Friday after work I went to see B. and found her off morphine and relatively animated. Her son and daughter-in-law, both lovely folks, were there, too. We were able to talk with B. She told us she loved us, and drank almost a whole cup of water, almost on her own.
Afterward, I walked home and happened upon the Trans March leaving Dolores Park. It brought a tear to my eye—so brave, as it once was to be publicly identifiable as gay, and of course still is in too many places. One marcher carried a sign reading I’M CROSS DRESSING YOU WITH MY EYES.
I waited for the whole march to pass, which didn’t take long—I recognized one of Rainbow’s workers, a person who strikes me as being particularly sweet—and continued home. On my way, I encountered my new ace bike mechanic, Jason, who not long ago diagnosed and fixed a shifting problem that had plagued me for years; two people who live in my building; and a bumper sticker that said I WISH YOU WERE BEER.
On Saturday morning, I went to the Zen Center to meet my little meditation group for the dharma talk, which was given by Fu Schroeder and received rave reviews from members of my party. After the talk, we had lunch at the café at Page and Octavia. (Lemonade: extremely watery and $3. Skip next time. Avocado sandwich: very good.) We decided that instead of meeting every two Tuesday evenings, which wasn’t necessarily meeting everyone’s various needs, we will embark on a dharma tour of the Bay Area, dates to be determined one at a time, in effect as a kalyana mitta group. (Spiritual friends.)
Borrowed from urbandharma.org:
“At the start of the discourse in question Ananda approaches the Buddha, intent on sharing a thought. Something—perhaps the cumulative effect of day-to-day association with the Buddha—has suddenly made him realize that such 'lovely companionship' is far more crucial to spiritual progress than he had imagined. He enthusiastically declares, 'Lord, this spiritual friendship, spiritual companionship and spiritual intimacy is no less than half of the spiritual life.' 'Say not so, Ananda,' the Buddha replies. 'It is the whole, not the half of the spiritual life.'”
So, anyway, we’re going to go one night to Howard Cohn’s sitting group, and maybe to Eugene Cash’s on a Sunday night, and maybe to Green Gulch, and maybe to Spirit Rock for a Monday evening talk or daylong. I also am going to try to get to the Zen Center on Saturday mornings as often as possible, though I’ve been saying that for quite some number of months.
After lunch, I ran into another soul I'm particularly fond of in front of the Zen Center, and then rode to Rainbow and then home to make green split peas and buckwheat, and carrot bread.
In the evening, Tom and I watched Prince of the City on DVD, my mother’s recommendation. It’s based on the true story of a New York City police officer who becomes an informer to federal authorities on police corruption, leading to many unhappy results. Tom had seen it before and must have liked it, because he rarely sees a movie twice.
Sunday was absolutely beautiful, the day of the gay pride parade, which I did not attend. (Long ago, I heard someone say, "You can tell God loves gay people because the weather is always gorgeous on gay pride day." Back then it was just a day. Now it's a month.)
I considered marching with the Zen Center’s contingent—all were welcome—you didn’t have to be L, G, B, T, I or Q, though I happen to be B—but that would have entailed getting to the Zen Center by 9 a.m., and I barely made it to Marnee Thai by 2 p.m. for lunch with Kyle, with whom I was in a class taught by Paul Haller earlier this year.
We had corn cakes, and Kyle had chicken with coconut-peanut sauce, which he reported was very good, and I had the best version of pad see yew with tofu I’ve ever had, plus a Thai iced coffee. This was a belated birthday lunch for Kyle, who was born precisely 25 years and one day after I was, which may or may not explain why his company is so congenial.
We then walked up Irving St. to Tart to Tart for after-lunch refreshments and then on to the home of Kyle’s aunt and uncle, and then via Muni to Davies so I could see B. while Kyle did an errand. B. was back on morphine and slept the whole time I was there; she reached out once, and I was glad I was there to hold her dear precious hand. She looked sad part of the time, almost like she was trying to cry, which made me sad, too.
Then there was another walk, this time to the Mission, and Kyle went off to catch a train, and that was the end of a most enjoyable weekend. Oh, there was even some hablando en espanol.