There’s a really lovely sentence in a short story by Louis Des Bernieres in his book of interrelated short stories, “Notwithstanding,” that goes like this:
“Sometimes a noble creature should be allowed to drift away with dignity, in a long and slowly fading dream that has no precise point of terminus.”
It’s a beautiful, graceful sentence that has stuck with me for years, and for years it’s been neatly tucked into my back pocket with all the inspirational music and art and bits of colored paper that normally inhabit the cobwebby bit in the back of my brain. In the story, he’s talking about a pike, a massive pike, fished by a young boy, but I’m feeling these days like I’m in a long and slowly fading dream, one shot through with too many precise points of terminus in the news every day, but in which our own weird daily existence blurs back into something we would never have regarded as normal even three years ago.
Not to be dark about it, but I’ve been watching myself from outside myself, and watching the gradual dissolution of the pandemic-era fear and stress and worry and its quiet remorphing into a subtle baseline depression. This is not a cry for help; it’s the inevitable development of a personal new normal I think that we’re all experiencing. People I talk with tell me they’re feeling the same way: the doomscrolling of 2020 has become the mopescrolling of 2022, which only leads to more low-grade depression- how is it that seeing 14 more mass shootings take place the weekend after the Uvalde mass shooting barely registers? We’re numb, all of us, whether we admit it to ourselves or not, and numb for me has historically been a marker of clinical depression.
I reiterate: not a cry for help. This is me noticing that we as a people are probably a sadder bunch than we were three years ago. All of us. If you feel differently, good on you. Spread it around. Be infectiously happy. I implore you. I’m aware that I’m here in a painfully quiet restaurant that will likely barely get past a simmer until Halloween, so my viewpoint is, let’s say, colored. The summer for a Tucson restaurateur is always underpinned by that niggling question as to whether we’ve managed to set aside enough cash to get us through it. So those of you who’ve finished the semester, or just retired, of otherwise looking through rose-colored glasses, I encourage you to share those lenses with anyone you meet and spread your good cheer. Somebody needs it.
Now: despite the glum and sullen tone of this note, we’re bent on giving everyone a reason to feel some cheer this summer. We’re working on a Father’s Day menu and hoping to be up and running on Sundays by then (and even if we’re not, we’ll still all come in on Father’s Day- the dads we love deserve our efforts.) We’ll have a menu as well for the Bonfires of San Juan, which we’ll celebrate on Thursday, June 23rd, with a menu of Spanish treats and no corkage on Spanish wines. The June menu (yes, we know it’s already June, but we don’t begin our new menus until the first Tuesday of the month- you know that by now) will be up and running come Tuesday, and this Saturday we’ll head South- quite South- for the Saturday wine tasting.
We’ll be closed another Sunday or two, but ready to hit the ground running on Father’s Day, and once I’ve gotten all those menus together and scared up our speakers for this Saturday’s wine tasting, I’ll set to work on our next donation run. There’ll be more about that soon. In the meanwhile, we’ll keep our spirits up the best way we know how: with food and drink. And with any luck it’ll help keep your spirits up as well.
Thanks, kind friends.