[Journal Menu]

[Home Page]

[Oakland Cam]



[100 Books]

[Other Sites]



Under Construction
At the Alice cafe in Oakland

September 22nd, 2002

Eat A Little Cake?
I see they've elected Erika Harold, Miss Illinois, this year's Miss America. I mentioned the Chronicle story reporting Miss France has announced she is boycotting the Miss World contest to be held this year in Nigeria to protest the death by stoning sentence upheld by a Nigerian court against a woman "for having sex outside of marriage". (She gave birth to a child more than nine months after divorcing her husband.) Now that we have a Miss America I assume she too will be boycotting the Miss World contest in Nigeria. Why does the thought I need to even ask this question make me uncomfortable?

No urge to go out and roam the city. Breakfast at eight this morning, then over to the hospital to get an x-ray associated with this prostate business. It turns out the x-ray lab is only open during normal work week business hours, so I got the paperwork done and I'll go over again late tomorrow afternoon. An excuse to drive to work tomorrow. I then, thinking, well, it's Sunday, I'll continue with my to do list and went to the B & H site to order film. They are on vacation. The entire company is out for the festival of Sukkos.

I know they keep the Jewish Sabbath, so I know to call on Sunday, and I think, well, that's nice, that's good, they are serious about their religious commitments. But, then again, shut down a multi-million dollar company for nine entire days? This is uncharted territory. This steps outside the sweat shop American norm. Keeping a Saturday Sabbath is laudable, eccentric, even life affirming, but closing down when I need film verges on the irresponsible.

I'm sitting here with the Neil Young Decade album playing in the background. I think oneFree From What - Graffiti in Oakland reason playing the old music brings back uncertain feelings is yes, it recalls those times, and those times are, well, yes, bittersweet, remembered fondly, but they are also, um, dead. The person I was, the family I grew up in as a child is gone: high school, certainly, college, certainly, the world of my twenties and thirties, the army (ugh!), the Vietnam war, the times in San Francisco, the times in Napa, they're all done and finished. What is left is today and, although today is a good day, little of what made those early days is present. The Prop from that period is inside here, but the context and pursuits are different.

Are you decrying the fact they're gone or the fact you think they're gone full knowing they're really not? You still have a family, my man, you've been up to visit them once or twice. The San Francisco years, maybe, Napa, maybe, but so what? Do you miss your days in Seattle at the age of five? Edmonds at the age of ten? What is this moaning and groaning?

Ah, yes. Thanks. I needed that.

The prostate thing, if it works out badly, will make this moot, but assuming they nip it in the bud, so to speak, I will undoubtedly go on figuring a new definition for self as an old Oakland fart. They were nice, those old days, but they weren't that nice. I don't think I'm supposed to get involved with another let's set the world on fire make a million dollars company. I've had a couple of ideas of how to augment my retirement, but I haven't done more than piddle around, really, playing while watching the job and now the health take a slide. I think my long term retirement plans are built on a certain element of luck. No, not the lottery, but I'm in trouble if I live too many years past eighty. With or without a prostate.

And I guess I've known for some time I'm not going to settle down with a partner. I haven't so far in this life, so why would I change? I stopped dating so long ago I can't even remember the last year I spent a night with a girlfriend. I mean I can't tell you the year, although, as it happens, I can tell you it was a New Year's Eve. If that old girlfriend should read this, she'd be shocked. I'm not even embarrassed. What does that say? Don't know. Not sure.

The kicker would be for the operation to go well (except for a common side effect - impotence with or without Viagra) and I meet Ms. Right coming home the day after. "Hi, my names Ms. Right. Wanna come by the apartment, drink a little coffee, eat a little cake?"

The photographs were taken in Oakland.