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A recent lunch in Oakland.

March 16th, 2003

Head's On Straight
Eight, maybe nine hours sleep last night. Raining this morning, so I drove to breakfast, but it cleared up later and I've just returned from a walk downtown, two cups of coffee along the way, one out on the sidewalk at the cafe some four blocks down the street, one in front of the Bulldog on Broadway. The Bulldog is a small hole in the wall filled with what I assume are students. Various flavors of politically correct literature sit out on a sideboard, original paintings of Coke bottles and other framed fanciful stuff on the walls. I've seen photographs there in the past, some of them interesting, so they're using their space in the traditional way to display local artists as The Coffee Mill does where I have breakfast. It's not my scene, but so what, I like it.

A small jazz quartet was playing out front - drums, amplified acoustic bass, amplified acoustic guitar and sax, a guy my age or older on the sax. Everyone acting kind of herky jerky, as if they weren't quite practiced yet in their various interpretations of hip. Which is fine. Their hearts, bless them, are in the right place, I just hope there are not too many needles in their arms. Hip has its limits.

There was a film crew farther down opposite City Hall in front of a burger shop. Big lights and cranes and props, lots of security, lots of people and trucks. Big bucks. I walked along the back with a camera over my arm. They don't like no stinkin photographers around unless they're on the payroll, and even then they're suspicious. Maybe you're looking for an image of Britney Spears without makeup, something to put on the web, sell to a tabloid, make a dime on her nickle. Unauthorized. I was thinking in terms of lunch.

Some dizziness, this morning, but periods later feeling relatively straight. I'm looking forward to more periods feeling relatively straight. I have a hunch they will eventually pass, just watch the diet, get my sleep and walk. Walk a lot. Tomorrow morning, for example. To work. It's embarassing to see how short the distance, really, how many times I've driven or waited for a bus. Hard enough to write when you're dizzy. Hard enough to write when your head's on straight.

The photograph was taken at a recent lunch in Oakland.