The other night was my night to go home. Scarlett had been doing great so I drove home rather pleased. At home I fed our two kitties, and proceeded with some market research on a venture I had begun several months back. I texted my best buddy Mark, and we decided to go out. I was feeling good about things, and I hadn't seen him in over a month.
We went to B.J.'s, a fake brewery and restaurant (there's probably an actual brewery somewhere). I'm a big fan of craft beer, my favorites usually aligning themselves with Belgium, though most microbrews I can enjoy a great deal. I drank a Chimay Blue and he a...well I don't remember, and I filled him in on how things were going with Scarlett.
We talked. We quickly moved onto the topic of God, which wasn't all that unusual a topic for us. He knows my skepticism, but I always feel like he doesn't quite get my point, so like an annoying itch, I scratch at the problem and we circle and circle...but that's okay, because I like the subject.
Mid-sentence the bar manager comes by and we look up. One or the other of us starts pretending we're investors, and so then we're querying her about restaurant business thoughts. She walks off, bored or busy, and we're back to why I can't see suffering as compatible with omnibenevolence. Then he jokes about my ethical reluctance to eat meat as a plate of calamari is set in front of us. We go back and forth. So we ate fried calamari (Squids being acceptable to all parties), and played Investors/Philosophers/Food Activists. Like grown-up dress up.
At his house again, Mark pulled two cigars (from an island ending with the letter "A"), and we went for a walk. It was Cold, so I threw a hood over myself, ordinarily something I would avoid doing, to avoid appearing menacing...but no one was outside this late. 12:45AM, We walked outside of the condo complex, and around the corner onto the main drag.
We walked into this intense barrier of fog. It was too thick to see across the street, and I loved it. We walked, and puffed. I can't remember what we said.
We stopped in at a 7-11 and bought strange but appropriate food for 1:30 in the morning. Outside, we sat on a bench. A taxi flew into the store's handicapped spot and a guy in a Ralph Lauren sweatsuit tore inside yelling at a cell phone on speakerphone that he held in front of his face. Two lanky figures walked from the curb into the middle of the parking lot and began to play hackey sack without speaking. We didn't register the bizarreness of this at first, because they barely spoke, and what they did say was muffled in the fog. But their half visible forms became our primary attention as I drank red bull and ate strawberry mochi balls. The angry cab passenger came out, still yelling "no, no man, I ain't going to" before flying off back into the mist.
We walked back to Mark's house and then called it a night.
I woke up the next morning, cigar heavy but somehow refreshed and ready to fight for Scarlett! It was a night off. I also put in an e-mail to the pastor of Brandi's parents' church, and he agreed to sit down with me and discuss my thoughts.
As a commenter put it, we have finished a sprint in this surgery, and now must prepare ourselves for a marathon. I think the other night put a punctuation mark between the two races for me. Looking forward, we're going to have learn to live regular lives again, on top of what happens.