Location: Pitchers, Rancho Penasquitos, CA (map)
Miles: 8756.8

Turned the dogs back over to Triska and family (“Has it been two days already?”). Just down the hill from their house is a bar called Pitchers, which they had mentioned before. This is my first time here.

It is a sports bar, but when I arrived for a late lunch all the TV’s (except the lotto monitor) were turned off. I settled in to my chair and studied the menu. I knew it would be a disaster, but when I saw sloppy joes on the menu I knew what I had to do. When I saw the Stone Pale Ale tap I the rest of the equation fell into place. e=mc2, baby. The young woman who took my order was also strikingly attractive, even if she did walk like she was in high heels while wearing sneakers. (“Stick up the ass”, we used to call that.) Quibbling aside, she’s awfully good for looking at, and is friendly and attentive as well. (If you’re in the area and looking for a new place to become a regular, also be aware that she just came in to town from Utah and doesn’t know very many people here yet. It wouldn’t be too hard to stand out over the regulars here. Come to think of it, it’s pretty easy to stand out over the regulars at any bar. I’ll try to get her name for you before I leave.)

But I digress. They were out of sloppy joe goop, So I had a BLT instead. It was pretty good, but not exceptional. I hear the pizzas are pretty good here, and the waitress said the subs are good if you’re hungry (I wasn’t). The TVs are on now, showing pool and poker and Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Which leads me to ask: Is Omaha the new Texas Hold ’em?

Just went on a bathroom run (don’t worry—I washed my hands) and on the way I saw that Grolsch is currently two bucks a pint. Not bad. In the mirror I looked at my clean-shaven-long-haired-pale-lower-faced self and all I thought was “glam”. Maybe it’s time for a haircut. On the way back to my table I learned that my server’s name is Jewell. “Oh, like the singer,” I said. Crap. Can there be anything stupider I could possibly have said? Damn I’m an idiot sometimes. She has a firm handshake. I like that in a girl.

Fresh Prince had given way to that Tim Allen sitcom with the tools, and pool has given way to fishing. One of the other TVs has something that may be “wrestling”, but from over here it’s hard to tell. If MTV still had videos, that’s what I would have guessed. Some guy just caught a wee fish. Damn, that’s some good TV. Much better to watch Jewell. I like the way she holds her fork.

Holed up in an undisclosed location

Triska had her second kid a couple a days ago, so things are pretty crazy over at her house. I thought I would give her a break by finding a dog-friendly place to bring the Spike and Lefty (aka Chico). We got here yesterday evening, and we’ve been holed up here ever since, having a quiet time of it, sharing a bed while all my crap is piled on the other one.

What a large amount of crap it is, too, and how poorly organized. Packing to travel and packing to relocate are very different, and I did a poor job at both. As the tour has gone on, things have deteriorated further. At the start, for instance, I had a suitcase that contained (among other things) the entire contents of my bathroom. When you’re moving it makes sense to pack all that stuff together, but when you’re touring you wind up with a bunch of crap you don’t need. Honestly, almost four months later, I still have no idea what’s in that suitcase. I’m just glad it didn’t cause trouble in customs when I cam back in from Canada. I seem to recall making sure that I didn’t pack any old prescriptions, but I was in a hurry.

I was hoping while here in San Diego to shed Winnebaggo. It’s a pain in the butt. Alas, I’m taking too much electronic hardware across the Atlantic to do without its cavernous proportions. (I assume it is the maximum allowed on an airplane, since all the huge bags are the same size.) I will instead attempt to shed at least one of the lesser bags. I can’t tell you how many shirts I have with me. Dozens, easily. When I thought the tour was going to be shorter and I was going to be shipping a couple of boxes over, I didn’t worry so much about the mix of items I packed. Two pair of long pants, three pairs of shorts, and dozens of shirts, and my whole bathroom. Friggin’ brilliant. I didn’t even use the bathroom stuff when I had a bathroom. (I look at the bottle of cologne – Grey Flannel. Someone told me once she thought I smelled really good while I was wearing that. Most of the bottle is still there, my antifactorysmellintarianism rearing its ugly head.) There was a giant bottle of vitamin tablets in there, and this morning when I dug out the beard trimmer I discovered the lid had come off. I now have 1000 multivitamins bouncing around in my bag.

