When do you leave for Tacos?
The message appeared after I tapped the taco emoticon in my Noom app. How does she know I’m feeling ‘Tacos’ this morning? Every day, Noom asks me to log my weight first thing in the morning and report back how I feel about the number on the scale by choosing an emoticon to represent it. There are two dozen characters, or caricatures, to choose from. In my first three weeks of my Nooming, I’ve clicked through the smiley face, the crying face, the half-frown face, and now I’m onto the avocados and tacos, the fried chicken leg, and a man squat-lifting barbells in a fiery red singlet. Otherwise, what’s left to click every morning is the pile of shit with its toothy grin, which I would choose daily, except it reeks of monotony and defeat. Reading the text, I thought to myself, ‘I can leave any time. But where are we going to find tacos at 7 am?‘
Russ and I now live in Little Mexico, the biggest transformation to take place in our neighbourhood in the last two years. We lost Ace Hardware (that was heart-breaking), and a golf-simulation franchise (not heartbreaking), whose name escapes me, despite how ridiculous I found it, walking past the storefront everyday. Instead, a ‘European’ wax bar moved in, as well as another dry cleaner. That makes three. Little Mexico sprouted like a cluster of mushrooms, one after another, along a single block, sandwiched between China Town above it, and New York Ave below it. Six establishments selling similar faire, albeit in vastly different atmospheres, buttress one another. Listed in the order of their appearance in the neighborhood, the restaurants are Chipotle, *PPC; Sol Mexican Grille,*PC; Chiai, *PC; 7-11’s The Taco Bar, *DC; d’Luna, *DC; and now Bar Taco, *PC. (* representing pre-post corona; pre-corona; during corona; and, post corona, respectively). Russ and I have each patronised a different one and that’s it.
Reading the text message, I realized autocorrect had failed in its calculus of comprehension. The question was supposed to be, “When are you leaving for Taos?” Right now, Russ and I are scheduled to depart Sunday, but looking at the weather, waylaid or delayed until Monday looks more likely. We celebrate our third anniversary next week and The West keeps calling to us. I haven’t been to Santa Fe since competing at the Diamond L Horse Trials in the eighties, and I’ve never been to Taos. Russ and I aren’t snowboarding this trip due to my knee issue. The doctor diagnosed it before Christmas as patellar tendonitis with the recital of my symptoms. He wrote a prescription for PT as a result. I asked him, ‘Wouldn’t it make more sense to do an MRI to be sure what’s in there, before scheduling PT?‘ The doctor didn’t miss a beat. He said, ‘Your insurance won’t cover an MRI until after you’ve completed eight weeks of physical therapy.’ I shook my head at the irony. My horses had been treated with top class medical and surgical care their entire lives, yet human beings still have to push through massive amounts of red tape in order to secure the care they need, and not the care they decide to give you. ‘They’ being insurance companies, federal regulations (regulators) or lack thereof, or whoever else is manning this shipwreck of healthcare. In this country, you are better off born a sport horse, instead of a human being. I learned a valuable lesson, sucking up this pain for the last two years. Next time, I will go to the doctor straightaway, starting the process earlier, in order to facilitate a resolution in a timely manner. I’m not looking forward to wasting hours of my time, for the next two months, only to go through what really needs to be done after that.
I said it at the end of last year. 2022 is already written. We celebrated Russ’ 50th, and the next day, he received a flyer advising him to get his Shingles vaccine. We spend a week in Taos starting Sunday, touring the surrounding landscape, and I start my new writing class that lasts ten weeks. I have 10,000 words prepared already, which isn’t a lot, but it is for me. It feels like uncharted waters, a step further away, ‘leaning over the toes of my skis’ on a mountain I’ve never traversed. In February, I head to Texas, while one of my parents recovers from minor surgery. Maybe I can start the PT, and stick with it, after that. I’ll finish in time to either have surgery before my birthday, or more likely after, but regardless, I can look forward to my own flyer shortly, inviting me for a Shingles shot, and another one, reminding me I’m due for my first colonoscopy sooner rather than later. In the meantime, work is humming along, and will for the rest of the year. We’ve had our best few years of business to date, and log our 95th year in business this May. How many private, ‘blue-chip’ companies can espouse that??
This year is about family and friends, health, and reading and writing. That’s it. I’ve deleted more than half of my podcasts and unsubscribed from all but two newsletters (#morningbrew and #nomercynomalice). And while I’ve eliminated noise veiled under the guise of information, is there such a thing as too much information? I think so, when information erodes, or depletes, experiences. I struggle a lot with my writing. I’m constantly questioning if there is a purpose to it, if it matters, if it’s not just additional noise lending to the thick haze of the pollution surrounding us. Does the world really need the broadcast of one more voice, however minutely it spreads or languishes? I honestly don’t have the answer, but wrestle with it constantly. Yet I keep writing, perpetuating the torture, because one thing I am confident about, not writing is more tortuous. Sometimes the lesser of two evils wins, though arguably, that rule is not set in stone. Sometimes the opposite prevails and it should. Today, I choose writing. Then I’m leaving for Tacos.