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Today at the pump

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A store window on Grand Avenue in Oakland.

Under here.

December 29, 2008

And Be There
Monday. A long conversation with L last night about Wilson's progress in the new hospital, the prognosis not sounding good. I'm told that generally, with brain damage, recovery comes most quickly in the first three months if it's going to come at all and, although Wilson is showing improvement (he's able to draw again, for example), he's still not really aware of where he is or what's going on, reacting essentially with the mind of a child. This puts huge pressure on L, with or without the added pressure of the holidays. I plan to visit him tomorrow.

He's two years older than I, a window on what's soon to come? I hope not, not physical damage to the brain anyway. Forgetting the plot of the movie I watched last night is as far along that road as I care to travel, thank you, maybe even pushing me to the point I'm willing to cut back on the sake to save any remaining brain cells (and whatever pipes I may have left that haven't rusted leading to the stomach) when I turn seventy. If I turn seventy.

Ah, yes, your stomach. How, um, polite of you to mention it.

A run to Safeway last night to buy necessary items needed for dinner discovering sourdough bread and peanut butter are OK if they're consumed over a reasonable period while watching a Korean soap on television. Same with the mixed fruit and toasted bagel this morning. Again, eat them slowly, pay attention to the signals transmitted from your stomach, chew thoroughly and read the papers like a good little patient. The chopped fruit and the bagel seem to be resting well enough, although I can feel there's a hidden edge there, a hint they can, if they like, be trouble. Information noted by this good little patient. A call today (he said) to the doctor.

Do you have anything on your mind that doesn't involve your fucking aches and pains on this Monday, the start of another exciting December week across the bay from the city that sits at the end of the rainbow?

Well, we're staggering into what I'm assuming will be an excellent year. Why? Well, what are the options? 2008 had its ups and downs, but nothing out of line, at least at the personal level, and now that I've had practice as a retiree, why shouldn't I take the bit in my teeth and go where the sun always shines, all the women are over fifty-five and flirtatious and sake flows in rivers lined along their banks with sake sets and microwave ovens? Or something similar, we'll go with some modification of the drama if only to show how good our intentions.

Microwave ovens?

You don't find all that much good quality sake anymore in your basic sake river so it's considered OK to heat it in a microwave. I have enough foodie friends who won't talk to me with my sake heating habits as it is, but that's the way I see it here across the bay from the city that sits at the end of the rainbow.

Later. I forgot my haircut appointment set for this morning, getting a call from my frazzled stylist just before ten. My bad. Then another call saying her eleven o'clock had just crapped out, could I come? Sure. It was too late for the bus, so I drove downtown and spent eight bucks for parking, but what the hell, it's the holidays. Best to take care of yourself, buy an impossibly exotic Starbucks chocolate coffee to sip as she's clipping, leave a large holiday tip because it's the holidays and that's what's required. So I'm shorn of both hair and funds, albeit enough left over to buy breakfast tomorrow. Doing the usual juggling of art and life, dollars and breakfast, hair and be there, here in Oakland.

The photograph was taken through a store window on Grand Avenue in Oakland last year with a Nikon D2Xs mounted with a 18 - 200mm f 3.5 - 5.6 Nikkor VR lens at 1/30th second, f 5.0, ISO 100.