I need a break from yelling about the troubles of the world. For all our utopian urges, our itch to turn it all into glass and start over, our seasonal flip from overtly, insanely socialist to just a little socialist, troubles seem to hang around. I’m weary of the good fight. I don’t have the energy to fill a thousand words with another rant about the election or terrorism or another dead cop or another downtrodden young black man shot by a obvi-white-privileged, obvi-racist cop who turns out to be Laotian and Puerto Rican, or whatever other malfeasance we are perpetrating on ourselves.

Robert(a), the name I gave my anxiety and then began writing about as a character, tells me last night he was headed out. Whatever. He’s not back this morning. Good. He also said that a better pronunciation of his name in his alien tongue was Raymond or Ray. Great. I have four names for one character. Peachy. So . . . uhm, Ray isn’t here this morning. The house is quiet.

My routine on Saturday is to turn on WCVE, our local PBS affiliate and watch their lineup from 8:00am or so until about 3pm. While WCVE plays in the background I putz about the kitchen. Breakfast and the consequent dishes get done. There are naps. Writing happens. Pots of coffee made and consumed. In fatter times groceries get made and laundry done. I’m in penny-squeal mode so the one errand was to pick up a new medication proscribed for me. I am conflicted about my six electric space heaters that fend off the cold. So I spend cold Saturdays turning them on, being anxious about what the cost, turning them on, rinse, repeat. Last winter with company I kept them on almost all of January. My light bill topped out at $350.00. At $2.50/day a lot of the world would have to work 5 months to pay that. There is often a stream of YouTube or Netflix binge watched. Muffins have happened on Saturdays. I’m a reformed Christian, so I pretty much ignore the potential angst around what might define work from 6pm Friday until 6pm Saturday. In general, I try to avoid doing things that are not church related or fun in some way. Bedtime comes and I lay down to wake to a new week marked by Sunday worship.

Back to Raybert(a). His schtick in the bar is to play the pity card. He is broke. He is homeless. He doesn’t have a job. Incredibly, though, his credit cards seem bottomless. Truth? He’s a bit predatory. He finds these women who take him home like a stray puppy and try to fix him. AFAIK he’s incorrigible so at some point near the “what are we” conversation there is an argument along the lines of, “you suck. You never change. You are horrible. Get out.” And he moves on. The ones he’s really into come back and apologize. His target is the sort of young shameless hussy it’s been alleged I secretly crave. Rayberta shows up at the 3rd Street Diner a fair bit. Fits right in.

Hang on, cell phone ringing. brb.

My weekend just improved. RayBob was picked up by the Henrico Police for an open container, drunk in public and domestic battery. Dunno how a homeless alien can be charged with domestic battery. It’s the “domestic” bit of that phrase that gives me pause. He has skills, I suppose. He won’t be out until next week. I’ll let whatever babe accused him of battery fish him out of County Jail. I’m guessing she asked about love and it didn’t go so well.

It’s sunny and 57˚F. The house is warm enough to to be comfortable without the space heaters. The thing about being kin to crazy people or addicts (?same thing?) is that we are worn out. There is nothing left in the tank. We gave money. We helped out. We did small acts of kindness, more than a few. All we have is the hungry maw of the addiction escalating, asking for more, and eating the soul of our loved one and our soul as well. So, if we get pissed at the suggestion that we don’t care, that if we really loved Raybert(a) Bob or whatever name he gave Yung HotTea we’d do something, well, shit. We did and it drained us. Shunning isn’t for Raybert to come to his/her senses. It’s so we can heal and recharge. The call from County Jail will come. RayBob(ert(a)) will ask for a ride. I’ll make him walk. The 18 bus doesn’t run on the weekend.

In Texas I discovered breakfast tacos. Dead simple. Scrambled eggs and whatever bbq meat suits your fancy. Options include potatoes (home fries, usually), jalapeno peppers, sautéed onions, & shredded cheese. They used the small flour tortillas warmed on a flat-top in Texas. If you make these don’t overthink it. Doing the PDRB thing of getting artisanal stone ground organic winter wheat flour and Calistoga spring water to make the tortillas, eschewing pork and buying locally made tofu for veggie chorizo and cheese from the Cheeseboard—way to much. Keep it simple. Also, they come out small, which is correct. I had enough eggs & sausage for six of them. I made three and put aside the leftover eggs and sausage. Don’t binge on these. Two per person should be enough. I had ground chorizo, fresh garlic, diced ginger root, some cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper and eggs on hand. Not quite the same as the Jalapeno sausage tacos I had in Texas. Still good though.

It’s a quiet day in Richmond, VA’s Blackwell district, my home neighborhood, where the women are fine and the men are hard working. All the not well lurking about hasn’t found its way through my door. Another day in my little heaven.