The pups are oblivious to all this. They just want to chase things and sleep safe and warm under the covers. (The thermostat in this room is, astonishingly, in C. While I applaud this bold move wholeheartedly, it has taken me a while to arrive at a comfortable temperature.) Occasionally we venture out of the room so that the two of us not toilet-trained can urinate in public.

WARNING: The following paragraph falls under the category “I really didn’t need to know that”. If you don’t want to know what you really didn’t need to know, then skip it. You won’t be sorry.

Spike is constipated. The little guy goes into his poop arch for agonizing minutes, staggering around, only dropping a couple of rock-hard nuggets smaller than rabbit pellets for his effort. At least they’re easy to pick up. I think they metamorphosed in his butt.

So you skipped that, right? Believe me, you didn’t miss anything, unless you’re a geologist.

I have repacked now, devoting my backpack to dirty laundry and in the process discovering two more clean socks, which means I don’t have to clean the laundry until tomorrow. Sweet.

New Poll!

Hunt it down and kill it! In the last two days the beard demise lobby pulled off an upset victory after trailing for the entire poll. Therefore, I will be going to Las Vegas clean-shaven. Just when I was starting to like it, too. Maybe I’ll grow it again in Prague.

The new poll reflects the loss of momentum I’ve had on The Monster Within. I know there are several people looking forward to reading it, and hopefully feedback from you guys will give me the boost I need to finish the thing. On the other hand, it will be a much more enjoyable read (i hope) after I fix some obvious problems. (There are whole chapters that have to go. They have their good points but overall don’t add to the story, and in one case there is a major continuity problem.)

So anyway, for those of you out there interested in giving an unfinished work a read, which would you prefer?

All I want to do is write

I’m sitting at the library right now. I came in here hoping there would be wireless Internet access, but there isn’t any at this branch. Down in the Pacific Beach branch they do have it, apparently.

I spent a little while deleting some of the pictures I took on the trip; I’m trying to winnow them down so an online album won’t be too tedious.

What I should be doing is taking care of insurance, repacking my crap, dealing with taxes, and a host of other details. What I will be doing is writing. I did a lot of writing yesterday, and while I suspect that what I did toward the end of the day is iffy at best, it still was a good day. I holed up in a hotel room last night–I wasn’t feeling too social–I just wanted to be alone and write some more. I imagined that there in my little hotel room, writing and presiding over my media empire was a lot like my life in Prague will be. That was an encouraging thought, and should motivate me to get off my ass so I can get moving again, but so far it has just made me want to write more.

Anybody want to take care of a bunch of crap for me?

My Pants

If you’ve ever seen me, you’ve probably seen me in these pants. I’ve been everywhere in them: bars and restaurants, Europe and North America, the beach and jail. I think they’re called cargo pants (at least, that’s what the arresting officer wrote down). They are fairly long for shorts, but fit loosely and work well with boxers. They are covered with pockets, and most of the pockets button shut. They have a drawstring that has allowed the pants to expand even as I have.

Triska bought them for me years ago at a thrift store in Pacific Beach. Two bucks, or something like that. (She’ll remember the exact price she paid for them, even after all these years. She never forgets a bargain.) Sometimes I would be annoyed when she would buy me clothes I didn’t need (my definition of need and hers were very different), but these I took to right away. You can do anything in these pants, from fishing to dancing.

