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Lake Merritt area, Oakland.

February 6th, 2002

A Better Story
Wuss report: I'm feeding him various pills and he seems to take to them well enough. He's still incontinent, but I think he's better, although this could be wishful thinking. It does make we wonder: he starts peeing a week after we move into the old place and then he seems to get better after we leave. A connection? And, if there is a connection, what, exactly?

I haven't mentioned this before, over these last four years of writing this journal, thinking, well, readers are not going to understand it, not even die hard Star Trek geeks who spend their lives in a deep space blue screen fantasy, but I'm going to talk about a recent temporal event that got my attention.

Temporal event?

Yeah, you know. "Pop!" suddenly there's a farmer from the sixteenth century or maybe a Phoenician sailor from a really long time ago in the middle of the living room, scratching his head or freaked out and screaming, and by the time I have a chance to pull it all together and run for the door, there's another "pop!" and they're gone, I assume back to where they came from?

And this happens, um, often?

Well, you know once or twice a month. I haven't mentioned this until now because they always come when I'm alone without a camera - and believe me, I'd have to be cocked and ready to catch one - and telling people about these things gets you treated like a whacko. These people who pop in unannounced also tend to be, you know, ordinary people.

If I were writing this as a story I'd pick a better class of time traveler. Cleopatra comes to mind: young, voluptuous, decadent; popping through the aether some night when she's just dropped something special from her medicine cabinet and looking for trouble, something long and tall from the basement where she keeps her special staff. Cleopatra I might have talked about sooner.. Assuming, you know, her reality lived up to George Bernard Shaw's and my own fantasies.

And this time something different happened?

Well, this time a warrior appeared in full battle gear. Left a hell of a set of bloodyAt a going away lunch at a ribs place in Oakland. footprints on the carpet, chain mail, sword, the full deal, as if he were in the middle of a battle. Man he looked crazy, wild eyed, sword in hand, looking around the living room like he was in hell, shouting something that sounded like a battle cry, his face painted blue (Making me think of England, but I'm not sure their warriors went into battle painted blue. I think it had something to do with their religious customs, but what do I know?), swinging his arm, sword in hand, surprised as hell, so surprised he let the sword go just as the air popped again and he disappeared to wherever it was he came from. If it was a battle, I'm afraid he really missed having that sword, since he left it sticking fourteen inches deep into my living room wall.

He left his sword?

Yeah, take a look at this. (A long sword, gold hilt wrapped in some kind of leather, a dull blue blade, words engraved into the hilt.) I had someone look at it over at Berkeley.


It's name is Grendel. I was kinda hoping it might be Excaliber, or Cortana or something really slick, but it's name is Grendel and the phrase that's written on it translates into something like "Fuck the Normans" and "Merlin is pissed, so watch out." Which lends credibility to the blue warrior and England supposition, but, you know, Merlin is a product of English literature and to my knowledge (after a web search), Grendel isn't mentioned anywhere.

Where is this going?

Well, I haven't been posting all that often, and I wanted people to know that I've been busy with other things. Grendel here, for example. (The sword is propped up against the wall next to the gash where it was left imbedded, a slight glow surrounding it, as if it were radioactive or a prop in a Swords and Sorcerer's movie.

For example? Other things besides Grendel?

Did I tell you about the dream I had about the house, how it slipped down the hill in the rain, the same house where I lived in the seventies and the woman I kissed, the woman who's face I couldn't see and the people who were in the house with me?

That might have made a better story.

The banner photograph was taken down the street from my apartment near Lake Merritt in Oakland and the second photograph was taken at a going away lunch for one of our fellow workers.