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Here In Oakland

Art & Life


February 19, 2015

Summer Day

Thursday. To bed early to read a Murakami short story in The New Yorker that had arrived that afternoon and then a short period watching a movie on the tablet before turning out the lights at ten to begin a long and uneven night of sleep. Awake with the alarm to get up easily enough on another overcast morning to head over to breakfast and back.

A nap after posting yesterday's entry and an hour's nap similar to the nap taken yesterday and the day before that. It's now approaching noon, the roofers working on the building across from the apartment, the head coming together. Things to do, trivial easily done things, but things I've been putting off now for days and in some cases weeks. Let's see if any of them can be crossed off the list now that the head is screwed on straight.

Later. A walk over to the 7-11 look-alike for an ice cream bar taking pictures of the progress at the apartment house construction site on the way back. Lots of workers up on the structure framing the third floor. I'm not sure if the empty center section where they've been stacking the delivered lumber will be filled in later with apartments or if there's another plan. Sixty-eight units, though, not a lot of space to allow such a large hollow center section at the center.

Back to the apartment to prepare pasta with red clam sauce for dinner and then lie down to turn on the radio and listen to the three o'clock News Hour only to awaken in the middle of an ocular incident an hour later.

An “ocular incident”. No way to describe it other than I awoke and wondered where I was, what was going on, the world and my perception of the world in some strange place where time, mind, radio, day and night all ran together with new definitions that no longer made any sense. You knew it was happening, but it had you in its embrace and there was no way out until it was gone.

Evening. Still rocky, back to sleep still coming down from the “incident” and then awake and up again after six to go downstairs to pick up the mail, running into a woman my age who lives on the first floor. She told me the woman who lives in the apartment above her and across from me, the woman who's son, living in that same apartment who had died years ago now of prostate cancer, had herself died of cancer this very afternoon. Mother and son in the same apartment, both of them genuinely good people, both of them gone.

I knew she was fighting the disease, we'd talked about it briefly while passing in the hall, hard to hide the fact when you've lost your hair, but this, if half expected, was unexpected. Life seems to be rolling along, predictably, and then it takes a very sudden turn.

Part of the deal, I'm afraid.

As you get older the people you know or once knew, names you recognize from your youth, simply leave, more with every passing year. As I mentioned, nice woman, nice lady, a shot of reality on a winter, pretending to be a summer, day.

The photo up top was taken at the Vietnamese Lunar New Year Tet Festival on Saturday with a Nikon D4s mounted with a 70-200mm f 2.8 VR II Nikkor lens.