The fact that I have done so much in these pants is also a testament to their durability. Scrambling over rocks, mucking through mud, hauling a halyard on the open sea, or just kicking back on the sofa, these pants have come through with glory. By now a lesser pair would have holes in the pockets where my keys have been driven through the fabric. Other pants would have worn through the seat. Lesser trousers would have lost buttons, but not these. These are the Iron Man of pants, endurance gear harkening back to an era when men were real men, women were real women, and pants were real pants.

Alas, durable and eternal are as different as the Earth and the Universe, and soon it will be time to put these pants out to pasture. The drawstring is frayed; if I’m not careful about how I tie and untie the knot I could find myself having to cut my way out. I’ve already had some pretty close calls in the men’s room. The fabric is getting thin in places and the cuffs are starting to look ragged. While we (my pants and I) were in Catalina things really started to let go. They are still merely scruffy rather than indecent, but it’s only a matter of time now. Hopefully Old Navy still makes this model, and makes them as well as they used to. I like them so much, I’d even buy them new.

Call me Gilligan: The Final Chapter

I awoke to a quiet Two Harbors morning, trying to judge as I looked out the window directly over my head whether the sky was gray with early dawn or gray with clouds. From the rectangle of sky I could see, squinting through myopia, I could not tell. The rectangle was a uniform color that I could imagine turning to blue, but certainly had not yet. There was no direct light falling on the mast where it punctured the rectangle, soaring over my head. None of the other boats had started their diesels to recharge their batteries, so I knew it was before seven. I closed my eyes again and dozed off.

The next time I opened them the sky had not changed. How much time had passed? It might have been five minutes, it might have been an hour. The sky was unchanged. Overcast, then, most likely. I sat up and prarie-dogged, popping my head up out of the window/hatch to look out over the harbor. The sky was a uniform gray; the air was heavy with moisture. I crawled around and made myself presentable above-decks and made my way aft. On the way I stowed the dishes I had washed the previous evening to make room in the galley for the making of tea, then went topside to turn on the propane.

The deck was wet with dew beneath my bare feet, the water smooth, broken only by the wakes of dinghies ferrying the early risers to shore and to showers. Our dinghy joined the morning rush hour with Carol Anne and Pat aboard, leaving me to enjoy the peace of the morning.

My dish-stowing had awakened Gerald despite my best efforts to keep things quiet. There’s just no stacking plates quietly enough to avoid disturbing someone sleeping in the same room. We each secured tea and bagel and went back up topside to sip and munch and not say much, steam from the tea hovering in a cloud over the rim of my mug, while my pants absorbed the condensation on the seat cushion.

Eventually the harbor patrol (all of whom were very friendly and polite) came by and asked when we were heading out; the mooring was reserved for the next night and the boat could show up any time. Our reverie broken, Gerald and I moved about, stowing things, pulling out the safety equipment, and generally getting ready to sail. The the others returned and it wasn’t long before we were under way.

The trip back across was uneventful; in fact I took a nap for some of the trip. There was some nervousness about docking as that was where Pat had broken his wrist—same boat and same slip. After a bit of trouble at the fuel dock (tidal current and other boats made things tricky), Carol Anne piloted the 38 foot Beneteau into the slip like she had been doing it all her life. A sigh of relief, a nice late lunch, and I was back in the car again, stopping in San Pedro to leave Pat and collect the rest of my luggage from their behemoth and then away, east and south down the coast highway, back to San Diego and the adventure of finding a hotel room, as already documented.

On the way I made a couple of wrong turns, one of which led to a photo op. I used the new camera, which has a slightly less streamlined process for getting the pictures into format for posting here. I’ll try to take care of that this evening, and add pics to the entire Gilligan series.

Programming note

I’ll be putting up a new poll as soon as I think of one. Last chance to stuff the ballot box! I’m going to a party later today and the hosts have no idea about my beard. Some of them I know are going to hate it. Somehow that makes me happy.

Any suggestions for the new poll? Yeah, I know, it’s Saturday and nobody goes online over the weekend. I’ll try to come up with something.

