Thursday, August 13, 2020


Yesterday evening while out walking I passed by a recumbent form under the awning of the retired realtors down the block. Head not visible, motionless. And I remembered that the same gentleman (recognizable from the bags he was using as pillows) had been there in that position each day since the weekend. Was he alive?

He's been in this neighborhood for years. Quiet guy.
Inoffensive and non-talkative.

He's alive. Slow gentle breathing. Gone this morning. A man of stable habits, he'll probably be there again by the cocktail hour.

We are all relying on the regularities of our lives to get us through this period. One major change in my life is that between afternoon and long past darkness I now drink far too much tea, and consequently am often still vibrantly wide awake at midnight.

Another major change is the company of an animal that demands my attention. A ruthless and fierce hunter.

The majestic and imposing turkey vulture and his helpless prey.

Yeah, not a dog. I'm more of a stuffed animal person. And it's practical, too, because I'm saving tonnes on vet bills. Plus they eat what we eat.

Sydney Fylbert (the turkey vulture) likes a bowl of ice cream after a meal.
He's almost childlike in that regard, and has strong opinions about food. In particular, he plots constantly about eventually eating the imaginary little girl hamster who visits nearly every day, and has to be reprimanded on that score by the other roomies. The cat has promised to execute him painfully if he succeeds. Clarissa the hamster looks, we've been told, precisely like a little meatball.

A yummy scrumptious meatball. Juicy.

"What kind of mustard is good with carrion?"

"Green Poupon."

So how am I getting through these times, when going over the hill to Chinatown for lunch at a chachanteng or snackies at a bakery is impossible?

Smoking my pipe, fixing curry, preparing snackies at home, reading a lot, walking by myself, and talking to the stuffed creatures.
And still working three days a week.

['fun ying gau yü san ji wai gu']
"Welcoming the patronage of old friends and new acquaintances."

Chachanteng: Washington Bakery & Restaurant (華盛頓茶餐廳 'waa seng tun chaa chan teng' 733 Washington Street, SF, CA 94108); Cafe New Honolulu (新品味 'san pan mei', 850 Stockton Street, SF, CA 94108); New Regent Café (新麗晶西餐廳 'san lai jing sai chan teng'; 638 Pacific Avenue, SF, CA 94133); The Boiling Shrimp (浩味茶餐廳 'hou mei cha chan teng', 150 Waverly Place, SF, CA 94108.

I'm holding up. But I miss the people I used to see, as well as familiar environments. These places were like home. Good folks.

My apartment mate is also dealing with it well.
But we try not to talk about it.

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