my books, a wide variety of which is available for sale here.
My eighth novel is called Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
Lightning in a Bottle is now available in an audio version, narrated by Jay Harper.