A No Toast Zone-type Day in the Park

Day at the Park

Sound travels awkwardly here; like being at the beach and not hearing your companion speak but clearly hearing another couple talk a hundred yards away.

In fact, there are only three other people in my current view on this whole bay right now. I can hear their conversation as if I’m in the boat with them…doing whatever the Hell it is they’re doing in Mission Bay at 8 a.m., Friday morning. It doesn’t look like fishing or skiing but, if they’re anything like me, they’re probably using the boating excuse to drink Bloody Marys.

They are not alone on the bay, though, because every once in a while I get a glimpse of a ski boat, blasting truly awful country music that warbles in and out of range, towing an overly exuberant skier.

The lone boat, accompanied by the creepy country music, frames so perfectly the opening scene of any horror movie that I wonder if I am not seeing the overgrowth of San Diego in the background but dark forested trees.

At least I can sit here. It was a struggle getting to this spot.

Earlier, quite early this morning, I finally motivated to get out and do something good for myself; get some solitude and peace so I can concentrate on my myriad unavoidables. But like all the luck in my life, I pick the one day to come to this park when it decides to rain. Today. In August. In San Diego.

I do find an unoccupied group of pavilions to sit under and make my nest only to have a talkative homeless person want to share my pavilion with me, and not any of the three others. My dirty looks convinced him I’m not in the mood for chit-chat with anyone, with what I’m praying is mud up the side of his body, so he finally moved. He sat at one of the other pavilions, slowly unwrapping something in cellophane while staring at me. But it’s better than listening to his conversation.

The quiet didn’t last long because of the truck that officiously drives three inches behind me, through the pavilions, stopping to discuss some “development” party with a Parks Department’s party guy. Party guy is much too into his upcoming fiesta, being here at 8 a.m. for a party at noon, and the maintenance asshole with the truck is having none of it.

Neither am I so I move.

Finding a picnic table with a view was nice until here comes Mr. Maintenance with his rude truck to inexplicably park ten yards from my table, and none of the five others. Then to just sit with his hands in his lap.

I would think this is sort of funny even though I’m in the world’s worst mood right now.

That’s until my only pen runs out of ink. Trying to find a comfy place to sit with these frustrations makes me dive further in my already burdensome depression. It’s one Goddamn thing after another, no matter how small. Someone just shoot me.

Actually, if I’m right about the horror movie this is all-too-closely resembling, a guy with an axe will come bounding up out of the surf. He’ll come screaming up at me, axe raised, take one look at my face and freeze. Witnessing me completely unphased, he’ll tilt his head, drop his axe, frown and maybe whimper a little. Then he’ll turn away, dragging his axe behind him like a dejected Little Leaguer with his baseball bat, and back into the surf.

In the movie, the camera pans back to the partiers on the lone boat, their bloody, axe-ravaged bodies strewn across the deck as the country music plays a mournful ballad, Doppler-effect lessening it in the distance. The camera pans upward and outward, shrinking the bay into the pupil of the eye of our protagonist, amidst the hustle and bustle of the big city.

Not being a movie, that didn’t happen. What did happen was Mr. Maintenance emptied the surrounding trash cans with the speed and efficiency of a state worker (as his mocking truck played 70’s pop at increasingly screechy decibels) while staring at my tits.

And all within the time it takes for the weather to turn from drippy wet to scorchingly hot and me with no pavilion to sit under. I can see that the pavilion tables are dry, cool and empty, though they are being attended to like a hen by Party Guy who is, undoubtedly, getting paid more money to host this tortilla chip and ice cream get-together today than I’ve made in a month.

With all the pain and suffering going on in this world, and not to mention, though I’d like to not, the awful political happenings in our country, these little inconveniences are, well, little. I know that. But they are my inconveniences and to me they are as tragic and distracting as they are incessant. It’s annoying as fuck. I can’t seem to get my feet under me because of these things.

For me, right now in life, it feels like I’m scrambling up an incredibly steep cliff-side, slipping on loose shale (or ubiquitous, slimy maintenance workers), only to slide three feet down, further from where I started. An experience I’m literally very familiar with lately…but that’s another post entirely.

I’ll get my shit together. I will, and these little things will take on the humor and little-ness they fittingly deserve. I would like a break from being me for a minute to do that but I get the feeling that I’m not ever going to, so I will just have to get more resourceful to tilt at the windmills. But, I can do it. I’ve done it before, I can do it again.

But not right this minute. This minute, I’m getting nasty comments from the couple a hundred yards away, that they think I can’t hear, about how unhealthy my smoking is to them. Since they’re mostly coming from a hugely obese woman in stretchy bike pants, I couldn’t care less about her opinions on health, but I’m going to leave anyway. Without the hope of an axe-wielding savior to kill either one of us, I’m going to burn up in this heat.

I know of a bar that opens at 6 a.m. around here and, believe it or not, visiting there will probably go a lot smoother than this day at the park has been. The weather is always the same in there.


-Mo at the NTZ