The Last Worthless Evening

A stream of consciousness thought journey

I’ve spent many a Friday night alone but somehow this one felt different.

Starting out it wasn’t even a bad day.

I slept in a bit partly because it was 19 degrees outside and aside of three inches from my weird wall heater the rest of my apartment was pretty chilly. After coffee and a few emails sent in the morning I had a few errands to do since I’d been without my truck which just got a new transmission and those errands all went well. I returned an item at Best Buy and though I was past the 30 days policy the guy was cool and gave me a refund anyway. At Chick-fil-A I had rewards points so lunch was free. Driving home I got a call for a new order for some of my art back in California and had to rush a bit to get some pictures sent but I did and they looked great. I bought some stamps and had my February bills all pre-filled out and ready to send once my new checks arrived. I had to reprint my insurance card and also picked up some bubble envelopes for a few old cds I was selling on eBay. It was an analog kind of day.

My windshield star had turned into a crack that was growing so I called my insurance and found out it would only cost me $50 whenever I was ready so that was a small win. Then I checked my business account and another two sales had come in. Stocks were way way down but at least it wasn’t just me I think it was the worst week since the pandemic started.

I had a good check up call with my mom and good texting with a friend who had Covid and his wife too. I was done with anything I needed to do by about 4 and usually might go for a walk but it was pretty cold still so I made some tea and listened to news for a bit and checked Twitter and took a nap.

I’d gone on a couple of dates recently but hadn’t called any back so I picked the coolest one and called her and she was glad to hear from me but was wrapping up work herself and said she’d have to call me back.

I knew it was weird but since I’d eaten lunch at 11:30 I started dinner when the sun went behind the trees and without realizing it was done eating before six.

I wasn’t depressed but I also wasn’t motivated to do anything.

My latest film was entering its second film festival in as many weeks which is obviously a great feeling and of course an accomplishment but when Covid protocol cancels the cocktail parties what good is a film festival.

I’d gotten all of my possessions and records out of storage in the summer and had told myself that evenings like these were going to be perfect for going through all my items and condensing dad’s papers but now I had zero desire to do any of that.

The date I called never called back, and a different woman (friend) I’d met out of state didn’t respond to a ‘Happy Friday’ text.

I’d gone out last night and had a great time catching up with friends and was going out Saturday too so it’s not like I was in an anti-social way.

There was not a stagnant feeling in the air but a limbo feeling. An in between.

A middle maybe?

Let’s ask Robert:

“You’re searching, Joe,
For things that don’t exist; I mean beginnings.
Ends and beginnings — there are no such things.
There are only middles.”

The Home Stretch, R. Frost

This was different. This was a nothingness.

Devoid of good or bad events or even qualities.

I knew many of my other single friends were probably or at least likely to also be alone but this didn’t help. I realized I didn’t know what I even wanted anymore and wasn’t even in the mood to find something new to want.

???

I realized I didn’t know what I even wanted anymore and wasn’t even in the mood to find something new to want.

That sure doesn’t sound like me but it was that kind of day. Correction it was now that kind of evening.

What would I do?

I didn’t want to watch a movie or even Yellowstone which I’d paid for a month of already, thinking when it was cold it would be good to binge. But now I wasn’t in the mood to binge. The characters are hard on each other and I wasn’t in the mood for that.

So instead I made a rum and coke and watched Seinfeld season eight.

The only benefit was that I don’t care much for the two seasons after Larry David left so these ones always feels a little fresher. They’re not as good but at least I’d seen them less. I got to the one where Elaine is dating that weird architecture guy and his song is Desperado and she tries to make Witchy Woman their song but he’s not having it. Since it’s a Don Henley song his voice must have been in my head so I went to sleep with the Last Worthless Evening repeating in my mind.

I guess it’s up to me to make sure that in fact it is.

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Alden Olmsted

I was born in a small town in Northern California just another latch-key kid obsessed with BMX and Tom Petty. Now I make films and travel and write when I can.