The Soul Captain Chronicles
First Previous A Memoir by Bobby Matherne Next
The Master of our Destiny,
Captain of our Soul ---
With eyes upon the map
Hands on the control ---
Will not cut us any slack
Unless that's what
We've come here for.
Click to Read the Next Chapter of The Soul Captain Chronicles
The mist had not cleared and the Captain and I were just standing there in a large room with windows and sliding glass doors on two sides, a brick fireplace on one side, and a large kitchen and hallway off to the other side. We were the only ones in the room. "What's going on?" I asked, "Where's Bobby?"
"He's at work at a nuclear power plant. We're in his house. This is the living room which also doubles as the office. See the two desks against the wall with the computers on them?" Sure enough there were two 1990 vintage PCs on two desks with a printer between them. Through the windows I could see a large open yard to the left and right side and across the fence to back, a large open field with a few trees.
"What are we doing here?"
"Look over here," he said, pointing to an open file of quadrille-ruled paper with blue ink handwriting on them, "this folder contains his daily journal for 1991. I thought perhaps you might like to read portions of it to get a flavor of your life in the year 1991."
"Oh, wow, yeah, sure. Much better than just seeing events happening on one or two days." I grabbed the sheets and began reading.
I noticed a little glyph in the upper left hand corner that looked like two fishes kissing. The one on the right had fancy eyelashes, so it must be a female fish. The left fish had a '1' in it and the right fish had a '3' in it, so I presumed the date was January 3, 1991, although I had no idea how the year 1991 could be gotten from the two fishes drawing. Not every day had a journal, but most of them did. It was amazing to me to be reading over my shoulder, in effect, as I recorded the events of my life. Here's some excerpts that I found to be interesting. I'm sharing them exactly as I found them, not correcting the grammar, spelling, punctuation or adding anything.
Jan. 3, 1991: Journal: Rainbows & Shadows, HAI HAH!
I wrote a poem yesterday -- my first in several months -- called it "Rainbows & Shadows" -- when I read it over the phone to Del she got the shivers and said "That's the title of your next book." I agree. Went home and loaded .PM, printed it, and compiled 9 poems that missed the cut for "Flowers of Shanidar" into the new directory \RAINBOWS. Need to think about artwork, organization of books, etc.
At HAI the honeymoon is over for Andy, Del's new secretary: they're changing his hours around behind Del's back & Mae is doing her number on him same as she did to Jo. Emergency work required Mae's help -- she's gone & everyone else. Andy puts work with rush note on Mae's chair (desk is covered). Next morning Mae is scurrying to get toner for Xerox (Jane won't buy extra) and Sharon's contract is not ready. Contract is found lying on floor by Mae's desk -- undone. She blames it on Andy! Hah - the die is cast. "Once in a row is enough!"
I started my diet last night -- no supper (except for an English muffin and butter and a couple of cups of coffee). Feel better already this morning -- thinner -- glad I chose not to starve myself for the holidays with no teeth.
Jan. 10, 1991: Journal: Grandma Babin
Last night I dreamt I had a nice long walk with Grandma Babin thru some shopping area and asked her if all her classes in school were in French -- she said "yes." How about English? (Oops) or American History? (Or did she study French history or both).
Jan. 16, 1991: Journal: New Teeth
Long afternoon at Dr. Gillis's office getting fitted for upper & lower plates. Had no problems opening wide enough this time -- the practice helped -- but the 4 ½ minutes with my mouth jammed full of hardware and held shut was incredible -- I retched (dry) several times & only leaning forward, snuffling & breathing heavily through my nose kept me from interrupting the set of the mold. It came out with a good seal. I thought the worst was over until the lower mold got messed up by muscles at the base of my tongue that pushed the molding material away. We had to spend a bunch of time trying to train my lower tongue muscles to lie flat -- with the help of mirror for biofeedback & promptings from Maida (I asked her to remind me to move my back against chair -- I had noticed that when the muscle came up my back was arching away from the chairs.) The second set made such a good seal he could hardly get the mold off (almost disappointed he couldn't get to implant teeth to hold the lower plate on). I believe that once my teeth are in my tongue muscles will cooperate in hold them in place.
Jan. 17, 1991: Journal: Phase II of War Began Last Night
"Best Laid Plans. . ." -- Del and I were scheduled to meet for a board meeting at Miss Rose's -- I got there & the war had entered Phase II -- "The World Strikes Back." Del called me at Miss Rose's to say that her 5th Avenue had stalled on Tchoupitoulas in the dark. She called from Glazer Steel. I told her to meet me at house -- ordered lima beans to go and went home to wait for her. Stoney called, then John. We split the beans in two & heated them in the microwave, then sat in front of the four TV's to watch the world news. Best coverage came from CNN with 3 journalists providing audio eye-witness accounts from a Baghdad hotel room. We winced with them when the knock happened on their hotel door & they hid under the bed. They reported on the flares, bombers, bomb blasts, etc. Secy of Def. Cheney said his best reports came from watching CNN also. We stayed up till about 10 PM.
I called Lanny and left message "Welcome to World War III". He called back to say he'd been crying and wanted to know where to turn in his American Citizenship card -- I told him he turn it into me. Asked him if he'd like to turn in his Western Hemisphere card. (Del laughed) She got home alright with the help of AAA tow truck and Exxon Station. Her battery was weak and the air filter was clogged. She was in rather good spirits after her ordeal and tickled pink that she was only out of pocket $5.00 for the entire episode. The black guy in the tow truck told her of the bombing having started.
I watched CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, and Headline News. At 8 PM for President Bush's speech I counted 14 channels carrying the speech. Bush made a point of pointing out that this is the second phase of war, the first began in August 1990. "I don't wish them to know why I believe they were not effective," Colin Powell said in reply to question about whether he was surprised by the lack of effectiveness of the Iraqi air force. (Jordan is caught between Iraq and a Hard Place (Israel)). Price of stocks up, oil & gold & dollar down.
Jan. 20, 1991: Journal: Answerphone Joke
I made up a joke. "You know those answerphones? I hate them. Only thing I hate more is people who put you on-hold because another call is coming in. The other day I got really mad -- the answerphone put me on hold!"
Jan 24, 1991: Journal: Speaking through plates; Juggling Act, 4 Books
Another tiring session in Gillis's chair. The fitting of the wax plates went well -- but it took several attempts to get both plates in. I retched when he tried to put lowers in after the uppers. We relaxed awhile & switched to doing lower plates first. Once I got them settled down the uppers went in fine. Then it was oral drills: "Emma, Sixty-six, Mississippi" ,etc, to test my speaking abilities and permit John to see how best to align my teeth so that I can talk with them in.
Got home & began WP'ing poem I wrote yesterday morning on the way to work. (Highway writing) I named it "Juggling Act" -- it's about the process of memory -- when we're young we haven't lived long enough to have things to forget, thus the older we get, the more we learn to forget. We can always keep only 7 ±2 chunks in memory at a time, same as when we were young. But as we get older and have so many more things to remember, it can seem that we have grown forgetful when in fact we may have grown more "rememberingful" since there are so many more things to remember. Thus memory can be likened to juggling. The more balls you put in the air, the more likely that one is going to fall from its apogee and miss our hands.
Now I'm working on 4 books in different stages: "Freedom on the Half Shell" (2nd printing out); "Flowers of Shanidar" (1st printing being bound); "Rainbows & Shadows" (about 20 poems written so far); and "Book Notes" (about 92 reviews written so far.)
Jan. 30, 1991: Journal: Dr. Detroit (Devine), Wax Teeth
Dr. Detroit called this morning (Peter Devine). He loved my poems. Has written a song from "Latest Information" and wanted to tell me about it. Asked how I managed to remain anonymous so long. Tain't easy I said.
Got teeth in my mouth for first time since before Thanksgiving yesterday! Wax model -- the 'sculptor' from the lab came over & with him (John), John Gillis, & Maida looking at me I felt like a work of art in progress! I felt light when I left the office -- one more week & teeth.
Feb. 1, 1991: Journal: Gillis; Gunoff
To Dr. Gillis yesterday for 2nd fitting -- getting easier every time. Notice saliva in mouth & asked him about my dry mouth syndrome -- he said it was common to have dry mouth due to lack of stimulation from the teeth. I was very sleepy driving there & Maida made me stay over to take a nap.
Just got off the phone with Gordon Gunoff from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada who wanted to talk about Joe Newman's machine. He wants to bring Joe up to Sask. To talk about his Energy Machine.
Feb 4, 1991: Journal: Peter, Carol, M&D, D&D
Sunday morn I was up early fixing jambalaya & baked fish casserole. Peter & Carol showed up at 11 and Mom & Dad were only a short way behind them. Peter was all excited by a board game he calls "Latest Information" -- we brainstormed in the kitchen about designs for it. We came up with a buzzer to be hit whenever someone's "Latest Information" is thought to be out of date (BUZZZZZZ!). He loved "Juggling Act" -- I gave Carol a copy of her own since she helped to inspire it. Del made a salad & Mom did a pink-iced coconut cake. Everyone ate well.
Feb. 6, 1991: Journal: Gillis, Maureen, Robin, Mandala Lecture at Delgado's
Got home early last night after trip for final fitting at John & Maida's. My new teeth look like I had 6 painful years of orthodontia to correct my over bite. It is mostly gone. Watch out corn-on-the-cob! I want to celebrate my having my first Poor Boy in nearly 6 months! The stay in on Thursday. I sorta liked the overbite with the crooked canines -- it certainly looked real. If I'd known they were going to eliminate it I'd have said, "No" -- but if I say it now I'll need another fitting and another week. Dr. Gillis said I was chomping (sic) at the bit" -- I said no, "gumming at the bit, but I'd like to be chomping at the bit."
Maureen said Robin her drawing teacher wants to have me do a lecture on mandalas for her night class at Delgado sometime after Mardi Gras. Should be fun. Need to plan this a little.
