Time Passages

Who scheme and run wild
Who speak with their wings
And the way that they smile
What are the secrets
They trace in the sky
And why do you tremble
Each time they ride by
Throw out your gold teeth
And see how they roll
The answer they reveal
Life is unreal
Who are these strangers
Who pass through the door
Who cover your action
And go you one more
If you're feeling lucky
You best not refuse
It's your game the rules
Are your own win or lose

Your Gold Teeth II, Countdown to Ecstasy (1973)
Steely Dan, http://www.SteelyDan.com

I don’t know about you, but it’s been a good night to flip on the CD player and think about other times. Times that were spent ditching college classes and spending time horizontally with boyfriend de jour because I just didn’t have the willpower to get up and run to classes; I was already late by the time I thought to even do so. After all, I was experiencing chemistry and physics firsthand, why on earth they wouldn’t give extra credit for that I’ll never know. I’m playing a ton of Steely Dan tonight, it feeds my soul like a certain restaurant in Ensenada satiates me with fresh shrimp baked with a light cream sauce on a warm spring night before walking on the promenade under a full moon. You get the gist — this music is just hitting the right spot. Yummy. Music that reminds me of certain times in life is pretty close to harnessing quantum mechanics. The time machine of today is shaped like a CD player and has a turbo-base button.

October always gets me reminiscing, I wish California could always remain in the constant stasis of October. It was always the time when I got settled into my classes, when I got into the swing of what was happening on the weekends, and crazy road trips to the Kabuki and City Lights in San Francisco. With football season here I’m reminded that the Big Game (1-800-Beat-Cal) is nearly upon us (November 17) and I’m thinking of all of those college games so long, long ago when life seemed a whole lot easier. That thinking got me reviewing the week at hand, and how the freshmen in college — or any grade level must be thinking about what the hell is going on. A crazed lunatic in DC/Maryland/Virginia on a rampage, the lunatic in office declaring war, and bombs going off like random deadly electrical storms all over the earth.

Bali, that’s the one I heard about this afternoon after returning from a great walk on the Peninsula shore with a friend — sunset was beautiful; I loved sharing my specs with him because my sunspecs were custom tinted to make sunsets look so much more brilliant than they actually are. I’m allowed some enhancements in my life; and if you can’t enhance a sunset what the hell can you possibly have control over? The wind was warm and the red and cobalt streaks across the sky made me think of the wonderful watercolor paintings my friend Horst Wolf paints.

Bali…my thoughts return to Bali. My friend left for Bali two weeks ago and I haven’t heard from her since. I left a message on her cell phone tonight — I’ve heard this place is one where Americans congregate; I think it was probably built after I was there. Anyhow, I don’t remember it, it’s not a place where I would have hung. Hopefully, she wasn’t there. I left a message on her cell and wondered if she’d ever receive it, or if it would be like all of those emails that went to loved ones at the WTC during the fires and ended up at a mirrored site where sys admins are still wondering what the hell to do with them, tied up with the cyber guilt of having to dump them rather than send them back. I wonder where they’ve set them aside. Messages in a bottle as Len Kleinrock once commented to me when I gave him that scenario.

And the sniper…. That fucking sniper. I have a thought about that sniper. Everyone is saying he doesn’t fit a profile pattern. Having friends who are profilers, detectives and well, let’s say, people who need to know these kinds of things, some of this stuff has rubbed off on me by osmosis. I find myself profiling the entrepreneurs I work with, and possible boyfriends (when will I start listening to my intuition on that one??). So, here I am wondering about who this guy is. I’m thinking this guy is from a broken home, only because I feel he had no regiment or routine in his life, he envied his friends who went to soccer practice, his friend’s mothers who drove the carpool, kids who had birthday parties planned for them every year. Probably a latchkey kid dumped on his mother’s friends and family a lot. 22-27 white male — only because there doesn’t seem to be a real pattern of people of color going on killing sprees (that would be a great thesis all in itself). He probably is a loner — no family to possibly make a routine with. I’m guessing some kind of military reserve guy who is fearful of being drafted into the war, and feels that everyone going on with their ordinary routine lives while war is pending has a thing or two coming to them. Well, that’s my profile on the guy. I hope people keep their kids from tricker-treating – seems like a holiday like that could really set him off.

Last weekend was a bit harsh, I was first on scene at a very bad car accident where I ended up holding my sweat shirt against this guy’s neck to keep him from bleeding out while the paramedics got there. I didn’t realize how much he was bleeding — it was my red Stanford sweatshirt, until the paramedics quickly handed it back to me as they pulled me away from him without a thought of if I wanted it. It was heavy with blood. I tried calling to see what was going on with him, but, alas, I couldn’t find the hospital he was taken to, and frankly I really don’t think the people on the emergency room phones really looked over their records. And I left the scene, I didn’t see the accident, I was just one of a few people who actually stopped; my help was no longer needed. I was on my way back from the gym at the time where I had seen this pigeon flopping around on one foot. I asked this trendy couple in matching workout outfits to just stand where they were so I could corner the little guy and throw that same sweatshirt over the bird. She started complaining about “What are you going to do with that stupid bird?” Whew, how harsh was that — I told her to forget it and go apply some more lipstick on, it seemed to be the brightest thing holding her humanity in tact, I love it when I can actually compose something like that and spit it out of my mouth before someone walks away and I’m left to only think of it later. I finally caught the bird and calmed him down in my car. Shortly after that I stopped for the accident. What a weird thing. I felt so strange after that — I came home and changed out of my clothes that were covered with blood — I’m sure my neighbors who think I spend a lot of time in the house doing “something mysterious,” thought I had killed someone for sure. I doubt they’ll be bugging me about my hedge this winter….

