Sunday, November 1, 2009

Seen This Week

Seen this week:

--At the Santa Cruz Department of Public Health, where I waited to get my H1N1 shot: a little boy, maybe four, wearing a cowboy hat, one cowboy boot and one blue Croc, a dirty t-shirt and too-short sweat pants, one elasticized leg hole at his calf, the other almost at his knee. His face was smeared with peanut butter and jelly. Our eyes locked and we completely got each other. Without saying a word, we shared our misery;

--At my front door on Halloween: a teenage boy dressed as a giant rabbit. He and his friends (dressed non-memorably) said “Thank you” and “Have a nice night”;

--On the drive over the Santa Cruz mountains, on the back roads: a tiny tree with yellow leaves, glowing in a shaft of sunlight despite the surrounding redwoods;

--On TV: John Abbott in 1948’s “The Woman in White” as a hypochondriacal English gentleman who says things like, "Dear boy, please!  My nerves!" Also, Sydney Greenstreet and Gig Young, who, according to Robert, was definitely wearing a wig;

--On my nightstand: Elizabeth Berg’s “We Are All Welcome Here,” “The Short Stories of Mary Gordon,” Mameve Medwed’s “Of Men and Their Mothers,” three back issues of The New Yorker, an albuterol inhaler, a candle, my cell phone charger, and a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup wrapper;

--From my front steps, where I sit after my morning jog: a thriving rosemary plant (given to us as a housewarming present by Dix and Kathi), several hydrangea bushes—pink-leaved and nearly flowerless—the giant statue of an anchor (courtesy of the previous owner), our Brown Jordan wrought iron table and chairs, ca 1957 (courtesy of my mother), the white wooden bench beneath the yellowing wisteria vine, and a squirrel who had just descended from one of the Monterey pines and was eyeing me with what I chose to believe was derision but was probably just squirrel-ish-ness; and

--From the kitchen island, where I currently sit: a variety of maple cupboards, black granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, a glass bowl of Fuji apples, a tall, beveled vase sprouting twigs and sprays of dried silver-dollar stalks, and a half-empty can of diet Canada Dry ginger ale.

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