I'm noting that these new quadrille pads have almost 50% more lines than the previous ones & that means having to write long journal entries and longer Book Notes. Just think: the artifact of changing from one size of ruling of a pad to another will show up in my collected works as an increase in journal entry size as well as longer Book Notes. Amazing how the tracks we leave behind show up so clearly in the future.
Feb. 9, 1991: Journal: Teeth; Talking; Miracles
Probably missed my journal entry yesterday what with the trip to the dentist in the middle of the day. Teeth were hurting all day -- felt like I had some brand new old-style leather shoes (hard soled) on for first time & I couldn't wait to get them off. Took 'em out last night for cleaning & rinsing (ate some of Del's chili & Eng. Muffin). Hardest job was putting them back in for the night but I'm so glad I did because I awoke this morning & they were not hurting at all! The worst of the breakin' process is over! It's a miracle! Plus I'm talking nearly normally. I read the "Course in Miracles Textbook" out loud on way to work this morning. Gillis suggested reading newspaper aloud for an hour a day. Hell, I finish reading newspaper in 5 or 10 minutes -- it would be boring to read it aloud for that long. With the "Course in Miracles" I enjoy reading aloud because it is a challenge to get the intonation correct the first time. Also to avoid the heavy "GOD" of the TV evangelists (most of them). C in M encourages a light toned "GOD" whose sound is filled with the light of joy! I was thinking this morning of my wedding ceremony, "Before the light you will receive today, the world will fade and a new world will appear you have no words to picture. Go forth into that world, that light and receive the gifts held in store for you, kept waiting for now, in this place may your faith be strengthened. For there is no greater blessing than this -- for the secret of attainment, the blessing of healing, all flow from this belief which is conviction." Almost have the whole thing memorized. How beautifully expressive of the essence of Hazrat Inayat Khan and the Course in Miracles.
Feb. 18, 1991: Journal: Long weekend (2 days); Indian Names
At noon we drove to Belle Promenade Mall to see "Dances with Wolves" -- Kevin Costner played the title role, directed the movie. He stands to get a triple Oscar -- if he'd written the story he'd get to repeat Orson Welles' "Citizen Kane" tour d'force (four Oscars). Great movie - it gave as balanced a view of male/female issues as it did of Indian/Paleface issues, e. g., both Indians & Palefaces in private called the other ones "beggars & thieves". And they were both right. The lonely soldier at the outpost befriends the Indians, learns their language, and refuses to be used against the Indians. He takes on an Indian name (Dances with Wolves), an Indian squaw (Stands with Fist), and a wolf as a friend. Note how the Indians give process names and white men give content names. I hadn't noticed that before in exactly that way. Even the noun names refer to action: Running Bear, Sitting Bull, Summer Rain, Wind in Hair, etc. The white man gives a reified structure (John Dunbar, Wm. Smith, Jack Robinson) that originally referred to a process (smithing, for example). Thus the white man creates time-binding of names that transcends generations and the Indian creates anew in the life of the individual (a limited time-binding). Thus Costner (Dunbar) tries to chase a friendly wolf away from following him into the Indian camp and is given the name Dances with Wolves. What would my name be if I were given a name in that fashion? "Carrying Books"? "Riding Bicycle"? "Punching Keys"? "Thinking Big Thoughts"? "Writing Poems"? And Del, "Flashing Smile"? "Cheering Words"? "Runs with Rabbits"? Well you get the idea. "Twirling Flag" (Del) or "Blowing Trumpet" (Me). We white men give names like that, don't we? We call them nicknames and use mostly nouns but occasionally we get Indian-form names, "Minnie the Moocher", "Chiseling Charlie", "Mumbles", but mostly it's "Scarface", "Mack the Knife" (not knifer, kniving Mack), "Joker", "Batman", "Superman", "Flash", "Spiderman", etc.
March 21, 1991: Journal: Fan Repair
Sometimes an imminent repair job seems so simple that I can feel some hidden complexity must be lurking. When I got a #230 estimate to repair my radiator fan I felt that way as I stopped to pick up fan @ Tony's. $36 for the motor -- didn't include the blades -- ah, that must be it! A huge dis-assembly project with missing parts! Got home -- used my B&D power ratchet Deli gave me for XMAS -- took 3 screws off & unplugged fan (5 mins). Removed 3 screws holding motor & one left hand threaded nut holding fan (5 mins). Attached to new motor & reinstalled (5 mins). And it worked immediately! Hooray! It was so nice to be wrong for a change!
Today is the vernal equinox and a full moon is due early next week - so Sunday a week will be Easter. The earth is waking up for spring & I feel a lightness in the air which also pervades me.
March 23, 1991: Dave & Sharon Party
Haven't decided what to do about the Dave & Sharon shindig on Good Friday. Good Friday! can you imagine! Scheduling a party on Good Friday! Maybe I'll take a large wooden cross with me and let everyone kiss me on the toes!
March 24, 1991: Journal: Go Lightly
We watched the final 2/3's of "Breakfast at Tiffany's" - I don't remember having seen it before -- it was basically a very sad movie. Holly Golightly seldom "went lightly" -- she was a rebel against conventions & propriety and was forging an imaginary life of luxury for herself via heel marks on the backs of her former lovers. Buddy Ebsen as Doc Golightly portrayed the country vet who married Holly when she was 14. He probably got what he deserved. Patricia Neal as the man-izer who kept "Banachek" in clothes & money got what she deserved -- abandoned. The cute touch of the Crackerjack ring engraved by Tiffany fit very nicely in the overall scheme of poverty on the edges of luxury that pervaded the flick. Best of all was Johnny Mercer's famous score "Moon River". And in the end Holly marries her "Huckleberry friend" who was "waiting round the bend."
April 1, 1991: Journal: Sunday -- Easter Sunday morn; water heater fiasco
I woke at 7 AM to get paper & water coming from ceiling -- probably hot water heater leaking. Went upstairs to check -- sure enough it's leaking -- not the trip relief valve -- still water in tank. I checked all over & noticed the sign saying to drain water once a month & I tried to open the valve -- a little water came out - turned it the other way -- a little more water came out then the whole valve popped off in my hand & a 1" pipe began shooting water across the ceiling. I put my foot over the pipe and deflected the water into the drain pan & began turning the stop valve going into heater -- still the water didn't stop -- by then I guessed that maybe the stop valve was on the wrong line (hot outlet rather than cold inlet) & the water would never stop so I called & started banging. Del ran into my bath, her bath, & then outside & heard my shouting continuously "Turn water off!" She did. I took valve downstairs & cleaned off the O-RINGS to re-install. Saw water was still coming down & slipped getting out of attic & my right foot (the same one that got soaked with hot water minutes before) went through the ceiling. Scrapped it against the heads of 4 nails sticking out from the joist. Went downstairs and Wes told me that the guest bath's toilet was stopped up! All within one hour after waking up on Easter Morn!
April 8, 1991: Journal: Sunday off
Sunday was interesting -- watched TV & fixed valve that shuts off water flow to Hot Water Heater. Rubber washer had completely "washed" away in 17+ years of hot water flow. Then I took away boards to widen attic access for HWH. Also cleared away boxes from open to ease raising HWH's up and down from attic. Sears lined up to install HWH on Wednesday.
April 11, 1991: Journal: N. O. Night, Participation
Del came home while I was reading "Saving the Appearances" by Owen Barfield. The new mascot for N. O. arena football is "Night" -- headline in T-P: "Night Dawns in New Orleans". Since reading Barfield (only 30% of first book) I have a new understanding of the new trend in team naming: the (N.O.) Night, Magic (Tampa), Heat (Miami), Fire (Chicago), etc. These are participation name -- names given to a process of participation versus thing names like Mustangs, Cubs, Bears, Bullets, Mavericks, Rams, Lakers, etc. The names are singular because they refer to one process -- but the singularity poses a problem. It requires the announcers to talk like so: The Miami Heat is hot tonight! The old Tampa Magic is back! It's an exciting Night in New Orleans! All of these are participation statements of a nominalized process. The New Orleans Jazz was a participation name also. The N. O. Breakers was a thing name -- shown by the plural form -- could be argued that breakers are processes that people can participate in directly -- but most people view them from afar )like a herd of Buffaloes or Mustangs). But the name Stampede invites, requires, one to imagine participation in the excitement. Whatever -- it signals a birth of consciousness at a new level, and thanks to Owen Barfield I can now language the change.
April 16, 1991: Journal: Sunday & Monday - A Tree Fell & Nobody Heard It.
Saturday night Del & I had dinner on the round glass table at dusk. I/we had worked all day. As I was lying in the hammock I happened to look up at the hackberry tree and imagined someone in the tree topping them off. That night a high wind toppled the sourthernmost vertical trunk of the Dick & Doris hackberry onto the roof. Del noticed it as she was heading for work & called me at 7 AM. She asked me how bad it was. I said, "How could I know? I'm 45 miles away & you're there!" I had her go into attic & look for holes in the roof -- she saw none. She described tree limb as 8" in diameter. That was large enough to cause me to drive home & trim the limb from the roof -- no shingles scratched, but gutter could have been damaged by the limb if I had not carefully trimmed it. (Some said about the 8" estimate, "You know how women are with estimates." I said, "Yes, but that's her favorite measurement." Later when I came back I said, "The limb was only 6" - she exaggerated, as usual." )
The Soul Captain interrupted my reading at this point. "There was a time when something happened to Barbara Matherne, your brother Dave's wife. Since you can't remember it yet, I'll remind you as it is pertinent here. Barbara is a little country girl from the bayou town of Des Allemands where she and David lived. She hardly ever drove because usually when she went anywhere away from the local neighborhood, Dave drove the car. This one day she drove all the way to the big city of New Orleans by herself and got into a fender bender. She had also never used a pay phone, much less made a long distance call from one. Here's what David reported hearing when her call came in, 'David! Start talking! You got three minutes!'
