I was sitting in the car at Walgreen's waiting for my wife to get her patch. Not sure what the hell is in the patch but it keeps her from waking me up in the middle of the night asking me to feel her sweaty head. That patch is cool with me, I sleep better because of it. I didn't mind sitting in front of Walgreen's either. I love to watch people.
Kind of reminds me of a story my father used to tell me. "We were poor when I was a kid. We used to go down to the hardware store with a batch of popcorn that my mother (your grandmother) would make up, and sit and watch the people go in and out of the store". I would say: "Damn dad, you sure lived the life, huh?" And he would nod his head and say "yep, those were simpler times".
Now its me at Walgreen's, catching a glimpse of Suburban America going in and out, buying their patches, candy, makeup, Advil, standing in line at the corner commissary, not too far removed from yesteryear. It occurred to me that I buy a lot of tennis balls at Walgreen's, that I actually knew the first name of the guy at the counter, that when anyone enters that store, you are greeted with him saying out of nowhere, "Thank you for coming to Walgreen's!", that he was a retired teacher. I am not sure what that means but knowing this stuff puts me in some paradoxical form of Saturday Evening Post Pop Culture.
Damn I was enjoying myself sitting there watching the people, weables wobbling, lots of them, in and out of the store. I should make some of them walk home for their lack of fitness, steal their keys, disconnect a cable or a plug, or something. It was startling the effort that some put into their "gate". Every step a mile of accomplishment. Closer to their liter of Dew; an entire rant in itself; observing American fitness at Walgreen's. I was quickly becoming bored.
I looked in the rear view mirror and checked out my face. It had been a while since I had a one-on-one in a rear view mirror. There aren't many times when you can sit and look at yourself anymore. I mean, I am a blur in the morning, quickly shaving, getting the hell out the door with seconds to spare. In the car at Walgreen's, I had time on my hands. A long overdo inventory was to be taken and what I came up with didn't make me happy. I was looking at my sideburns, deciding that they weren't long enough. I needed some lamb chops, quick. Why can't I have lamb chops? After all, I am old enough to say screw it, far along enough in life to be able to pull it off. I like El Cavano's lamb chops. How does he pull it off at work? He must be revered for his look. His wife and kids might not be comfortable without him sporting the look.
In addition to the sideburn extensions, I'll need a soul patch too. Yes, a soul patch and lamb chop sideburns. That will do the trick. Then, when I wear the Black Flag T-shirt that my sister purchased for me in LA, I will have achieved the image that I am looking for--that which is a little "I don't care what you think", with a smattering of "you know what I'm talkin bout". And you do..."know what I'm talkin bout" don't you?
That is what I have decided to do at...0ver 45. I will aspire to some form of personal change in regard to facial hair. I need to compensate for the loss of the hair on top of my head anyway. My grandfather, the one who had his wife making the popcorn before Saturday nights entertainment left me with an inherited void on my skull. Therefore, I find it perfectly acceptable to attribute this new attitude to the good old days, the simpler times, to family and tradition, to living the life. I will start immediately since I hadn't shaved in a few days. It will be a cinch to pull this off. All is good, cool, the future is bright.
My wife returned to the car with her patches and a box of junior mints. She shut the door and said--and I am not kidding--"don't even think about growing that soul patch again". I fired up the X5 and we made our way to the house in the subdivision, like the others.
I was so riding a tri-fecta in the morning.