I am so pale.

A pale bearded man lies in the grass with his eyes closed

It was a mixed sky, hellbent on figuring out if it would be gray or blue. I got online, did the rounds of news and whatnot and decided, this would be an analog day. I researched decoupage a wee bit, figured out what i needed to buy, then headed out to get some vittles.

It became a blue sky day. I decided to relish and get some Chipotle and eat on their patio. Reading the free press, I was amused with the vicious perspectives of the city I’ve lived in my entire life. The protests from the riots 2 years ago are still taking thier toll on economics it seems, along with all the other drama our world has faced. Camera in tow, i figured, why not go around Cincinnati like a tourist and take photos.

I travel tons and always make these scrapbooks of sights, but I have none of my own city, proper.

After some tacos, I went to the craft store, bought some canvas and mod-podge, a combination of glue and acrylic varnish to slop all the stuff on the wall at the studio and compact it into one piece of potential art.

I then drove around, taking pictures willy nilly and ended up at Eden Park. Ran into a handsome bear/cub I see at the bar now and then, and we chatted, noting how we never see anyone from the bear group outta context. He was looking quite sunned and I mentioned that he might want to get some shade. We parted ways and I found a nice spot to bask a bit and read.

I’m quite pale, I realized.

I sat there with the sound of a fountain covering up the whoosh of distant traffic. The whistle from a train across the river in Kentucky mixed with the laughter of black kids playin frisbee.

I got to page twelve of my book and just laid there, trying to gauge time by the location of the sun and the warmth of my bottled iced tea.

Satisfied after a couple of hours, realizing that I couldn’t feel the rotation of the earth, I packed up my stuff and went to the conservatory to see what plants were in bloom.

It was closing, but I managed to snag a few pics and headed home.

Leisurely nap.

Waking up, I decided to call Heather, only to find my phone was disconnected. No wonder no one calls me I mused. I paid the bill weeks ago, before my trip to Dallas. Humph.

Cursing online bill payment, I got in touch with her right before she was walking into the movie, House of 1000 corpses. There was no time, I couldn’t make it.

I went to the country bar and ran into and a few folks from online. I felt outta place without my cowboy hat, but the crowd was lively and there were leather folk pouring in from a contest down the street, along with drag queens and whatnot. One particular cross dresser was going for this ol’ librarian vibe, and succeeded.

I felt guilt for books I didn’t check out. It was gross imagining.

I decided to part ways with the handsome crew I was wall-huggin near, sorry I didn’t know how to two-step or line dance.

Went to the other bar and bumped into many old friends, it was like a reunion of sorts. Like a pack of wolves, we noted a particular guy who was wandering around along, lookin’ mighty woofy.

Eventually someone said hi and introduced him to the group. I found a few moments before last call to chat with him.

He wasn’t put off by height, this was good. He also lived only twenty minutes into Kentucky. Hmmmm, why hadn’t I seen him before. He just grew a full beard from a goatee, he said. Ahhhh…. that might be it.

He drank water.

We chatted more. Apparently he knew me from online, a while back I helped him make his photo tolerable for transfer on dialup. I cropped and color corrected it too. I felt dumb for not remembering. He mentioned that the beard makes him look different. I said it worked. I felt schmuckish, gangly.

Last call. His water was empty, I was less interested in my beer. Time to go. We exchanged emails and the night was almost over.

I drove back in silence, which is odd for me, and pondered the day. I felt somewhat of a tinge that this fella was something. What, I’m not entirely sure. Either way… Just feeling like there’s a remote possibility of making a connection with a person was nice to roll around the noggin.

I drove toward home and stopped by the greasy spoon. I needed food.

It was packed with late night revelers. I sat at the bar next to a group of old fellers that had these tough stories. One just had a stint put in his heart and the bill came to 26K. Medicare was a fiasco, he was paying 5 bucks on the balance each month to avoid ruining his already bad credit.

The waitress seemed on the verge of a breakdown.

My food finally came. It was excellent. Dry scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, and white toast, no choice.

Midway through my meal, a mechanic/tow-truck driver/something requiring AAA overalls, sat down next to me. He had one of those beards that went all the way up to his bottom lip – full, thick, and as I might imagine, soft. He smiled at the mayhem, glad to be off work I figured.

He didn’t need to place his order, they knew he’d be having the gyro and fries. And them fries had better be fresh. He doesn’t play that game. He says he eats there 6 times a week.

He pointed out some hot chicks who didn’t cross their legs proper sitting in the booths.

I gave a glance and some appropriate hetero retort. They were beautiful women, I can’t deny that. But there was something comforting being in the proximity of this fella. Perhaps I’ll start eating dinner at 3am.

Original photo edit:

so pale, no pecs
I got up slovenly.