Four Sets of Muscles


Like many oft-untold tales, this one begins with Guilt.

I was supposed to meet Magali, whom we at the Devonshire Senior Center call Maggie, at breakfast at the Center this morning. I was not up to it. I had had a rough night. So I stayed home till she called me, put on my not-faking-much Sick voice, and told dear Maggie I wasn’t feeling well. She was nice about it.

Hours went by and I Facebooked and loafed, and ended up feeling better. But the nagging guilt of not having a Spanish lesson from Maggie got to me. Sloth of the day added to the guilt. So about one PM or so I walked to the Hideaway Lounge, where I knew it was Taco Tuesday, and had their $3 special and a small pitcher of Budweiser for my beverage. A sign said “Mystery Shot $2.00” so after I ate I had that. The barista asked me if I wanted another pitcher and I replied No, I Am Tipsy, You Better Cut Me Off, This’ll Be The First Time Ever I’ve Been Cut Off. She was thrilled to be a footnote in my history of Barfly-dom.

Catty-corner to the Hideaway is the Hispanic supermarket known as El Super. I had never been in there before. Somehow I thought it would balance my karmic books if I transacted business there and spoke only Spanish. So I went to the butcher’s counter and drew number 46. When I heard a number with “seis” at the end I waved and pointed to a pile of thin-cut steaks and said “uno.” The butcher lady wrapped my Bistec Sin Hueso and I got some other things and went to the counter and when the cashier lady said “Hi, how are you doing?” I said, “Bien, gracias” and she apologized, took my money, and gave me change.

Next to El Super is a Fry’s. They are like alternate-universe versions of each other. I’d been in Fry’s before, but not this time, opting instead for the Redbox next to it, where I rent DVDs. Got “The Accountant” starring Ben Affleck, gathered the grocery bags in one hand, and headed for home, a mile away.

The way an oldish man walks home with a good 25 pounds of groceries involves a constant shifting of the burden. First it is left-hand dead weight, then it is slung over the left shoulder, then let down and switched to the right hand, then slung over the.right shoulder. Four sets of muscles. “Teamwork makes the Dream work,” I am told.

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