Day 7815 | Day 7821 | Day 7840

We'd met each other at least half a dozen times over the years but it had never stuck. A chance meeting outside a class or a few minutes spent making small talk, a friend-of-a-friend sorta thing. For some reason this was different, maybe it was just the right time. A warm September night spent idle on the porch in the relaxed drowse of alcohol and darkness. The world awash in the sodium yellows of streetlights and flushed with brake light red. Two people in the orbit of the same group of friends but never interacting, maybe we just entered each other's lives at precisely the right moment. It was an instant, inexplicable trust. We'd sit on the couch, two near-strangers leaning into each other comfortably. Holding beer bottles in one hand while our other hands idly rested on a shoulder, a leg, a hand. Neither of us looking for anything beyond that. Simple, non-sexual, easy.

"I have no friends," she told me once. "I don't get along with other women and all the men I talk to want to date or fuck me within a month." I didn't blame them. Voluptuous Greek curves that begged to be touched—begged for fingertips to trace along them with the slightest pressure in the same way one would feel along the edge of a knife. An elegantly mature face that looked better with glasses and without makeup, scar running along the corner of her mouth. Female but not a girly one, feminine in the way that girls who play in the mud always are. Witty, warm, and refreshingly direct; the person who finally convinced me that others genuinely cared for me as a person, not just as an entertainer. And flawed, beautifully flawed. The best friend I wasn't looking for but found anyway.

She saved me from myself, willing to listen to me ramble about my depression without judgement. Willing to talk too (so unlike Emily); about her own life, her worries and hopes, her weaknesses and anxieties. She was the reason I decided to try to get better again after I had failed so many times before. At a time when I had all but given up on life she came into it at almost the last moment and gave me a purpose, even if making her happy is only a shallow and transient one.

"Are you in love with me?"

She looked around the room—the best friend I've ever had—her brown eyes nervously avoiding me as she waited for my reply. I managed to smile reassuringly even as my heart seized. God damn, don't ask me that. I knew that she needed a friend, a true friend, more than anything else; not just another awkward relationship fueled by unrequited feelings. And I wanted more than anything to be her friend and nothing else, to be rid of the complicated affection I felt for her. Torturous in a way that was either very adult or hopelessly adolescent. I knew what the right answer was—what my answer had to be—and I knew that she'd never really trust me if I told her that the truth was much more nuanced than a simple yes or no. "No," I said.

Not yet.

End of the Month Logue.

Yesterday March 23 ~ 6:20pm marked my 10th year of being a widow.

I was asleep.

I was up that morning at 4:30am to finish packing the car to begin my journey north. Left L.A. at 6:12 am. I drove all day from Hollywood, California to Sunnyvale, California. Made it in six hours. When I arrived at my friend Ellaraine’s in Sunnyvale I was chock full of sugar and dog tired, so I took a nap and somehow still managed to sleep through the night after a wonderful dinner of Indian curry. She has these beds that feel as if you are sleeping on clouds. I stayed here in August 2009 when I was invited to join the San Bernardino Emerging Urban Poet's Summer Tour. They are based in Pasadena, CA.

March 24th

The excitement was building. I came here to the San Francisco Bay area to attend the 86th Annual Poets' Dinner in Berkeley which wasn’t a dinner at all nor was it in Berkeley! It was a luncheon at Francesco’s in Oakland, CA. I had submitted poems as a first time contestant way back in December.

There were four categories. My poem La Kalima won a prize for the “Places and Spaces” category. Need I say, I was not only honoured, but thrilled beyond words. This is one of the most prestigious poetry events in the U.S. The keynote speaker was Molly Fisk.

They had a book sales table and I sold three books. That ought to pay for gas up to Oregon. ($45.00) I can usually drive door to door round trip for only $120.00 from Laurel Canyon to my fly fishing lodge in Arlington WA. Not anymore. It cost $38.00 to fill up where it used to cost only $19.00 or $20.00.

The Ina Coolbrith Circle has invited me to read my winning poem on April 22 at the Lafayette-Orinda Church in Lafayette CA, but I'l be up in Washington smack in the middle of the Quill and Parchment Poets' Tour.

I also got an invitation from a member of the CA Writer's Club to speak for their group so I'll try to put that together for July when I am on my way back up north for the summer season at the lodge.

I’ve never driven the Oregon Coast before, so since I have a few days before the National Poetry Month Tour begins, I am planning on doing just that.

March 27th

On the way out of town, I stopped in Marin to visit a fellow I dated when I was in high school. We went to a party together in L.A. back in February for the 80th birthday of a man who works as a stuntman in the film industry. My friend Eric is married now, no kids. We got back in touch in December after not having seen one another since 2 years after I matriculated. He sent me a copy of a magazine in which I was featured way back in the day, but didn't have a copy of my own. I’ll be looking forward to meeting his wife.

Eric changed the course of my life when he introduced me to his neighbour in Laurel Canyon. The neighbour was on a sitcom. Somehow, while still a teenager, I wound up living in a commune at the actor's home when he moved to Coldwater Canyon and with my then beau co wrote my first two teleplays for his TV series. They were both bought and produced. I guess that's what got me started on this crazy journey as a writer.

I also stopped off in Napa to visit with my mother’s favourite cousin whom I probably met when I was a baby but have no memory of such meeting.

I forgot to pack my tripod, and I am still shooting documentary footage for my doc about my family’s occupation of Alcatraz from November 1969 to March 1971. I just found a chap who ferried the “Indians” to and from the island. I got his contact number from a woman I met at the Poets' Dinner. So just another reason I am glad I attended. He has agreed to be interviewed on tape.

Off to Radio Shack to find another tripod and then soon I’l be back on the road again, with the sky as my home again.

March 28

After another good night's sleep and an email invitation which I accepted for July 1st to read at Beyond Baroque, in Venice, I started out on my journey to Oregon. My cousin suggested I type "Oregon Caves" into my GPS in order to find a good route to the Oregon Coast. The trail took me through back roads, farmlands and towns that time forgot. I wished I had someone else sharing the driving so I/we could stop to take photographs. springtime in the lower Pacific Northwest is total eye candy. I am a camera full of endless film...

A guy-pal in Washington called and wanting to be helpful tried to Map Quest the Oregon Coast for me. First he told me I'd have to drive back to California in order to get into the coast. NO WAY! Then he suggested I type in the names of some beaches. After changing my key words, somehow his directions took me onto a BLM road and eventually 14 miles up a narrow one lane road punctuated by fallen trees, I arrived at a snow bank where no snow plow dared to go. So I decided to turn around and come back another 14 miles down this treacherous road. I was too lazy to get out and attach my snow chains. Another reason to wish I had someone with me who gets off on attaching snow chains. When I got back into cell phone range aka civililisation, I called my friend and told him I hoped with all my heart that was the dumbest thing he'd ever tell me to do.

He stayed on the phone with me for the next three hours to make it up to me. Crossed the Washington State border around 12:30am and drove another hour until I found a rest stop. They are few and far between in this economy.

March 29th

I slept until 6:18am in the front seat of the car. Then got back on the road in order to miss rush hour traffic in Seattle. Wishful thinking, I believe it begins at 5:30am. Got to the lodge at 7:30am. and did errands in town. Made stuffed clams for dinner. Just another reason to love the Pacific Northwest. The shellfish here is exquisite.

The posters and ads are arriving for the tour. Lindsay the event's coordinator at Marysville Library made a beautiful poster for us.

Last night April 2nd I read at a new venue in Auburn, WA Peggy Barnett one of our Q and P Poets featured With Emilie Rommell. It was a good night at Transit Station Bistro.

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