Sunday, August 28, 2005

The Best of Shipwreck

The Best of Shipwreck. I wrote these passages on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum. I founded a thread in the Chat Room and named it Shipwreck. It quickly became a vehicle for my own passages with daily listeners – Cielo from Israel, Moonbow from Australia, Snowy from the Netherlans, Wales Woman from Alaska, Eco from Sweden, and Clau for Chile – the wide world all over.

I wrote sixty posts. Here are a half-dozen that might be worth reading.

This is important. Last night I was throwing bricks at the raccoons who live in the redwood tree next to my garden house where I sleep. The nerve of those nasty rotters. I was mad. I don't normally throw bricks at people or at animals -- because it is wrong and because I might be caught and be punished.

But last night, I came out of the cabin to take a leak on the bushes, and those nasty hoodlum raccoons were just staring at me, not six feet away. Their insolence! Their lack of respect! Any decent animal would run away and hide at my approach.

The pile of bricks lays by the door. I picked one up and hurled it at the raccoon. I aimed well too. I darn near hit him, but all he did was move back again like Na-na-na-na can't catch me! I was ready to go nuclear after this. I kept hurling the bricks, one after another, about a dozen. There were bricks all over the yard. But the raccoon never moved more than six inches to get out of the way -- little creeps! I don't like raccoons. I went back in the cottage and fell asleep.

I lost my shirt. It's the white and rusty-brown summer shirt that my daughter bought for my birthday last year. It has become my favorite shirt, but I can't find it. I never lose anything. People think I am not possessive because I own so very few things. But I am very attached to the things that I have -- I like to remember where everything is, and I can't find my shirt -- my best shirt.

My second best shirt is the old blue-checked long sleeve shirt, that is so old and soft from extra washing. It is a comfort rag at this point and falling apart. I gave it to Nora, the seamstress, to repair. She will turn the collar and put patches on the sleeves -- This shirt is too precious to throw out, and I am really glad to have a good seamstress.

Today I am wearing my least favorite shirt. It is a vaguely blue plaid short-sleeve shirt, a cotton blended with a touch of polyester (I hate polyester) -- This shirt was a gift from Tony Wolffe, because I stayed at her house in Ohio last year. She loves to give people presents and she gave me this shirt. Normally I wouldn't wear anything with polyester, but Tony is a sweetheart, so her shirt is all right.

My final favorite shirt is the expensive finely blue-checked Burberry that my Mom gave me in 1995. She died in 1996. This is the last shirt she gave me. I almost wore it out, but now I won't wear it. I just keep it to remember her love.

No Croutons on Salad. I talked with my kids on the phone, one hour for each one. My daughter, 26, is wondering whether to go to Chile for a three-week vacation -- or save money and only go to Mexico. She called me three times yesterday to hash out her options and I was bored with the whole thing and feigned interest.

Then I called my son in Boston -- long talk. He dumped a soda on his laptop -- that will cost him $500 for the repair, and his little summer vacation money is gone, although he wasn't feeling too sorry for himself. You can still go to the beach, I told him. Also he got a bad grade in his first semester of graduate school. This was not interesting to me either because he always gets bad grades. He has a great mind, but the actual output is not so hot. The teacher always love him because he is such a good and interesting fellow -- so he always gets through his course with a middling grade. Nothing has changed.

It's the August doldrums. I don't care about anything. This morning at the coffee shop, they tried to serve me coffee in a glass cup. This is so wrong, although it's not actually vile. Coffee should be served in a white or light-colored cup because the white, or say a nice ivory-tone, gives a pleasing contrast to the dark, rich coffee color. But a glass cup is inherently wrong for serving coffee and there will be no discussion about this.

The barista gave me a strange look, after I told her that a glass cup will not do. I fumbled an excuse -- I said, I don't like croutons in salad either.

You see, I'm an easy-going guy, undemanding in so many ways -- but there's just a few things that need to be said, and it's not my personal taste, but a matter of grave importance. I do not have time to explain the wrong-ness of croutons in salad at this point. Just take my word for it.

On the Beach. "On the Beach" That was the great movie from the 1950's about the end of the world from nuclear explosions. It was set in Australia, starring Gregory Peck, Fred Astaire and Ava Gardner(incredibly sexy). They played Waltzing Matilda and then they all died under the radioactive clouds. It was so sweet and sad.

I only thinks of this because of so many Australians on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum and then I spent the day on the beach yesterday. See how the mind works?

I don't think the end of the world is much of a problem. My saying is "If there's no solution, then there is no problem." The problem is what's in front of me today, the rest is up to Heaven.

Now, ahem, playing Beach Blanket Bingo with JoAnn was extra fun, our day on the beach, nuzzling like baby seals, peering at rocks, and basking in the sun. The fog came in and everyone else disappeared. We ate a picnic lunch. It was quite good all around. I found out her last name and that she is Italian.

Does this mean pasta with extra special sauce? (I'm using food as a metaphor here)

Okay, Okay, it's Monday morning, no more dreaming, I must to work go.

