Here in the Bay Window (a 30:30 report)
Asa Jackson sat in the bay window cut-out, looking through the paned-glass out over the West LA community. A mix of residential and business, the residential both apartment and single family. This is my kind of town he said to himself, sipping a second cup of early-morning coffee. He liked this view, and the angle, the southwesterly direction which gave every day a bright, colorful conclusion, the sunset just over there to the northwest, as it was presented in this spot. Work was waiting today, on hold, this was one of those days when upon waking Asa knew that his primary duty for the day –
(And he could never get over that these days kept coming, that he was still here, aged 37 now, which was incredibly old when he thought back at his 19-year old self and what that felt like and the fleeting image of longevity which isn’t all that surprising, I mean we all want to live to be a hundred, well that counts on no wicked serious medical issues which would have to include chronic pain and dismal regulatory system happenings, if that is even the way to say it)
Yeah, the primary Asa-today-duty still being here above ground was screwing around, what some call easy does it, he kind of preferred fucking off, the gist being that you get lucky enough to wake up another day, there had been no hideously unfair but you can never count-it-out accident or some out-of-the-blue body breakdown, he had not yet overdosed on drugs or alcohol, no right-wing stupid motherfucker had gunned him down on the street for wearing his flower-printed yippie t-shirt or eat-the-rich hat which he wore probably maybe three days a week, more in the winter with the rains, so, yes, he got to wake up again, early, right after five with the smart phone alarm and go sit on the floor in the living room on the designated cushion and do his version of meditation for 25 minutes, and that fluctuated on more factors than he could count, so it could be 13 minutes one day and 31 the next, go figure, and now here it was 10:15 and he had read from three different books and done some random writing in a Word Doc on the laptop and was on the second-round of coffee for the day, the still-young day, and as Dylan might put it, with no direction,
And Asa had come to believe that this is what you do, and if you gave thought to that old saying about suiting up and showing up, well, this was his version. You pull on the old, faded in the knees jeans, a t-shirt or tank top if it was going to be a hot one, there was meditation, there was a quiet period not meditating more like silent purposeful focused prayer which he also thought of as “big wishing”, there was the early coffee and somedays breakfasts which were usually scrambled eggs with sharp cheese slices and one green vegetable or another – and lately his fave were the fresh green beans he scored Wednesday afternoons at the Santa Monica farmer’s market which was also where he got all the avocados piled up in the wooden bowl on the kitchen table, that his only eating spot unless he brought food into the den where he had a flat screen, 32 inches which was not big at all in this day and age when people seemed to have enough money to buy like 55 inch Samsung’s, he really didn’t give much of a shit for television, the point is he usually had meals, two a day at the max and sometimes just the one at dinner, at the kitchen table which in his case was a family heirloom and was able to pull out from each end to reveal an extension in the middle, though truth is he rarely used it because he wasn’t a big people person, not so social,
Mostly it was him here and Mary Beth on the afternoons she cut out of work early because they had plans to eat together and probably watch a movie together and then sleep together, which was the best, the cuddling, the sharing of breath and warmth and that unbelievable feeling of what they both said was “one-ness”, and Mary Beth worked at a free medical clinic over off Pico and she drove an old Volvo which her dad had gifted to her a few years back and she had a place in Santa Monica, and Asa in fact loved Santa Monica and Mary Beth’s apartment in a two-family was off Ocean and maybe a 20-minute walk down to the beach and the walkway and if you go back to the fact that Asa believed in fucking off because he saw it as the most wonderful and – even – spiritual way to celebrate the gift of life – then walking from the Santa Monica end of the walkway all the way through Venice down to the Marina and back, and maybe stopping for a slice of pizza or, Mary Beth liked the burritos at that small Mexican place up on Pacific which was only a block off the walkway, anyway doing that walk with her was one fabulous example of easy does it and rejoice in the day and screw work and I bow to the wonder and glory of life and waking up another day because I’m still above ground and there ain’t no white chalk outline around me so thank you oh great Gods of the heavens and the oceans and for sure the primary God of Venice Beach – and Asa was pretty sure that West LA had its own God as well —
But he was in his head at 10:15 about catching the 20 bus down to Lincoln and doing the just-described walkway walk, solo today because this was a busy day for Mary Beth, a Thursday when the schedule was back-to-back, and if it helps with this story it seems Asa was just now, in the bay window which would be sunny in about four more hours but he’d be long gone somewhere doing something by then, sitting there thinking about his job, how he described himself as a consultant, which could have deserved quote marks around it but not this morning, he had been to college and even with dropping out twice had finagled the college to offer him a Bachelor’s – probably doing them a favor to get out – and he had immediately fallen in to a couple of social service settings and been blessed – that was a for-sure fact – with three fantastic supervisors in a row and this was before fucking off became a way of life for him,
And he showed up long hours then, even six days a week and in that devotion had learned more than most folks about the human part of human services and after eight years of that had struck it out on his own, did the paperwork and licensing and all the formality to begin his own agency which was a consulting service and of which he was the only employee and mostly he was hired to go to agencies around the city and do what you might call staff trainings and team buildings – and none of that rope course shit – like serious get down to it how do we – how do you!! – be at your best to take care of other humans, and the own agency deal let him pick his schedule and prioritize, and on mornings like this – here now in the bay window – the priority for sure was celebrating another day and work could take a flying leap, thank you very much.