Bettah now / Mejor ahora

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

WHEN WE LIVED IN GEORGETOWN in Washington D.C., the front desk person in our building was a pleasant older gay man named William. I was all of 29 years old, so by “older,” I mean older than me. He could have been in his mid-40s or his late 50s for all I knew (kind of how younger people look at me now — if you add a decade). Our apartment had a private entrance, so I didn’t see William regularly, but when I did, I would always greet him and ask, “How are you, William?” He would always respond in his southern drawl, “Bettah now.”

I never had a clue what he was talking about. I wonder if I could have been any more dense. Anyway, William came to mind this morning when I got out of bed and headed to the beach for a walk. I thought, ‘Well, I guess I’m doing a bit bettah now.’

My computer continues to be uncooperative and none of the online solutions work. I’m about to reinstall Photoshop. But at least I don’t feel like tossing my iMac off the terrace (today).

When I sat on the beach last weekend, I saw two beach monitors strolling along keeping an eye on things. They stopped with their backs to me and one of them wagged his finger at a young guy who was standing in the water with four women friends. The guy held up his hand and displayed a joint. The monitor shook his head dramatically. I had seen the group splashing around earlier. I wondered how he had lit up that joint. There must have been a plastic bag involved. Anyway, he left the water and spoke briefly with the two monitors and then headed to his towel, taking a couple of tokes before putting the joint out and stashing it in his bag. I don’t know if smoking is permitted on the beach but apparently it’s not permitted in the water. The guy did appear stoned. He stopped at two different groups of people before finding his towel. The people he stopped at first were all in chairs with umbrellas. His towel was among four others. No chairs. No umbrellas. No people (they were all in the water). I haven’t done that since Georgetown (oh, I’ve lost track of my towel plenty of times, but I haven’t smoked pot).

My legal ones (prescriptions) get renewed every six months, at which time I have to see my doctor. This is part of the public health system. We do much of our health management through our private health insurance, but prescriptions are covered by the public system. Anyway, last week I went online and made an appointment with my doctor so I could renew my prescriptions. As a result of the request, I was scheduled for a telephone consultation instead of in-person. My doctor just phoned me and all my prescriptions are renewed. Public health. I am so impressed.

And we are still so grateful for Mesón Salvador. Dinner there Monday night was the highlight of the week.


CUANDO VIVIMOS EN GEORGETOWN EN Washington D.C., la persona de la recepción en nuestro edificio era un agradable hombre gay mayor llamado William. Yo tenía 29 años, así que por “mayor” quiero decir mayor que yo. Podría haber tenido entre 40 y 50 años por todo lo que sabía (algo así como la gente más joven me mira ahora, si agrega una década). Nuestro piso tenía una entrada privada, así que no veía a William regularmente, pero cuando lo hacía, siempre lo saludaba y le preguntaba: “¿Cómo está, William?” Él siempre respondía en su acento sureño, “Mejor ahora”.

Nunca tuve idea de lo que estaba hablando. Me pregunto si podría haber sido más denso. De todos modos, William vino a mi mente esta mañana cuando me levanté de la cama y me dirigí a la playa a dar un paseo. Pensé: “Bueno, supongo que estoy haciendo un poco mejor ahora”.

Mi ordenador sigue sin cooperar y ninguna de las soluciones en línea funciona. Estoy a punto de reinstalar Photoshop. Pero al menos no tengo ganas de tirar mi iMac de la terraza (hoy).

Cuando me senté en la playa el fin de semana pasado, vi dos monitores de playa paseando vigilando las cosas. Se detuvieron de espaldas a mí y uno de ellos movió su dedo hacia un joven que estaba parado en el agua con cuatro amigas. El chico levantó la mano y mostró un porro. El monitor sacudió la cabeza dramáticamente. Había visto al grupo chapoteando antes. Me preguntaba cómo había iluminado ese porro. Debe haber habido una bolsa de plástico involucrada. De todos modos, dejó el agua y habló brevemente con los dos monitores y luego se dirigió a su toalla, tomando un par de soplos antes de sacar el porro y guardarlo en su bolso. No sé si fumar está permitido en la playa, pero aparentemente no está permitido en el agua. El chico parecía un poco drogado. Se detuvo en dos grupos diferentes de personas antes de encontrar su toalla. Las personas que detuvo al principio estaban todas en sillas con sombrillas. Su toalla estaba entre otras cuatro. No hay sillas No hay sombrillas No hay personas (todos estaban en el agua). No lo he hecho desde Georgetown (oh, he perdido el rastro de mi toalla muchas veces, pero no he fumado hierba).

Mis legales (recetas) se renuevan cada seis meses, momento en el que tengo que ver a mi doctora. Esto es parte del sistema de salud pública. Hacemos gran parte de nuestra gestión de salud a través de nuestro seguro de salud privado, pero las recetas están cubiertas por el sistema público. De todos modos, la semana pasada entré en línea e hice una cita con mi doctora para renovar mis recetas. Como resultado de la solicitud, me programaron una consulta telefónica en lugar de en persona. Mi doctora acaba de llamarme y se renuevan todas mis recetas. Salud pública. Estoy muy impresionado.

Y todavía estamos muy agradecidos por Mesón Salvador. La cena allí el lunes por la noche fue lo más destacado de la semana.