"Well, David chuckled a bit to himself, knowing Barbara, and told her something like this, 'Okay, Barbara, now, will you take a deep breath and tell me what the problem is.' Like you, he was 45 miles away and couldn't read his wife's mind."
I laughed aloud. "Thanks, Captain!" I said, and as I turned back to continue my reading of Bobby's journal, I thought to myself, the Old Man has a sense of humor!
April 17, 1991: Journal: Painting, Maintenance Man, "Pacific Heights"
Don the painter was over to paint the ceiling (where I stepped through on Easter Morning) when I got home. The Maintenance Man (me) filled the windshield washer with Windex & water, tightened the bolts on the head pan, sprayed silicon on the fan belts (found place in sidewall to spray the A/C belt), took the extra link out of the kitchen spigot, and screwed down the sticking door's threshold & freed it up.
Then I picked blackberries and mad BB& cream for watching TV later. I flew a mission for Col. Rocket J. Squirrel over Norway in F-17. Got both primary & secondary missions, took 2 missile attacks, ran out of fuel over the runway & landed safely anyway! F. C. (Freedom Cradle BBS) and C. A. were both busy so Del & I watched "Pacific Heights" & "Ghost".
P.H. was about a young couple who bought a large house in Pacific Heights and had a professional leasebuster move in and try to take the house from them by chasing out tenants and trashing the place. He almost succeeded except for Melanie Griffith. Del & I though the movie was too much like real life -- the first half of the movie recounted some of the episodes of being a landlord that I went through.
April 18, 1991: Journal: Oo-Foo & Night Eyes
After dinner at Five Happiness Restaurant we drove home & watched a movie:
"Night Eyes" on CMX. Referred to night watchmen who guarded large Malibu houses. One of the partners begins humping the client & gets in trouble. Being a bad movie -- he got out of it equally fast.
April 23, 1991: Journal: Debbie's Dream of Audrey, MGM dinner, black/pink dresses
Picked up Maureen for dinner about 5:15 & we dropped kids at Bayhi's for Kathleen to watch. Drove to Fern Supply to pick up first 10 copies of "Flowers of Shanidar". These were perfect bound with the paper covers I hand colored. (Now to decide who gets a copy.) Joe had them ready -- he'd forgotten that he hadn't charged me for the prints ("Marcie By Night"). He rounded up the $38 for prints to $50 to include cost of binding F of S. Then drove to Houston's for dinner (per MGMB's request). She told me that her little girl (inner child) is called "Annie" and that that's the name she's chosen for her next baby. She gets physically ill if she wears black since she's pregnant she says. She had to go buy some pink things. Sounds to me like another grand-daughter on the way.
She told me of a dream Debbie Guthans related to her. Last week Debbie was sleeping as she normally does with pillows around her head (to shut out sound of TV in Living Room where Anthony falls asleep (in front of ) every night - he likes it on loud.) A voice calling her raised her from her sleep "Debbie, Debbie! Debbie!" She removed the pillows from her eyes and saw Audrey in her turquoise blouse and white pants standing in a doorway calling to her. Audrey was smiling as though everything was alright and light was streaming from the doorway. Then Audrey disappeared. Then Audrey disappeared -- a hand appeared reaching out to her to lend a hand when she was ready. Then she "woke up" she says. Interesting to me is the "woke up" part -- her unconscious may have used a transition confusion trick to convince her that it was a dream -- but it matters not since, whether awake or not, it was a numinous experience -- a contact with Audrey on the other side. That's what I told Maureen to tell Debbie.
April 24, 1991: Journal: Fof S Review
Yesterday I had the pleasure of reading "Flowers of Shanidar" straight through and writing a review on it. That was 2 firsts for a review: poetry book & my own book. Just read an article in Computer Shopper about Books-on-Demand publishing. That might be the way for me to go.
April 25, 1991: Journal Last Date with Del at Miss Rose's
Got home last night & read Goethe's "Faust" (both before and after dinner -- finished it by skimming quickly -- looking for good parts. I found very few. Even the beauty of language is obscured by the English translation. I could pick up samples of brilliance & even got caught up in the reading for a bit. Overall it was a waste of time except that I got to read my fellow countryman Goethe's works.
Dinner was a lugubrious experience. I suggested we do Chinese dinner at our house Friday for Del's folks and asked who should pick up the food, she or I? She said she wanted to do it. Okay, fine, I'll go home and get the table and house ready. That should have been the end of the conversation, but she threw in this clunker: she wanted me to call and order because she would be nowhere near a phone. At some conference on a raft in the middle of the Amazon I suppose -- because anywhere in N. O. there would be a telephone close by. Later she said she didn't know what to order -- I explained, "That's just what we have to talk about here."
"Well, you have to write it down." (Why do I have to write it down? I know what we're going to order and I raised the volume of my voice slightly to explain to her how the open loop communication would not work and she got all bent out of shape. We never got back to the subject -- every time I brought it up again she switched to talking about my voice level. We ate silently. I paid the check & as she walked back to her 5th Avenue I walked to Expressway and began walking home. I hadn't done it before but it seemed to be an easy 15 minutes walk and it was. Walking down a suburban street at dusk is a favorite thing of mine to do. Reminded me of walking Benjie around the block in Fullerton, Calif back in '69 (Cheez -- 22 years ago!). Or walking Jeauxy in Metairie. The smells of fresh cut grass -- the sweet bouquet of the new magnolia flowers near the sidewalk. Just ½ hour before Del had been talking about how Pachabel's Canon in D was her favorite music in the world and how beautiful the world was. I sat in LR reading Faust & she made a couple of half-hearted attempts to reconcile (never once asked for explanation of why my calling & her picking up would not work).
April 26, 1991: Journal: Shopping at Macy's with Del, SME group, RAIN RAIN RAIN
It's raining, it's raining. Another day of 4" of rain in LaPlace/Killona. Driving between Union Carbide & Oxy yesterday morning at 5:45 AM was an unearthly experience. The complete early morning darkness was filled with bright yellow light from the 2 stacks flaring ethylene. The rain had stopped but cars were backed up almost to 3127 because the road & sides of road were flooded. Driving through the water lit by torchlight on all sides was eerie . . . Today it's raining again. When Tony Legg was working full-time & couldn't paint Hagan it was dry. As soon as he started on Hagan again, the rain started again. This is supposed to be N. O.'s dry season. Jazz Fest starts today in a sea of mud & rain -- will be a special day for the musicians I'm sure.
Del called me at lunch yesterday and apologized for being a jerk the other night. I accepted her apology. She let me explain why I felt so strongly what she had suggested would not work. I explained probability theory : 90% chance of two independent activities happening together is only 81% & increases the chance that the operation will fail -- better if she ordered when she got there and waited 15 mins. Turns out that enough uncertainty existed about her schedule today that we agreed to postpone the dinner.
She had had her management group over for meeting at Timberlane & we gnoshed on the leftover sections of DiMartino's po-boys. I suggested we lie down for nap & we did. Then, in bed, I felt like going shopping at Macy's. We & hit the jackpot! I found a red silk jacket that I fell in love with on the rack - reduced from $170 to $110! I wore it away from counter to see if Del noticed. She did -- even noticed it was silk. The off-color (faded) reddish color together with the textured silk is a very attractive combination. It was time to trash my blue Non-Members-Only jacket -- or at least stop wearing it except at work in the rain.
April 27, 1991: Journal -- Evening Sickness, Big Foot & Left-handed Mice
Maureen has evening sickness. When she found out she was pregnant she knew she'd never finish the semester if she had morning sickness. She told her body she couldn't have morning sickness so it started coming at 3-6 PM every day. Now she's decided to move it to just after she goes to sleep. Should work -- it'll be like the "paralyzed fingernail" of Bandler's metaphor. Story goes like this: guy came to Richard with paralyzed arm. Said "Dr.'s say it's all in my head, but I know it's in my arm." Richard hypnotized him & freed up his arm. Guy got up to leave & fell down because his leg was paralyzed (Richard had moved it to his leg) Then RB moved it to his fingernail . (The guy still complains bitterly about his paralyzed fingernail.) I told story to Maureen & she figured out the movement herself. She's been unable to wear black clothes since being pregnant (gets sick if she puts on black blouse) -- went out and bought herself a pink floral dress. Know it will be a girl (& I'd have to agree). Wants to call baby, "Annie" -- short for Annette Marie Bayhi.
When she said she was looking for a babysitter last night I told her look no further -- I'll pick 'em up if you'll come get them after dinner. Maureen nearly threw up on way over (the evening sickness's onset).
Took Jenny & Chris to pick blackberries -- they each picked a bowl full (with my help) -- much better than last time when Chris only picked one. On way to Timberlane he was telling me he wanted to drive a Big Foot over wrecked cars in the Superdome. I just said, "uh-huh" -- no need to get him to polarize on that issue -- he'll ditch it soon enough like his Uncle Robbie did with librarian and boxer. I thought I wanted to build radios when I grew up -- now I find making black marks on white paper the most satisfying thing to do.
We did Math Fun (Chris had lotsa trouble using mouse - I couldn't figure out why -- after they left I realized that he's left-handed.), Jigsaw Puzzle - another one that required the right hand on the mouse. He got frustrated with that also & stopped.
April 29, 1991: Journal: Roger & Me
Watched "Roger & Me" in which Michael Moore attempts to complete the job his father started in 1933 as member the 45 involved in the sit-down strike that created the United Auto Workers: destroy General Motors. Movie was a good look at a city in transition, done wittily with fine juxtaposition of images. An interesting portrayal of what you can do with an idea and a camera in America today.
