Sunday, October 24, 2004

An outdoor cafe, me and Niki J. We are set upon by a rowdy party two tables over. One even joins us, but he is more irreverent than threatening, and he speaks in a stream of gibberish meant to satirize social niceties like adolescents everywhere rather than confront or contribute.

I encounter the waiter between the tables on his way to the kitchen. He is noncommital while I point out the malefactor, who ducks his head in mock embarrassment, back at his regular table now. The waiter continues his march, promising, "He'll be gone."

I venture backstage to tell the proprietor I am pleased with the dispatch with which the problem was handled. It's Bill Perkins, my old companion from the days at the Vets Building in Watsonville, but he's busy and I don't approach. A tall blonde waitress is very efficiently moving about. On her way out to the dining room, she stands up very close to me, filling my entire viewscreen, and makes suggestive promises. She kisses me and yet I cannot quite feel her body against me. It's like a chaste movie kiss, however deep. I think, it must be all right, because it's happening without my meaning it, like rain.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

I am warm. I have on an Elizabethan stripped leather doublet. I can feel the warmth, when all about is chill. I am settling into the perception that I am the product of misuse. I have the sense that all I am is the result of neglect. Long ago, many might have done better by me. My present state is the fault of all those who failed in their basic duty. I might have been a contender, but because of outrageous betrayal -

- a finger from an unknown hand jabs my solar plexus. I feel it, but see no one. I hear, but see no one:

"It's you, bub."

Suddenly the warmth has gone out of the leather doublet.

We are around a huge oak table. We are agreeing in quiet voices in a dim light. Nodding. Yes, yes. Someone mutters the profile of the one we seek, as if it's well understood, like coordinating watches when everyone has the correct time.

"He will live for a long time near a large religious establishment. He will take no vacation."

We all nod, looking at maps on the table.