With another wonderfully cool day I decided to change things around and break the routine. Instead of going north, I went south. Every year I try to make a mall crawl down the old avenue that I wandered as a kid, but this time there was a reason.
There has been something nagging me. It has been sitting in my “to-do” file for over a year. Last weekend I was asked about it. Maybe now is the time to do something about it.
The route is the same traveled over and over again, but instead of walking I decided to ride. Bridges still freak me out. The vertigo seems to be getting stronger. I even wake up at times dreaming about heights. The wandering path down Floyd avoiding traffic and anticipating the doors flying open at the post office. I don’t need to be mailed.
Getting off and walking at the end of the street, I stopped at the corner and took a look around. The gas station that was a taco shop and was a something else and was a something else is now a doughnut shop. The old Copolla’s looks the same yet the buildings across the street are still trying to find a space. Time to start the crawl.
I don’t normally wander out into shopping areas, but this is a special occasion. What has changed and what is the same. Earlier in the day there was an interesting discussion on Facebook about the location of “Bob’s Hobby Center”. It seems to have been in another location than what I remembered, but then it also seemed to move. I guess the video/computer games shop is the new hobby center.
So many often ventured and purchased shops brought back memories even though I didn’t enter. A shopping trip means you are planning on spending money, but I was planning on spending money.
Where the kitchen shop was has a window display of brassieres. The old bike shop is now become a fancy restaurant. As a matter of fact there is a block with three bike stores. Nirvana? The head shop is selling phones now and bathing suit shop is offering spray tans. This is just a row of buildings adapted to what the consumer will request.
Several television news crews are reporting about the smash and grab robbery over the weekend. I try to avoid the cameras. This is normally a safe and secures area only a block away from crack houses and on the other side families with small children. One of the early strip malls in this ‘burg within walking distance still doesn’t have any clothing places for us old folk but a lot of places to eat. Maybe that is why when I get home I put on my elastic pants? Old age is all about comfort.
There are lots of young women wandering the sidewalks. There are also enough older women to void the previous visions. The weekend drummers have not set up in front of the 7-11 and there are no abandon pets for adoption. The Cha-Cha is bustling, as it usually is with people in fancy outfits and coiffed hair all discussing how their gardener didn’t arrange their begonias correct and arranging to meet later at the club while talking on the cell. This is a very representative action for this area. I’m sure her Rolls are being waxed as well as she is.
Yet this venture into the often traveled yet unfamiliar has a purpose. There is a mission to accomplish. It is time to buy a Christmas present for myself. I lock the bike up in front of Guitar Works, change my glasses, take off my gloves and climb the steps.
Now remember, I don’t like to spend large sums of money, but the past few years I’ve done more than my amount of helping the economy. I’ve done my research online and decided on “the one”. I walk in and wander about recognized by Byron who has previously sold me many, many toys….er, hobbies, er….. The necessities to enjoy life? Besides I’m not getting any younger and why not become frivolous with whatever funds I have left before they all go to medical expenses?
I scan the store with the usual “Oh I got that and maybe a mandolin?” Then scan the wall of what I have already purchased to wander into the expensive guitar room. A teacher is talking to some students (I should try that sometime so I can learn how to play these things) as I pick through wooden boxes with holes in them not looking at tags, but like a kid in a candy shop amazed at the variety of possibilities. “Will this one make me play better?” Take a look at mandolins but that is not why I have made this journey.
Byron is stringing or setting up guitars. I pull a piece of paper out of my pocket and ask what price he would offer on this. It is a print out of another guitar shop with a model number. He goes over to whatever computer they have and tapes in a few numbers. His offer is within my price range so I agree.
I offered to pay for it on the spot, but my special big purchase card was denied. What? So that is why the credit card company sent me another one? No problem I can pay for it when it arrives. These are good folks.
I unlock the bike and start to walk down the brick sidewalk when the phone rings. Bryon tells me the model I had requested is no longer available. It has been discontinued. What? A year of comparisons and evaluations and the constant “should I” or “not” conversation in my heat, I had finally decided to make the move and now it was not available.
Rationally I don’t need or even really want another guitar, but this is a Martin. I will contemplate or even purchase a guitar for the name and it’s reputation. Well that is what money is for?
Byron also gives me some options that I am familiar with so I make a decision on the phone. A little disappointed but am relived that I made the jump and will scratch it off my list. He says it will be in by the end of the week. I’ll get the credit card issue straight and put it on that only to pay it off when the bill arrives.
Back home to feeding the tree dwellers and feed the blood suckers while in elastic pants. Already washed the dishes and am washing some clothes. I’ve accomplished a goal that may or may not make me happier, but I did it. This simple pleasure won’t change the world or help anyone else out of hunger or pain, but why not indulge you in a few rewards of life serving others?
Someday, soon or distant, someone else will open the guitar case and hopefully enjoy the instrument I bought today. The next time someone ask me “Do you have a Martin?” I can say, “Yes, a OMCPA4”