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Berkeley Solano Stroll

September 10th, 2001

To Say Hello
My DSL connection is kaput at the moment, so I'm writing this with the idea of uploading from the office tomorrow. The technician on the phone thinks it might be something ugly that has nothing to do with my computer or my modem, something beyond the wall, something sinister and evil. I am nodding my head as he is talking, head bobbing to sinister and evil.

Busy day, appointment here, deadline there. One such appointment was at the dermatologist's office, where he removed two moles from my upper back. Nothing to it. Some Lidocaine, the barest prick of the skin, some futzing around, the sound of the sutures being cut, sit up, put on the shirt, drive back to the office. Answer this email, call that person, get this quote, work on that web page, lie down and wait on the table while you're injected with anesthetic and worked over with a scalpel, get back to the office in time to meet with the messaging team, grab something for lunch.

Just another tick mark on the to do list, just another god damned thing to get done to get through the day. They'll do a biopsy, of course, and let me know the results when I have a second pair of moles removed a week from this coming Friday. Another appointment sandwiched between other appointments in a life of appointments that stretch out, it seems, to the very horizon.

I see where this lady, camera packed, is heading westward with BF to pass through San FranciscoOakland Art and Soul festival on her way to various national parks and other points of interest. Two Brits on the prowl with passport and camera, shooting the American Dream, perhaps, for later examination, pick over the images for hints of the Marlboro man (dead now of cancer) or the spirit that led so many of her country men and women to come here once (with flowers in their hair). Well, they did that for a while after the Summer of Love. Hell, I came down here from pre-Microsoft Seattle in search of something similar. Flowers. Hair. One last attempt at escaping reality. The national parks, certainly, are part of that twentieth century American Dream, Ansel Adams and the rest, but pale beside our current twenty-first century fascinations which do not include forests and mountains. Now we're into fiber, real estate and virtual reality, avoiding at all costs the slightest contact with an outside world. Bush (League) America.

I don't really mean that. Be nice if they do get a chance to say hello.

The banner photograph was taken at last weekend's Berkeley Solano Stroll and the singer was photographed at the Oakland Art and Soul festival. And, no, I couldn't pick myself out in the reflection in his glasses any better than I could in the color photograph of September 7th. Rien has the better eye and experience.