It’s that odd in-between time, the quiet time before sleep comes. The day is finished, done, written, but the next has not begun. And here I am, astride that gap yet contained within it, neither here nor there. It is a time when today does not exist, only yesterday and tomorrow. Yesterday was a good day, although not according to plan.
Yesterday was not perfect. The world is not perfect; it is a flawed orb which cannot even manage a circle in its orbit around the sun. Plato thought that because we are able to imagine perfection, that ideal must exist somewhere. I don’t think so. Not for yesterday, at any rate. The ideal was too full of contradictions, multiple wishes that were inherently incompatible.
I wish I’d had more time with Rose. She remains my favorite bartender in the whole damn world, and I wanted to tell her of the time I was in a little place, nine time zones away, and the bartender broke a glass. “Rose!” called out my brother. They have never met, but I had told him that I think of Rose whenever I hear glass break. I did find a moment to tell Rose she rocked — I’d never, ever, fail to do that — but it was a quick hand signal over other people’s heads. Plato would have me remove all those people, and replace the hand gesture with something more familiar, a more substantial expression of a relationship that has only on fleeting occasions overcome the wood and copper bar between us.
Needless to say, if Plato gave me license to create that ideal, Rose would be less than pleased. All those people are her livelihood, and her friends. Her happy greeting when she sees me is genuine, just as it is with dozens of other regulars. Those people at the bar were her friends, and making them disappear would not make her happy. Hell, they’re my friends, too, some of them.
And then there’s Amy and Gene and Tom. Less time with Rose meant more time with them. What are you going to do about that, Mr. Plato? Moving toward one part of the ideal takes me farther from another. Yesterday was not perfect, nor was it even remotely possible for it to be so. I just wish I could have talked to Rose a bit more.