Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Next Installment

Already almost two weeks into the month of April, and I haven't posted anything. My life right now is entirely centered on the café and getting out from under it. And probably no one is really interested in hearing much more about the ups and downs of this particular endeavor. But then, hey…I don't actually write for an audience any more, do I? So, to hell with it. Here's the next chapter in the continuing saga.

I could never have expected things to play out the way they have. Six months ago, I was exhausted, sad, beaten and humiliated. The decision not to renew our lease, not to continue on with the café, was an act of capitulation. Surrender. I had lost. "It" had won (whatever "It" was…Life? Old Age? My own inner demons?) The idea of slogging through another half a year of all the hard work it would take just to bring my responsibilities associated with the place to a clean and logical close, made me want to dissolve and disappear into a crack in the floor. I felt like I was in a pit at the foot of a mountain I had to climb, but I didn't even have enough energy left to tie my shoes.

Time is generally not kind to me, these days. It sometimes drags me along in its wake in a most undignified manner, sometimes leaves me completely in the dust. It has let me know in no uncertain terms that it is going fast and there is not much of it left to grab onto. And it is slippery, like a greased pig.

But in this instance, Time's tendency toward "fast-forward" has been a gift; an unexpected ally. Every hour, every day that I spent, either cowering under my fears or putting my head down and bulling my way through the daily grind of running the place, got me closer to…where I was going. Yes, I did have to steel myself to tie those damn shoes and start climbing out of the pit and up the mountain. But with every step I took, it seems like Time lowered the mountain by three feet.

So, here I am. Less than four weeks left. Not only am I still alive, but I feel like I'm walking briskly on level ground, the mountain reduced to no more than a speed bump about fifty yards down the road.

I thought I would be devastated, when the time came to actually lock the doors. I thought, "What a sad and dreary end to what I always believed was my life's fondest dream!"

But it's not turning out that way.

Though we haven't made an official announcement, we have more or less let the word leak out that we will be closing next month. When I told my hair stylist (her salon is right across the street) her reaction was, "Oh, that's terrible! I'm so sorry!" And the words, "I'm not!" jumped immediately, almost unbidden, from my lips. One of her girls was at the counter yesterday, and said to me, "I hear there's sad news…" To which I quickly replied, "Sad? I'm not sad! I can't tell you how sad I'm not!"

All I can think is, if I play my cards right, I will have the entire month of July off. OFF. All to myself. I'm already plotting (cheap) ways to thoroughly enjoy that time. Camping. Gardening. A retreat. Maybe a train trip somewhere, all by myself. (One of the slightly sad but ultimately liberating lessons I am taking away from this experience is that I AM myself, and not half of a couple—as I have seen myself for, oh, about 35 years now.) The prospect is more tantalizing than anything I've experienced in a Really. Long. Time.

Nope. I am not sad. I am stoked.

Next adventure, here I come!






  1. I'm so happy for you to read that these last weeks are feeling uplifting to you. Clearly, you made the right choice.


  2. I am for new adventures! New energy, new hope, new life...go for it! And, be sure to share your adventures, I look forward to reading about it and celebrating with you.

  3. wow! This is the best news I've read here in such a long time. I'm so happy for you - and can hardly wait to hear what's ahead!