I went for a walk this morning and in the middle of it my Apple Watch beeped and asked if I wanted to record my outdoor walk. Sure, I said, which seemed easier than figuring out how to turn it off, and I kept on walking. It was cold, the wind blowing hard from the north, but sunny and so quiet. Where do people go on Sunday mornings in the suburbs? Costco, probably. When I got home I told my stupid watch to stop and it asked if I wanted to share my activity or set a goal for the day, an offer I declined with some cursing. I don’t want another goal. I don’t want another challenge. I don’t want the opportunity to fail at a walk. I just want a walk to be…a walk.
Yesterday I went to see “The Beach Bum,” because I needed some sunshine. It’s a loose and gnarly tale of a permanently stoned hippie poet named Moondog, played by (stand back) Matthew McConaughey, and as a conventional, fairly prudish Midwestern bourgeois with a low tolerance for layabouts I was deeply skeptical tho not quite disapproving of his behavior, which included but was not limited to assault, theft, trespassing, operating a motorboat under the influence, and screwing a stranger in the kitchen of a beachside burger shack while his millionaire wife waits for him to show up for their daughter’s wedding. More than anything he was free of expectations for himself, and judgment. I don’t know if it’s a great movie but it was fluid, both surprising and not, a rejection of propriety and property and the very idea of possession, and a brief respite from my own protracted yet tedious midlife crisis. Plus Jimmy Buffett shows up at a yacht party thrown by Snoop Dogg, and not in a parrothead way but in a Yes, this is obviously how Jimmy Buffett would spend his off days kind of way. So it was exactly what I needed and I loved it wholeheartedly and highly recommend it if you have a little bit of patience and are in need of some sunshine, too. The two women sitting next to me hated it very much.
p.s. fax me STAT if you’d like an Apple Watch