Fuel for Thought

This morning, I have a follow-up appointment with a respiratory APN. She will ask me questions about my breathing, wheezing, shortness of breath, etc. And I suspect she will suggest alternates for the daily two-puff inhaler she last prescribed (and which costs a small fortune). I do not know why I seem to insist on early appointments when I can get them. They never begin on time, so they stretch into much later appointments. I linger in the waiting room for longer than I’d like. Sometimes, I schedule myself so that the predictable lateness interferes with plans later in the morning or the day. Maybe today will be different. Maybe today I’ll have no trouble getting back home in time to participate in a Zoom session on spirituality (that word I try not to use).


Today is Cinco de Mayo, a geographically-limited holiday celebrated by people in and around Puebla, Mexico and appropriated by masses of US citizens who wish for a reason to celebrate with liquor. Okay, it’s not quite that blatant, but Cinco de Mayo is not a major Mexican holiday. In the USA, this is a day—fueled by alcohol—for dancing naked on tabletops and engaging in lascivious behavior with strangers or passing acquaintances. It might as well be celebrated as a day of unrestrained casual drunken sex with no consequences. But, of course, there are always consequences. Jealous spouses. Embarrassed co-workers and neighbors. Outraged employers. STD and its aftermath. Yet, with all its not-so-hidden sexual overtones, the real focal point of Cinco de Mayo in the good old USA is tequila. Tequila shots. Margaritas. Tequila sunrise cocktails. All manner of tequila-based drinks, some disguised to seem sweet and harmless. But those cleverly disguised “harmless” drinks are not, of course. They are powerful enough to unleash wanton demons aroused by the flavor and magical powers of the agave plant. I suspect  DUI/DWI arrests spike on Cinco de Mayo; so, too, might arrests for public nudity and lewd behavior. And employment termination for cause may spike on or after the celebrated holiday.

But not in the Village. There is very little lust in the Village and no sex, I suspect. Age and post-middle-class indoctrination have calmed libidinous urges. Not in everyone, though. I am confident there are some who would disprove my assertions about the innate chaste purity of Village people. Or, at least, the innate sense of puritanical decorum.

The second year (and maybe the third?) after we moved to the Village, we hosted Cinco de Mayo parties, complete with frozen margaritas by the gallon and taco bars. Because we were so new to the neighborhood (and probably because our neighbors were/are hesitant to readily shed inhibitions), there was no dancing on tabletops and casual drunken sex with strangers or passing acquaintances. We would have been shocked and alarmed if there had been such behaviors. Obviously, the introductory paragraphs of this post notwithstanding, Cinco de Mayo is not synonymous with drunken orgies. But we expected a party lubricated with tequila would loosen everyone up enough to get to know our neighbors better. It worked. But it was work. And it was expensive. So our parties were short-lived affairs. But they were fun! I remember them fondly.

Oh, well. These days, I’m more likely to nurse a shot of top-notch añejo tequila than to throw back a few frozen margaritas made from cheap tequila. But this afternoon or evening, I may make a “rocks” margarita using good reposado tequila, triple sec or cointreau, and freshly-squeezed lime juice. It will be a hat-tip to the Mexican army’s defeat of the French in the Battle of Puebla, not necessarily a signal that clothing is optional.


My television watching habits have changed a bit lately, though I’m glued almost exclusively to Netflix. I’ve been watching Good Girls, a gritty and utterly unlikely crime comedy. But it’s fun.  And I watched Pine Gap, a one-season political thriller set in Australia and highlighting tensions between the USA, Australia, and China. Recent rumblings about “war” between China and Australia made the improbable show a little more realistic. I started watching Green Zone, the film, last night; I’m not sure about it yet.

I did not finish it last night because I kept drifting off during action-packed sequences. I finally gave up and went to bed early, leaving dinner dishes in the sink (where they remain). My lack of discipline has extended through the early morning hours so far, too; I haven’t made the bed, either. And I could happily take a nap, except that I still have to shower and shave and dress for my engagement with the medical profession. I should have tried to make this a remote video appointment. I’d still have had to get dressed, but I’d have more time to laze about.


Some mornings—even the mornings I wake up thinking about road trips and my future and where I will be in two months or a year—I feel sort of lost. As if no road leads where I need to go, because I don’t know where that is. This morning, I read a poem from the book, The Cure for Sorrow. These words, the last two stanzas from the poem, Stay, resonate with me at this hour, though I’m not quite sure why:

You cannot know it now,
cannot even imagine
what lies ahead,
but I tell you
the day is coming
when breath will
fill your lungs
as it never has before,
and with your own ears
you will hear words
coming to you new
and startling.
You will dream dreams
and you will see the world
ablaze with blessing.

Wait for it.
Still yourself.

~ Jan Richardson ~


Last night, I slept with the ceiling fan on, the door to my “sky room” open, and for most of the night just a sheet covering me. Off and on, I awoke and pulled the sheet back so I could feel even cooler. If not for the pollen, I would have opened the windows in the “sky room.” The weather forecast for today is nothing short of spectacular. Clear skies, cool temperatures warming to roughly 70°F, and cooling again tonight to 48°F.  If I could live in a climate that mirrored last night, I think I could be happy with the weather.


Time to begin preparing for the day, though the day will come whether I prepare or not.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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