April 30, 1991: Journal
When I came home it was raining heavy and garage cans were scattered across the driveway. I had to go out in the rain (w. umbrella) to remove can from Del's path. Then I noticed leak from eaves. I went into attic with light & saw the water bubbling in from the very corner of the roof. I tried drilling a hole to let the water escape but none came out. That's what I was doing when Del drove up. I was angry -- getting my feet wet one more time for the day. We cooked the fresh fish from Sunday David & I caught. Used peanut oil -- sure about the taste yet but the fish dried out quickly when I removed them. We ate them in the Screening Room while watching Robert Redford and a young actress (Faye Dunaway, "Chinatown" star) do "3 Days of the Condor" -- a good romantic thriller -- "spy fucker" she called herself.
Del began watching "Crash & Burn" afterwards -- a futuristic and unrealistic "Unicorn" run country. The illusion is that private corporations will fuck up the country by excessive greed and coercion. That's the myth put out by the liberal press who want dearly a coercive bureaucracy of the state. (Their projections are showing.)
I was too tired to set up the computer stuff I brought home and that clean up work is stacking up -- I should take a day off to do that stuff. (Maybe tomorrow)
May 7, 1991: Journal: Mandala Class, Del
I was beat yesterday at work. Had stayed up late drinking Cold Duck & watching "Darkman". Drove home very tired, but managed to freshen up & get to Delgado in time to do Robin Cole's drawing class. (Here I am teaching a drawing class -- this may be my equivalent to being a driving instructor in order to teach youngsters about life.) Bright budding artists, some of them quite good-looking -- only male in class came late (Paul or Carl) -- he had purple dye in his hair (hightlites at the top). VCR was late getting there so I decided to give each a mandala drawing to color (at random) as they entered the class. They began assiduously coloring theirs while I waited for VCR. Del came late & entered from back of room -- Robin exercised her teacher muscles for the only time as she started to ask Del to leave. I did the crossed fingers exercise and when everyone had their fingers in the reverse mode I had them visualize their mandala and add colors to their palette. The individual mandalas were great. Only person who asked questions was purple-haired Paul, and I suggested he try the library.
Del left early as I had begun taking down the taped-up mandalas. The sunset was a gorgeous splash of red & purple filling the window at the end of the classroom. At one point Robin called notice to it. "God is competing with us this evening," I said.
One gal during cross-fingers balancing exercise asked what if there's no difference? "You must be ambidextrous in this way," I said. I watched her ind. mandala & I saw an old soul mandala -- the balancing showed up in a quadripartite design that was not symmetrical. A pinwheel design -- each wing resemble a set of fish bones.
May 11, 1991: Journal: Getting up early in the morning
When I reached the W-3 parking lot this morning at 6 AM they were playing, "Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning!" That made me laugh -- amazing how the composer wove the Reveille bugle call into the lyrics and rhythm of the song. Waking up every day at 4:30 and driving an hour to work is as bad as being in the army. Del and I call this nuclear power plant "nuclear prison" or the "unclear power plant" depending what aspect of it we are decrying.
May 13, 1991: Mother's Day & Beyond
Saturday night I watched "Jeremiah Johnson" -- best Western flick ever made -- in my book. Between Del-Q, Bear Claw, and JJ there was nary a stereotype to be found. It was enjoyable watching it beginning to end again. Had forgotten the very beginning when JJ came off the boat. A lot like "Dances With Wolves" -- the whole movie & actor's script: a soldier heads west, lives alone, establishes rapport with the local Indians, and is fucked-over by a gang of white folk.
Sunday morning I was up about 7 to read paper, watched some of "Iron Eagle II" movie (US-Russian cooperation), then at 11 AM Mom & Dad came & I began barbequing the Hahnville Merchantile homemade sausage (5# @ 1.99/lb). Daddy helped and got the filets ready. By 12:30 everyone had arrived for dinner & I put the steaks on. Joyce had prepared green bean casserole and lemon sticks, Del had done pork&beans, stuffed eggs, Mama's potato salad, green salad, and tuna-macaroni salad. I sliced the cucumbers Mom brought. Del had bought lemon pie & strawberry shortcake. We had plenty left over of everything. Dick played solataire, gave him copy of Baseball card disk, I showed Jigsaw to Sue & Val (who came with a card for Del even though Jim didn't -- nice -- she sure is a beauty -- Jim's a lucky guy. I was looking at Sue & Val & noticing how lovely they both are.) Sue & Stoney played Stratego out on the porch while Paul fiddled on my Blessing Violin. Even showed me how to play a simple song.
May 14, 1991: Journal: Galt's Strategy Laid Out
Went straight home, sat zazen & watched some TV till Del got home -- actually I was on Freedom's Cradle with John Galt and his cheap shots. He loves getting people torqued by using their predictabilities to get them to confront their inflexibilities. He's like an old West gunfighter -- you never know where his next shot is coming from and as you move ken the origin of the last shot, he's moving again. He has no fixed agenda (other than freedom) and thus most anything is grist for his mill. I am constantly surprised by how outrageous his posts are. I strive to save some of them, but increasingly I just let them go. He is posting on the trees in the center of the Global Electronic Village and that's enough for me. Now millions of others will able to read his views as well. What I've learned is that Dr. G's technology is new -- no one else has even a glimmer of the possibilities for the future of freedom (unless they, like Ra, have V50, V201).
Mostly you get the "throw the bums out" mentality, the Libertarian form of freedom through coercion, or the whole world is going to pot. That gives John Galt many openings for his thesis of hope for freedom & the future. An interesting tack opened up with his Watertarian (an alias can live on just water, n'est ce pas?) regime. He attacks people who are vegetarians for killing poor innoncent plants, etc. By doing to them what they are doing to meat eaters he exposes their processes for all to see, thereby neutralizing their impact. Is it so different to project consciousness into plants than into animals? Both activities are in the mind of the human, not in the animals or plants -- the problem is the vegeatarians believe it's actuality they're reacting to (instead of a closely held belief). By creating the appearance of believing just as strongly that way about plants, J. G. shakes the foundations of the vegetarians' delusions.
Watched Frank & Gene Kelly in "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" -- a fun romp Del hadn't seen before. I worked on ther back -- she's in bed with a head cold now.
May 16, 1991: Andy Lowell, Draw Perfect, Del sleeps alone
Drove directly to HAI to show Andy Lowell how to use Draw Perfect. I helped him boot it up on the Network drive H: -- the only one with enough room to hold the seven MB of DR11. I showed him the graphics in black & white & then in color on the new computer in the conference room. . . . Then we went to Houston's (St. Chas) -- he didn't know it was there. We drank two beers at the bar while waiting for our table & he told me about his play about Good & Evil on Earth & in Heaven. The alien drones capture "memory bubbles" & return them to the distant galaxy where elders retrieve them & learn about earth's development so as to decided when to lift the quarantine on earth's travel in the universe (imposed to prevent spread of evil). The Messiah-to-be is induced to go to earth by his friend warning him against experiencing a certain memory bubble. Naturally he does it anyway and decides to go to earth to see for himself. Once there he falls in love with a young woman (whose rape he experienced in the memory bubble) and decides to become a mortal so he can stay with her on earth. He explained that many people told him that had been treated before -- I told him that indicated he universality of the theme he had chosen.
When I got home Del began asking me questions about where I put DR11 & was upset because she'd "have to handle it." I got angry -- she hadn't even thanked me for all the trouble & expense I'd gone through on her part. I slept on the sofa and left before she woke up.
May 17, 1991: Del, Jane in MS
When I got home there was a message from Del apologizing for being such a bitch the night before. Spent all day on the road in Miss. With Jane -- Hattiesburg, Laurel, & Jackson. I watched end of "Memphis Belle". Jane called from her car to tell me she'd just dropped Del off at the office. Invited us to dinner with them a week from today to celebrate Merle's birthday. Minutes later Del called. When she got home we popped open the last bottle of Cold Duck & got snockered together in front of TV. I did a brief stint on Freedom's Cradle. Then I joined her in front of TV. Watched rest of "Summer of 42" and an old film with a too young Barbara Hershey showing her tits to Richard Thomas. Del got engrossed in some other movie & I went off to bed around 10.
May 19, 1991: Elmo's, Switch, Trademark
Del got home about 6 PM & we went to Elmo's for dinner. Talked a little about finances and that made me feel better -- we agreed to discuss them soon.
After dinner we motored to Belle Promenade & walked into out seats up front just as the curtain was opening on "Switch". New Movie with Ellen Barkin playing a guy (womanizer) who is murdered by his three girl friends and comes back as woman charged with finding one person (woman) who likes him. Generally well done except for the high heel which was over done. Interesting that Blake couldn't deal with Steve (Amanda) having sex so has her (him) do it not only off-camera, but s/he was unconscious at the time. Unable to enjoy sex with either men or women, s/he luckily gets pregnant and has a baby girl who likes her mother (Steve) who then gets to go to heaven. (I could have waited for cable -- two of the lines I blurted out accurately before the actors said them -- "She likes me!")
Designed trademark for 21st Century Education, Inc: a stylized check mark with the earth hovering above it -- a star highlights the area of South Louisiana. I got the idea from Star Trek -- I wanted something that would look good on shirts as well as letterheads, etc. Sic Itur ad Astra . . .
May 20, 1991: Baseball cards, LSU trip with Chris
We drove to campus -- Union area packed & we finally parked car only to find that the Union was closed. We drove to McD's for lunch to go & ate it on way to West Stadium Lot where Big Tent for baseball card show was. Met Dan & Jim at Dan's table. Dan was complaining about some guy who muscled into his table space. I took Chris across road to see LSU-Florida game and we sat in the Left Field bleachers. We got rained on twice & on the third time we left & joined Del back at the tent. Chris bought baseball cards from the vending machine (6 cards for 1 quarter). Then I walked him over to see Mike in his cage. Mike was lying under the steps asleep & we looked at him. This will be one long time memory for Chris.
