I grab English muffins, butter, and jelly. And three Lunchables. Ease.
Okay. Only 40 minutes.
This must be a part of the Delta where a lot of mass agriculture goes on. Tractors, large expanses of fields with neat rows of brown earth and tiny green things.
She tells me that my birth certificate will not work. I don’t understand. I can’t do anything today. I will have to leave and come back. She shows me the number to call to get another birth certificate. I tell her that I’ve been using this one for 20 years for all my other licenses. I’m shaking out of anger and frustration and maybe too much caffeine. “I’ve been here for 6 months and can’t get anything done.”
I slam the car door. Eighty minutes of driving for no reason. I make another appointment. July 31st. I feel bad for being snappy with her. It’s not her fault. But man, what a frustrating morning.
I have no meal plan but the tuna is on sale. So are the tomatoes. I grab Italian sausage and a can of crushed tomatoes and some pasta. Let it be easy.
No clouds in the sky. The dusty silhouette of the moon.
I don't know what that one is. The fruit is gaining in size, still bright green with a chalky look.
I can feel the answer in my gut.
How much longer before the alarm goes off?
Linen feels right for today.
“It’s Thursday, isn’t it? Today is Cleaning Day.” I love it when he reminds me.
And I hate that the rewards are working.
I like that this is a judgement-free conversation. I say out loud that I need to dial back the ambition. I’m carrying over the goals from last week. Because, look. You can’t build Rome in a day.
I’m glad we’re back to our weekly calls.
The walk doesn’t take very long. The sun is bright. There’s a breeze. It’s quiet. Her shirt says Chicago.
I just need more sleep. I drag the hammock into the shade. There is the sound of a mower and a weed wacker, a prop plane, doves,
Four dragonflies circling the yard.
“Got treasures in my mind but couldn’t open up my own vault/My childlike creativity, purity and honesty/Is honestly being crowded by these grown thoughts/Reality is catchin’ up with me” - Power, Kanye West
Get dressed now? Or wait? I’ll wait.
The sizzle of butter in the pot. Water. Brown sugar. It’s not fancy. It wasn’t meant to be fancy. I can’t believe I’ve been making this for 10 years. The time goes so fast.
Something about this doesn’t feel right. Camino Diablo? I reset the directions. I wasn’t going to the right place. At least I’ll still be on time.
Hills browned over. They look like gold and very dry. Off in the distance the fog lays low, hugging Mt. Diablo.
I don’t think I could live all the way out here.
I usually get a feeling about things and this time I am feeling uncertain. Not good, not bad. It could go either way. I play out alternative scenarios. None of them feel like losing.
I forgot that she was coming today. I remind myself that no child cares about how clean my kitchen is. But tomorrow, I really do need to clean. It’s giving me too much anxiety.
I keep talking about her wines. I keep telling me how much he’s going to like them. I keep telling him that we need to get back up to the valley again. That up there is where we belong.
We have the same name. I find that amusing.
Pre-dawn run to the grocery store. I forgot about the breakfast for his class.
They try to get me to sign a petition as I exit the grocery store and I want to tell them that I’ve already been warned by the folks on the Next Door app that they are being paid by the developer. Plus I’m not yet registered to vote here yet.
The coffee still tastes weak. I need to figure out the right grind.
The good thing about being early is having time to circle blocks multiple times in search of parking.
One pale blue plate with a small hunk of bread, evenly sliced. A small ramekin of olive oil. A pile of large flakes of salt. It’s almost too pretty to eat.
How is this my life right now?
The route home takes me up Claremont Rd., past the Claremont Hotel. I think back to last year when Jennette and A’Driane and I walked into the lobby to pick up some cases of wine that had been left for us to use at the ranch. I remember how oddly out of place we felt. But it is beautiful.
I sigh. He asks me what’s wrong. I tell him that nothing is wrong. It’s just that I had such a good day. That I couldn’t believe that I was sitting in Berkeley eating lunch and drinking wine with a winemaker and an artist. That it just seemed too good to be true.
Everyone hurry up and go to bed.
The roses just seem to appear out of nowhere. Some of them are still wet from the sprinklers. I gently shake away the little droplets.
Cool, almost cold.
Isn’t it a Monday?
I pick a seat facing the sun and close my eyes. The background noise for the meditation is of running water. I think of that one spot on the trail in Muir Woods where the water was running over the rocks and there was this tiny sliver of sunlight that broke through the canopy and made the water sparkle.
And then, just like that.
I have him do another breathing treatment and drink another glass of water. What it is about a child’s cough that hurts you so much?
I prep the peppers and the onions and the spices for the soup while the chicken thaws. I laugh at myself. At how I’m making soup because it’s feeling cool this morning. I mean, it does feel like soup weather. But it’s mostly a meal of convenience.
Whatever this is, it’s not worth it.
She asks me why I’m smiling. I tell her it’s because I got to have conversations with people I admire. She tells me that she’s proud of me. She thanks me for the hug.
Not folded, but clean. And today, that has to be enough.