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Here In Oakland

Art & Life


January 31, 2013

Long After Nine
Thursday. The alarm went off at the usual time, 5:45, went back to sleep to awake at six-thirty. Just right if I were to head for the hospital lab and get that blood drawn and then return for breakfast. Hmm. Thoughts of ways to put it off. The annual doctor's appointment they are meant for was still more than two weeks away. Got up in the usual routine, grabbed the prescription (left in an obvious place where I'd see it) and headed over to the lab. Hup!

Odd to see my hesitancy, though, when the actual task itself goes without a hitch, without a single troubling thought on the way to or back, just a routine short trip to have something done for the hundredth time plus: no sweat. But I've wondered about this in the past, this hesitancy to get in the car and go to a place and find, when I get into the car and go to the place, it's a trivial trip, as trivial and non troubling as they've always been (in my callow youth).

Anyway, to the hospital, to the morning café for breakfast and the papers, back to the apartment at nine. No complaints. Plenty of interminable babbling, but no complaints.

Later. Lunch at Peony, a dim sum restaurant in the Asian Cultural Center, with Ms. P and Mr. M, two youngsters from the old days at APL. I thought about dim sum and MSG, then thought, well, I won't be eating all that much so we'll take a chance.

Nice to see the both of them after all this time, but indeed, as we were leaving the restaurant, the vision started getting a little wiggy. Ms. P mentioned she too was sensitive to MSG, mentioning she was seeing slight visual “tails” coming off everything she saw as she looked down at the fountain, not quite how I'd describe my own reaction, but close enough for “bingo!”: MSG and lots of it.

Anyway, a somewhat rocky walk to the bus and then a bus back home to get into bed and let the episode take its course. Odd physical tricks for about forty-five minutes as I lay listening to the news before deciding to soak for a while in a hot bath, see if that didn't help. And it did help. Basically time is what helps, sometimes forty-five minutes, sometimes an hour and a half. No big deal if one comes on when you're home, more of a deal if you're out on the street. Such has been the life here on a Thursday afternoon in Oakland.

Anyway, although I'd brought a camera, I didn't take but one pictures, that waiting on the bus. I've learned to manage my picture taking at lunches over the years, it can if handled badly lead to upsets, no one really saying anything to the idiot with his toy, but no one inviting you back either, so no pictures for whatever reason, none travelling to, none travelling back.

No more dim sum along with the alcohol?

I still haven't given up on alcohol. Well, maybe I have, but I'm still not willing to admit to the fact. None at all still seems a bit extreme, but then so did the idea I'd ever react to something like MSG. Dim sum? So short, this life; so much to learn, so little time.

Later still. A steak sandwich brought home from the drive-in just up the street. No more MSG-ocular migraine-weird happenings, they've packed and left the premises, which is good. Very good. The evening ahead, another guitar lesson tomorrow, time to practice.

Evening. Thursday nights at six: Fat Friends. We are not watching Fat Friends, we are watching Democracy Now instead. We are so predictable. Democracy Now accompanied by guitar as we begin the evening. Another chapter of a Swedish political drama at seven, one I finally noticed after it started some weeks back. It seems to get better as it goes along, almost as if it were written for adults.

And now to bed, I'd think, not long after nine.

The photo up top was taken while waiting at the bus stop on the way to lunch this late morning with a Nikon D4 mounted with an 50mm f 1.4 G Nikkor lens.