I Put the pigeon out of reach from the cats, peeled off my bloody clothes and took a very hot shower. When I was done I put the box in the warm, steamed up shower, fed the bird and closed the shower door so he’d be safe. Then I went about making a lot of calls to find a sanctuary with a no-kill policy (last time I took a hurt bird to find help I ended up at the Peninsula Humane Society where I waited in the lobby a long time, finally asked how the bird was and they said that it was their policy to kill pigeons, and they had just killed it underlining the fact that when I turned it over to them it became their property. Do not give your money to this org, www.peninsulahumanesociety.org, they tried to do the same thing with a pair of dogs I brought there earlier. It should be called the Peninsula Inhumane Society. Give your money to www.safehavenforcats.com/awards.htm, www.safehavenforcats.com — it will go a lot further than paying the outrageous salaries of the execs at the PHS org. Every year this org passes out awards to the press and publications and it goes a long way to insure no investigative stories are done. So, at risk of turning over yet another animal they would have destroyed, I took that bird for an 80 mile round trip to Alum Rock to a nice place where they seemed great. It seems like this place deserves a plug, too…Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley, www.wcsv.org — there, give your money to them. They help all of those animals caught in urban neighborhoods who get caught up with the trappings of modern America; pesticides, cars, cruel people, traps, hunger, dehydration — remember a small raccoon, deer, skunks – they all need a lot of fresh water to survive. By putting fresh water out for these animals at night, you’ve made the greatest contribution you can to these urban animals whose only chance of survival is to eat through your trash and eat those lovely flowers you plant and tempt them with. Coyotes, squirrels, chipmunks, ducks, owls, porcupines, deer, skunks, raccoons — they’re all part of our environment, give them a break.

So, there I was driving back on The 101, my air conditioning shot because a lame place (I’ll fill in this later when I get their URL) didn’t fix it and instead ripped off my money — so I was so hot driving home on that 90 degree-plus heat in weekend afternoon traffic, not wanting to drive at all because I was still feeling strange about that guy bleeding out in the car. You know, it’s not the first time I’ve been first on scene (FOS) I heard a paramedic call in over his radio one time — I’ve actually had the distinct displeasure at least six times. Three of those times, I did everything I learned in my first aid class and still, three people ended up dead. I’ll never forget this old man in San Jose — I was just 16 — I had just gotten my license and was cruising around with my girlfriends in my ’69 Mustang, on the way to Santa Cruz for the evening when an old man who seemed to be drunk was crossing the street, he was hit by a motorcycle that was speeding. He spun around spastically, eyes wide open, his mouth gaping and just crumpled in on himself like the wicked witch of the East had done when Dorothy threw water on her — I had seen that happen to an opossum once, I couldn’t save him either. We stopped and the old, thin man seemed to have just disappeared in his heap of clothes. He was so thin, I picked up his fragile wrist, my tan fingers such a contrast to his pale skin. I felt for a pulse, I couldn’t feel a thing. His eyes were open, glazed and blood oozed from the corners of his mouth and nose. I remember Pat bending down next to me, and pulling me away, “It doesn’t look good,” she said. We were asked a few questions, but we couldn’t remember anything at all about the guy on the motorcycle who had apparently fled the scene. I just remembered that old man spinning around crazily like that opossum.

I don’t know why this occurs, but there is this phenomena where people pretend there isn’t an animal or person who needs their help; they look away. I don’t — I make it a regular habit of finding the people who have left their animals in their locked up cars and educate them about the greenhouse effect and the fact that their dog’s brain is frying from the inside out. Five minutes in a car where the temp exceeds their body temperature actually causes irreversible brain damage, 10 minutes could cause death. People in general are pretty self-concerned — although most of the people I consider friends would stop for an animal or person in trouble. And they’d probably go out of their way to make sure something didn’t happen to someone, even a stranger. That’s why I don’t understand the whole sniper situation. The guy not only kills people — he gets off on terrorizing entire cities. All of these agencies on the case and they can’t do a thing except antagonize the guy into changing his approach…. What a really weird week it was.

I’m going to pull on a sweater and walk through the quiet hills of my neighborhood to try and work this writing off — with writers, just the writing of something doesn’t wipe the sticky residue of what’s written off of the synapses — a brisk walk on a chilly night under a crescent moon among the deer and neighborhood wildlife just might do it. And on that note, I shall bid you adieu.