Sunday, April 14, 2024


"You like you are at the beach a lot."

"I haven't been to the beach for awhile."

"You look like you surf."

"It's the bleached blonde hair, I think."

We'll come back to that.  

It was another beautiful day.  Bright.  Brilliant.  Everything you could ask for.  I wanted to go places, do things.  Fun things.  Serene things.  I wanted to saunter.  I wanted to be groovy.  So after coffee and writing, I grabbed my Leica with the roll of black and white slide film I seemingly will never finish and headed out the door.  Long walk.  I decided on the streets running behind the Boulevard.  Small streets, short streets, not big ones.  Some were mere alleyways behind the shops lining the Boulevard.  Here and there I would see something to shoot.  I walked a good long way before I turned back to walk through the park toward the Farmer's Market.  Crowds of people milled about among the cut flowers, fresh vegetables, breads and cheeses.  I was out early.  The air was still a bit chill.  I was bouncing along fine.  

Gym, shower, lunch.  I needed to go to Home Depot to buy an S-trap for the sink in the guest bathroom.  Mine is leaking.  It is corroded and I am not sure how to get it apart without screwing something up.  Tennessee looked at it and said he could fix it in ten minutes.  He told me to get the parts.  He is going to replace a threshold at the apartment, too.  

It is a mistake to send me for parts at the Home Depot.  I have no f'ing clue what I am doing.  I stood around in the plumbing isle for a longtime looking at things.  They were fascinating, but I had no idea what anything was.  I stood long enough that one of the employees came over to ask me if I needed help.  I told him what I was looking for.  He showed me the PVC pipes.  Then he took me to the metal ones.  Thee were other things he said I'd need to attach them.  Since I didn't know what I needed or wanted, he told me to buy them all and bring back the ones I didn't use.  Good idea.  

I did the same thing with thresholds.  Bought three of them.  I am pretty certain that none of them are right.  

Laugh if you will, but I figure sending me to Home Depot to get parts is like me sending Tennessee into a classroom to teach Faulkner.  

"What the fuck, it's easy.  It's an introductory course.  Just have fun."


Across the parking lot was a Racetrack gas station.  I pulled in.  Just as I got out to pump the gas, an old car pulled up behind mine.  A fellow stuck his head out the window and said, "Do you mind if I ask you a stupid question?"

I shook my head and grinned.

"Would you like a home theater?  I've got an extra one."

I kept grinning and shook my head no.

"What?  You're kidding."

"No thanks."

He was kind of pissed off at that and said a few things as he pulled away.  Fucking crooks are everywhere.  Certainly he was a thief.  At the very least, a scammer.  

I headed for the REI store.  I had some coupons in my pocket and I was feeling outdoorsy.  It was that kind of day.  

When I walked in, I heard a voice call my name.  I turned.  It was Travis and his wife. He was in the market for some river shoes.  He was going rafting with his brothers down the Green River soon.  I drifted through the store to the men's department.  I looked at shirts, shorts, shoes. . . and I don't know. . . it was just all overwhelming.  Too much stuff to look at, too much that I wasn't interested in, too much that wasn't right.  It seemed they made things for everybody who wasn't me.  

Travis didn't buy his river shoes, either.  

Back into the gorgeous day, I decided to drive to one of the more mysterious places I knew of in town.  I am not entirely sure what it is.  I stumbled upon it one day riding my bike around.  It is a plant store. . . sort of.  When they first opened, there was a coffee shop inside.  There were seats.  But that's all gone now.  It is in a huge warehouse building that once housed the most famous seafood supplier in town.  

The sign is still there though the seafood place moved to a new location years ago.  But it and the building were landmarks, so, I guess, the owners left the signage.  I've always been impressed that, unlike most places, they used the apostrophe.  It isn't a good sign, though.  The fonts are all off.  

It is difficult to get to this building.  You have to really want to go, and it is a mystery to me how people know the new business is here.  As I say, the building is huge, and now they do events, weddings, parties, etc.  When I first came upon it, I wrote here that it was like discovering one of those fantasy businesses somewhere off 4th street on the waterfront in Berkeley, a place with marionettes and tarot cards and Japanese papers, expensive futons and exotic cloths and essential oils, and you don't know what the hell the place is but you love it.  

Yea.  It's like that.  

When I pulled into the parking lot, there was an addition, a small trailer with an umbrella and some outdoor seating and a sign that said, "Everybody Welcome."  

I grabbed my Leica and walked over to take a photo.  A group of people were just sitting down.  They looked at me and said, "Nice camera."  A man came around from the other side of the trailer and handed a woman a big bowl of something.

"Have you tried this?  It is delicious."

"What is it?"

"Shaved ice.  He has an old machine that grinds the ice very fine."  

The woman held out her bowl for me to photograph.

I walked around the trailer to see what was on the other side.  

The whole thing was screwy.  The serving side was facing away from the lot and the road where you couldn't see it.  While I was looking at the menu, the fellow in the trailer said, "Mahalo."

"Hey, man. . . pretty cool."

"Have you had one before?"


"Let me give you a taste," he said.  

