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Entry date: 11-18-2023 – This Month is a Hologram – Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

It’s weird to think it’s already November 18. Where has time gone? In many ways, the last couple of months have just been a blur. If I go back and read what I’ve written over the last six weeks or so, I’d probably change my mind, but my perspective this morning as I ponder the date is primarily focused on some kind of cosmic velocity.

Yesterday I was talking to one of my colleagues about the weather. It was a short chat, but we were passing on our way to end our day and commenting on the lovely gray day we were having. When you live where we live, you don’t get a whole lot of days that are overcast and/or touched by rain. It was in the low 80s and just kind of perfect outside with a nice breeze.

“I love this weather,” she said.

“Me, too,” I replied, but I couldn’t help myself and added, “But I’m glad we don’t have too much of it.”

She kind of looked at me funny, so I continued, “If we did, there would be 30 million people living here”

The doom of nice weather, I suppose.

Doom of nice weather, meet the doom of impending firestorm. All those suckers who come to Phoenix from November to April and fall in love. You will learn. If it was sometimes gray and always 80 degrees, again, thirty million people would live here.

I’m easing more and more into the “Get off my lawn” way of thinking. Phoenix is big enough. We are shedding our “big, small town” feel and just becoming another megalopolis. Boohoo, I know. Progress, yay, I know. I’m pissing in the wind, for sure. Either way, it’s just too big for me these days.

So, I guess what is really turning around and around inside my head is that time is going so fast, the town is changing so much, it’s easy to lose one’s bearings. Sometimes I find myself just looking around and thinking, “What the fuck? What is this place? Where are the shops and restaurants of my youth?”

Last night, Rhondi and I were going to take advantage of a couple of gift cards my students got me for a chain restaurant that we normally wouldn’t go to, but decided, “what the heck?” We got there and it was fucking packed at 7:45pm at night. Crazy packed with people waiting outside and shit.

Now, this place does have a reputation for decent, if not good, food. Think of it as a fancy Sizzler and you can probably figure out what I’m talking about. It also seems like it might be kind of fun. Not TGI Friday’s fun, but close. This could be the allure.

What was most shocking, though, is that it was a location at Metrocenter which is a sea of destruction and road signs and darkness these days. The regular kind of darkness. I’m not making any racial comments here at all. The bright, busy Metrocenter on a Friday night of my youth is long, long gone. The current place is in transition and, in my mind, would not be a place I would probably bring the family for some Friday night dinner fun.

Clearly, though, what the fuck do I know?

Instead of casting our lot with the host and waiting our turn, we shuffled off to a new chicken sandwich place near 7th Street and Glendale. Birdcall, I think, and it was just fine. The chicken sandwich I had was tasty and their signature beer, which is made by Four Peaks, is a really tasty lager. Just be careful when you are placing your order on the touchscreen pad. You might end up buying two salads.

Rhondi has lunch for later, though, so we are good. I will definitely give Birdcall another try, too, if only to have one of those tasty beers.

We met a nice fella and his completely indifferent daughter outside. She had a Maine sweatshirt on, so I had to ask about it. It sparked a nice conversation, though, and I could tell the guy was hoping it would maybe turn into some kind of Maine meet up at some point. Apparently, he and I have something in common marrying into Maine families.

When Maine gets into your blood, your kind of fucked. It’s a wonderful place, but they call it Vacationland for a reason. Even though I have, technically, worked there, it really doesn’t seem like a place I want to go to work at when I’m there. It’s a place for quiet contemplation, walks in the woods, and laughing with people you love.

Someday, though, maybe it will just be the place we live.

Rambling Saturday in Holographic November.

See you tomorrow.

I was buying some dog food yesterday and walked out of Big Lots to this sky. It was one of those times where I just thought about how lucky I am to see beautiful things on a regular basis. I had to take a picture.

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