Thursday, March 29, 2012

Phoenix - A Trip to the Gym, A trip to the Theatre and a Sunny Afternoon In Between

I sleep fairly well, for me, but find myself wide awake at 5 a.m. I lie for awhile, trying to force myself back to sleep, but finally surrender, play a couple of games on my phone and around 6:30 rise from the bed and pad to the kitchen. I rummage through the cabinets looking for the coffee maker I know is there. It is only used when there are guests as neither of my hosts habitually drink a beverage I am addicted to. As I come across it my old friend comes in and finds the coffee for me. We breakfast and head to the gym.

This is new territory for me. Bally's, the chain to which we all had memberships was recently purchased by L.A. Fitness. Since the changeover, my hosts have been frequenting the L.A. Fitness facilities as they are nicer, cleaner and closer to their home then the old Bally's clubs they formerly went to. The gym is much larger and upscale than the more working class gym I go to at home. Some momentary confusion at the profusion of machine options comes over me but I quickly access the terrain, settle in and go to work.

Upon returning, I lounge in the sun enjoying the 80 degree afternoon. We eat lunch outdoors in the yard, relax, eventually eat dinner, again outside and get ready to go to the theatre.

It is at this point my friend pulls out a small album of photos from a dinner celebrating his 35th birthday almost 15 years ago. Although there is ample photographic evidence that I was in attendance, I sheepishly and reluctantly admit to him that I have no recollection of that particular event. I do, however, remember the clothing and jewelry I was wearing that evening. Some of the jewelry I still own. No matter, it looked as if a wonderful time was had by all. One photo in particular of my host and I together speaks volumes about what he has meant to me over the years.

Languid, almost pointless days like these are few and far between for me. At home, even during long weekends or the week long breaks I take in July and August, there is always a project to be done or tasks to be accomplished. Here I have nothing to do. I feel as free of responsibility as their dog who sleeps in the warmth of the sun a few feet from me. When I travel I generally go where I have the opportunity to see places and experience things I haven't before seen or experienced. Doing nothing takes some getting accustomed to.

The play, a "black box" production of a work titled "The Last Days of Judas Iscariot" is being performed in Tempe, about 40 minutes from my hosts home. We leave, as it turns out, earlier than necessary. There were concerns about finding parking which we, by good fortune, locate directly across the street from the Performing Arts Center, the play's venue, on the sprawling campus of ASU. The play, though long, (2 hours and 40 minutes including intermission), is fun, intelligent, imaginative and interesting enough that we find ourselves discussing it all during the drive home, as well as at breakfast the next day.

Upon returning to my host's home we feast on Key Lime pie, prepared that afternoon in an attempt to use up some leftover lime juice. I enjoy a small nightcap of Dewar's and again retire to bed, it being almost midnight. All this inactivity just wears one out!


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