Bedtime

Fog settles in and out of San Francisco. It was briefly out yesterday, and this morning returned with a vengeance. Not that this matters in any tangible way, except for mood. Mine, that is. The summer began with the death of my cousin Bob, friend, contemporary. And it has continued with thoughts of my own death—which while not on the horizon, is on the table. Meanwhile, I am on the bed, and alone, owing to Jane’s current absence at a diocesan retreat. Retreats are good. We all need them. Read more [...]

Manny

If you read the New York Times this morning, and even if you don’t, the Democrats have a plan. (You have to have been a Democrat for a long time to sense the implicit irony.) They are running a highly diverse slate of candidates, more brown, black and yellow people than any time in history. And, of course, they are hoping to win. This is madness, but it may be inspired madness. I say this having just returned from Cup, my neighborhood café. Note that I have one. Café society has always been Read more [...]

Control Freak

Damned if I wasn’t out on the deck talking to an old friend from my days in gun control, when a fit of sneezing consumed me. My nose began flowing rather torrentially. My mind went to the logical villain, seasonal grass pollens. And then Jane sent me a text on her way home from work. Did I know about the health advisory? Fires from 100 miles away had finally delivered their smoke to San Francisco. I closed all doors, turned on the air circulation and hoped that the filter would catch much of Read more [...]

Outings

Ah, what a relief to finally complete one small bit of writing…a chapter in my so-called book…allowing me to now hit the blog trail. Yes, it’s hard to do the discursive, free-for-all narrative that constitutes blogging, when hanging over your head is That Which Must Be Done. Well, it is done. And I am done with worrying about things for the day. No, I’m not. But it sounded good for a second. I’m not worrying about writing, for once, which makes room for mortality. Too many people have Read more [...]

Shiva for Bob

I am not sure how to add it all up, the slow turbulence that has followed the death of my cousin Bob. But whatever can be said, I have uncharacteristically grown to accept my moods. And even learned a thing or two. When I met him, I was 22 years old and only six months out of protracted hospitalization. It was summer, my stamina still low, and I was shellshocked and implausibly visiting Britain for a few months. I vaguely knew of these London relatives. I had the phone number of one of them, Lotte Read more [...]

Around Town

One of my British cousins has made a fortuitously timed visit to these shores. As another mutual cousin lies dying. All in our early seventies, very early if anyone wants to know, and it’s come to this. Where it comes for everyone. Bob’s cancer and slow death has been a sad preoccupation for the last year or more. And now he is far away in some Catholic hospice in western Paris, and capable of humor as recently as last week. And I already miss him. With loss in the air, cousin Sandy and I Read more [...]