Slowing Down

Came back to my hometown of Manhattan Beach again, thinking there would be some actual beach time involved.  It’s hard to get down there, dive in the water, then come dripping back.  The window was yesterday, I felt like crap though so I didn’t do it.  The fog rolled in today, when I’m feeling a little better.

Spending time with my mom is good though, especially when my friends are all losing their parents.  I’d like to be that beach girl again, it’s just that it requires effort by me to get down there for my sunburn.  Maybe I’m just not feeling that great?

On the way down it was REALLY smokey from all the fires in NorCal, people were wearing masks in their cars at the rest stops.  I just stopped for dinner at my favorite, Harris Ranch, for clean bathrooms and a Diet Coke to get me going again.  That was a mistake (the Diet Coke).  I’ve stopped drinking them, then started again last week at dinner.  It’s really done a number on me, giving me a pinching pain and totally bloated.

Not to complain about all my ailments, just took me down yesterday.  Being a cyber-chondriac, all roads lead to cancer for my symptoms.  It’s an if/then thing, any symptoms for anything could be cancer on google searches.  After looking up all worst case scenarios, I went for a walk to push through the weird pain.

The Manhattan Mall opened in 1980, the year I was out of high school, with only a few stores.  It’s across from my mom’s house, decided to take an air conditioned stroll through there first.  Walking through the mall wasn’t really memory lane for me, it’s never had the best stores.  I can get the same crap in Las Cruces, it’s a higher end mini-mall.  When I was little, it was Standard Oil tank farm, we cut a hole in the fence to play in it.

As I write, my mom has her computer in my old room and is reading her emails out loud to me.  This is the thing about being with her, I must delete hundreds of emails a day and yet if I’m here she reads them all to me, or laughs as if it’s the best email she’s ever gotten and I have to hear about it.

Back to the Mall…my mom’s piano sucks and I’m going to take piano lessons again when I get back.  On the other side of the mall there’s a Fry’s where I thought I could pick up a cheap keyboard to practice while I’m down here.  The whole section to get there is blocked off due to a new parking lot construction, so I climbed through a broken part of a fence to get there.  Now THAT brought back memories!!  I had to walk close to Hobo Bridge, my childhood biggest fear.  We never went past that bridge, it was wilderness (possibly the East Coast?) There were railroad tracks underneath that were close to our old house.  We could walk down to the bridge, we’d never go under it for fear of the Hobo’s, or as Stephen King so perfectly  wrote about “IT.”

Now I’m 55, I see it as a bridge.  Everything is built up on that side now, there’s no mystery on the other side.  The only mystery is what’s going on with my body.  Sometimes when I’m down here I feel I’m walking with ghosts, a lot of my childhood friends are already gone.  When I think of a memory or who I was with at the time, I realize they have passed away.  Seems young to have lost a bunch of people at 55, we did grow up next to a tank farm and all the hazardous waste.  I’m also starting to think being a Diet Coke generation didn’t do anyone any favors either.  I hear the Siren’s calling sometimes when I’m here, telling me I’m not immune after living a really healthy life.

The walk helped get my body somewhat back to normal, the pain is gone.  I might be down here more and more for my mom, not a lot of time to myself though or time to write.  The mom stuff seems unique to me, then I watch Sienfeld re-runs and laugh at how it’s just aging parents.

Excuse me, I have to read a newsletter my mom just printed out for some reason?

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