May 24, 1991: Rain, rain, more rain
Just called Mom & she said the tomatoes are rotting on the vines now due to the rainy weather. Since Dec 90 we've had almost 60" of rain - our yearly total. Roads and interstates have been flooded in varous place: Houma, US 90 to Raceland, I-10 & US 90 to Gulf Coast under water. Everyone is tired of this rain and ready for some dry weather. I was lucky to get my new roof on Hagan St in Jan/Feb between downpours.
May 28, 1991: A Memorial Day: Card Party, Lydia, Hilda, Elaine, D&D, M&D, P&J, W&L, Janice
One busy 2-day weekend (Sun & Mon). Friday & Saturday night we shopped for stuff to cook Monday. Trip to Visko's Sat night was shoo-shoo -- except that I was able to get Del to come along. Sunday morning we cooked (after bkfst at Miss Rose's). Shrimp stew and rice. Then the Oysters Bienville. We made four (experiment) & ate them for lunch. Then we cut the 4" high St. Augustine (2 weeks old). That nearly wore us out. We napped, then got up & drove to BBQ at Giselle's. Del played Taboo with her FBAS gals (Kathy Whited in town on an audit). Then we drove to Aquatic Gardens & found out its first name is American. Then we drove by Hagan & Myrtis was fixing the walls & painting. Carpet was up & she'd already leveled the floor. We talked to her, collecte 1/2 first month (June)'s rent ($120). Then, feeling very good, we drove to Greek Festival & toured the Holy Trinity Cathedral. Looking in through the back window it looked like a Disneyland diorama of a Greek church. Colorful triptych panels flanked the altar and murals covered the walls and side in-between the stained glass windows. A G. O. priest was holding forth near the communion railing against all questions. Schism was in 12th century over papal infallibility, etc. The wood carvings were phenomenal! Exquisitely carved blond wood that one would take for molded plastic in these days of mass produced schlock.
Monday morning I got biscuits at Miss Rose's & cooked Hahn Merc sausage for bkfst. Mom & Dad & Lydia & Elaine & Hilda came for 915. We had coffee & biscuits & started playing card game called "31". Mom won the first two games then got bumped in 3rd game. I started cooking & she took over my hand (only 1 quarter left) -- got two consecutive 31's & won the game! Paul, Joyce & Lavelle wandered in around 11. Then we ate: Oysters Bienville, Shrimp Stew, stuffed artichoke & salad. Dick and Doris also came in time for lunch. After lunch Wilma came (she'd had a call to show a house & that delayed her). Gifts were 1st Aid Kit, VHS of 8mm Films -Mom to Hilda, and HAI coffee mug. Doris & Wilma played after lunch while Dick won 4 solitaire's in a row on Windows.
May 29, 1991: Tiffany and End of Outage
We heated and ate the last 4 O. Bienvilles (till next time) plus a half avocado each -- yum-yum. We sat out on the swing in the twilitee and talked for a long time -- mostly listening on my part -- she was a verbal volcano erupting with volumes of tales about deals she's working. The bigger the deals, the more she acts like her father. It seems to surprise her how she sounds like him at times -- a good signal that the learnings were unconscious -- just as Maureen's learnings from me.
Just had a long chat with Tiffany & we made a date for her to come over Friday to spend the night. My first two day - Saturday & Sunday weekend off in a long, long time. We can start planning on week-end trips again soon. Dipping in the Gulf of Mexico soon -- maybe Saturday? It would be fun. I'd rather wait till we can motor all the way to Fort Walton to see Lucy. Maybe stay 5 days on beach with her.
May 30, 1991: 40's again, Reenie, "Home Alone", Teenager
Just got off the phone with Reenie -- she reminded me that I had accused her of thinking I had a "Big Book of Answers" in which I could look up the answer to any question. She said she did have an image of me as the "Answer Man" since she was a baby. Said she'd work on my Shanidar watercolor cover today.
At work I'm on 5x8's (40 hours a week) again -- first time in over a year and a half. Felt like a huge load had been lifted from me last night when I got home. The whole world seems light & brighter now. Got check from Eames for April rent & May to follow. Still -100 but he's keeping up.
Took Del to movie after a fried fish dinner -- went to see "Home Alone" - a good movie - will undoubtedly become a Christmas evergreen like "It's a Wonderful Life" and "34th St." The poignant parts were very well done - the kid's relationship with the old man with the shovel. (They could have left out the "What's the point?" part. The kid didn't know from "point" at 8 years old -- the answer he gave was so precocious as to be unbelievable.) We walked out of the movie feeling like it was Christmas time in May.
I felt like a teenager one a date with my gal & didn't want to go home yet. So we drove into a Daquiri's window and got a Colado 151. Potent &tasted good. We drank it on the way home & went to bed.
The "unclear plant" is up and running and I've moved back to the Planning Trailer -- still doing NOP13's and working on our computers. Just yesterday I put new source decay calculations spreadsheets in EXCEL 3.0 for Rhodes' crew.
Tiffany's coming over Friday night and I invited Maureen also. She may come too. She's started on the watercolor again. Will be fun to have them over on Saturday if they can make it. Maybe take them to Mom & Dad's on Saturday.
June 5, 1991: Dad's favorite son, Bailey's, Barfield, & Bills
Stopped at Mom & Dad's -- Dad was all excited about having caught 100+ sac-au-lait by 7 AM -- he & David filled up a 84 qt Igloo ice chest to overflowing. Called me his favorite son two times, "Get a pack of fish for my favorite son." Also some of his creole tomatoes.
Got home & started doing bank reconciliations for past 3 months. First I had to re-organize all the pieces of paper around the living room. I was just getting ready to pop open the first bank statement & Del popped her head in the door ready to be taken out to dinner. Oyster po-boys was the chief d'ouervre & I chose the place, Bailey's in the Fairmont. Close parking place around the corner, no waiting for table & elegant dining.
We talked about HAI goings on -- but mostly about Barfield's "Rediscovery of Meaning." How perception is a function of current inputs & the sum of previous inputs. Thus if we insepct Medieval Art with our eyes, we perceive it with 500 + more years of input & evolution of consciousness than the Middle Agers had available to them. Barfield discusses the evolution of consciousness -- and how we can perceive the existence of the evolution by studying the art of the past.
When we got home I marked off some bill, re-organized the paper into files & shoe boxes, and knocked off in time for bed. Blew off the Jung mtg when Peter Devine called to reschedule dinner for Thursday night.
Ordered computer for Jane & Merle finally -- a 4 Mb, 386-16SX with 85Mb disk & SVGA. Plus a 24pin LQ510. (~$1900). I ordered a extra 1/2Mb for video board to update it to 1 Mb.
June 7, 1991: NOP13 Crush for INPO, Peter & Narnia
Thursday was the busiest day I ever had at W-3. I had 28 NOP13 safety evaluations to do and I can usually do 2 in one day. Tom Payne came over to help me & he was a big help. He handled the FSAR look-up function while I created the roughed-in eval's. Then he edited & reviewed & signed them. We were a good team. By the end of the day we had done about a dozen of the toughest NOP13's I had to do - and they were the most comprehensive rad monitor ones we've done.
I worked at breakneck pace from 6 AM to 430 PM eating my lunch at the terminal & scarcely taking a break. When one was ready I'd hop on the next and the work flow went very smoothly - by the afternoon I was dropping a partial completion on Tom's desk as fast as Ken was dropping one on my desk.
When I left here I drove to St. Chas & Houston's & Peter Devine. I bought him dinner & we talked about Devine, Barfield, & Matherne. He wants to do an "about the author" piece for the back of "Shanidar." I said sure -- later I was reading in "Companion to Narnia" that "Deep Magic" is the type of magic that you do when you get someone to do for you what you can't do for yourself. Like writing "about the author." I was reading "Narnia" because I was trapped in my bedroom because Jim had a noisy, staticky radio station on an Astros game. Thus I was locked out of my computer, easy chair, & kitchen.
I had trouble getting to sleep with Del out of town. It was a very unpleasant night & not one that will ever be repeated.
June 10, 1991: Weekend, Reconcile, HAI Picnic was no picnic
Another two day weekend (after a 46 hour week). I could get used to this. We woke up late Sat morning & bkfst at Miss Rose's. Came home watched LSU win the National Championship in baseball (6-3 beat Wichita). Skip Bertman on his 10th trip to College World Series finally won it. LSU went undefeated through the finals beating teams by whopping scores like 15-8, 19-3, etc. After game Del & I cut the grass (she did most of the cutting and I repaired the gutter brackets after finishing the gutter clean out.) Then we crashed in front of the TV -- she cooked some peas & rice & baked a pound cake for HAI picnic on Sunday.
Sunday morning I reconciled three months of bank statements -- that was the major job I had in front of me & it felt so good to get it done. My finances look a little better now -- with some advance planning (another saving plan loan) I should be okay for another year. I will be a lean next year, however.
Jane & Merle's computer comes in this week -- it will be fun putting it together for them. The LQ510 printer is here already. Will try it out tonight.
Got a call from Brian Kelley just as we were getting ready to leave for picnic. He & Judy are coming in for three weeks in August -- they have 3 days at the Clarion & then will be staying with us. That should be interesting. I'm putting a floppy disk pack together for him of Shanidar, R&S, & Booknotes -- plus his copy of PCTOOLS got destroyed.
Drove out Chef Menteur Hwy for the Rigolets bridge & Venetian Isles. Backyard of "Ellen's" house is on the Rigolets' pass in view of the cantilever bridges. Very, very windy. No place to hide form the breeze. Food was lousy - (one potato salad we ok) -- Del's pound cake was the best food there. When you're the head of a company, company picnics with pot luck dishes means you'll get food not as good as you're used to -- the level of taste in food & acceptability will naturally be less as befits the status of the employees -- "it all happens at the same time" Matherne's Rule at work.
