APRIL 3, 2016



So anyway, the weather has shifted, the sunlight has taken a new direction and Eugene Gallipagus has started restocking his trout lures as part of an annual tradition. The shadows strewn by the trees are softer and every stem glows with a sunburst of energy tipped with quiet, green eruptions. The wood glades are dappled with careless splashes of sunshine. Fauns pause beside the road before bounding off awkwardly on new-found leg spindles just unfolded a few weeks ago and every morning begins with a rousing symphony of hundreds, thousands of birdsong instruments announcing the new dawn. After the long drought, streams plash once again from high above the hill. The country air is noisy with excitement.

Spring has indeed arrived. And around here let it be known, Spring is the Most Dangerous Season.

Yes, Spring is the most dangerous season. Maybe it is different in other places, but here, wise men remain indoors and order pizza for dinner, hunker down by the TV to watch endless reruns of Monster Truck Destruction and Terminator I, II, III and IV. It's safer cuddled there in the dark lit only by the blackout curtain blocked TV set glow.

The daisy bush bursts

Bees dive-bombing the clover, hummingbirds bayoneting the jasmine that keeps throwing out punches this way and that while sending wafts of chemical weapons of mass disruption. Army ants on the march in great phalanxes and squirrels conducting reconnaissance forays add to the mayhem, while raccoons begin nightly raids. The daisy bush bursts with yellow ack-ack blooms while the poppies erupt with tiny explosions across the fields. Squadrons of swallows swooping and diving, duck sorties, and Canadian geese streak overhead and then, worst of all, there are the girls in their summer dresses.

It's all agitprop left to the imagination.

Meanwhile, somewhere overhead, flying in stealth mode -- that naked, blindfolded, fat boy keeps firing off at random his erring arrows of wanton mishap, those IEDs (Improvised Erotic Designs), wreaking chaos in a wide swath more terrifying that Sherman's March to the Sea. Squadrons of women and girls swelling with fatal charms stroll on patrol, their smooth lithe legs flashing beneath their uniforms: thin summer dresses, haltertops, daisy-dukes, and god knows what else underneath that armor. If anything. It's all agitprop left to the imagination.

O dear gohd . . . .

Observe Johnnie, happy and carefree as a lark, striding with ruddy cheeks and full confidence. But after him comes Jane, armed with those sharpshooter eyes, that flippy short skirt, and strappy high heels. Now Johnnie is down! His face wan and his appetite poor, his breath coming out in ragged gasps as Jane cradles his head among the wildly blooming, victorious daisies. Right in the heart, poor lad. A goner for sure.

Yes, Spring is the most dangerous Season.

When the fog rolls back and feminine panzer divisions cruise the Uptown district in search of some likely target holding his pinsel in his hand at the galleries, when the leggy Joanne strides forth into the night on six-inch stilleto heels and Danielle puts on that short black dress and a European accent spoken with a sultry je ne sais quoi wafting pheromones among the randy artisans, that is when Don Giovanni and Lola Lola stalk the Salons for luscious prey.

that obstreperous hoodlum, Cupid . . .

That is also when The Editor, avoiding the leggy Joanne, stocks up on Redbox flicks (Netflix now passe), and a fridge filled with Michelina's frozen dinners so as to avoid the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, especially those arrows sent by that obstreperous hoodlum, Cupid. For the artsbeat he sends his representative, the hapless Jose who safely has no more a clue about eros than Faber's Euphonia, and Javier, who knows a good deal more about eros than someone in his position ought to and nothing at all about Art save for ogling the odalesque.

Spring is also a time when Mother Nature grabs your attention and, be you the most rigid, retentive personality on earth, try you and vie you, you shall not be able, for at least one day, to hold attention as the mind skips the light fantastic to places that, for all we know, are far better, more productive, more useful than that blasted spreadsheet demanded by the CIO by noon.

Which demand shall not be met and shall not be disciplined for that same day the CIO is herself skipping through the sun-dappled buttercups in the bee-loud glade with Sam from Accounting, who has stripped to his undershorts so as to confront the naked Truth.

People who do not apprehend this truth are assholes and so can be disregarded.

Over at Mariner Square Village, Nick and Drake, the mini-mall's live-in mascots, appeared together along the border hedges.

So it goes for the run of humanity. Not so much for Piedro, who has gotten a job after looking for 18 months with an MSP in Berkeley. There, his job is to deliver pizza and caffeine to engineers who stay up all night fixing imaginary problems that never existed in business twenty years ago.

We'll just order pizza and stay up all night...

Piedro signed up to make deliveries during regular business hours, but for an MSP, which is a new sort of business, there are no more regular business hours. Piedro had to show up in San Jose at seven am and then pop on over to South City for the afternoon and then end up in Berkeley where someone said, "Lets have a workstation build party! We'll just order pizza and stay up all night through the weekend and bust it out! What do you all say!"

This new high tech manner of working did not sit well with Piedro, who had to take care of his infirm Abuelta, who had the neropathy in the feet, which she claimed had been twisted by the thugs of Pinochet, and then his grandmother, who seemed to suffer neropathy EVERYWHERE it was possible.

There after the ninth delivery of caffeinated sodas, Jose heard one of the workers speaking to the boss. Seems the man's wife had gone into hospital for the delivery of their first baby.

The boss wanted to know what time the baby was expected and the man thought about five or six if all went well.

"You can stay or go," the boss said. "Choice is yours. You can make up the hours after two am or work the next weekend through."

The man decided to stay at work and the team thought he demonstrated excellent dedication.

Around four am Jose passed out on the sofa and the man's wife was still in labor at Alta Bates. So was the man. While the boys slaved over the machines, up on Pill Hill the epidural wore off and the woman started to scream, so they gave her another as her arms writhed against the restraints and the sweat poured down her body, matting her hair into a lank mass. She was going into that Lilith-dark place that was beyond thinking and language and way beyond any kind of organization or Company.

When Jose awoke around eight, another crew had arrived to continue working through Sunday. Jose fetched another load of pizzas and beer -- the project was winding up and the man's wife was still in labor and the man remained at work eating pizza and building machines -- and Jose left in disgust. When he told Denby what had happened Jose took out his iPhone and looked at it a moment before dropping it to the floor and stomping on the device with his boot heel, which astonished Martini passing by.

"WTF?" said Martini.

"Tech aint work the wreck," Jose said and went to bed.

Right then, the long howl of the throughpassing train ululated from far across the water where the gantries of the Port of Oaktown stood glowing with their multi-kilowatt sentry lights; it quavered across the waves of the estuary, the riprap embankments, the grasses of the Buena Vista flats and the open spaces of the former Beltline; it moaned through the cracked brick of the old abandoned Cannery with its ghosts and weedy railbed, and it keened between the interstices of the chainlink fences as the locomotive glided past the shuttered doors of the Jack London Waterfront, headed off to parts unknown, laden with its freight of new value.

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