Sunday, March 31, 2013


There is a Starbucks just down the block from where I live. I am close to a few others. Walking in this morning, I stopped at that intersection, waiting to cross, when the homeless man of perhaps sixty-five, hard to tell, weathered and beaten down, yelled a kind of prolonged groan, an angry wail into the trash receptacle into which he stared.

My first thought was that he hadn't been able to find something to eat, or drink, when I saw him guzzle down - or try to, he was shaky - the last of his water. When he did, I offered him mine. He took it without a word and I turned to face the signal but then to him again just as I got the walk to see him dousing the water onto some shirtlike rag, perhaps to wash it, an exercise in futility.

I passed the wheelchair trio at the metro, the urine stench particularly pungent. I passed a couple people pushing loaded shopping carts. There but for the grace of God.

The Mexican Wayne Newton was out for a stroll, over-fragranced as per everytime.  

At the top of Grand a man of perhaps 40, walking quickly, huddled into himself, eyes cast down, holding up a cardboard sign in front of him reading homeless cold and wet et cetera, walking by, shy as a dog who'd been whipped, just as wary of me as he was hopeful for a crumb.

He passed and was nearly to the bridge when I called out hey. He walked awhile before kind of turning, still striding forward, and I called out do you want a dry shirt? He turned quickly and came walking back up to meet me as I approached him removing the shirt-slash-sweater I had over a t-shirt and he said yes he sure could use a dry shirt thank you very much, some faint spark in his eyes renewed, and I gave it to him and we continued on our ways.

And just before I saw him I had told myself  the last thing I'd see on my way in (because I had planned to write about it) was the white m2, just like hers that had been stolen, and that had started thinking, too. the glass on the street. the stench of the decay already deep and spreading. the loss. the choices one makes. life lessons.  

I had considered going to church this morning. It's been awhile, a couple years, since at Susan's in Kyle. But then I remembered I am in church.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Outpost 6

he was always up first and she to bed last when not together. but most mornings she would join him outside to watch the sunrise. he would make the coffee and she would bring her mug with her and pull the chair next to his and they would both say mornin for neither were talkers unless of dreams they'd had and they would hold hands and mention plans for the day if there were any and they required mention and by their second cups and sunglasses on to face the new light climbing brighter they were probably talking about work, his or hers or theirs.

on this morning the dog came out with her and sat as always between them, nervous eyes this way then that for whatever might retrieve his good fortune before settling, and she told him she had thought about his comment that the limbs of the trees she was painting seemed tormented, as if, he'd said, they're reaching for rescue. she told him she'd thought about it and would continue to because it hadn't occurred to her but there was something there, she couldn't exactly describe it yet but it had made her pause and consider the work from a new angle.

he asked if she felt it disruptive.

no. revelatory. but vaguely so. if that makes sense.

yes. i love it, by the way.

thank you.

he'd tell her he didn't if he didn't and she asked and she knew that. 

he wondered to himself if he might've described it differently than tormented and brought the heavy word to himself and considered it as if a globe spinning slowly before him. 

a breeze set the chimes on the deck to music.

she realized what the trees were reaching for. all of a sudden, and began to weep. he thought to ask what was wrong but felt somehow that perhaps something was not wrong and he squeezed her hand and she nodded and wiped two tears away and said silly me, how slow, how utterly slow and he knew he would hear the story in bed that night.

when she smiled he knew things were okay and perhaps would be and the terror that had risen in him pitch black and cold slithered in retreat to its ancient hiding place. she had seen it in his eyes, had seen it before, but still could not identify it, so well camouflaged it was by years of practice.

up for a walk?

he nodded and rose from his chair, pulling her up, the dog already toward the house for the leash.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Dear Diary 1

this time a week ago i'd woken up and showered in the guest house of my uncle's place on the cosumnes river, in the community of el dorado, south of placerville. later in the morning i would leave with him and my cousin robby and his friend wes, both of whom had flown out from texarkana the prior saturday, as had i, for the drive back to the sacramento airport for our respective flights home. we had come out to ski a couple days and whatever else appealed.