So very, very tired

Location: Hampton Inn, Temecula, CA
Miles: 8459.5

What the hell am I doing here? The day seemed so simple. Float back to the mainland. Hop in the car and drive back to San Diego. Crash at Amy’s place. If Amy wasn’t available, find another place. If it got late, get a hotel.

I never hooked up with Amy. It got late, and I didn’t want to call someone to crash at their place after a certain hour. OK, hotel.

Bzzzt! Wrong answer; try again. There are no hotel rooms in San Diego tonight. Comicon is raging, and apparently it’s bigger than ever this year. Escondido has no rooms. At 1:30 a.m. I’m not calling anyone. The only question becomes “how far am I willing to drive and how much will I pay to not sleep in my car?” The answers: A long way and a lot of money.

There’s more, but honestly I’m just too damn tired now. There are other things to write about: Gilligan, the final chapter and ruminations about my pants. Those will have to wait until after my slumber.

I would post this now, but my ethernet cables are all in the car, and that is such a long, long way away.

Call Me Gilligan, Part 4

Location: Harbor Reef Restaurant, Two Harbors, Catalina (map)

I’m sitting in the only bar in town—if you can call it a town. A wooden lattice casts shade over the wooden deck without blocking the view of the palm trees swaying with the breeze. I put myself back near the building to get better shade so I can see the laptop monitor better. Which means I’m getting less breeze, but that’s a quibble. Good tunes are playing (Nick Cave at the moment). The bar runs along one side of the deck and is reasonably well-stocked. In the harbor nearby, I can see the masts of the boats swaying with the gentle waves.


The bar has a signature drink, called Buffalo Milk (there are buffalo on the island). The bartender, with a moderate amount of flipping bottles and spinning shakers, puts ice, vodka, creme de cacao, banana booze, and milk into a blender, whipps that up, pours it into a plastic cup, tops with whipped creme, chocolate powder (I think) and dribbles a little Kahlua over the top. I’ll stick to beer.

Note: Since writing the above I have consumed Buffalo Milk, and it’s not bad. The powder in top was nutmeg, not cocoa, but I’m thinking cocoa might be better. Each of the boozes was about a 2-3 second pour, so they are in more or less equal proportions.

Sailor jer The trip over here from Avalon was uneventful, a simple motor over glassy waters with practically no wind. I would have chosen to sail, even if it meant taking a lot longer, but I’m Gilligan, not Skipper, and this isn’t my trip. I’m here out of my host’s kindness, so who am I to complain? I just sat up on my perch and watched the sea, the other boats (none of the others were trying to sail either), and the shoreline of Catalina pass by. It was great. I spent a lot of time thinking about my next novel for November, tentatively titled Worst Enemy. I really should be working harder on The Monster Within, but this trip, the whole tour, in fact, is more suited to the other stories.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned the Flying Fish Cruise yet. Ever since I was a little kid I’ve wanted to see flying fish, and now I have. It was cool! We went bombing down the coast in an 80-year-old open boat filled with benches built for exactly this purpose. It has big spotlights on either side and as we blast along the boat scares the bejesus out of the flyers and away they go. Once those suckers get airborne, they have no control over their course, and at 30 mph they’re relying on good fortune to land them someplace safe. None came in the boat on our trip, but one slammed into the side right near me. While they’re flying, when they are about to splash back down into the water, they can dip their tails in and give themselves another kick, flipping their tail at 50 Hz to launch themselves again.

This picture isn’t from today; it’s actually from the first day out, when we were sailing into San Pedro.

I’m not sure, but I think I sunburned my forehead today. *sigh*

Powerless in Avalon

Location: Luau Larry’s, Avalon (map)

No Internet here, but there is AC power. Power has been a precious commodity lately, as we discovered that the boat’s alternator was broken. No juice. We would start the motor and the high-tech electrical thingie still said we were still draining the batteries. Cause for only minor alarm, as the engine battery still had plenty of life in it, but the battery for running everything else was getting alarmingly low. That meant no computer recharges, no tunes, and (gasp!) no refrigerator. I didn’t come on this trip to be inconvenienced!

