But the day ahead. Coffee with cream and cinnamon and honey. Empty pages aching to be full up with my illegible scribble, with patterns I'll swear until I creak that I had no hand in crafting. Even if my hand directs the color, it comes from elsewhere and I can't claim the credit. See the store owner. I just work here. Today I work here. I love this day. Working here. Tips, bless you, are warmly accepted.
Pay me by the hour and preferably in cash and I'm happiest. Never happier than when counting my take. Concrete wealth. Neat stacks faced and folded. Two plus two equals four. The alphabet of corporate benefits no part of the equation to muddy the satisfaction of cold, hard cash. Coins in a jar. I once bought a ticket to Belgium with the accumulated, never-accounted-for change from my waitress days. A fraction's worth of my IRA and ever so much sweeter.
Digression. This isn't a tirade against the ills of corporate America. I am a fool and I know it for wanting more than it gives steady, safe and real. But despite myself I'm a dreamer. And a coward. And conversely, I do so enjoy watching those numbers creep up under the smart direction of the corporate genius money people. 401K = hot food when I'm old. I worry that 50 years from now my arthritic hands will cramp while opening my cat food dinner. 401k = an automatic can opener and maybe a small countertop microwave. These things are important.
My perfect day is brave and foolish and takes place on a Thursday and not the Sunday I had of late. There's the phone call. The coffee. The journal. The delight of paid creativity. Lunch with friends by the warmth of a found fireplace. Later, a nap. Then a movie about a boy who sucks his thumb. Fred scooped into a backpack and off we go in the jump seat of a pickup truck. A Bluegrass festival, plus. Mindy Smith. A band like the Dead, the Beatles and the Muppets all at once. A legendary band of whom I've never heard fronted by a woman who is a dead ringer for Gilda Radner. I scan the audience for Andy Kauffman and find, instead, a festival companion with poor teeth and a gentleman's demeanor circa 1880. His name is Tree and I doubt I'll ever see him again. He tells me he sells honey to support his music habit and he offers me his arm as we walk to an art show held in a nearby hair salon. Totally high end. Great lighting. Lots of lesbians who love Fred, so cute zipped in his bag and hungrily gobbling the bits of sesame chicken they offer from their plates.
I know the artist from the restaurant where I most often enjoy Sunday brunch. She serves. I eat and tip. Most of the time I don't envy her. And today I don't either. Because, today, we're equals.