Sunday, December 11, 2005


Homeostasis. That's when a thing quits growing or changing or moving. Homeostasis is basicly when you're dead. Maxed out.... no mas. That's interesting, because nobody likes too much change, but nobody wants to be dead either.

Example: I mostly live a life of confirmed batchelorhood. I've got stable, ongoing relationships with several different women... they all know each other and share the usual war-among-women BS that comes with tolerating me. These are girls who have known me long enough to know what a terrible mistake it would be if they were to sudden go crazy and marry me... but I make fairly good company for a long weekend. Lousy husband material but pretty good friend. I was a lousy husband when I was married... I might not make it home for days at a time... not doing anything bad usually, just doing something more interesting than going home. Most women need for the hubby to be properly house trained.... bring the check home and don't make messes... be properly wifeocentric. Sorry. When I was married to Katie's mom I made her life a misery. Not on purpose... I'm really not that kind of a shit (maybe some other kind). But I was mostly interested in going to graduate school back in those days and working... and lets face it, what I was doing was more interesting than being a husband. See? Not evil or mean... just selfish and guyocentric. The usual kind of male jerk.

Because of this, I've evolved into a guy who has relationships that are different from most of the traditional models. Over the years I've found myself eating dinner in bars. Rather than go home I'll appear in the early evening looking for company and dinner... and usually nothing else (some exceptions, but mostly just feed me and pretend to fuss over me and I'm happy).

But I've found that the same processes of upheaval impact me as they do every other selfish male -- my friend Elaine is moving from Otters restaurant... taken a job with Darden at a Bahamas Breeze eatery in Altamonte... more money, more security, every reason to move... but for the fact that selfish Bob may have to eat more seafood. I suppose that's OK, but it's a jolt. It's like that old Yeates poem... ever expanding in the widening gyre... and what rough beast rears it's ugly head... homeostasis.

Years ago I used to go eat with a gal named Jessie who ran a bar/restaurant in Winter Park called Harper's Tavern. Great place. A landmark. Whole generations of lawyers and Rollins students can harken back to hanging in that watering hole... a real honest to goodness copper clad bar... Baileys and espresso and a band in the back room. It was attached to a fairly good French restaurant and Jessie would just bring me whatever she wanted and I'd eat it. See? No committments, no wimmin troubles, just pay the tab and get up off your ass and see you tomorrow. The old Harpers burned down and we were all thrown out on the street. Things change. I'll still go down to Jessie's condo in Wintie Park and drag her out for dinner occasionally, but it's not the same. For one thing, if I take her out people come over and we wind up doing the "I remember Harpers" routine while they think that me and Jess are married and we ain't. The girl is much too smart for that. Her words are "I'd rather take a beating", but that's because she's been married in the past and didn't like it.

Me... I'm just trying to get fed. But I miss picking the lady up at Harpers, taking her to the old Bubble Room up the street ( mmmm... fattening!), then taking her back to her own bar and getting her a little tiddley. Me? I don't drink enough to be a trouble maker. Truth.

Of course, the old Bubble Room is gone too these days. Everything changes. Now Otters is gone too. Next Friday is the last day to go see the Redhead in her natural lair. Then we'll all have to eat the seafood special. Hopefully, Darden will keep itself together. That's the chain that owns Red Lobster. Some buddy of hers in the company has been after her for a couple of years to come over and manage one of the chain stores and the owners of the marina where Otters is sold the whole shooting match to some other corporate gobbler...

The law of nature: homeostasis means death. Grow or die. Change means movement and movement means life. If you're too still they'll come and throw dirt in your face.

But I do miss Harpers. Same with Otters. I'll probably take the amazingly lovely Jessie to the last night of Otters. She and Elaine (the official Redhead) can talk about the good old days and take turns abusing me. Maybe this is what old age is -- a long line of funerals and celebrations commemorating the residue of caring without the odium of ownership. Like I said, I'm just trying to get fed by someone that I like. The women know each other and agree that I'm worth something, they're just not sure what.