After a few calls back to the company that rented us the boat (good thing I had my phone along), we established that no, in fact we were not just doing something stupid, the system was not working. This morning the boat repair man came out on his boat to our boat and took a look. He determined that the alternator was indeed fried. He didn’t have a matching part. Oh, grand. He had a close-enough matching part, it turned out, but it was just damn expensive. More phone calls to home base to authorize the service. Finally it was approved.

When I used to do home improvement projects, I measured success by how many trips to the hardware store it took. The fewer the trips, the better I was doing. This guy came out by boat to look at the alternator, then went back to the shop to see what he had. He couldn’t reach the rental people, so he came back out to our boat (map) to explain what was going on. While he was there we reached Seabreeze and they authorized the repair. He had not brought the new alternator with him, however, so he went back to his shop to get it. Back out he came for the third time, and got everything installed, except he needed to go back to shore for a nut. Finally everything was cool, the alternator was alternating, and he went on his way. A few minutes later another, younger guy shows up in the boat, chasing us down as we are leaving, because the guy had copied the phone number of Seabreeze wrong. (Of course, he had already called them once.) Total: five trips.

He was a real nice guy, though, and knew his stuff.

Rather than wait for the ship to get it’s juices flowing again, I took off to town to find a bar with an outlet. That’s what led me to Luau Larry’s. It’s not a big place, and it isn’t as busy as it has been the provious times I’ve poked my head in, but to be honest the service really sucks. Granted my table is out of the way, towards the back while most of the customers gravitate toward the front, but I have frankly given up trying to get another beer here. I have tried everything short of being an asshole to get someone’s attention, even when the waitress was just two tables away. I thought it was me but I’ve watched others get crappy service as well.

Luau Larrys: Nice look, nice looking help, but the help isn’t really help at all. I’m leaving here sober.

Post Script: Now I’m back in the marlin club, talking to toothless, bearded people and I’m where I belong.

Call Me Gilligan, Part 3

Location: The Marlin Club, Avalon (map)

I know this is ungrateful to say, but after four nights aboard Alouette I’ve got to bust out. There is a certain friction between my hosts that they are completely used to, having been a family all these years, that has slowly become sandpaper on my nerves. It’s how they work, and for them it does work. They probably don’t even think of it as friction–it’s just how they communicate. I have become attuned to solitude, and being in close quarters with the same people for an extended period just isn’t for me anymore. Perhaps that’s the real reason I couldn’t stay married. I like being alone too much.

Today, sweet blessed solitude for two precious hours. In a bar, at the bar, unusual when I write, but there aren’t any good writing tables in here. There’s a cruise ship in the harbor, and the touristy places with tables and beautiful people are packed to the gills. I should be out hitting on elderly cruisers, I suppose, looking for my sugar mama, but can you imagine me really doing that? Even trying that? Nah.

I’ve found the dark bar, with other patrons with big bushy beards. The locals bar. The bartender is impressing the others with card tricks, and he’s impressing me as well, even though I know how they’re all done. He has obviously worked at his craft and he is much smoother than most. He showed me some of the hand drills he does every single day. I’ve seen pros who don’t have the control this guy does. There are clues anyone could see, but I’m not going to point them out here. Just pay more attention to the man behind the curtain.

Oh, man, this is a great place to be. I just got into a baseball argument (I was right).

Yesterday I was here briefly, to taste the sweet tantalizing nectar of solitude, but just as I was starting to feel at peace I was thrust back into the competitive arena on board Alouette. It’s not as bad as I’ve made it sound, but man I wanted the quiet camaraderie of a locals bar, and it put me in a foul mood that I could not have it longer. On the boat last night, to be honest, I was testy. My taste of solitude left me all the more sensitive to the abrasion on the boat.

