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I pace myself with the porters. The bartender liked that I enjoyed his selection of porter. From long experience I know that if I spend at least 30 minutes nursing one mug the size of the Midnight's mugs (apparently only one size, for beers) I can achieve a reasonable balance between thoughtfulness and mellowness. In that state my mind can spawn off surprisingly good ideas and thoughts. If I stay diligent and write them down (notebook), looking over my notes the next day, I'm usually surprised by my insights (that I don't actually remember, but it's my crappy handwriting in the notebook).
In the hours that I spend at my table in the Midnight, I see the small crowd ebb and flow - people meeting for dates, individuals anesthetizing demons with alcohol, and a few others like me content to be by ourselves at the periphery of the Pub. I enjoy seeing several people with books at the tables that are better lit, nursing cocktails slowly, and one woman who must surely be faking being able to read a book purely from the number of shots she consumes over the course of an hour. Maybe she is actually reading - I'm amazed that she doesn't stumble when she gets up every 20 minutes for another group of shots that she carries perfectly back to her table.
One thing I make note of is that I'm grateful to the Midnight for being the kind of place that is at peace with itself. It's reasonably maintained, clean, no nasty stench of too many spilled beers that never get properly cleaned up, good bartender (sample of one, tonight), no ugly "neon-ish" signs advertising commercial swill that usually passes for beer in other bars, and most wonderfully, no crap music. (I really, really hate crap music.) No one seems inclined to use the jukebox, which suits my thoughtful mood. The Midnight seems to make enough money to keep going, but isn't so hungry for money that it prostitutes itself with the ugly signs, crap beer at high prices, etc.
That gets me thinking (and, of course, taking notes) about other things I'm grateful for:
Reasonable health - not dying of anything (yet) but old age and lack of exercise
Reasonable finances - the work I was doing for the business down the street that caused me to encounter the Midnight paid well enough to tide me over for a six months or so. I can spend that time writing again before needing to put myself back on the market for "paycheck" work.
Reasonable happiness - Enough has gone right in my life lately that I'm pretty content; objectively I don't have anything to be UNhappy about.
How well my new living space is working out. After the divorce, I didn't have to compromise on what I wanted in my living arrangement, and was able to find a garage / shop with a small apartment in the back. I'm lucky that it's within walking distance of the Midnight. In this corner of Nightfall City, business leases are still reasonable so that's probably part of the Midnight's continuing operation (and my ability to afford an entire garage instead of just an apartment).
My new relationship - only a few more days until our second date. I'm glad to no longer be married and have someone to be accountable to, but it's nice to have someone to talk to in an intimate way and exchange thoughts and outlook on life, and to have them at least act interested.
Time to recycle the porter and make room in my system for my next mug. The Midnight is the kind of place where I can leave the notebook on the table and not worry about it being stolen, though I close the cover for the few minutes I'll be away.
There's plenty in all our lives to be grateful for in one degree or another, sadly, in the way this world is we tend to forget because consumerism is the "norm" so when I read a post like yours I cannot help but smile, it warms my heart to know that not everyone is consumed by all this greed and selfish attitude.
Thank you for shining above the rest, cheers!
Gratitude journaling always comes up as an excellent way to ward off malaise and anxiety. That I should come up with three things a day which I'm grateful for and write them down. A few days ago I was picking the last bits of meat off a rotisserie chicken and it suddenly dawned on me that I've pretty much already made it in life: I have food, water, and a home. All things to be grateful for in any other time in history, and I completely take it for granted.
So cheers, ~commgeek, and here's to gratitude!
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