A Monday of Leisure

Chorizo and eggs at CoCo’s Kitchen by default. The food is excellent, the price is reasonable, and the service at this place is outstanding. My morning coffee intake has increased, as their constant refills encourage faster consumption. I’m a victim in all this.

Patio at Dee’s has some of the usual suspects returning now that the work week is here, though still no sight of Dee herself. The lesbians who run the chocolate shop next door are around, as is Donny – an ex-pat about my age who lives in town with his father and works at an interior decorating shop. There’s a new regular I haven’t figured out yet, but he arrives on a motorized scooter with shades on and no shoes. Natural tan and tattoos. Something made me think he was a yoga instructor – either various stretches he was doing, or something somebody said; I can’t recall. He is familiar to some of the shadier folks walking by – many of whom will stop for a moment and chat with him. He’s got a stoner’s laugh and I’m also wondering if he isn’t a local purveyor of illegal substances.

I’m working on a proposal for an exciting new project I was briefed on shortly before coming here. It’s an interesting data visualization application that could be very cool and it’s right up my alley. When I initially met with the client they seemed really impressed with my work. Had they not been conducting a formal RFP process, I would have guessed they’d just go ahead and award it to me, but alas, they didn’t. I should have the proposal finished up this week and then I turn it over to the universe for a response.

While working on the proposal I’m distracted, immensely, by the guy standing outside of the new health supplement store across Gomez. He’s a latin guy with his shirt off, and he is the perfect sales tool in this neighborhood. He’ll stand outside for a few minutes and then return inside. Back and forth for a few minutes at a time. Every time he steps outside my work is paused as I look at him while trying not to look like I’m looking at him. He’ll return into the store and I’ll return to my proposal, taking a moment to reacquaint myself to my stopping point – only to be interrupted again moments later. This goes on for a good hour and I realize that this proposal is going to take a lot longer to finish than I had anticipated.

Before departing Dees, Martin, the local massage company owner, stops in. I recognize him from the photo on his website. He’s lauded by everyone in town as the nicest and best guy to see. He actually smiles and flirts with me a bit, so maybe he’ll be a little surprised when I show up later.

En route back to the hotel for a change of clothes I stop in at the supplement store to see the pretty boy, but to my huge disappointment, there’s a lady with a short-cropped haircut, dyed blonde, and sensible shoes. You know the type.

Back at the hotel I meet Luis, whom I spoke with on the phone to make the reservation. He’s a charming guy. I had mistaken him for the owner, but he claims only a management position, saying he’d be in Ibiza if he were the owner. I can’t imagine this hotel generates that kind of income, but maybe I’m mistaken. As the TripAdvisor reviews had predicted, the accommodations are far from first class, but the staff is excellent.

Over the hill at Acqua, David is excited to see me. He’s a lot of fun. He wants to cut me a deal on the cost of the gym for the couple of weeks I’m here, but I insist on paying full price. They’re a small business and this is the slow season – I know they need the money. I ask him to train me for today and he agrees. I should have known better. I was sick for the previous two weeks at the gym and had only been once before my trip. Now it’s been nearly three weeks with nary a workout. Near death after the first 10 minutes I’m dripping buckets the remainder of the hour.

David makes me a shake and I head out, stopping in at Martin’s spa to make an appointment to come see him. He’s booked for the next couple hours which gives me the perfect opportunity for a shower and a nap, which I gladly indulge in before returning.

He greets me in the waiting area on my return and recognizes me from Dee’s. He’s a charming guy and invites me back to the room where the next hour is pure bliss. He uses some sort of essential oil on his hands and holds them near my nose to begin with – a tigerbalm-like scent that instantly opens my sinuses, creating a magical sensation. After finishing and getting dressed, he’s off on another appointment by the time I make it to the front counter for payment. Hopefully I will run into him again to thank him.

There’s only an hour before the AA meeting is scheduled to start, so I stop in at Cafe San Angelo for an iced tea, and I’m sad to say, a big chocolate muffin. It was the least-caloric snack they had in the place, so I justified the purchase. I just didn’t think I’d be able to hold out until dinner.

Cafe San Angelo sits on a corner of Olas Altus that seemingly provides endless entertainment. The owner of the cafe, a large man, stops by. He parks illegally right on Olas Altus. His windows down and Meatloaf is screaming “I would do anything for love … but I won’t do that … no, no, I won’t do that.” He steps out of his car and I have to do a double-take. Thinking at first glance that I saw Meatloaf himself, but upon second look I stand corrected.

CoCo the dog makes an appearance and I’m relieved to see he’s still living – surviving on the scraps shared by tourists on the sidewalk seating.

Apaches, a bar and grille next door, is packed as usual during happy hour with a good number of retired ‘mos hanging out on the patio with Martinis and beers. There are frequent outbursts of laughter, but you would have thought Lady GaGa herself had arrived when a truck full of life guards rounded the corner and drove by – the crowd erupted in applause, whistling and cheers. Good sportsmen that they are, the lifeguards all waved and smiled in return.

I make my way down Bassilo Badilo to the AA meeting. Tonight is packed – probably 30 people in attendance, and I recognize more faces. Bob, the former Nixon, Ford and Bush staffer is in attendance and Dudley is the trusted servant running the meeting. The format is a big book passage followed by open sharing. Dudley asks me to select a reading and I do so. I believe it was on page 134 or so, where it talks about those coming to AA asking themselves, are they now destined for a life of boredom, stupidity and glum? What is the solution? The book goes on to respond that yes, there is a solution here in AA where you will find a life and a fellowship that grows up around you. I share for a brief moment about how that’s been so true in my life. How my initial reason for attending AA was to stop drinking, but that was really just the beginning. My life has improved in so many ways and I have received more gifts today than I could have imagined seven years ago.

At the break I meet a couple of Canadian ladies behind me and Josiah, a boyfriend of one, tells me he grew up just north of Minneapolis. Small world, as this is the second Minnesotan I’ve met in a meeting in as many days.

Returning after the break, a lady named Diane shared something about how she once lived in Minnesota, too, but it was too cold to get sober there – she had to go to Arizona, she joked. Getting more serious though, she said something that’s stuck in my head until today. She said, “You don’t get sober by coming to these meetings and sitting in a chair through Assmosis. You get sober by working the steps.” I laughed – hadn’t heard that one before. I will have to use it!

Five of us went to Cafe Bohemia for dinner afterwards. Diane, a retired journalist who had lived all over Canada. Frank, visiting from San Francisco. Bob, the retired federal staffer, Dudley and myself.

Bob tells us how he considers himself a Recovering Republican and tells us a story about Dick Cheney. Turns out Bob’s cardiologist is the same cardiologist who works with Cheney. Bob tells the doc, “If you can help Cheney, and he has no heart, you should be able to do wonders with me!” We all get a laugh.

Cafe Bohemia is actually quite busy tonight and they’ve understaffed. The service is slow, so by the time we finish our meal, two hours have elapsed and it’s now 9:30. I decide to make an early night of it and head home where I’m in bed by 10:30.

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