There are some unsold books sitting in a museum in Scottsdale…and table settings for myriad diners that should be in Iowa…and a Japanese film I need to return to my neighbor…and a plaid shirt that belongs to someone in Salisbury. And all these pieces need to be rearranged, placed in their correct slots before the next stage.
Or do they? What’s behind it all are the factors of time and necessity, present or not present in varying degrees. And none of it matters, or all of it matters, as a matter of fact…though facts are what seem rather scant these days. For it’s so unreal, this notion of not being where I have been for 22 years.
Loose ends. What is loose about them? And are they ends? Actually, it is unending what I want to do before bringing it to an end, my life in Menlo Park, California. And some of it is getting done, and it’s pleasantly surprising. Coverage of several local stories, for example, by the local suburban weekly…quite a good newspaper in this era of troubled journalism. And after years of writing articles for the staff of the Menlo Park Almanac, it’s good to know that we have a relationship, some level of trust and respect. And in encouraging coverage of some local stories, I’m putting all that to a good end.
A good end, that’s what I want to see on my way out the suburban door. Nothing unfinished, everything done that can be done. Which is ridiculous, of course. Still, I am trying. Debbie, my sister-in-law, helped me go through photos of my late wife. Shots of Marlou and me and Marlou…and after all these years, what now? She is an astute one, our Debbie…and one large glossy photo depicting Marlou and the family heirloom dinner set, well I’m sending that on with the actual merchandise, to the new recipients in Iowa. Passing stuff on to the next generation, with memories of this generation in the mail…it feels good.
And there is the next stage. That’s all I can think to do, more of the stuff I’m doing now. Like the Caltrain station at San Francisco’s 22nd Street. It has long been a canker gnawing inside me, that this express stop on the regional railway has no wheelchair access. Fuck that, I say, and even as we speak, I am preparing to scream about this to the powers that be. Those powers be in San Francisco, of course, and that’s the thing, isn’t it? Old stuff, new setting. It’s the only way I can think of starting afresh.