Monday, April 20, 2009

How I Celebrated Allen Raymond Day

I, a man who likes a complicated metaphor, celebrated Allen Raymond Day in the pursuit of modest things, savoring the individual stitches, if you will, that, in concert, forge the tapestry of one's life.

More specifically:

--Woke up. Got out of bed. Dragged a comb across my head.
--Started some coffee, put on my bathrobe, walked downstairs, opened the front door and found, not to my surprise but definitely to my amazement, that my home delivery of The Times had begun. On Allen Raymond Day, of all days. And that the paper had not been stolen. Which only added to my celebratory mood. I mean, how long had the damned thing been sitting in the stoop, whispering to passers-by? Like sirens. Or a siren.
--At some point during the consumption of The Times I made time for the consumption of breakfast. Original style Shredded Wheat--one piece--plus some of that Kashi brand of sticks and stuff that probably isn't very good for you but gives you the impression that it is. Plus a sliced banana and about five prunes. Plus some skim milk ... maybe one percent. Usually I eat raisins, but I saw a pack of prunes (I refuse to call them dried plums) in the store the day before and bought them. And really, what are prunes if not just big, honking raisins? Plus Dad liked them, so that's something.
--Later I engaged in the business of painting. That is to say, no paint was thrown in anger but I did painterly stuff.
--Then I went for a bike ride. I had only the day before pulled my bike out of storage so I thought I'd do one lap of the park and see how it felt. Do you remember that movie with Natalie Portman where she's imprisoned by the Inquisition and tortured? "Goya's Ghosts" maybe? They tied her hands behind her back, then slung the rope over some pulley near the ceiling, then pulled her in the air while, apparently, separating her shoulders. Ouch! Now I know this is a fictional accounting and that they didn't actually do anything to Natalie. That, as they like to say, it was acting. But still, when the time came (probably on some sunny day in southern California in a looping studio just off Hollywood Blvd.) for Natalie to scream like her shoulders were being separated...man, can that girl do some screaming. I mean, it was blood-curdling. It gave me additional respect for her acting chops. I mention this because about a quarter of a mile before I had to either peel off the bike path and head for home or bear left, as they say, and do another loop, I heard the same blood-curdling screams coming from what seemed to be directly behind me. Only this time, instead of Natalie Portman looping a torture scene it was my ass that was screaming. Begging me, in fact, to do the right thing and eschew the loop. To go home, maybe sit on something soft. So I did.
--Later went to Church.
--Later ate dinner (a kind of Chinese thing with chicken, two types of mushrooms, brocolli, if that's how you spell it, and oyster sauce) with a glass of wine.
--Later watched a movie ("Twilight"--I'm doing research for my television show).
--Later read a bit of "Sometimes a Great Notion."
--Later turned and spoke to the cat (who's name, oddly enough, is Alice). "Alice," I said. "I'm going inside to check my eyelids for leaks."
--Went into the bedroom and went to bed.

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