2016 November 25

Patty was my “older woman” – you know, the one that the bad angels – “they” – are always telling a young man he should have for a while, to learn something. She taught me a few things about women, and sex. The sideways backwards X-position, for example.

I was twenty three, she was thirty… or was it thirty four? Or maybe only thirty. I don’t remember.

She had four children. Three girls, and the youngest, a boy. Let’s see, there was Ginger, Pam, and… I can’t remember. Tanya? Tasha? Something. The boy was called V.J. – I remember – which was for Vincent Joseph.

I don’t remember Patty’s last name.

She was psychic. Showed me so, once.

Well, either that, or a superb faker. I will explain later.

My coffee is starting to perk and it is morning, now, forty-two years later.

Okay. I turned it down. Now I have to wait five or six minutes while it percolates.

Forty-two years ago, the first drip coffee makers had already been invented, I believe.  I remember.

I believe I remember.

I definitely remember Patty. Like all of the women – seven or eight, if I can trust a flash memory off the top of my head and heart – like all of them, I owe her a debt of emotional power and love. Thankfulness that she, and they, cared for me, each in their time. Some of them still do. Others have gone on and I don’t know where they are now. One, my last one, after sixteen years of going out together (we only lived together for a year), died.

I have been fortunate, mostly. I cannot think of any particular badness in any of them. That is excellent fortune. To have been with good women. Loving women.

Oh… one other thing. To the best of my memory, I did keep in touch with all of them long enough to realize that none of them – except for the mother of our son – had a child from my loins.

Well, I have my hot cup now. A mug with a sheep on it.

L’AGNEAU it says.


I am, oddly enough, thankful that I am sick with a chest cold and am not going to the family dinner where I would have to listen to them whining and trumpeting (another politically divided California family) while I spent my time coughing and sneezing all over them.
I am even more thankful that my step-cousin SK (yes, part of the ambivalence is we are a “blended” family [I am also thankful we have worked it out so well for the past thirty-nine {my dear heaven has it been that long?} years] yes) came by yesterday after sunset with a bag full of goodies I can fix for Mom and me (my mother [96 and extraordinarily healthy] does not want to go and finds me to be a convenient excuse, even now refusing other offers of rides) tonight, yes, a piece of already cooked turkey breast, some pumpkin soup, mashed potato mix, frozen veggies, stuffing mix, etc., etcet., etcetera.
I am also thankful I have a family.
I am also thankful and prayerful for all those who do not have merely a simple cold/flu to worry about — but much more to stay on guard for — our men and women under arms in foreign lands (oh the burden of empire) and the children and women and men suffering war and being remembered only when someone googles “What is a Leppo?”
I am thankful for this community of diverse and talented writers. Like so much else in my life, I do not deserve. But then, grace is not deserved. It is given.

10:09 pm 23 November 2016

I tried to lie down and rest but the itching in my throat made me cough and cough so I got up and sat down at my laptop on the kitchen table and now try to figure what to write.

I could work some more on my fragments from an ancient life, and part of me desires that, hungers for that, especially now that I have been spending a few days reading about ancient caravans, studying a book I found online at the project Gutenburg I think it was, namely Caravan Cities, by M. Rostovtzeff, translated by D. and T. Talbot Rice, published by Oxford at the Clarenden Press, 1932, Oxford University Press (I made a point of writing down the bibliographic information and filing it away, yes.

Or I could write some more of my genealogical ramblings, but every time I do I remember Sandra and how we have lost her, yes, and that is painful and sad.

Or I could just write some of my own memoirs but I am afraid as sick as I am and as weak as I am feeling I will end up writing about what each of us knows but no one tells, to quote myself from years ago when I was barely twenty and wandering around the hills smoking and dropping out of classes at Grossmont college, those two years before I discovered the bookstore and became a boulevardier – or at least my small version of that word I somehow learned from where was it, the Tropic of Cancer? Someone told me to read that and now I struggling to even remember the author’s name somebody famous once upon a time and. .  .

Yes. Prime numbers.

Or I could agree with myself just to write this and not to edit it.

Yes. That will do.



Speaking of smoking it was an earlier bout with the flu or a cold or whatever horrifying respiratory infection it was that made me finally stop smoking back in early 2007 when I lay in bed for days on end, only getting up to go to the bathroom or fix myself something to eat or drink and after that week or ten days (every time I think about it, it gets longer and more impressive) I had lost most of the physical addiction to nicotein and realized I had an opportunity to finally truly stop or at least cut back way way back but I would have to bribe myself and trick myself into not smoking again except that I wanted to smoke again and I still do but I knew I had to stop smoking so damn much twenty or more cigarettes a day and so I said okay I can have one cigarette only one you know kind of like a devil’s bargain version of alcoholic anonymous one day at a time but this time it would be only one cigarette at at time.

Trouble was I had tried that before, and started with all good intentions on the highway to hell, and bought a pack of cigarettes and tried to smoke only one but then another and another and another and lickity split smack your lips I was hooked again.

But this time, things were different. This time I was living in Tijuana and I could walk down to the corner a few blocks from home and buy one cigarette at a time, loose, from the candy and nostrum stand on the corner of Bellas Artes and Lopez Portillo, near where all the route taxis and busses stop and go, the launching pad, they call it, la lanzadera, and

that is what I did.