Lightly fried cod to share.
Bacalao frito para compartir.
SG waiting (impatiently) after I removed the fried cod for a photo opportunity.
SG esperando (impaciente) después de que quité el bacalao frito para una oportunidad para tomar una foto.
SG’s avocado and shrimp.
Aguacate con gambas.
Croquettes — chicken and octopus (and I splurged on French fries, because I felt sorry for myself).
Un surtido de croquetas (y derroché papas fritas, porque sentía pena por mí mismo).


This is what I used to do (when I got low, I got high). It only made things worse.
Esto es lo que solía hacer (cuando bajaba, subía). Solo empeoró las cosas.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

30 thoughts on “Bettah now / Mejor ahora”

  1. Good to hear you are much better now. On the old TV sitcom, Night Court, Judge Stone’s father used that phrase.

    1. David:
      I didn’t watch Night Court for very long (although I liked it). I’ll have to look up Judge Stone’s father.

      1. Judge Stone’s mother’s second husband, shows up, the Judge had never met him. He proceeds to tell the Judge that he met his mother in an insane asylum, followed by “but I am feeling much better now!” John Astin played the role, and was brilliant.

      2. David:
        What’s really funny is that I pictured John Astin as I read this. Either he was perfectly cast or I HAD seen an episode (well, probably both).

  2. Happy you are ‘bettah now’.
    The black and white identical couple made me giggle. Frequently, Ron and I will look at each other when we get into the car and realize we had dressed exactly alike. We don’t bother to change up a bit/put on different coloured top…..we laugh. That’s what happens to old gay couples who wear the same size clothing.
    I always knew I shouldn’t have smoked pot as well…..made me very anxious. I learned after a while to refuse it.

    1. Jim:
      If I come out of the bedroom and see that SG and I are dressed in the same colors/patterns, I turn around and change. Last week, when we were headed out for coffee, we both exited wearing blue shorts and orange shirts. I turned around and changed into green shorts and a yellow T-shirt. We got to Mesón Salvador and there must have been half a dozen men and boys in BLUE shorts and yellow T-shirts.

      I did too much of many things from the age of 16 until nearly the age of 32. Self-medicating is not a good thing and does permanent damage.

  3. Glad you are bettah.
    Understandable that SG was impatient for his delicious meal. Yours look yummy, too.
    Did you notice that the “match” couple even had matching calf muscles? 🙂

    1. Mary:
      I did! I also noticed that, as is so common, the focus is on working the upper body. Isn’t it funny though how often friends of a certain age look and dress alike?

      1. Mistress Maddie:
        I assume it was. We’re all still in that frickin corn field.

      1. Deedles:
        In melted butter? (Ew… that really sounds disgusting.)

  4. So it wasn’t the pot that was the problem — it was the smoking? I agree about public health. Every time we use the system here, I think, “WHY is it not this easy in the good ol’ US of A?”

    1. Steve:
      I don’t completely understand the laws. Will have to learn more… but I have no pothead friends here anymore (they moved)! We have been so impressed with the public health system. It’s of course not perfect but we receive more personal, attentive, and caring attention from our public health doctors than we do at times from private (who are mostly excellent). Also, because we’re retired, we pay no more than 10 percent for our prescriptions, and prices are already a fraction of what we were charged in the USA. I paid 1.70 for two prescriptions last week!

  5. never smoked pot; booze was my college drug of choice.
    the fried cod and the chix croquettes/fries looked good.
    what, no dessert?

    1. anne marie:
      We came home for SG’s apple cake and two episodes of This Is Us. I usually don’t go all fried but, as I said, i was feeling sorry for myself. French fries are something I almost never have. My drug of choice when I was young was pot… and booze… and many other things. I wasn’t picky.

  6. Ive smoked pot up at the woods when glamping, but be damned I feel any effects of it. Now when in Amsterdam, that was some potent stuff. I think I loss a day because of it and jet lag.

    And who said Croquettes ?!?!?! Oh thats right you did. I love them but not with octopus…..yuck. As a rule, I don’t eat anything with more than four legs and more intelligent then me. I can’t wait to see what Deedles say about that.

    1. Maddie, honey, I’m well sated and happy as a clam so I’m going to be a doll baby and not snark at all. You’re welcome 🙂 I don’t need pot, I’ve got corn on the cob.

    2. Mistress Maddie:
      As for the octopus, you would have no clue that’s what was inside. (I’m not a fan of octopus in most forms.) There must be a drag queen with the name Croquette (Spanish, Croquetta). And, no, I’m NOT touching that line about number of legs and more intelligence. TOO easy.

  7. During my last 3 years as an undergraduate in the ’70s, I smoked a lot of pot. Made me wonderfully mellow. I tried some about 10 years ago and it was way too much for me. Are.those the beach monitors in the blue shorts and white shirts? Glad you are bettah now. That dinner would do the trick for me.

    1. Wilma:
      I had a printmaking professor who gave me a C on my first 3 projects (I was an A student in my studio classes). He gave me no feedback and when I asked what I could do to improve, he said “throw it all out.” So, I got stoned for days, doodle-etched into a tiny zinc plate wherever I went, and printed it onto a paper towel in the studio. I got a B in the course. That was the beginning of the end for me. Believed my only talent was doodling when i was stoned.

      Yes, those are the beach monitors in uniform (I don’t know their official title). Dinner helped. I’m still a bit of a pill, but maybe I’m getting used to it.

    1. Bob:
      Croquettes are iffy and often mushy inside. These are great. ALMOST as good as Elena’s… but nothing compares to those. I’m not bettah but I’m tryin honey.

    1. Judy:
      Getting busier here and August is around the corner. Hoping for another evening at Mesón Salvador.

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