It’s Friday, the easiest day of the week for me to let go. My body pulls one way and duty pulls another. By Friday around 6, duty loses. As it should.
It’s 2:30 and, already, I feel the pull. Sooner or later, I know I’m going to give it up. It’s late April. The sun is now west of me and my keyboard and laptop screen are caught in hot-white light. I reposition my workspace tools to keep on task.
On my lunch hour, I cleaned up the apartment a bit. I gave some thought to what I’ll prepare for this evening’s “picnic” as we call our Friday night feeding ritual. We pull together little portions of many tasty treats: some Basque and French cheese from Chelsea Market or Murray’s, a head of roasted garlic, a few rosemary crackers, five or six endive leaves to fill with a seafood salad I made, hummus, delicious meaty olives in a light brine. Oh yes.
Wait! Here’s a letting go I’ve orchestrated. Can this make sense?
Think of it as letting go with a safety net. Ritual is activity with expectations pre-set. The Friday night ritual — food, drink, talking and laughing, sex (fun of all kinds) — is pushed up to 10 on the pleasure scale. Behavior and expectations are prescribed by habit, desire, intent.
Do not let this part of our love affair go.
Our love affair is still new but we’ve already made a few rituals that serve our desire to honor what we found. We want to honor each other. We want to refresh the chemistry between us.
There’s a martini. There’s Jim. There’s that delicious feeling of stopping, of taking a sip of the icy drink, of tasting delicious bites of food, of putting my feet up. Sooner or later all this promise draws me off task.
Friday is also our antidote to the hard stuff we’ve confronted all week. It’s our reward for muscling through. I sense a kind of cerebral lactic acid mounting. It threatens to burst, more or less gently but to burst all the same. Our psychological structures, built for order and smooth function, are not necessarily made of steel. Sometimes on Fridays Jim will say, at 4 o’clock, “Time to make the martinis?” To further delay, to further tantalize, I’ll say, “Wait an hour. I’m not quite ready.”
OK. Now. It’s cash-in time — my reward for a week well-lived.