Loves company when he himself invites them, but not when others bring them over. Very conditional that way. His way, at his convenience, preferably via remote access and on a whim, so that he is always in demand. Too tiresome to actually interact with them, blemishes and all, on a regular basis. He has his well-tended nest to settle into, and the world remains outside until invited in under his very peculiar terms.
Cranky AF. The current climate erodes the thick skin needed to move forward. Each slight becomes an abrasion and the collection of them becomes too numerous to tend to, so he succumbs and gives up on the weekends.
This weekend, though, a few pre-organized commitments took him outside. Eyes were checked and dilated on the sunniest afternoon of the week. It was so dismaying when the letters on the eye chart could not be read through the left eye. So no response was given. "I feel like I'm going to fail this test," he explained to the doctor. The doctor smiled and said, "Actually, there is no grade. There is no right or wrong answer, so do your best. Everyone gets the same grade." The mood lightened, and after a good laugh, wild-ass guesses based on knowledge of the shapes of letters and numbers flew out as responses. After the appointment he stumbled through the nearby market to pick up a few items because there was nothing at home in the kitchen. After unpacking the grocery bag at home he laid down. His brain was exhausted trying to compensate for his ever-failing eyes.
He awoke from a short nap, in a depressed mood. He was so hungry and dinner still needed to be prepared. He also had an appointment to meet a young composer. Why did he even say he would go to meet him? Oh yes, to encounter a new experience. A few general questions based on no knowledge of the composer were assembled as he prepared comfort food: chicken stew and rice.
At the coffee shop, the composer, who looked startlingly young (everyone looks young to you now, you with the feeble eyes), an even older patron who seemed to know too much about music, and a young woman were seated at an outdoor table. The conversation was led by the older patron who favored tonality and probed the composer's statement of his piece that veered away from that mode. The feeble-eyed one asked two questions during the session, each one met by the older patron with "that's a good question!" Hold your values to yourself, old man, the blind one said silently to the patron. The composer mentioned balancing the high and low sound ranges of the orchestra. During the rest of the conversation the composer was nearly apologetic - "There will be some periods of silence during the piece. Some people might like this, some people might hate it."
Later the composer briefly addressed the audience and advised them to "listen with your gut." The piece opened with two fists banging on a base drum as though it was a barrier or door. Sound textures with deep throbbing undercurrents followed. Where were the silences the composer spoke of? There they were, brief and just enough to let the blind one absorb what just passed before the next onslaught to the barrier arrived. Listen with your gut, indeed, because this was a visceral experience.
Young one, embrace your statement. There will always be critics, and it is possible that I will be one in the future, too. But tonight you helped this blind one see a warm ray of light.