On a lark, I checked for wireless networks. There are two from here, both with good signals, thus I am able to post this. What a great bar!

Indigent Wealthy

Not a Gilligan day, not really, since there was no sailing, although life revolved around the boat. Ah, the boat. skip ahead with me to twilight with the warm pacific sun making its stately way over to burn the crap out of japan, leaving us be for a few hours. (I laugh as it trails away; it has not hurt me this day. I’m on to its little games.)

To the west palm trees stand in silhouette against a turquoise sky. I am alone on the boat; all the others have left to handle some emergency or another. That they are all immersed in emergencies makes my position of peace all the more seductive. I am writing in my head, writing this in fact, and I am reflecting on what the man at the yacht club bar said.

I was pounding away on The Monster Within, filling in one of the holes in the story with a pretty heavy dose of feel-good (I think we all deserve it by then). The Byrnes had given up on me being good company by then and had gone about their boat business. Things were working.

Most of the time when someone interrupts me while I’m writing in a bar it’s “Hey! Hey! Yo! Dude! How do you concentrate in here!?” This time it was different. I was pondering the meaning of life and the effect that life had on everything else when a grey-haired guy in a cap asked me very politely, “What’s driving you?” That’s the kind of question I should be ready for–its the kind of question I ask myself all the time.

Yeah, right. Obviously when I ask myself the question I’m not taking myself seriously, because I still don’t know the answer. My answer to him was “I’m writing a novel.” That wasn’t the answer to his question. That’s like answering the question “What kind of gas are you burning?” with “I drive a convertible.” Nevertheless, he forgave my evasion with enthusiasm. “That’s great! That’s great!”

Some time in the course of the conversation, I told him in the barest terms about the homeless tour, with an emphasis on the freeloading aspcet (for indeed without the freeloading the tour would not be possible) and he pointed at me and said “Faulkner!” Thus it was not for any perceived literary ability that the comparison with a great author was made–no, it was the cheapness of the endeavor that earned me that flattering appellation.

We talked for a few more minutes, he questioning me about my familiarity with existentialism (woefully small) and me talking about the American Road Myth. He was so damn happy to meet someone of “my generation” who was, in his word, “thoughtful”. (He meant thoughtful as in ‘full of thought’, not ‘thinking always of others’. Just ask any of my ex’s about the difference.) He made a comment that the correct word for writing was actually ‘thinking’, and I told him that my best writing was done when I wasn’t writing at all. It was when I was driving across the desert having my head baked by the sun. For him, writing is thinking; for me, thinking is writing. He was a good guy. He gave me his card.

Call Me Gilligan, Part 2

I delay dragging my sorry ass out of the bunk even while listening to the voices in the main cabin. The refrigerator repair guy was out there and when he finished his work it would be time to go. Experimentally I stood. So far so good. No sign of hangover. No doubt a nap will be welcome later today once we’re running steady. Meanwhile, I paste a smile on my face and emerge for the day.

After I spent some time puttering around the fridge guy was done but rather than head out right away we decide to stroll over to Edie’s for breakfast. Thus fortified, we return to Alouette and make ready to sail. We go over a few more safety things (the seat cushion can be used as a flotation device) and finally we are motoring out to sea, dingy in tow, bouncing over the waves like an eager puppy.

As we get out to the main channel it is time to raise the main sail, and that means it’s time for me to earn my keep. I am here for one reason only – to pull the halyard – the rope that is attached to the top of the sail and pulls it up. I scampered to my halyard-pulling station and when given the signal I hauled the yard right on up. Whoopee! I’m a sailor now!

Tacking out of the harbor was a slow process in the light morning wind (4-6 knots, for those keeping score at home) and when we hit the open sea we flibbered out the jib and monkeyed with the mizzen-mast until we were sliding through the waves with aplomb and grace while porpoises pranced about us. The wind was still on the zephyr side, so we were not moving very quickly, but we were on the sea, by jing, fifteen fathoms of foam beneath our feet, and no one around but the rest of the grumpy crew. (For some reason they stayed up too late last night.)