"I'll come back in a minute after I shop inside," I said.  People were starting to line up to order.  

I wandered around the big warehouse just looking and chilling.  I decided to buy a candle.  "Gypsy Summer."  That sounded right.

Back outside, I put the candle in the car and went over to the shaved ice cart to make an order.  There was a bit of a line.  There was a couple in front of me.  They ordered and walked away without bowls.  It was my turn.  

"I'm back."

"What are you going to have."

"I'll have the chef's special."

There was no such thing, but he knew what I meant.  

"Do you like mango" he asked?


"Condensed milk?"


"I'll bring it over to you."

He didn't ask me for any money.  

I turned and saw an unexpected seating area in the drive on the side of the building, teak chairs and lots of plants.  The couple who ordered before me was wandering around with their phone.  

"I don't want to mess up your photo," I said pointing to a chair.

"No. . . we're just, no. . . " they said and smiled.  "Oh. . . that's a cool camera."

"Thanks, yea."

More people got in line to order.  My new friends and I sat down to wait.  In a bit, a woman walked past us down the drive to the back of the building, then back up.  I heard her say something to the seated couple.  She had a strong accent, but I couldn't tell where she was from, but like everybody here, she looked pretty "hip."

The woman stood up out of her chair and was walking the foreign woman to the front of the building to show her the entrance, but I had the feeling the foreign woman wasn't retarded and had seen the entrance when she pulled up.  

"Are you looking for the fish market?" I asked.  


"This isn't a fish market any longer.  The fish market moved."  I told her how to get there.  I looked at the female half of the couple and said, "It's weird that they still have the seafood sign showing but nothing of their own.  How do people even know they are here?  How do all these people know about the shaved ice?"

"The ice truck used to be in a different place.  He just moved here a couple weeks ago.  He was over on. . ." 

It had been in the back yard of a house that was a sort of hippie store.  I'd been there one night when they had music.  I remembered seeing the trailer there as she spoke.  I took a photo of it that night that I have somewhere."

"We found out he moved on social media," said the male half of the couple.  

I was a little weirded out by this.  What pages are they going to?  I don't know.  I find out about everything a day late.  I miss all kinds of things that other people know about.  Earlier in the day, I had a text from an old buddy asking me if I was going to the Gardens that night.  I had no idea what was going on there.  

How do people know?  

In a bit, the shaved ice guy brought the couple their bowls.  Then he brought mine.  He stood looking at the Leica.  

"Cool camera," he said.  "Do you take film?"


"What do you photograph?"

Now there was a question.  

He chatted a moment then ran back to the trailer and the waiting line.  

I took a photo of my chef's special, then I took a bite.  Holy moly.  

I'll just say it was good.  Really good.  You should get one.  I'm not kidding.  The ice is shaved as fine as ice cream.  It was perfect for the day.  

I got busy with my phone texting photos to friends telling them about the place.  I ate and chatted with the seated couple.  It took a while to eat the big bowl.  It was surprisingly filling for being a big bowl of shaved ice with a bit of topping.  After I had licked the bowl clean, I went up to pay.  

"I don't have a card machine.  I have Venmo and. . . " he pointed to his sign with the scan codes on it.  "You don't look like you're into tech, though," he said.  

What?  What does he mean?  Was he calling me old? 

"How about cash," I said pulling out my rubber band wallet.  We chatted a bit more and I told him I'd be back.  Saturdays and Sundays.  

"Mahalo," he said.  

It was still bright and beautiful, and I had other places I wanted to go, but it was time to see my mother.  She wasn't feeling so well, she said.  Some days now, she just feels done for.  It is usually after she has done something physical like cleaning house or taking a long walk.  

"I'm going to get you some Pedialyte," I said.  "I have a feeling you need electrolytes.  I'm betting when you feel like this it would pick you right up."

I stayed and talked the usual hour and she seemed to be picking up a bit.  I felt bad leaving, though.  I think she misses having the 24/7 company of my cousin.  When I left, I hugged her and told her I loved her.  

I had decided on having a light dinner, so I headed off for Fresh Foods to get a poke bowl to take home.  The route took me by the Gardens.  There was a guard at the entrance and a sign that said "Tonight's Performance Is Sold Out."  It didn't say what the performance was, so I asked Siri.  It was an outdoor jazz festival on three stages set around the fifty acre park.  So this is what my buddy had been asking me about.  The town is jumping for sure.  How can one keep up?  The big Film Festival started this weekend.  There are events on the Boulevard, and even a Duck Derby in the preserve near my house.  What the Duck Derby is, I don't really know.  Maybe there is gambling involved.  There were these things and the big charity golf tournament I had seen earlier when I drove by on my way to the Home Depot.  There are festivals far and wide.  

Back home, back on the deck, back to the cat and dinner together once again.  

"Should I go out, Scar, or was that a good enough day?"

It had been a good day.  It was what I needed.  What I wanted.  

Later, I would turn on the television to SKY t.v. and watch Iran's missiles over Israel.  I would watch that and I would make mistakes later on.  

But that is for some other time.  I don't wish to spoil the report of a marvelous and miraculous day. 

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