June 11, 1991: Journal Finances, Barber Chair
Del was in Hattiesburg & then Meridian yesterday -- first time she's gone for two nights in a row in a long time. My finances look much better now than I'd thought they'd be -- I bought Jane's computer on 1st USA credit card ($1900) & put her check in my checking acct. I will use 1900 to pay off savings plan loan balance & in 3 months will re apply for a new loan for ~ $7K -- that should hold me through next year & take care of unk-unk's. Most of the unk's have been handled (teeth, Hagan roof & painting started). Have 4 solid tenants (Parks up to $455/mo as of June 1 -- last $25 next June will get to 500 (-25 water) or $480. Whew!)
Checkfree is now processing 3/4ths of my bills electronically (no check stubs). Called Yvette & got Greg on his way to Astros game. Yvette was at French class.
Talked to Mom & Dad -- Mom reminded me to pick up the barber chair -- I'd forgotten about it in the rush of the past few months. Will see if Dean can help me bring it home tonight. Steve & Jan are in Baltimore & Steve Bayhi's truck is broken. Need to pick up lumber sometime also - some Saturday soon I hope. Rained 6" rain in 2 hrs last nite.
June 12, 1991: Rain, Margaret, Rainbows
Another day of project scale rainfall 11+ inches in Westwego in 24 hours.
Mailed off disks to Kelley with BOOKNOTES, Shanidar & "Rainbows & Shadows". . After dinner with Maureen I came home & collated 27 copies of "Rainbows & Shadows" (About 23 brand-new poems -- includes two poems from F. S.)
My collating method bears mentioning: it took about 2 hours: I read each poem through, a line at a time, as I laid the sheets on each stack -- walking in a circle around dining table, across from the countertop, and past Queen Anne desk. Thus an important job got done and I got to meditate on my recent poetry production fro a full 2 hours. It was very enjoyable.
A package from Margaret Wirstrom came last night. It contains a copy of her Pensacola Gallery Show's program with a kind not tanking me for the workshop and the "hours of pleasure" my poems have given her. In the letter she says she has an idea for the art for the book cover -- something about how her "last work" is connected with the flowers concept.
June 13, 1991: Margaret, Del, Mom
Talked to Margaret Wirstrom yesterday and she said I could use one of her paintings as a cover for "Flowers of Shanidar". Del & I reviewed the catalog (her Pensacola show) and selected "Red Mast at Ship Island" -- an abstract, which, when looked at upside down, appears to have flowers on the stems. It's a horizontal presentation and mostly a uniform color that will look great as a cover for the book.
Del came home about 8 PM -- I was reading Barfield in a lawn chair on front porch when she drove up. She was whipped from 2 days of 3-a-day presentations to Atlas Roofing Company.
Mom reminded me to pick up the barber chair soon & I made an attempt to locate a truck - no luck yet.
Janie Stennett called last night to say that she & Mary Chawla have been enjoying reading Shanidar immensely. That's more excellent feedback -- I may have a good seller here. More impetus to get the second printing rolling. She also said she'd just come from the wake for Bob Guy's son (16 yrs old) who was found dead (shot, I think) on his school grounds in Algiers. She said the wake caused her to remember the poems of Shanidar & that original funeral.
June 14, 1991: Journal: Hormone Derange, Oakwood, Elmo's & Sofa
Came home last night & took Wirstrom's catalog of her Pensacola show to Kinko's for color Xerox. Johnnie helped me -- he blew up the "Red Mast at Ship's Island" to 8 1/2 by 11 for me and made a transparency of the cover text. Laid the transparency over the color Xerox & shot another color Xerox for the cover. Came home & fit it to book -- it was too small by a bit and needed re-adjustment of the transparency. Went back to Kinko's to re-do, came home, glued a mylar covering to Xerox and fit it to the book. I was all excited. It looked great. Upside down the "Red Mast" painting has a structure resembling flowers (long stem rose buds) and the hint of a face. Everyone I've shown it to so far (Del, Eric) loves it. Will show it to Maureen tonight on the way home.
I took Del to dinner after a pass by Oakwood (Mervyn's) to buy some father's day presents (cotton PJ's for her dad, silk boxers for mine). Tried to go to Cannons' & there was no parking places (construction), so we drove to Elmo's. I wanted to talk to Del about my plans to publish, print, distribute FS myself and she got nasty -- she thought that if an offer came to publish it for 1/2 million I should take it. She was having severe cramps & PMS hormones and that exacerbated the situation. She accused me of being hardheaded and uncompromising -- I tried to explain to her my position but she refused to listen. We came home and she took a long shower and went right to bed without saying goodnight. I grabbed a pillow & sheet from guest BR and slept on LR sofa. Got up at 510 AM & fixed lunch, coffee & left without seeing her or saying a word. I'll leave the next move up to her. Usually it takes some time for her to overcome her obstinacy on a point. At one point last night she said "That book's not your property, it belongs to the world!" I told her, "That's the nastiest thing you ever said to me." I wrote every word, typed in every word, formatted every word, printed, xeroxed, cut, pasted, stapled, bound, planned, designed, and paid for every item and she tells me "it's not your property!"
Never got a chance to talk about long term vs short term thinking because she never let me. Other than that it was a great night.
June 17, 1991: Long weekend, CP's Barber Chair
Another long weekend (2 days) after a 40 hr week. Paul called & said that he & Joyce would bring the barber chair over in the afternoon -- when they got here we had a cleaning job to do on the base and hydraulic mechanism. Cleaned away 80 years' accumulation of hair. Joyce said her Dad's hair was there & so was my dad's & probably that of both my grandads' & all my uncles. We moved it into Living Room & they left . We were watching "End of Innocence" with Dyan Cannon (her life story in fiction obviously). Great movie on therapy -- recorded it on Beta immediately for later screening.
Didn't cut grass. Foundation for new house up (forms only).
June 18, 1991: Wirstrom, Del, Marcel Vögel
Talked to Margaret Wirstrom yesterday. Said she had to check if she retained the reproduction rights to the "Red Mast at Ship's Island" painting. She didn't like the idea of using it upside down but I suggested she wait till she sees it on the book. I spilled coffee on the one cover I have left so I have to get two more made - one right side up for calibration. I don't think it will work with the red mast on the front cover instead of the flowers structure.
Del was feeling bad again last night so I used the Marcel Vögel technique: rotated a large double-terminated crystal in front of her chest. It is common for a slight tug to be felt as you cross the meridian of a person's chest, but I didn't feel the tug so I moved iether side and in the recess below the collar bone on beth sides, I felt the tug so I treated her there. I also treated her in the abdominal area also. She showered and went to bed about 7:30. I made it to bed about 1130 after working on the order entry system (PWRQUOTE). Not very impressed by the shareware -- flying blind most of the time.
Maureen is going to Eureka this afternoon to start the loan process to buy Marcie St. Hope it goes well.
June 20, 1991: Journal: Box, K. Cop, Joe N., Margaret Wirstrom, Kim, MGM
When I got home a large box of Daedalus books was waiting for me. In it was a treasure trove: Emerson's Representative Men - hadn't been published for 50 years before '80. I had never heard of it - what a delight to find a fresh new book by Emerson & on one of my favorite subjects: the greatness of men. (Not one Jane would appreciate - see "pink ribbon" comment below.) In addition was a book by Carl Gustav Carus, "Psyche" and several other goodies. $200 of books for $18. That comes to about 33% of the discounted remainder price of $55. Del called about 6 PM & asked me to pick her up at Sears. She was getting 2 new front tires and the run-around. I'd stopped by Charlie the "Hot Tamale Man" & picked up 12 H. T.'s and a snowball for $3.50. Made corn with the cheese sauce. (Need to tell Charlie about the corn & sauce.)
We ate the tamales & corn & then picked up the 5th Ave at Sears. When we got home Del had picked up "Kindergarten Cop" & we watched it together in screening room. A fun movie. I called Margaret Wirstrom and talked about the use of her "Red Mast at Ship Island". She seems okay with my using the painting in whatever orientation I felt best about.
Called & talked to Kim -- Wes was sleeping already. Told her what I was interested in (Reproduction rights for a painting). Joe Newman called and asked me to write a letter for him about the motor. He's got a company in Houston interested Stewart & Stevenson. I asked about the guy from Saskatchewan in Canada. Joe didn't seem too interested in him. Joe's last words were, "Send me a letter and when I get the big contract I'll send you a check." Hmmmm.
Maureen called about how to format a disk "for Word Perfect." I told her how to do it. She & Debbie are working on a story or group of stories.
Need to work on Jane's computer tonight. When she called this morning I told her I was putting pink ribbon on it. "Good, it'll work harder!" That flew right over my head at first & I caught it. It's her female chauvinism on automatic.
June 21, 1991: Paul, cancer inoculation
Stopped by to see Paul last night. He had a "finger wave" & the doctor found a nodule in his prostate. He's due for a needle biopsy on outpatient basis next Wed. I checked him for the "cancer inoculation" & sure enough he needed one urgently. He saw an "old man teaching a young man to play tennis," when I asked him to describe his memory of playing tennis with Keith. Also found his imminent early retirement is weighing on his minds. I told him the story of "Franklin's Wife" and how "each souvenir and artifact of Franklin's became a source of pleasure in the now for her." That seemed to make sense to him. Next step will be to treat him with MV's crystal probes.
I looked up from the ruled pages to the Captain who was nearby. He has been walking around outside and up and down the library in the hall, but whenever I want him for something he is always nearby. "Captain, what is this cancer inoculation Bobby is talking about? Can you tell me."
