I haven’t seen so much as a glimmer of the morning or evening sun in five days, and if the weather forecast in Fairfield CT holds true I won’t be seeing her tomorrow either. The last time I gazed I was standing in a converted above-ground subway station in New York City; later that same night a drunk angle came up to me and told me I needed to be in this gazing thing all the way and not eat junk food or drink heavily during this quest, in not so many words. And that encounter, hunched over the bar waiting for shots of gin with my drunk heavenly host had quite an impact on me. I took him seriously, took my shot, took a subway back to Brooklyn with Ben, and through circumstances beyond my control, took a five day break from sun-gazing.
I tried to gaze, because I was inspired anew. I wanted to take the angels advice and be in this thing all the way. I woke up the next morning in Brooklyn with a hangover that was anything but heavenly, but I knew I’d see the sun that night when I arrived at my sister’s place in the small town of Black Rock, in southern Connecticut. My sister, Cheryl, tried to take me down to the water in her new Hyundai SUV but the clouds, that I’m starting to think have come to really dislike me, had gathered in such large numbers to mock me that it looked as if the sky was a piece of toast that had been slathered with far too much cream cheese to even be sure there was toast underneath. Undeterred, I thought I would make up the time tomorrow and keep moving forward. After all I was in this all the way now.
Saturday morning I woke up before my sister and her husband, snuck out pre-dawn to do my morning chanting and find a practical perch from which to greet the morning sun. Before I left West Hollywood I loaded my favorite version of the chants onto my iPhone, so now parked in Seaside Park in Bridgeport CT, I popped my headphones into my ears, adjusted the car heat to the perfect level of cozy and chanted away. I found out later that morning from my sister that Seaside Park is a dangerous place in a bad part of town where white people in SUV’s are either buying drugs or getting mugged. I thought about what I must have looked like sitting in her car, a hapless dupe in headphones chanting my heart out; I suddenly became very grateful to still be alive.
The sky brightened and the clouds smirked at me as they obscured the sun completely. I imagine now they were saying “you don’t get to see the sun today but at least you’re not getting shot at so don’t say the universe never did anything for you.” I reply in my head, “somebody woke up on the wrong side of the sun today,” which I think may have inflamed the clouds even more because Sunday morning I overslept. Sunday evening I was going to have dinner with my mom and her new boyfriend and despite the fact that my mom wanted to introduce me to a new Italian restaurant she thought I’d love, I requested we find a restaurant on the eastern shore of New Haven, facing west, so I could excuse myself from the meal and steal a few minutes of gazing as the sun went down. Everyone seemed okay with this odd request, even though it might seem crazy that I want to see the sunset so desperately. But I was desperate; I had missed two days in a row already. So everyone gave their blessing, everyone except the clouds of course; They were right on schedule standing guard at the gate.
Monday was grey at both morning and evening, and this morning was unforgivingly and predictably more grey. As I was discussing this phenomena of the clouds ganging up on me, my sister pointed out that my drunk angel had said to stop eating junk food. I gave her a look like “so?” She laughed as she listed off the box of Oreo’s, the two boxes of danish, the swiss cheese flavored Cheez-it crackers and the piles of sausage I’ve eaten since arriving at her place. What was she trying to say? The sun was hiding from me on purpose because I’ve been eating like a toxic teenager? Well that’s just stupid I reacted and told her to go to work already. But now, as much as I hate to admit this, I think she might have a point. I don’t think she really believes that the sun is reacting to my diet, but she knows I would believe it, and it turns out, I think she was right. So now I have a choice, what kind of diet will I have today? And will the sun show itself to me again in reply. The forecast already predicts rain. We already have sausages in the fridge for dinner, and I’ve already missed five days of gazing. So I’ve decided to just enjoy my last day here, swerve with abandon into the junk food skid, and go at this gazing thing all the way tomorrow night, when I get all the way back home.
SIDE EFFECTS: I think the sun has issued an ultimatum. Junk food or me!
BENEFITS: I’m going to give up junk food…but just not yet, please, not quite yet.