February 27, 2011


A rough wind blew in across the Bay Area, bringing chill temps and a dockwalloper that smacked us with cold rain and frost this week. Cars with high profiles were warned off of bridges and the ferry service to Babylon was cancelled for at least one day due to high winds. The weekend struggled forward with bright skies but icy mornings as folks chopped at unaccustomed crystals on their windshields.

As far south as San Diego 55 degree temps with cloudy skies were reported while we all endured temps hovering near freezing in an unusually cold period.

Sorry to say the Pineapple Express has at least one more storm heading our way, due about Wednesday, which means that places East of here will experience yet more misery a week now hence. Folks up in the ski regions around Tahoe are loving this sort of attention, so its not all bad.

This morning all the cars out on the road glistened with skeins of ice, indicating the early dawn hours got pretty nippy. Rumors of snow proved to be unfounded at the end of the day, however.

Its been pretty cold for Susan at the Earhardt Garage in Berkeley and so Lynette has been sending her out the door each day with mittens and gloves. All the gals at the woman-owned business there putter about under the lifts and hoods with parkas and bearskin hats while listening to Ani DiFranco off the CD player. Lynette worked variable shifts at the Psychiatric Center in Fremont, although due to budget cutbacks, her hours had been reduced below 40 per week.

Tommy and Toby have kept their sloop, the Lavender Surprise moored up at the Marina, stopping by periodically after each storm to check on things there. Tommy had lost his job at the law firm in the City and so had turned to temping for Bolt. Things were tough all around.

The four of them went over to the Oaktown Museum for the Free Saturday there and talked about what the President's recent decisions about marriage meant for all of them.

Tommy said he was not sure he would survive another wedding like the one which had been disrupted at the Chapel of the Santified Elvis by a pitched battle between angry poodles and the hunters one memorable Thanksgiving.

Susan mentioned that the Teaparty people probably would be causing enough trouble to put everything off indefinitely anyway.

"Teabaggers!" said Tommy. Toby started giggling. So did Tommy.

"For Pete's sake," Lynette said. "You guys . . . ".

At Marlene and Andre's household, the long winter and the weather had enforced crowded conditions which had begun to abrade everyone's sensibilities.

"EFF YOU!" screamed Marlene.

"BITCH!" screamed Tipitina, who also had turned to temping. Her current assignment was for a supercilious jerkoff in the City who constantly reminded people that He, for one, had made the Right Decisions. She couldn't scream at the jerkoff, but then there was Marlene and Quentin. "STUPID IDIOT!"

"You better watch out," warned Quentin. "A stupid idiot got himself elected President of the United States! Twice!"

Andre then drowned out everyone by setting his guitar amp to nine and playing a song by Metallica.

"AARRRAAAAAHHHHH!", screamed Suan who just woke up. Javier groaned from his closet bed where his leg, still encased in a cast from the disastrous V-Day impalement throbbed.

Yes, the winter had been long, and another storm was coming in by midweek.

Jose and Tipitina took a walk down to the beach where the temporarily clear skies sparkled merrily with stars while the lights of Babylon across the water gleamed like the fairyland of Oz. Tipitina asked Jose if Javier had ever mentioned why his girlfriend had run him through the leg with a javelin.

Jose shrugged. Love is mysterious. Javier probably had said the wrong thing. Like he didn't want to get married or something. He paused. And maybe she had bad aim.

Well I guess that action ought to make up his mind, mentioned Tipitina.

They said hello to Denby, who also was out for a walk. Denby rented a room in the Lunatic Asylum next door to Pagano's Hardware and sometimes the giggling and the howling got on his nerves. Lately he had been walking down to the Cove where Strange de Jim had spent the last few minutes of his life. It was peaceful there.

The three friends looked out across the water.

"Will things ever get any better?" Denby wondered aloud, his breath forming clouds in the cold air.

From Orion's belt a streak gleamed briefly in an arc and then went out.

"Look!" Tipitina said. "Les etoiles riant!"

"Yep," Jose said. "Long after all of us are gone, there will still be the stars. And they will laugh with or without us."

Right then the long wail of the the throughpassing train ululated across the frigid waves of the estuary and the frosty wildflowers of the Buena Vista flats as the locomotive wended its way past the dark and shuttered doors of the Jack London Waterfront, headed off on its journey to parts unknown.

That's the way it is on the Island. Have a great week.