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Outside the Federal Building today in Oakland

January 4th, 2005

Thirty-Six Hours
The second morning today on the new job, the afternoon spent driving down to Palo Alto for a doctor's appointment, a blood test and a package of Cialis. I've not been familiar with the name Cialis, although I've been getting email - “Cialis, shipped in a brown paper package, each tablet kissed by the lips of a chaste Ecuadorian woman of voluptuous dimension and saintly demeanor....”) - but I now know that taking one will make for potentially exciting behavior for as many as 36 hours. It won't last for 36 hours - I'm assuming this because I can't imagine what that would entail - but my doctor informs me it allows you to, um, be up and ready at the drop of a handkerchief. OK. I can grasp the concept. They take your prostate - science allowing you to live a little longer - and they ameliorate the side effects with a long lasting chemical with interesting properties. Or is this more than any of you needed to know in a first paragraph?

What brought that on?

Oh, I don't know. An interesting afternoon. They give you a blood test, they mail you the results a week later. If it's positive you're dead, if it's not (and usually it's not) you're good 'til the next test some three months later. I assume they don't send you a post card when it's positive. They give you a call. They ask you to come down “for consultation”. Given these realities, the particulars of whether or not you take little blue pills shrink into context. Nice they invented them, of course, interesting to have them available; gives you confidence that on any given day, should you be ambushed in your bedroom by a bevy of hot steamin' wimmen, that you can, well, that you can join in the merriment. I'm told many old guys live in fear of being ambushed in their bedrooms by hot horny honeys looking for merriment.

We're listening to the sake, I assume?

We're listening to early evening background chatter: the second flask sitting empty on the desktop, Ms. Emmy curled up on my lap as I'm writing, the new Harper's and New Yorker sitting on the table and the cotton ball taped to my arm getting itchy. I am doing well, two flasks to the wind, here in Oakland.

The photograph was taken near Lake Merritt in Oakland on New Year's Day with a Nikon D2h mounted with a 17-55mm f2.8 Nikkor lens at ISO 200.