Wednesday, February 19, 2020


Shaking things up a little, because it pays to do things differently. Cup of Irish Breakfast tea -- a product which recalls the generations of Irish coolies sweating in the tea fields of Donegal -- and a bowlfull of Dunhill's Nightcap, which is what Englishmen smoke after the pubs close and they stagger home in their drunken stupors. No, not wearing tweed. Instead, a grungy bathrobe that reeks of staleness and smoke. Which when I'm out on the front steps having a cigarillo with my coffee shortly after six on work days keeps the wild dogs of Nob Hill away from me. As the cigarillo does their owners.

Because anyone following a hound to collect its droppings is, of course, fastidious.

The apartment mate had left for the day. Consequently I am smoking inside.

There was a day an age when I took that for granted, both when I was still a teenager and when I was not living with another person as an adult. During my Berkeley years I had a girlfriend who smoked, as well as at one point an apartment mate who collected fine briars. My apartment mate for several years now has been a Cantonese American woman who shares my tastes in some foods, but abhors tobacco. She is the person who buys the dairy products for this apartment. We share the kitchen, bathroom, and teevee room where the electronic equipment is. As well as some of the stuffed creatures. The sane ones are in her room, the wildly challenged ones are in mine. Plus also the raccoon and the soft furry skunk, who are a couple.
She's at work now, so I can get away with anything for a while.

She doesn't drink or smoke, and has no religion.
Jesus will not invade this apartment.

We respect each other.

A skunk and a raccoon who together are a couple are probably a metaphor for something, but I would hesitate to guess what. Certainly they have a far better love life than I do. She's refined and gentle, he's German.

My love life is quite non-existent. Without one iota of sour grapes, that's not a problem. While I admire the idea of a relationship intellectually, emotional involvement is a risky road, and requires changes in the person, and might be more bother than it's worth. Plus there's always the necessary pretense of some kind of moral equivalence: accepting the other person's tastes, hypothetical Jesus-freakery, veganism, anti-tobacco stance, dislike of hot sauce, and redneck alcoholic tendencies, as perfectly valid expressions of unique individuality. As well as being supportive of all of that.

Oh, yeah, possible shopping fever too.

Scented candles. Ick.

What is needed is a person who likes strong tea and stuffed animals, largely abstains from alcohol, has no strong objections to pipe smoke, and owns her own collection of books.

Someone who doesn't get in my way, and will tell me when I get in her way.

Most of the people I am somewhat close to nowadays are men, many of them middle aged pipe smokers with idiosyncratic habits, or younger thoughtful types from a yeshiva background and a talmudic bent. There are a few in neither category, and some people of the opposite gender. Other than that all of them are liberals and open-minded, there is little overlap.

I tend to avoid the ultra-fastidious.

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