"Sure, he took a lot of training with Richard Bandler and John Grinder in their early days, before NLP was adopted as an official name for neuro-linguistic programming. It was something that John Grinder talked about that he and Richard did. They took a trip to the Simonton Cancer Institute in Dallas, Texas and visited with the cancer patients of the Simontons. After several days of visiting the patients and asking them questions, they reported an interesting finding. All the patients they interviewed had come down with cancer within 6 to 18 months after a loved one had died and they invariably had the following way of remembering their lost loved ones: They would construct a visual image of themselves with the lost loved one in a situation from their personal history. What I mean by "construct" is that the image they would report seeing when asked to recall a pleasant time with their lost one would involve them seeing themselves as part of the image. That image cannot be a part of remembered or eidetic image that was stored in their minds."
"I don't understand. Why not?"
"Think about it. You ride a bike down the street. What do you see? The handlebars, the street, the sidewalks, your knees maybe, but you will not see your entire body on the bike."
"I think I understand. So later if someone asks me to describe a memory of my riding a bike and I report seeing myself on a bike, I must be completely dissociated from my body while I construct that image. It cannot be anything I actually saw at the time."
"Yes, and that's what John and Richard noticed, using their nascent NLP skills. Those people who had contracted cancer had lost a loved one and the way they thought about that loved, even in memories of good events, was to see themselves out there, in the good memory with the loved one, as if they were watching a movie on a screen, and they would feel bad because they could never do that again."
"So every memory of the lost loved one, even the good memories, would be a source of pain to them."
"Exactly. The only escape from pain would be for the body to self-destruct, and that's the message their bodies get and their bodies begin the process of self-destruction after six to eighteen months."
"That process is called cancer."
"Wow! I wonder what could be done for such people?" I asked.
"The cancer inoculation."
"Oh, right. I forgot what started this conversation. But exactly what is the cancer inoculation?"
"If you have someone who is constructing images instead of remembering them, you simply give them an experience of remembering an image from the first person, inside of the skin. That's what Bobby did with Franklin's wife on Crisis Hot-Line. He was simply noting that he used the same process with his brother Paul that he had used with her."
"Can you tell what he did?"
"It's a long story, but it's worth it. Let's call her Gladys. She was calling out of concern for her alcoholic son. Asking about her son's father, she said, 'Franklin's dead.' Bobby asked some questions about how she felt about Franklin and the woman began crying. Through her sobbing he was able to discern that everything she saw in her house reminded her of Franklin and caused her to feel bad. This, Bobby understood, was an excellent positive test for the cancer-prone process being in place: if you ask someone to remember a pleasant memory with the departed one and they still feel bad, they likely have the process. This is easier than confirming that they see themselves in the picture, especially if you're on the phone as Bobby was."
"I think it's coming clear. Paul's son was off at college and thus had departed from Paul's life and when he thought of his son, he pictured the two of them playing tennis and felt bad because it wasn't happening right then."
"How did Bobby help Gladys?"
"Well, he had her imagine she was on a roller coaster ride with Franklin and asked her to report what she saw. She said, "I'm sitting on a bench and watching the roller coaster climb up the first large hump. Franklin and I are in the first car.'"
"Ah, the dissociated process, the constructed, not remembered event."
"Yes. Bobby paced her, 'Yes, you're sitting on the bench and looking at you and Franklin in that first car as it climbs ever so slowly to the top of the hill. Now it's reaching the top of the hill and suddenly you're in the car next to Franklin, you hear the rumbling of the car on the track, you feel the air rushing past your face, you look over to Franklin and you are terrified, and he smiles and places his comforting arm over your shoulder. . . . The car reaches the bottom, goes up again, up and down, again and again, and soon rolls to a stop at the end of the line and you and Franklin get out -- holding each other's hand. Can you still feel his hand in yours?'"
"I see! Bobby led her to the associated position, and she could, for the first time in her life, feel good when she thought of a memory of Franklin."
"Yes, he explained to Gladys that each of the things that reminded her of Franklin in her house could be a source of good feelings from now on."
"Whew . . . that's the cancer inoculation. Thank you so much. I think I'm ready to go on with my reading of his journal now." I said, as my eyes turned back to the quadrille-ruled pages and blue ink.
June 24, 1991: MW, SME, Grant, Francis, Kim, Katie, Barbara, Nancy, Merle & Jane
Don't remember Friday night -- but I was probably engrossed with Jane & Merle's computer -- loading it up. It was the calm before the storm because a superful weekend followed. Saturday morn I drove to French Quarter to see Margaret at her studio. Streets were blocked for bicycle race, so I took Lady in Red (1.00 now). Beautiful summer day in New Orleans. I walked up & down Decatur looking for Miss Ruby's till I remembered she said the Cathedral street which is Chartres. I got there 10 past 9 & she came down on elevator to greet me. Her studio is an empty top floor of a four story bldg/warehouse over Miss Ruby's Cafe. It was mostly empty with only a couple of Percy Walker iron patio chairs & table. Scattered loosely about were Paintings on chicory bags on the floor, The stamps of France & New Orleans on the bags incorporated into the painting. They look a bit like animal skins. In their rough form, Wirstrom's paintings seem insignificant, but mounted & framed they take on a sublime beauty. Her Red Mast at Ship Island was painted from a dream she had of a red mast of a sunken ship protruding from the green waters near Ship Island. The mast (sensate) piercing the air (intellect) having its origin under the sea (feelings) with sunlight (intuition) firing & lighting up the entire scene. The back side has flowering wisteria drooping down from above. Somewhere the thought "pendulous spires" came to my mind -- seed of a future poem.
Walked back thru Riverwalk to car & drove home to SME meeting: Grant Boulmay, Francis Landrieu, Germaine Age (NOPL), Jane & Del. Also Kim & Katie. Lotsa cars in front yard. I showed cover to Lee Ann & Francis on front porch. Then to Grant Boulmay, who asked how I got inspiration for poems. I told him about "pendulous spires" -- how it's paradoxical nature calls out for its use in a poem. Talkd to Francis about his Seville & Sewell Cadillac -- he loves 'em both. That afternoon we cut grass. Then to Birthday Party at Boston Club West. Barbara (blonde aus Heidelberg) & Nancy with 'foo' earrings & 'pants off' response. Obviously two on the prowl.
Sunday -- got Cooper's 386 finished by 1 PM & drove to deliver & train. At 430 Del appeared & we had shrimp salad for supper. Came home & crashed in front of "Henry V" on TV.
June 25, 1991: Journal: Lightning Strikes W-3 and Me (& Alaska, Philip & Wilma)
Lightning stuck yesterday. Waterford 2 had fire coming out the top of it. A Bolt hit a transformer at W-3 and resulted in a series of events culminating in a reactor trip. (Reactor Power Cutback, Turbine Trip, Manual MSIV closure, 40% power cutback, then reactor trip). While all that was evolving, Margaret Wirstrom called me to ask for her signed agreement back! I was shocked but not surprised -- I tried to explain to her that her concerns were superfluous. (I had suggested that she write any restrictions in the agreement -- and she didn't). I felt hit by a lightning bolt in my gut. I went inside reviewing my options. I meditated when I got home & read Emerson - he's always a balm & centering for my (especially his Self-Reliance essay). Now I'm reading "Representative Men."
When Del came home she complained about the door being locked & I explained that it had been left open all day (she apparently locked it but didn't shove it closed tight enough to catch & wind blew it open). We had words but quickly resolved them -- neither of us had had a good day. We sat on barstools & I asked Violet to tell me what to do -- Once she came out she asked me how what M. W. was doing was similar to what I'm doing with my books. I said, "Protecting my primary property." Once I saw that, I could feel differently & write a nice letter turning down her offer to use the cover. (Somebody's installing phobias in her & I don't want to have to deal with a phobic just to get my book printed -- I have enough to deal with my own phobias.) Violet suggested a letter for me -- I listened then got a piece of paper & wrote it down in my own handwriting & phrasing.
Doris called & said Wilma's at West Jefferson with gall bladder problems. May need it removed. Poor darling -- but it will keep her from heading back to Texas so soon (to her mother's hospital bed). Her mother has the CRAFT disease, Lavelle says, "Can't Remember A Fucking Thing.
I worked up the "About the Author" & misc pages for Shanidar -- just need a printer now. Must call LaBorde Press soon to see if they can bind in signatures for me.
June 26, 1991: Journal Stoney & Sue married soon & pregnant already
Drove straight to Judy's Hallmark to mail the package with her retracted agreement & transparency to Wirstrom. Then to Timberlane, watered plants, looked at the foundation for 213 T. being prepared -- it seems ready for concrete pouring. Went inside & got message to call Stoney -- Del is there. I called & he said, "Well, you're going to have a new daughter-in-law!" I said, "Oh no - somebody different than Sue?!" "No, no," he said. "Whew" (pant, pant, ...) He laughed and went on to say "And a new grandbaby next February!" Wow -- a double hit -- first one since Reenie did it for me in 1980.
Stoney seems happier now than in a long time -- doing construction work & planning to finish school. I called Reenie & she was just finished using SPELL checker for first time in WP5.1. Was very excited -- trying to use Grammatik III, she called me for help. I told her to use ALT-G & it worked. She said she was going to Kinko's to print -- I said it wouldn't work & I was right. Only place I know is Evan Soulé's place & he charges 1.00 a copy. They want to charge MGM $30/hr, minimum 1 hour. I called Mom & she was all excited over Stoney's news.
When I told Bob Hunter he said "Second one always takes 9 months but the first one takes less."
Del & I went to Steak & Ale -- her treat -- we celebrated new grandbaby with petite filet and prime rib. Service was a 7, food a 3, atmosphere a flat five. We came home & called Lavelle -- Del did -- he confirmed that Wilma was going to have her gall bladder removed soon at W. Jefferson.
I printed the backcover & About the Author & am now ready to start printing the book. If only I had a printer to work with. I certainly wouldn't use the ones that MW suggested since she asked for her agreement back. Maureen said that her students have the complaint about being an Indian-giver. She says one thing & then takes it back.
