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They have better beds on the A ward.

An Oakland parade

December 31st, 2000

Zen Lesson #2,489
My one day of detox (Detox being, you understand, the head realignment that precedes the point at which you really start your vacation, that first week of lethargy before it all falls into place.) has slipped into day three and I am wondering now about tomorrow. I've reviewed the usual suspects: the winter solstice, low level depression, clogged arteries, complete ennui from a self absorbed life dedicated to sloth and sugar.

That, and maybe, I don't know, an allergic reaction to my cat, an odd juxtaposition of earth and moon, light and shadow, small green haired invaders from Aldebaran indulging their disgusting compulsion for naked teenage women, secretly encamped in the apartment below, the sweet and acrid fumes of bubbling liquids cooking in the kitchen so necessary to their debaucheries seeping up through the ceiling and my rugs, coloring the very air I breathe, making me, um, a little crazy. (Which makes it difficult to phone the authorities: "Adeberans, officer. You know, from out there? Green hair? Naked teenage women? Better alert the vice squad!) What do you say, Wuss? Adebarans? Cat fur? Sugar?

The mottled character of my rugs, um, my landlords rugs, seems to go away with a little water and a sponge. They look pretty good. The kitchen floor is clean. I may splash a cup of Mop and Glow on it just for the experience. I am not moving the desks out of the living room (I mean, where would I put them?), but I'll tidy up the bedroom. It actually looks OK. If he's going to throw me out, it won't much matter. I think I have a thousand dollar deposit on this place. OK, ouch. I also have photographs of what it looked like when I moved in. About the way it looks now. I'll find another place and it will be swell. And then I'll go back into my zoned out existence and forget about landlords, rugs and Aldebarans.

This, of course, is New Year's Eve and I plan on squat. There are the usual number of open The office building in Oakland air Times Square look alike celebrations going on in the bay area, with fireworks and lots of whacked out photogenics being checked by the police for open bottles. I could be out there shooting pictures or I could be sitting here thinking in terms of another nap. I'm not sure that wasn't the way I felt last year and the year before that. (OK, I keep forgetting. I can go back and look. I was babbling on about something equally inconsequential in 1999. I remember falling asleep New Year's Eve 1998, fireworks and gun shots in the distance, thinking about the same thing I'm thinking about now. I read my 1998 entry as I was writing this and it's dumb, dumber than dumb, thirteen year old adolescent trying to be hip dumb, the dumbest dumb of all of the dumbs. I am too embarrassed to add a link to it. Maybe my archives need to get lost. This is drifting.)

Better, this evening, actually. Wuss has been talking to me most of this late afternoon and evening about food. He has food in his dish. It's fresh out of the can. He has eaten most of it, but he wants me to dump that last portion still remaining in the trash and open a new can. I won't until he finishes what he's got. So he continues to get on my nerves by bringing the matter up and I sit here rather calmly examining an urge to skwush him flat and fling his body into the bushes. Zen Lesson #2,489. You're never too old for instruction.

Happy New Year Wuss. Happy New Year everyone.

The banner photograph was taken during preparations in front of City Hall for an Oakland parade. The columns form the entrance to our office building. The quote is by Samuel Johnson.