A small story:

I'm a person of great perceptiveness and a person capable of sensing a couple is breaking up merely by the punctuation one of the couple uses in a text to me. I call them, something I hate doing, and prepare for bad news.

But during that call?
They'd better not ask me what day it is.
I'm not talking the date, although I've always been terrible at that; I believe I'd be better at the date if it didn't keep changing. No, here in the Eternal Now, the days of the week elude me. Well, not always.

Cleaning the kitchen is prep for cocktail class so, Saturday.
Did I clean the kitchen yesterday?

It's Sunday.

When Dmitri Mendeleev created the periodic table, he left room for elements not yet discovered. Right now, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday feel like placeholder blocks of time, waiting for science to catch up.
"Why are the trash cans out," I ask, "It's Tuesday."

Consort, busy glaring at the printer for some act of social deviancy answers, "Wednesday."

I meditate upon this and decide that while what he says feels wrong he's already in a printer mood and sure, okay, it's Wednesday.
I had gotten used to that but even in the Eternal Now, things continue to grow and change.

I am now forgetting months.

"Why are people driving around with trees on their roofs?" is a thing I actually thought yesterday.
In my defense, here are the ways I usually remember the holidays:

1. Have wonderful time with extended family at Thanksgiving,
2. Places I shop start reminding me (to be fair, that's August),
3. Logistics for Kid coming home.
4. First hearing of Mariah.
1. Spent Thanksgiving on beach with Consort. I roller-skated and didn't fall down, which is not completely germane to this but I've very pleased with this fact,
2. If I got to Target, I scuttle in an out, most of my brain engaged with reminding myself not to touch my face,
3. Kid isn't coming home,
4. Murder podcasts have very few Mariah breaks.

Take away the external cues and I'm judging other Angelenos for their new hobby of vehicular arboreal decor. In yesterday's - clean kitchen, zoom cocktail class, Saturday - class, we talked holiday ideas.
As the teacher, I tried not to look confused. As I always do when I have no idea what's going on, I smiled pleasantly and agreed. Yes, it is December.


I'd add, "...and it didn't help that it is 72 degrees," but I'm a native of this place; it's nearly always 72 degrees.
Having finished the class, I strode out and Consort switched off the video but leaving it on. Having done this now for months, we have a ritual of sending the drinks I make in class out to friends running small businesses because who needs a cocktail more this year.
We pour them into sealable bottles and listen to the people who have come to class talk to each other. They have created a Slack just for the class, they exchange recipes, hints for local distilleries. They just...chat. This is a bar where they know people and feel welcome.
Consort and I smile at each other as he tries to winkle a Luxardo out of the drink-pouring funnel. Twenty minutes or so later, the class bids each other farewell and we close the meeting, pop the cocktails in their travel box and grab the recipe sheet for each cocktail.
Our first stop, always, is @VillageBakeryLA. They close at four on Saturdays but wait for us. In the darkened bakery, I put a cocktail bottle on top of its recipe page, so they can read the ingredients, see what appeals to them. The two owners each pick one.
As always, I coax them into taking a second because they're working with the public and apparently it's December. They each take another and, as always, I send the recipes home with them, in case they want to recreate it.

"I have," Barbara said, "Every recipe you've sent us."
"Really?" I said. She nodded.

"They're in a binder."

I made her promise me she'd go through them, remember what she loved, I'd make her exactly what she wanted to give her strength for the journey (see; small business owner, am told it's December).
The owners left to go home and Consort and I headed off to @SanteDOr to hand Fearless Leader Christy a cocktail. Two stops later, I got back to the car and Consort's phone pinged a text message. He looked at it and silently handed his phone to me.
"Those aren't all the drinks you've made," he pointed out, "Those are just the ones they picked."

"That's this year," I said.

"That's six months," he corrected and then added, "I think."

We watched it again and I said, "That's a lot of cocktails."

He nodded.
He then added, "That's a lot of taking care of people and dogs and cats. This is making things better."

Because I am precise in odd places, I almost noted that whatever benefit I am providing is very small and very temporary, relative to the world.
But then I thought about listening to the people sitting around in their houses, talking to other people sitting around in their houses, feeling a little better. I thought of our friends, carefully choosing a cocktail they know was made for them, with care and high-end products.
Maybe "Small and temporary" is enough.
I said none of this, instead noticing a strangely-shaped car making a left-hand turn.

"That is so weird," I said, "Another car with a tree on top of it."
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