Well, that’s a boring title, innit?
This Sunday I maintained my long tradition of doing the Sunday* NYT crossword, the big one, first thing. Time, 38:40, about average, and entered it into my spreadsheet of crossword times, now nearing its fifth year of daily crossword time records. Who’s an obsessive nerd? Not moi!
That brought me to 8am, and I went off by car to Baron Barista for an almond croissant and a cappucino. I didn’t walk, like last Sunday, because I needed to get back before 10. I think I’ll go back to our old haunt for Sunday coffee from now on, the one 1/4 mile away.
Showered, shaved, and at 11 headed off to the Computer History Museum to lead the 12pm docent tour. Sunday of a holiday weekend there should have been two docents, but none of the other volunteers signed up, so I got to lead a group of 30, about twice normal. I did it well and several people told me they enjoyed my presentation, so that’s nice.
On the way to and from the museum I was “talking to my steering wheel,” a habit I’ve had since I’ve had a driver’s license, to lecture my dashboard about what’s concerning me. Homeless people do it while pushing their shopping carts of trash through the streets, and look crazy. In your car, nobody can hear you — and if they notice you talking, these days they’d assume you’re on the phone, probably talking to (depending on your vehemence) your dealer, agent, or parole officer. But not crazy.
Anyway, I was explaining the reasons I’m quite sure I won’t be hooking up with another romantic partner. There’s a lot of things I don’t expect to do ever again; this morning for some reason it occurred to me I’ll probably never go camping again. But not taking another partner was one of the first decisions I made when I began thinking seriously about “being a bachelor”, months ago after Marian’s diagnosis. Then it was based on practical reasons. Now — as I explained to my dashboard — I have another and stronger reason, one I couldn’t have conceived of then.
It’s this (and here’s the kind of snappy dialog my dashboard is privileged to hear): At the very top of my list of experiences to never, ever have again, is the experience of supporting and nursing a loved partner as they fail and die. I did it once, did it I think as well as it could be done; but a saint I am not, and I am not going to put myself in line to do it again, thankyouverymuch. At my age, any anticipated pleasures of love are very much overtopped by the anticipated pain of that experience. Or by the pain of the alternative, being the one who goes through the dying process, dependent on the generous care of a partner. Nope. Not going to be in an emotional partnership ever again, because at my age, one of those scenarios is the inevitable end.
That settled, I was home at 2pm to enjoy the rest of the day. A pretty slow afternoon; I should have improved it with something useful, but didn’t. The only event of interest was the delivery of a new reading lamp, but I think I’ll write about that tomorrow.
*actually the Saturday NYT puzzle, but our newspaper has always printed it on Sunday.