As of last Sunday, Hammett had been with me for six years exactly. He’s a fantastic roommate. He never eats any of my food and doesn’t use the last of the shampoo. He doesn’t welsh on his share of the rent nor watch TV late at night. Out of all people and all cats, he’s my favorite, as I frequently tell him.
I did my cooking Sunday afternoon and then C. and I went to a benefit for the upcoming children’s poetry festival in El Salvador. The benefit was at the Sun Rise restaurant on 24th St. east of Mission, a neighborhood I had never ventured into before getting to know C. There was a reading of children’s stories, a showing of animated short films, and a raffle, at which I won two of the six or so items, though not the one I wanted: a giant book on reptiles and insects, in Spanish. My lucky streak was embarrassing, considering that I was a stranger to everyone there except C. (not to mention the only non-Hispanic). I was praying I wouldn’t win a third item.
Cake was served for someone’s birthday, brought around to us by a wee tyke, and when I said, “No, thank you,” the MC insisted I take it: given by the hand of a little girl! So then I said, “Thank you,” and took the cake, and then the MC insisted I also eat a little! Of course I didn’t eat any, but I did reconfigure it, causing C. to say, “Oh, you ate some.” I told him I hadn’t, and he extravagantly complimented my ability to make a piece of cake look like some of it has been eaten. I later asked C. if that’s a known thing, that you can’t refuse what a little girl offers, but he’d never heard of it.
Monday evening, after trying to get around to this for about nine weeks, I finally watched Kill the Irishman but ended up turning it off before it was done: too violent. For good measure, I purged my Netflix queue of everything that looked bloody.
Also that day I remembered about my mother and gave her a call. “What’s going on over there?” I inquired and she claimed nothing was going on. She’s in the beginning stages of building herself a new computer—she’s picking out the case—and she also, though not normally a fiction reader, acquired a book of short stories in which the first one was about zombies.
“Zombies. Z as in zebra, O as in orange, M as in Linda.”
“M as in Linda?” The ways of some are frankly inscrutable.
Tuesday evening I watched the second presidential debate with C. and Tom, and then C. and I took a pre-requested cab to Howie’s, which was starting 20 minutes late (unprecedented, as far as I know) so people could finish watching the debate and get over there. The debate was on in the cab, so we got to hear the last few minutes.
C. had called earlier in the day to ask what the ground rules for talking during the debate were, and I said that the Golden Rule should be applied, plus that anyone who talked during the debate would be sent to his or her room and also receive a spanking.
Thursday evening C. and I dined at Esperpento, where ill feeling arose over how to divide the various shared dishes, whether one should apply one’s preferred condiment to the entire expanse of the food on the communal serving, what kind of lout eats from the serving plate with his or her personal utensil, and so forth. Friday we were still, or again, speaking to each other and went to La Santaneca for dinner.
On Saturday I did my marketing at Rainbow and in the evening, C. and I went to Live Worms gallery in North Beach for an event celebrating Jennifer Barone’s new book. I enjoyed Lam Khong’s wonderful drawings. Several of C.’s poetry buddies were there and I got to meet one he speaks of often. We left before Jennifer’s actual reading began, and walked all the way to 111 Minna for an auction to benefit the Mission neighborhood newspaper El Tecolote. There was an entire room filled with the art of Lennie Mace, most of which is done in ballpoint pen, although you would never guess that. I fell in love with a dazzling piece called Winter Playground. It’s wildly fanciful and so beautifully rendered. Had it not been $16,000, I would have snapped it up.
Yesterday Tom and I went in a City CarShare car to Sacramento to visit Ann, who treated us to lunch from Boudin’s. We got caught up on all the news and helped Ann pack up the rest of Mac’s personal effects. I admired her ability to get rid of all of this stuff so relatively soon. I still have the personal effects of a cat who died six years ago.