A year ago, I was a young eighty-seven and now I’m an old eighty-eight. The point has come when I must start crossing the street at the moment the walk sign flashes. Otherwise, I might not make it in the eighteen to twenty-three seconds allotted. I’m so bent that Rosa Parks would probably get up and offer me her seat. Geometrically speaking I’ve gone from vertical to diagonal and I suppose ultimately to horizontal when they remove me from my rent-controlled apartment in Santa Monica. Maybe there will be fractals of me but I’m not altogether sure what that word means.
I’m traveling north right now first to Berkeley where friends put up with me for two nights. In conversations I was reminded how much material has sloughed off along with my brain cells. Great exchange of old names and nearly lost moments retracing that long journey each of us have traveled. That’s what old folks do, I suppose, embellish past glories and get to tell old jokes they’ve either never heard before or long forgotten. The Berkeley Hills is a community of elite retired professors, faculty, journalists, editors and assorted professionals with no Trump lawn signs or anti-vaxers in sight.
On to Brentwood, CA, at the foot of Mt. Diablo, to visit with my daughter, Lauren and husband Bob. They have arranged for me to experience real weather. Rain is falling in earnest and is now being called an atmospheric river. Along with the downpour we have gale to hurricane force winds as if Zeus were wheezing and sneezing sufficient to launch a thousand ships. If I stepped outdoors, I might be mistaken for a low-flying drone.
I am being treated so royally I may never leave. Teaching your children to be kind to the elderly has its dividends. My ambulation now requires a walker and handicap bars in the bathtub. That is now out of the equation. The water heater just sprung a leak so no hot water. This is not to imply my visit had any causal relationship. As an ordained Humanist, my blessings have been bestowed upon this house, as if it needs any.
From here I am scheduled to fly to Eugene, Oregon where I shall briefly welcome communion with my step(less) family, off-spring and off-spring of off-spring. And then upward to Portland (valedictory visit?) staying with my daughter Shari and husband Jim. Final stop with friends for a night in the woods near Lincoln City close to the ocean. I may then be sent to Nanook of the north. Breaking news from an ice floe as it happens.