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When in Doubt, Leave the House

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Today is Tuesday. I attend a writing workshop on Saturdays, which I very much look forward to as it provides the only structure to this writer’s life that I bought with my Lower Haight flat. It also provides company I can talk to, because though I live with three roommates I couldn’t love more than I do, they have never said a single word to me in three years. Zazu brings gravitas to the table. Zzyzzy brings innocence. Zahra brings joy to the table—the table, that is, where my three cats sit zazen, occasionally twitching an ear, licking a paw, or turning my way when I kiss the air to see if they’re paying attention. I’m unemployed and live a frugal life, so I spend a lot of time with the three Z's. Saturdays are the only scheduled break.

But today is Tuesday. Cary will not lead the workshop this Saturday and I’d intended to do the Tuesday night class instead because I like what he brings to the table (not the same table). Two scheduled activities make for a busy week. But it’s 3:00 p.m. and I’m in my loose hot-flash shift dress and I’d still have to shower, change the cat litter, eat dinner. Do I really want to go out to the Sunset? An hour to get there on the rush-hour sardine train, not home till late, and the usual raft of excuses masking my laziness—but really, what would I be doing otherwise? Apart from avoiding and delaying writing projects, which I find time for every day, realistically, I would probably be watching So You Think You Can Dance. I enjoy seeing beautiful young bodies in motion; it reminds me of when I had one of them.

But I hung up my dancing shoes in my thirties and have spent much of my time since on my ever-broadening butt on the couch with my laptop and cats. Aside from fresh air, going to the class means meeting new writers, hearing new ideas, writing something I would not otherwise have written. It means life, and living it.

So now it’s Tuesday evening, the ocean wind plays with my scarf and the half-moon wears an orange halo. I had decided to take my own advice, for as I have often written, “When in doubt, leave the house.” Otherwise it’s just another night at the house with the cats. You never know what you’ll encounter out there, even if it’s only Tuesday’s moon.

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About Alexandra Jones