She Called. She called last night and said she was having deep thoughts. I said to her -- good!

I had not been having deep thoughts when she called -- I was having very petty thoughts about all the people around me who do not appreciate what a wonderful and important fellow I am. I was in a complete dither.

But the timing was perfect. In an effort to overcome petty anger, I purchased a bottle of red wine, I then constructed a cheerful fire in the camp and poured myself a glass. It was getting a little better. Just exactly then is when she called. Deep thoughts. She said it was a little scary. I re-assured her.

Then her deep thoughts met my angry petty thoughts and things smoothed out pretty good.

In other news: My seamstress -- everybody should have one -- repaired my favorite blue-checked shirt. She turned the collar and put invisible patches on the sleeves. It feels so good to wear.

Why Men Don’t Go To Yoga. My yoga teacher asked me why men don't go to yoga class, because most of the time I'm the only guy in the class and otherwise it's all women. I told her, "Men don't go to Yoga class because there's no equipment and you don't keep score."

And then I stopped going myself. Too many "ladies in leotards" preening and stretching. If I begin even looking at their bums -- well then there's no point in going at all -- no equanimity.

Still there would be more men in the class if dunja, the teacher, did not make these belittling remarks -- bad habit of hers. She's a very bossy, very directive teacher -- that's not a problem -- you get a really good workout -- but then she spoils it with some snide remarks and then she wonders why the men don't come.

So I haven't been going -- except I ran into Bob this morning and he said he was going. I'm not so busy today. I have had lots of good stretchings of emotions going up and down this week -- so a yoga class would be a good way to bring it all home. --- Bless you all.

She Said No. I went to see the girl friend. We had a wonderful time, walking around, looking at her garden, fixing dinner -- and then premium couch time with her and the kittens while we watched a movie.

She fixed me a bed on the floor and I spent the night. In the morning she volunteered that she couldn't make love to me because she was still in love with her ex-husband. Did I just hear a woman saying No? It sounded like music. What does No mean? She didn't say No to some guy walking down the street -- but she said it to me in a very tender way. Kind of a melting No.

Then she baked a blueberry coffee cake for breakfast, and I told her about the plans I'm making -- she is a very good strategic thinker.

I noticed that she is energetic and a bit fiery. This is a woman who could lose her temper. Mama!

It Keeps Getting Better.
It's all these stupid rules that you read in the books of wisdom -- they always say that you can't hold on to things because it's always changing -- who made up this rule? -- I would like to know that, because things are going well for me right now and I would strongly prefer that they continue to go this well for at least a few weeks or even longer, maybe all the way until Christmas.

Good work at Nora and Fred's garden. Good food and good sleeping at the houseboat under the Yew tree. Good writing for my newspaper column, and good love from my girlfriend -- last night I was writing silly love poems.

And I'm not supposed to hold on to this?

My lunch: two hard-boiled eggs with salt, pepper and mayonnaise, small salad with Italian dressing, soup of chicken and rice. I ate this while reading the Wall Street Journal, which had an interesting article about lobster fishing in Maine.

Reading; I have the fifth Harry Potter book ready to go, but I have paused (recently reading the first four for the first time) because I need to read Cannery Row by John Steinbeck.

My children's names are Eugene and Eva -- but I shorten that to Eu and Ev. Eugene is a Greek name. Eva is a Hebrew name.

Dry itchy skin -- reported last week -- all gone. The doctor recommended an over-the-counter cream -- that helped. Plus I doused the infected area (a fungus it was) with Vinegar. I think it's the vinegar that really helped.

Awful Girl Friend Stories.
My kids think that worst girl friend I ever had was either Rosana or Laura -- they have a point. Rosana was quite fat -- that wasn't the problem. She actually had a very nice figure with excellent proportions, it was just a great deal wider than some other ladies. I liked her figure, she was all extra. That wasn't the problem. The problem was her obsessive, neurotic talk about her weight, and her diet, and how she didn't look right. I was made to suffer for all the men who had abused her previously, and all I wanted to was have fun. I used to beg her, "Rosana, can we have fun now? Do we have to talk about this?"

Then I moved from the Seattle area to Boston, and Rosana and I wrote each other (before the age of email) these wonderful, scathing, insulting letters --such lovers we were, the letters were actually the best part. All this about 15 years ago. I spoke with her six months ago -- she is still quite a pumpkin.

So there was Rosana, and I'm the first guy who ever loved her for being fat, and she wouldn't let me. After that I had an affair with a married woman who was also an alcoholic -- really smart. Of course I had a good reason -- me and Louise were both lapsed Catholics and we had to get our revenge on the Pope for stulting our adolescent sex lives. And that worked. I'm getting along fine with the Pope now.

I don't understand these people who are "wounded and wary." I mean these singletons who have had bad experiences in love and so must be very cautious and must make great effort to be emotionally self-sufficient. God forbid we should ever need one another -- that is the modern mantra. But I reject it entirely.

I follow the commandment of love and know that we are here on earth to belong to one another. Love is wounding and sometimes fatal, yes?

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