Laptop Dancer Has a Fine Day
As with most ‘big days’ where I have to be somewhere early, I slept barely at all, and jumped out a five a.m. to make tea for twenty, typing while waiting for the 2 gallons of water to boil.
As I huddled over the keyboard semi blinded by the screen, Emily came in from her night in the Airstream.
“You didn’t sleep!”
“No this isn’t early for me..”
Emily had come the night before to hold my hand, help me remember to pack very carefully so there wouldn’t be a race back to the house for the thermoses, or my bike or something crucial.
We set about fixing the tea, and I tried to keep a conversation while heating up last night’s untouched vegan ‘glop’ (aka Solanaceae surprise: diced tatties, roast red peppers, some rosemary salt, and some olives with pits still in – the ‘surprise’) but gave up because I am usually already doing three things while I cook.
So Emily spoke up.
“This house reminds me of my grandpa’s cabin in northern Ontario….you know, a place where….there’s not much to the inside….the emphasis is on getting outside. I didn’t know you could live like this so close to civilization…and your food, whole, like his food. You even eat like him. He licks everything perfectly clean, so he doesn’t have to do dishes except about every couple weeks.”
“No calorie left behind!”.
” Heh heh. You know, he was a chemist… he invented epoxy. It was in the war years…he was working with, uh, polyethyl whatthehell and when it oxidized, boom! Permanent bond… he had this ability to see chemicals three dimensionally, and so he could imagine parts of the compounds, and what would fit in, and that…he also understood food hygiene in a professional way, only caring about the big stuff, and not sweating smudges left on a glass, a spot of egg on a plate.”
She left at eight (after helping organize what I was to bring) and I went to the school picninc area. Achieved a tea- party atmosphere with help from gay Portmeirion pottery, teapots, plates, silver.
But forgot milk for the tea.
Jeannie and Tom live right around the corner, so I pestered them for a drib of moo juice. Upon returning to the picnic table, five women and one guy, Walt ( “The few. The proud. The male wombats.”) stood around waiting for me…
Apparently my flyer says 9:30, where my email says ten. Classic JP conflicting messages! Get flustered…how unprofessional!
The Wombat pantheon was there:
Peggy Hosmer (president of Wombats in 97-2000)
Soon there were about a dozen folks jabbering away, with the occasional Recognition Outcry when another person pedaled up. There were even a couple of completely new (young) faces.
We rode around Lake Lagunitas as always, and Alicia dutifully snapped shots (I’d asked her to pack her camera, she’s very good with a computer camera) at my pleading….Bonnie (Phippen) art directed when it was time for the group shot…
Up at the dam, hardy turtles perched on the long logs. These animals are great weather forcasters..they don’t bother with a day bodes chill. Soon theyll just swm to the bottom for a few months.
Around the lake, barely anyone out! I show off by skimming across my “trials secton” – a long line of tall rounds of some huge tree. Ellen Clary gamely took up the challenge When she stacked (very gracefully, I might add) she got up covered with oak leaves stuck to her black tights.
We all noticed how empty the MMWD felt, especially for such a gorgeous day. One usually passes walkers every couple of minutes. We only saw two parties of hikers the entire ride. Donna Dubose drove up after we got back.In 1993, Donna was the first person to suggest (and organize) a club meeting. In six years I’d never had a meeting. By contrast Peggy and Marilyn (Brewer Schultz) had monthly meetings, and they went to weekly as WOMBATS tackled more and more projects…I guess you can really get shit done by having meetings, huh?
We had to eat a daunting amount of food. Hey, thanks, Ellen for the Cowgirl Creamery Mt Tam cheese) as we piled into Joan Murakami’s famous cinnamon bread, and “Back Door Catering Co.” pies, bagels. You’d think we’d ridden over Tam to Muir Beach and back, not eight super social miles around a reservoir.
While everyone mmm’d and ahh’d, I described how a writer from Vogue once remarked that she’d never seen women eating “two fisted” and how I thought to myself, “isn’t that normal, alternating left fingers with right fork?” Mary Anna Rae appeared just as I’d loaded the Bluebaru to leave. I’d given up on the idea of making it to the City to hear the music festival,and esp. Robert Earl Keen.
But she was game. Within an hour we’d crossed the Golden Gate bridge, with Blue Angel navy jets screaming overhead, and a thousand sail boats dotting the bay below. Soon we were standing with 20,000 fans listening (but not rocking, and she commented on this) raptly to Michelle Shocked. Robert Earl Keen didn’t disappoint, but I didn’t catch his lyrics…a woman near me yelled the (usally interestng, like “Fresh Farm Onions” or “Five Pound Bass”. My Zeiss monoc helped a little when I felt like studying his dentition, and from 8 feet away you can pretty much get what a rock-n-roller is saying but his words are so out in left field you can’t get them even with an 8×20 lens trained on his mouth. But the vibe was good, and the sound excellent (I used plugs, natch). I danced in place, no waving arms (if everyone is doing that, you have to go to greater lengths. I kept my helmet on, for that Unmistaken In A Crowd look. And waved MY banjo a time or two. Yep. Groupies. Gotta love ’em. Over on my left some woman was trying to literally lead a cheer for Robert..Earl…KEEN…but only her three friends were biting.
