Sippican Cottage

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A Man Who Has Nothing In Particular To Recommend Him Discusses All Sorts of Subjects at Random as Though He Knew Everything

It’s Friday, Somewhere

I visited my friend Steve last night. A handful of my friends were there.

We talked of business, as we do some together. Steve has grown children, who are at home from college for the summer. They work. Like men, not boys. In addition to daytime work, the oldest and his friends are performing at a nightspot near here tonight. I’ve written about them here before. They’re really good now. They invited me to come.

It seemed like a kind of dreamworld they inhabited. I knew if from the past, but it’s grown indistinct with the passage of time. It was Friday night, and their labors were done, and my friends were going out to a nightspot in a gang. For fun.

I don’t do that. I was a musician, for money, for a long time. I don’t really know how to enjoy myself in a nightclub anymore. I never know how to act “facing the opposite way,” as we used to call it. And besides, I am married with children, one small, and my wife and me rarely do anything without at least one child in tow.

But there’s more. My business is not like most others. I don’t commute. There is no cubicle. No timeclock. There are no stacks of forms outside the HR department. There is no quitting time. I don’t own a watch. What difference does it make what time it is? I’ll be called to meals. That’s it.

If you examine my situation, it’s very much like a traditional wife’s life. There are large exertions necessary from time to time, but also a kind of minimum level on duty at all times. You are never done. My wife never even sleeps, really. If the children murmur down the hall she hears it and goes. It is what it is.

I’ve had more than one regular job. I know what it’s like to be done on Friday and look only for amusements. It’s a dim memory.

I can’t, or won’t, go tonight. Not sure which.

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