Nap time. I sack out to the sound of the ocean rushing past the hull and the VHF radio handling emergencies and telling boaters to slow down in the harbors.

I wake to a change in the wind that has caused the boat to lean the other way and the sails are making different noises. Up on deck the wind is coming straight up our butts and is shifting around, making it tricky to find a course and sail trim that works for very long at all. Finally Skipper gets things under control and in the process I tug on a couple more sheets. We’re making good time now, much to Pat’s happiness as it means we we’ll reach San Pedro in time to crash that yacht club’s special dinner. Our skipper has his priorities, no doubt about that.

Pulling into the harbor at San Pedro I had great fun climbing around and pulling on things. Hoo boy! Just call me a salty dog. Overbearded, overburned, I look more like a wayfarer than these Yacht club blue-bloods.

Call Me Gilligan, Part 1

I arrive in LA surrounded by crazy cars. Everywhere is someone who wants to kill me in some innocent act of abject stupidity. I need space. I’d be crazy mad but Santa Margarita is with me, leaving her residual joy even as Jack comes crawling back from the place he’s been, shabby and mad, with his dark Word from beyond: “Wow!”

I was early to the boat, and the others weren’t there yet. I drove around the marina area for a while, stopping off at Ralph’s to buy a bunch of gatorade to quench the powerful thirst I had accumulated on the trip north. I sat in the parking lot at the grocery store, sweat and sunscreen combining to make me clammy and shiny as I give my body what it’s thirsty for. Noam Chomsky was on the radio, trying to convince people that causing change requires hard work. I opened a second bottle and spilled electrolytes and glucose down my beard onto my shirt. Then it hit me. I could be in a bar.

Minutes later I was at Edie’s, settling onto a chrome stool with red vinyl upholstery. Plan A, beer, quickly gave way to Plan B, Margarita. They had a nice big one with decent tequila and I was all over it. While I waited for the preparation I opened up the old Kerouac and found my place. I fear his joy, I fear his power even as I covet it. I fear he will swallow me, and I’ll be just another imitator. But even as I fear losing my voice to his I know I am too afraid and too tiny and too foolish to move people like that or to be moved like that. No, my demons are less exuberant and have their own vocabulary if I can find it. The margarita lived up to it’s promise. Yes, miss, I’ll have another.

Now I’m in the car again; the music is loud and I’m joining in, wondering in a joyous wonder whatever became of the singing voice I once thought I had, it’s gone now and good riddance, silly big-head thing that it was. The other drivers want to kill me and I want space. There’ll be space out at sea, I know.

We show up for dinner, the family and me, Gilligan, at a trendy little place filled with thin beautiful people eating cheesecake. I am the madman in my shaggy beard and smudged shirt and smelly feet and I can see the women look me over with distaste as I look them over. My grin is fierce and manic, and for once I am not afraid of these artificial creatures because tonight they are afraid of me in some kind of superior way. Ha! They move about and they wonder who this disheveled prophet is and my jokes are funny tonight and my eye is keen and I’m seeing everything and knowing everything and they orbit and leave me space but I am the madman and my gaze carries knowlege they are not ready to learn.

Back on the boat we all stay up far too late and drink too much beer and talk too loud, our voices echoing over the still water. It is nice out, a little cool and I’m not sleepy and my enthusiasm seems to have infected the others except Pat who proves he is the smartest of us by turning in while it is merely late instead of ridiculous. Finally I have to give up or I’m going to be watching the sunrise, and the next day is going to be a long one for sure. My berth is the forward stateroom; I lie in state with my toes in the pointy bow of the ship. I plug in the laptop, thinking I’d write a little more while the madness is upon me, but I am fooling myself and soon I’m gone.

Programming Note

I’ll be on a boat for the next few days, so I don’t know if there’ll be any updates for a while.

Talk among yourselves.