Friday, October 14, 2005

Forty Lives....Also Life In Malibu

Recommending Aurielle's blog. She had a cat named Ceasar but she can't seem to find him now. Go to

Three lives posted yesterday, three today, and 34 more to go in this exciting biographical extravaganza, but first the news from Malibu. The women here are not as beautiful as the women in Venice -- I think it's more about money in Malibu, this quiet luxury. I'm certainly enjoying it.

Malibu is just a short drive up the coast from Venice. I got here yesterday and made camp at Leo Carillo State Beach under the sycamore trees in the little canyon in back of the beach. It was awesome quiet last night sleeping under the moonlight without a tent -- so warm and gentle the breeze. Except for this almost vicious squirrel that was stealing my Top Ramen and Ritz crackers -- I had to put the food in the car.

This morning I walked the mile-long Zuma Beach in Malibu. Zuma is such a fine name, sand so fine, waves so clear and sparkling, rolling on glassy seas with no wind. I saw a black seal poke his head up just past the waves, and the seal saw me.

Then a school of porpoises, frolicking and feeding, almost twenty of them. Toasting in the sun, reading Mahfouz from Egypt -- his novella, Miramar, set in Alexandria.

Three More Lives

Aisha Barbeau
is my niece, my brother Tom’s oldest daughter. She lives in San Francisco. She’s going to law school now. I think she’s 32 or 33. She’s marrying Matt in December in Cozumel, Mexico – such an expensive place for a wedding. I am a little resentful of that, because I can’t afford to go. Aisha was my Dad’s first grandchild – the only one he lived to see. There’s a picture of Aisha sitting on her Grandad’s lap while he read her a story. I wish there had been more of that, but the old man died.

I can’t say anything about her becoming a lawyer. I can’t say things like, “Now she won’t have to work for a living.” You don’t get to say things like that. I keep quiet and let my brother be proud of his very bright girl.

Andy Boyer. I spoke to him the last time on the hard, hard morning after we lost the election in Ohio. Andy had been up all night, hadn’t gone to sleep like I had. He was out of his mind from exhaustion and grief. He said it was “guns, gays, and God” that cost us the election. He said he had to go back to his parents’ house because he was broke. But if only we had won! Then Andy would have gone sailing off to the Washington DC, for the inauguration of a new President – his dream – and a meaningful new job. Too bad it didn’t happen.

Anita Boyle is an emerging poet, like Venus rising from the foam, but not quite as beautiful or sexy. She never does her hair, it just hangs there, so when you first see her you think she’s not pretty – but stick around, it gets better. . Anita is a widow. Her husband died more than ten years ago in an accident. Jim Bertolino, a more experienced poet, moved in with her two years ago, to her small farm outside of Bellingham. Anita and Jim have combined to make a powerful writing team. Like peas and potatoes.

1 comment:

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