June 27, 1991: Journal: Paul, Mom, Byron, Reenie, Lanny & Del
Barter day today. I stopped at Mom's & she gave me the den chairs -- I put them in the car. She also had 6 large bags of scraps from her sewing room. Barbara was there & I felt her shoulders: solid steel -- I tried to loosen them up & Mom said, "Don't hurt her." What a discount. So I asked Barbara what they were doing: "Oh, heating pads, electric stimulation, all that." "But is somebody putting their "hands" on your shoulders?" "Oh yeah, of course." Somehow I knew it was all bullshit -- a $35 massage by Dave Roberts (or a free one from me) would begin to straighten her out - but that's not likely to occur. Instead she goes to expensive incompetents & walks around in danger of surgery with no relief. Schade.
David & Dad had gone to buy chairs so I asked Mom what plans she had for old pedestal vinyl chairs. Give 'em away. Okay I'll take them. Then she read me the riot act - "Ok, but I can't store them in garage." Probably afterburn over the firewood I haven't retrieved from the side yard yet. Maybe with Jeff's help next week-end. Went to Paul's & used Marcel Vögel' crystal on him -- he was still groggy from the test (needle biopsy) & in easy chair. Gave me some peaches & tomatoes.
Drove home to pick up HD disk, PCXT (CNG one) to bring to Lanny. Drove to Golden Leaves on Phlox. Byron was there -- he had been sick last week & had closed the place (Donna was in Hot Springs -- they have a new, larger location). I bought about 10 Rudolf Steiner books ($81). Then to Reenie's where I unloaded 6 bags of scrap, gave her the two chairs, picked up a box of cookies (10 pkg's X2.50 or about $25 worth) and a tray of coleuses. Drove to Lanny's & swapped beaucoup parts with him - left him some 4164's, 640K RAM bd, 1 Mb 81256 chips & a clock, I/O board for him to test for me. We put a red dot on my boards. Then I headed home to unload my largesse. Del was home already and we talked & she worked on City of N. O. case and I built a couple of COMPany ADVANTAGE maps of the hospital network for her on DrawPerfect & WP5.1.
Then I played Ninja Rabbit & Com. Keen (#3) before hitting the sack at 12:30.
June 28, 1991: Journal: Jerry Casso, Ann Baker, Del
Took a nap when I got home last night. Del was home early (6-6:30) and I got up. Went outside to check on LP&L trucks at work site. Lady talking to workers must be new owner -- name is Ann Baker -- she & 14-yr-old son are moving into home. She' lawyer with Immigration & Naturalization Service (INS) -- works with Valerie's dad. She knew the INS agent that got shot last week. Del came over & met & while we were talking a van drove up -- thought it was a delivery van -- but when driver got out I recognized Jerry Casso. He came in & chatted & had coffee. I got some disks to help him out (Norton, PCT, Links) & went over to show him how to use them & configure his Windows, & get his printer working. Also set up his WP5.1 menu & showed him how to use it. Also how to do full screen Win3 & add programs & groups. Got everything but WP51 working right when I left. He needs printer driver for his WP5.1 for his EPSON 7000. He has a new GATEWAY 2000 with 386/33, MathCo, 4MbRAM, 1 Mb SVGA, 200 Mb IDE and mouse. Nice looking windows stations.
June 29, 1991: Jerry, Auto-mobile
Called Jerry about coming over after work for a couple of hours -- he said he'd have a steak on for me. Audrey had fixed a nice ribeye & salad. The Ranch dressing was too pungent but the steak was good. We worked on loading WP5.1 with printer drivers & got his printer to work & WP all configured for him. Near end of dinner their son Mike the Pharmacist came over. I had mentioned to Audrey about the function of an automobile in a youth's life & when Mike came she asked me to repeat it. Here it is:
"Auto" means self-propelled and "mobile" means motion so a car is a symbol of a teenager's being able to make decisions for himself -- to be 'self-mobile'. Of course, sometimes after they have a car for a while & can go anywhere they want -- they begin to wonder about where they want to go. That's when they begin growing up. So let a boy get a car if he wants, it will be good for them to experience the self mobile aspect of themselves.
July 1, 1991: Journal, D3, G. S. M. R., Foley, etc.
Friday night I joined D3 (Dick, Doris, & Del) at Red Palace for dinner. Del's mom's treat agin. Had a good time -- afterwards went home & I watched Tyson butcher Reddick. Reddick stayed in it for 12 rounds & put up a game fight. Only watched it because I thought I might double up on my record. Only full fight of Tyson's I'd seen before was when Buster Douglas whipped him in Japan.
Saturday morn we left about 7:30 for Miss Rose's breakfast then headed for Gulf Shores. Took about 4 hrs -- just about an hour less than to Ft. Walton Beach. We got out car, Del chg'd to her bathing suit & we dunked in the Gulf. Del laid on blanket awhile & we left to come home. Stopped at rest stop around Pascagoula for Del to take a nap. I read almost a whole chapter of Barfield's "Rediscovery of Meaning." Wrote a poem about the subject of his speech & read excerpts to Del during my remaining drive to N. O.
Oh - we stopped at W.P. Pepperell Outlet Mall in Foley & bought a few minor items (2 books & ice tea pitchers). We vegged out in front of TV & hit the sack early. Sunday morn we got up to find the funnies of newspaper not there -- borrowed, read, & returned to Lavelle's newspaper before he got up looking for it.
July 3, 1991: Del, Piecharts, PFM Prognosis
Met Del at office & took her to dinner at Houston's, only 10 min wait & the coffee was bad. Not up to Metairies's std's yet. Went home & got into EXCEL -- loaded up her 123 spreadsheet & created 3-D pie charts for her sales activity & results figures. Great diagnostic tool to make sure sales folks are doing the right mix of activities -- she was so excited she thought about pie charts all night, she said.
Just got the word from Mom that they've found "suspicious cells" in Paul's prostate -- it's coming out -- today he's in town for CAT Scan & bone marrow scan. If those tests go okay he should have an excellent progrnosis. The cancer inoculation I gave him will be in time, I hope. He tested for the cancer dissociation process so strongly that I was concerned. Now he gets to play out the hand he dealt himself. He clearly saw himself in the picture (memory) with Keith - the "old man teaching the young me." Next step should be the 6-step reframing model.
What is the etiology of the dissociation Process (2nd Position)? Does it originate as a safety shield for protection against scary episodes? If so, it does not auto'ly get updated or added to in all folks. And an imminent separation is enough of a trigger -- as it was with Judith! Thus she has the D. P.! That's how she can be so blatantly ornery & allow people to think badly of her. I had it once when I was married to her. Wonder where I added the other process -- certainly the feeling Process aid by PEB & my gestalt, etc, experiences & best of all, Del! Thanks, Del.
Whew! I looked up at the clock and noticed that several hours had passed. I needed a break from reading. Who was it said that the mind can only comprehend until the butt goes numb? Or something like that. The Captain had wandered outside. I slid open the glass door and joined him along the south side of the yard. The ground sloped downward into a large clump of tall green irises and an open area which extended several hundred feet down to the next street. A line of trees and blackberry bushes followed the fence line to the street with a few trees scattered in the middle of the area. Blackberry bushes surrounded those trees also. We walked down the tree line and found that the blackberries were ripe and began to eat some as we talked.
"This must be April, by the looks of the irises which have a few blooms left and the blackberries are ripe," I said to the Captain, "but I don't know how I know this. Is it possible that I'm beginning to have some bleeding of memories through this amnesia you've given me?"
"Yes," the Captain said with an enigmatic smile, "I'm glad you've noticed that there are some things you know which the amnesia has not removed, such as the time of year, what blooms when, what fruit is good to eat, etc., and you'll find more things you know as we progress."
"Thanks. I was so intrigued with what I read in there, but I had to take a break. Sure is a nice area Bobby lives and works in -- he can look out the windows and sliding glass doors in three directions as he sits at his keyboard writing, and he can get up and walk into green beauty at any time he feels like he needs a break. I imagine he does all the gardening, together with Del, but they both seem to be working full-time, so I don't know how they manage it."
"Yes, I chose this place for them, as you might suspect, for some of the very reasons you have just given," the Captain said, and there was that enigmatic grin again.
"Oh, I suppose you must arrange everything for Bobby's life, huh?" I asked.
"No, not everything. I am more of a scene-setter for him. Life is really an improvisation on a preset stage. I set the stage and he gets to make use of it for his purposes. It's my job to have the next stage ready when he decides to make a change."
"Oh, wow! I never thought of it that way before. I have complete free will, but my decisions made freely are available to you to prepare the way, "set the stage" as you said, for me."
"Yes, something like that."
"Then you may be setting the stage for me right now for some future decision that I'm going to make -- you know, by showing up for me and taking me on this amazing journey into my own life." I waited expectantly for the Captain's answer. I had not been too facile at predicting his responses, up until now.
"Yes, but if you ask me what that future stage is like, I cannot tell you because you haven't decided yet."
"Oh." That was almost a non-answer, but somehow I knew it would suffice for now. As we walked back to the house, I began to notice some signs of neglect -- the gutters were clogged with leaves, there were few flowers planted or blooming. A small oak tree about the diameter of my biceps was in the yard and the two hackberry trees looked unsteady. All signs of two career people working long hours as these two seemed to be doing. As I wondered about their lives, I began going over what I had just read and realized that I had only read the first half of the year's activities. What was going to happen with "Flowers of Shanidar"? Paul's surgery? My thoughts were dragging back to those quadrille drawing pads with the blue ink handwriting on them.
"I would like to finish reading Bobby's journal for 1991, if I may, Captain," I said.
"Surely. We have enough time before either of them returns home today. Del won't be home till 8 pm and Bobby is working 12-hour days this week and won't be home till 7:30 pm."
We returned inside to the open stack of quadrille pages, and my hand trembled with anticipation as I picked up the top page. [Editor's Note: 1991 to be continued next month]
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