09 October 2012

Rainy Day In April (Originally Published 7 May 2008)

Current mood:depressed

I walked to Brittany's Café in the light rain and mist, the chill air that wafted into my bedroom through the cracked open window that faced the western skies was not so chill when I left my building and began my trek.  I shouldn't have worn the hoodie under my outer coat.  I entered the diner, hung up my denim jacket, and noticed that my favourite seat was taken by one of Atlantic City's finest.  I saw that the only tables open were the four-tops in back and, since the lunch crowd would soon be in, I sat at the counter which is a bit of a bother as my legs are long and the counter is short.  I looked over the specials but wasn't convinced and Nina gave me the menu and told me to choose something from there at the specials price.  I ordered myself lunch, which consisted of tomato soup, tasty chicken salad on toasted rye bread with lettuce, tomato and onions, coffee and tomato juice.  I am a Jersey boy, tomatoes are my life.  With all the tomatoes I eat, I am a walking antioxidant. 
I read The Press of Atlantic City, well, scanned the headlines, and then had to move over a bit because an older gentleman came and sat right next to me, crowding my space and being a nuisance.  He looked at my food and ordered the same, minus the potato chips and with decaf in place of regular.  I had the distinct impression he wanted a new friend and I wasn't looking for companionship, platonic or otherwise.
I finished up and paid my check, gathered my coat and made my way back into the misty day.  The weather had changed again, this time colder but the rain had let up.  Now I was happy to have my hoodie.  I walked in the fog down to the Art of Flowers.  I had written a few journal entries for the Café and I wanted to update my MySpace page, as well as say "hullo" to everyone there at the shop.  The Mother's Day holiday is coming and the staff was getting prepared, ordering more vases and white wicker baskets.  Besides Valentine's Day, this is a major holiday for the floral industry.  I took the advantage of using the computer while they plotted their attack plan on mothers all over South Jersey.  After that, I chatted with Chuck and Diana before they left and then sat with Becky, detailing my row with the Westside's cleaning crewman.  Becky had to get busy so I left for home, the weather once again turning to rain and chill.  As I left the front door, I looked to the left at Delio's old building, he's since moved from the neighborhood.  Seeing the windows to his empty flat reminds me of the emptiness he left in my heart.  With this sentiment, I bundled up against the late April showers and made my way down the street.  I passed the little Polish, Spanish and Asian shops that line Ventnor Avenue, looking in to them and wondering about the people in there, who they are and what their lives are like.  It's my little mental exercise that I play, imagining the lives of others.  Believe me, they are not always so nice and "Leave it to Beaver", sometimes I think horrible things about the strangers I see in my travels.  Something about the way they are dressed or the weathered look on their faces will have me imagining the worst sort of lives for these poor souls.  Then there are those who have the "Brady Bunch" existence and I envy them their fictional life. 
I cross over at the light near Fiesta Pizza and round the corner and walk down Le Cleade Place.  I love looking at the homes on this street, each huge and different, one made of red brick with a large open front porch with antiques sitting out, the other made of gray stone with an enclosed Florida room facing the morning sun.  The one house I used to avoid is now on my left, the dogs that barked their fool heads off whenever I walked by now know me and barely manage to get up when I pass, a half-hearted "woof" before they lie back down.  The rains let up and now I am only a block from the penthouse, of course, and I nearly get myself killed when I wander out into the street without looking, my head full of dark thoughts clouding my senses.  I shake myself of these thoughts and take stock of my surroundings.  I notice my psycho-mate's chariot is not parked anywhere nearby which means he's not home.  It is a bright sunny spot in this otherwise dreary day.
Once upstairs I hung up my damp coverings in the front room's double coat closet (there's an outer with small hooks and a shelf for gloves and hats, and another area in back with a coat rack) and pad down to my bedroom, which is cold when I open my door.  I had left my window cracked open.  I changed out of my jeans, the coffee from lunch inspiring me, and sat on my bed with Lappy and began to write, with "Doctor Who" on in the background distracting me now and again.  The weather outside my windows also taking my attention, watching the newly leafed trees blowing with the southern wind and the occasional rain shower beating against my windows. 
Time to relax.  Time to take a nap.
Work tonight.  Time to stir the pot.

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