I’m thinking back to the middle of our vacation on a day where I truly feel reconnected with my surroundings again here in San Diego. The people shouting hello and waving from the balcony of the Embassy Suites are worth a snap, a picture to remind me of them waving to the street, and us waving back.
Waves, back and forth. Without any forethought, our walk took us to the water, where the bay has receded. The massive battleship passes us in the sun. The purple ray heals; its purpleness shines up and down the frame of the video I take, which passes over the ship bearing waters, over the distant kite in South Marina Park, and then back again over the Embarcadero, where I find Angela with me on our last---most recent---walk.
Our first walk together ever was the subject that dominated me on day four of vacation: there seemed no better time to snap pictures of what’s left, anyway, of the place where she and I first went for a walk. We’ve wanted to remember it for so many reasons, as it was the first private instance of our friendship, which is what all the walks worth taking are really about: friends with yourself, friends with others, miles you walk for yourself and others. We discussed so many things: on the walk today, we talked about how one cannot judge oneself in a way, for the totality of all the elements of the positive and negative repercussions of our lives is not usually visible. The facts are not all on hand. The complete trial can never render a verdict! Soon, the subject becomes where to shoot the first picture outside of Angela’s new boots, and the lack of beauty before one crosses from the intersection of Harbor Dr. and Pacific Hwy., and then we are walking into a quieter, off-season Seaport Village.
I’d started the day reading a book, swapped for a note left in the dining room, which Angela is looking right now, as I have yet to enlist her actively in this writing.
It’s called Little Essays Toward Truth. I enjoyed the discussion of topics such as Man, Memory, Sorrow and Wonder, with the vigorous voice of Aleister Crowley. The poetry in some specific terms reconciles with specific conditions, ceremonies and offices, and the writing in between is in a tone that is unapologetically intellectual. AT first I find the fluid construction of high vocabulary a bit comical, but I understand as she reads it that Crowley intends to take us out of the ordinary frame of thinking, and so, presents a stratus that hovers observantly above the ordinary life it suggests be lived in a non-ordinary way.
Make no mistake, a deep scholarship of Kabbalah is implicit in these observations, coming from one who has intuited a few experiences very deep to me. If Crowley himself, who had many people who cared about him and may have feared for him in some of his mysterious research and exploration, was occasionally reckless or reflective still of some chauvinism born of his admiration for his father and defensive recoil from his difficult mother, he was not without worthwhile opinions.
My own mother is very glad to have us down; she doesn’t smother me, but she appreciates my contact and opinions and time and, in some form, my goals. So it was that we squeezed together a photoshoot, tracking Angela and I from the place I had my first silly mistake in front of her to the nearby alleyway, Opera Alley, where we shared our first kiss. Many drawings will be born of this effort; I see particular pages, and they are moving from dream to reality ---as reality of drawings, of fictional people, who have something to learn from what I was taught by experience.
So we go: from Broad Street, we walked over to the restaurant parking lot where I drove Debra’s borrowed---but that’s another story. Mom, having a bit of trouble walking still, decides to take a rest on this hot day on a bench near the corner of 2nd Ave. and Broad St. Meanwhile, we take pictures to help us envision a background that, frankly, is no longer in the same form---but at least we can get perspective, distances, spaces in which to look for inspiration for our drawings. Next we go around the restaurant, now abandoned, after so very many identities. It’s hard to shoot much with which to recreate the place, but it was useful to the memories. We find a walkway we would’ve loved to have during that time, now running beneath the bridge beside the restaurant.
So we go: across the bridge, lined with many lights, passing over the Oostanaula River, recalling the piggy-back ride I gave her on the way down the same bank, which now has steps. Hmm! Someone’s commemorated our walk, our retreat, our...hmm, our private space; it’s now a decent place to take a date even when the sun’s out! But the sun was NOT out the night we crossed that bridge. I just wanted to cheer her up, and I was full of confidence and at least enough love for myself to grant myself an adventure, which was all but kicked off, and what I was waiting for at the time, I don’t know, because I could’ve bought my bus ticket to Colorado anytime, with my bills turned over to my future bro-in-law and sis, in our old apartment, and my two weeks’ notice at Red Lobster complete.
Now I was 21, and while I didn’t think too much of what I’d accomplished in my life just yet, I was less interested in judging and more interested in living a certain way, where I heard music along the paths, where I could be alone and not lonely, and see the things and hear the things and treasure the things that would become my art, my songs. I didn’t believe I could draw at the time, and now more years than I care to tell later, I’m drawing this walk, this one act of kindness, which got the better of me, in some ways, seeing as how that walk continues to this day.
So we go: to the gazebo where we met the man with one eye, relaxing on its seat and enjoying a drink, for which I contributed a dollar for the next round after hearing his story and his question: “so are you two married?”
“Not yet!” we both said. Hahahahahah!!!!
So we go: wait, there’s a woman there reading this time, and she found out what we are out there doing, and enjoyed the thought very much! It’s nice to spread a bit of romance. It can happen to you!
So we go: Mom’s only going to stay cozy on that bench but so long, and I call her quickly to let her know we’re on the bridge back. We figure the bridge the first time had to be Fifth Avenue, so we’d come positioned to take Opera Alley back over to her workplace, where sister Dixie closes the kitchen, and if it takes forever, it’s either because they’re having a drink and having a good time, or there is indeed something about that night that will last forever.
Looking up, I wonder if there’s some sign some way to tell me should I kiss this girl.
Soon I have her looking up, too, for a literal sign. I will never forget our first kiss.
India ink at Michael’s, groceries and commentary on the local looks at Kroger’s, “and don’t forget the sweet drink at Starbuck’s in ...whatever...” Yes, Barnes & Noble, where we agreed outside with some fellow, it’s plenty hot enough. All nice---all filled with talk of our friends and family and really, it’s pretty good to be with Mom while she buys a bit of salad and some carrots to help tide us over while we’re at her house, not to mention the haircut she got me, which I went to while the ladies took the groceries on, where I got a chance to relate to Mom’s hairdresser friend my story above, and of my comic, and a bit about herself came with the clip, too. Just what I needed for fresh, clean growth.