Archive for May, 2012|Monthly archive page

A Day in California

In California, Family, Life, Travel on May 31, 2012 at 1:42 pm

If I found a way to complain about today, I’d be a pretty sub-class creature with origins in the Phosphokinkanous region of the planet Gremulon, which as everyone knows, is a Gremulous icky sort of place where people grumble.

No way Jose.  Today was rockin!  I woke up in a hotel in San Francisco, my 60-something aunt close-curtain tiptoing 3 oz liquids into plastic bags.  I rubbed crumbs from my eyes and hugged her goodbye and watched the nothing on the channels and inched into my swimsuit to hold my book above poolhouse water as Peter Mayle lived in Provence.  I lounged on lounge chairs.  And since my aunt’s flight was delayed, I returned to the room where she read and I packed and wheeled my bag to the restaurant for lunch.

The salad was dressing-drenched, so she got soup and I ate more salad!  I got my period after all, so that explains the pain.  Auntie S. still doesn’t go for Couchsurfing, but we hugged again and I could see her down the road when I caught the Bart and window watched my sleepy eyes down tunnels.  I got off the Bart and misread Amtrak’s chart and called my friend who’s laptop smart and he helped me buy that ticket so I could take the slowest elevator in the world to the platform to wait and cellularly talk to Clare! Eating an apple and granola bars and yes, golly gee, agree it sure sounds warm in Michigan, where you be, my lovely Clare, holy moly hitting the library and reading books.

The bearded guy walked by and when I got off the phone he talked and we talked and looked at birds and talked about birds and feed and flying.  And his German accent hung and the train came and we got on the train and talked on the train and I had to pee a lot and we made friends.

Davis, CA, calls the voice on the PA and off-track I stray to Delta of Venus cafe which always has the best bathroom graffitti – “When someone gives a hungry man food, we call him a saint; when someone asks why he is hungry, we call him a communist” – and I chewed chewing gum washing my hands by the mirror because I was nervous because AlexwascomingAlexwascomingAlexwascoming! and I stood on the bench by the tree because she was coming and when I realized she mightn’t be a car and  turned, she was running up the road and our hearts hammered hugs.  And the other side for good measure.  And I could barely talk I was so overcome so again we peed and then I sipped tea, and we walked to her car and drove to the store and looked at dresser knobs we didn’t buy.  And boy oh boy I love this girl so hard that when the fields of California gold rolled I didn’t even look because Alex and I had words in our mouths.

And her home is perfect.  The contents of one drawer are: ice cream scoop, chopstick stand, mosaic  wine stopper, ceramic spoon and such.  One shelf holds a Navajo wedding jug and a sculpted bird that opens bottles and glasses and glasses (for wine).  Which we drank with enchiladas post-bake, with fresh roses vased for the tapestry-topped table outside where the hummingbird went around each backyard bush and her husband Rockey gave me new bird names for when my mom and I again get bored.  And we weren’t bored playing cards and brushing our teeth three in a bathroom; we talked on the topdown toilet and tub lip like always and hugged our way to bed.

And now my sheets are smooth and the art is on the wall and the fan is cool and my suit is drying on the doorknob.

If I found a way to complain about today, I wouldn’t have lived it.


Miracles, Milwaukee

In Life, Milwaukee on May 22, 2012 at 7:15 pm

There are so many miracles.  Today in a park, on a bench.  The sun dapples leaves glistening above deep water.  A man rides a bike.  A hard-backed bug rushes along a path.

I have walked my long hair and apple to read the book I cradle to my chest in this park, this afternoon, this spring.  I read the book, brushing ants off my dress.  In the alcove overlooking the river, I am shaded by trees and I watch trees.

This is the park I dunk-tanked in, in the summer, holding hands with my best friend on toothpick legs like all girls have, weaving in and out of barbeque crowds.

This is the park my mother and I sang opera in, down the long metal tube leading from lot to green as we walked the body of a car-torn rabbit to rest on a wooded hill.

This is the park where, today, I lay my book down and listen to a wedding party.  And peek my head beyond the alcove to watch a photographer watch a laughing man and woman beyond a lens.  This is where the air holds birds above water and the sounds of a piano and the color white, from chairs in rows.  This is the park holding George Harrison’s voice as I can’t see her but I know she’s coming down the aisle and he’s right and the crowd’s coos rise and here comes the sun.

This is the park I am crying in, so relieved to know that it is true. I walk back to that long metal tube, and old Russian couples dot benches above two people staring at each other and smiling, and love is true and all is right with the world.

Series 2

I drive down a main street.  A crowd of middle aged people flock before some kind of something hidden to my passenger window behind a copse of brush decorating the edge of a stretch of sidewalk.  They are a miniature paparazzi, this cluster of smiling mouths crouched below camera eyes.

I’m a split-second of sight scrolling by on wheels.  And, ah, I see.  A kindergarten graduation party… arrayed on small steps, signs in small hands and paper crowns and smiles so strong they’re lion tearing little faces.  There is that little boy almost biting the air, so fierce his joy.

And all is right with the world.

Series 3

We buy pears.  We walk to the car.

We eat pears, dancing in the car to the Rolling Stones.


In Life on May 14, 2012 at 10:45 pm

We have figured out what I am…my brain space and ma-self.

A Goose.

A silly one.

The one that gets ducked and jumps up.  That flaps her wings in circles and harumphs…in a pile of feathers to the grass again.

Last night at the concert ma mama and me waited and waited and did I say, waited!, for the man with the fast Fender hands, in the chairs, and people bought beers and we named birds.  I lost.  I had cockatoo and blue footed booby on my side, even if that last one’s only an island dweller.  She had wren and ostrich (how could I forget ostrich!) and flamingo and pigeon.  And her maiden name was Segal; this was no fair fight.

Anycockadoodle doo, when she said “Goose” last night, I didn’t blink twice.  Today I know she really said, “You.”

Don’t call me Mud; call me Mud-dweller, you know go ahead, call me Goose.

New Thing

In Life on May 8, 2012 at 11:13 pm

I am trying this new thing where I am happy. 

The idea came to me last month, walking in the midst of new leaves and planters hanging above brightly manicured lawns.  I could still hear a strain of the shit, a truck blasting Scott Joplin nearby.  But instead of feeling lousy about always digging through my wallet and buying his licks, I felt okay.  Really, the bad ways are not so bad. They’re there, that’s all.

How long this calm lasts is another question, but I’m not asking it any time soon.

By Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

In Quotes on May 1, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back– Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.