I was at the very front, hanging onto the metal crowd barrier that gives the performers a moat of grass (guarded very seriously by jacketed “Security”.)
Wriggled out a song or two early through about 10,000 people, thank god I’m thin. As I unlocked my bike I realized I could now perfectly understand the damn lyrics!!
“I like doing nothing…it’s something that I do” and then he precisely described Charlie and my breakfast ritual…the paper, time to enjoy a hot cup (coffee for him, tea for me you know this–shall I abreviate it to T? Gimme a T..)
And off through the city, alternate routes because I knew everyone in the world was under some influence, incl. me.
I would have been happy to ride back in blowy fog,but instead I let my arms stay bare (we should at least have that as protected civli right) because of how much heat was coming out of me. This happens on sunny days when you’ve never been indoors at all…
On the Golden Gate bridge, I saw lots of couples walking along having very memorable evenings, picked up distince Love Vibes in several cases…and about 3/4 of the way across, there was a solitary man stood staring out to the inky Bay. Behind him, a black jacket draped over the low fence railing that keeps bikers from being pushed into traffic. After riding past him I hesitated, I watched him a minute….that jacket was so carefully folded …I rode back his direction.
“Hey are you OK?” I asked carefully.
The man turned to look at me.
Que? I..no…speak Inglis”
“Oh….OK.. Como Esta Ud.? Todo OK? ” I stumbled, and lapsed into Spitalian, “Tutto bueno?”
He pointed to the jacket and said “telefono …something something” and pointed to the wide gap between road bed and sidewalk and got down on his knees to see through the slot.
OH! just dropped a phone, OK. I mimed diving off the bridge and said, “mi credevo que…” (Dive)
A look of confusion spread over his face.
Back on the bike. As if he were going to jump! Right! Maybe he thought I was suggesting he jump?
The drop into Sausalito was a dreamy floaty whiz thanks to the post-concert fatigue and buzz in my ears.
All the bike paths were pitch black; the marsh path was so black I just prayed no one was coming the other way sans light..and my tiny flashlight flickred feebly to alert the usual jogger w/o flashlight..But there was no one. Truly, everyone the entire bay area was Doing Something Else.
I began to feel like I owned the entire County. Especially after turning onto the perpendicular-running bike path that aims straight for Tamalpais. The lookout light was on, Michael must be reading up there. Such a lovely feeling looking up at a massive hulk of dark mountain against a dark sky and having spent a whole summer there myself.
Verily it was turning into the most incredible day. I dragged it out a bit longer (peeped in the ANdrogeno’s Bounty Bin), stumbled into the house and tossed down my load. I’d ridden with the fretless banjo, plus my messenger bag jammed with the red wool coat inside. This coat talks back to people: I had “MUD LIFE CRISIS” embroidered in 3″ arching letters.
It was 9:30…Charlie was already asleep.
Thought of an excuse to deserve a bath all to my myself.
Marike Rosen’s wedding.
Normally, I’d washcloth the sweat and city grime off…
Why not this time have a REAL soak?
Pour in some unidentified orange goop, probably all dioxin-based…who can resist the sound of the softly clicking right bubbles and the towering soap sculptures? To offset the cheap-sweet goop, add a capful of “Just”</a brand Swiss Melissenbad. Guaranteed to de-stress, at least the Bernese say so.
In my exhausted-but-happy condition, I’m guessing I’ll liquify and only a mop of treadlocks will remain.
Bless the Swiss.
They have entire pharmacies devoted to herbal bath rezepts, tonics, pills, etc.
And then there are Apoteks, where ordinary pills and the usual other drug store junk is sold.
I love the idea of two types of drug store, one plant-based, and one chemical based.
Gives you a choice.
Chas spends about an hour a month studying the ingredients of my products on a toxics list (http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov). Now, if it sez “gov” does this mean OUR “gov” ? Or a government with some oversight?
How can anyone trust any U.S. agency?
I hopped into the steaming Melissenbad full of cozy anticipation but by dumping in”products” I’ve done a 180 and I’m laying back against the porcelain, worrying about toxic waste ingredients in typical household products. Now I’m fallng asleep, having heard Minstrel Banjo record and more Tannahill Weavers, it’s midight. I must peel away from you keys, you people, you gentle riders. My invented family.