our flights were delayed that saturday, the 9th, and we ended up getting to glen's place late, after he, on his first shot to the airport, had a flat, but returned with a different car still in plenty of time to be waiting for robby and wes to land. (in the interim i relieved this place of a couple of these.)

sunday we (wes, robby, me) drove south on 49 to angels camp, then northeast (left) on highway 4 to calaveras big trees state park. there was fresh snow on the ground from the storm that had come through the previous week before giving way to the cloudless skies and warm temperatures we experienced during our stay. the trees are indeed big.  

monday we drove the same route but continued on to bear valley for a day of skiing. none of us had skied there and i said i'd like to and so we went. i loved the mountain, i am not so fond of their website; it's all wrong somehow, but i digress. we had the schweeetest of spring conditions, like a day at the beach, and zero lines. i missed a lot of terrain i'll hit when i go back. it's on my favorites list. (and a helluva deal for the price, pretty dang low, relatively.)

tuesday we (with glen this time) drove down to jackson for breakfast here, where i'd eaten once before. i highly recommend it, though, again, their website just doesn't capture a certain something that it ought to. meh. it's an aesthetic thing. i was smitten by the blonde waitress. we then drove back north to coloma, here specifically, where we walked around and ended up crossing the (american) river and walking the large boulders alongside it, staying for awhile, staring at the roiling rapids, stupid thoughts chased off by the glorious roaring through the rocks.

we'd gather wood and make fires each evening after dinner, there on the deck, and stared then too, and found the little and big dippers and remembered things like the boat tossed like gilligan's minnow that late afternoon on the salton sea, where in the mornings we woke to dead fish on the beach. weird bitchen place, sorta. but yeah, glen remembered that and he was pissed at the dude all over again.

wednesday we drove east on 50 to sierra at tahoe, about 50 minutes from glen's and the default "home" mountain. rob and i had skied there a few times previously. doesn't get the press the other tahoe hills get but it's a nice little low-key gem. (but not quite as low-key as bear valley.) we quit early, which was fine as the warm temps had the snow pretty sticky by early afternoon, and headed to tahoe and the view of emerald bay and eagle falls, which wasn't lit quite like that found photograph but worked just fine, still.   

thursday we just sort of hung around, drove into placerville for the new refrigerator glen bought to replace the one that was dying in the guest house. (what's a compressor?) that evening wes, robby and i drove to placerville and ate at casa ramos, which was outstanding as always. we each had the enchilada and tostado with rice and beans special. 

friday we left, none of us particularly wanting to. it was a great week, and much needed. i wish i'd waited for robby to arrive before i dropped into the freezing cosumnes, down the road and under the bridge, searching for that shiny gold object we'd seen a couple afternoons earlier, but i didn't.

we agreed to make it a yearly thing. 

Drivin in Texas

Thursday, March 21, 2013

high noon

guess i should shower
probly shave
man of the hour
dude in the grave
or guy with the shovel
knee-high in dirt
luck of the devil
burying hurt

guess i should check
damn thing's got bullets
sure'd be heck
to be there and pull it
nothin but trigger
the end comin soon
hot lead gettin bigger
clock at high noon

Saturday, March 2, 2013


i cheated and i lied about it. it was awful then proved fatal. she'd read my journal, given me the oppportunity, when she asked if anything was going on (not her exact phrasing), to at least confess. but i did not. i lied. i remember where we were. the sunlight through the window. i remember swimming laps where i did, maybe a week before, and suddenly knowing somehow - well, feeling very strongly - that she knew. i have wondered if that feeling struck me as she was reading what i'd written.

broken trust, broken everything. she gave it a chance for awhile but the water was poison and then evaporated entirely. (except for that last drop that always sticks forever if the water was wet enough to support such adhesion.) 

Friday, March 1, 2013