JULY 13, 2014



So anyway, So anyway, the weather has been schizo around here, starting out with high fog and gloomy prospects leading to brilliant stabbing sunshine amping up temps into the 80's by afternoon for a few short hours before the famous wall of fog rolls in again. This is the weather that once caused Mark Twain to wail and gnash his teeth.

Samuel Mark Twain Clemons
Said, "The weather is as sour as lemons
in wretched Northern California -
Don't ever come in summer, babe, I warn ya.

According to the Island Sun, July 10th was Island Clerihew Day. If you do not know what a Clerihew is, see above for example.

The second Supermoon of the summer appeared this weekend, accompanied by the expected dose of lunacy to go along with it. All of the regional crisis centers filled up with lines of folks acting wonkers as people all over the Bay Area took their clothes off to go strolling through the shopping mall, stood out in plazas claiming to be famous people like Jesus Christ, Cardinal Richelieu, Napoleon Bonaparte and Alexander Haig, not to mention the usual mayhem people come to accept as normal in just about every carpeted office in Babylon and Oaktown.

Tipitina was working on the 39th floor of 101 California when she and the new gal were called in to clear the tables after a meeting between the partners and the brokerage McLaughlin, Pivot and Vogel. The new gal, whose name was Sandra, stood there with her fists on her hips looking at the lines of tables covered in coffee cups, plates of half-eaten food, urns, vases, warming pans, wine decanters and breadsticks shoved into pots of cheese.

Far down below, Jaguars, Porsches and Lamborgini's departed from the private parking garage underneath the building, heading out across Market Street to SOMA and the freeway onramps.

"o god," Tipitina said. "And I gotta get a summons to court by four-thirty today."

Sandra said nothing but dragged one of the big trash barrels over to the edge of one of the cafeteria tables then walked briskly to the far end away from the barrel neatly flipping up the linen tablecloth as she did so. She then flipped up the cloth on the far side, tilted the table higher and higher and the mass of utensils, plates, glassware, decanters and warming pans slid into the barrel.

"Well 'cmon then. Lets do the others," Sandra said.

In ten minutes all the tables stood there spotless. Sandra strode past Tipitina brushing her hands. "Ok now, back to work! I aint taking out the trash. let someone else do that."

Around four-twenty Tipitina stood in the copy room listening to Myra go on about the toner needing replacement or the drum dirty on the big Konica. "You know how to change this toner out," Myra said.

Tipitina shrugged, stapling documents. In a hurry.

"You the last one using the machine," Myra said. "Ï think it is your turn."

Myra was always trying to get people to do things for her. She wanted to become a manager. Someday some other place, maybe, but not here in this office.

"I am busy right now, Myra". Tipitina sighed.

"Well la-dee-dah! Some people just too lazy and selfish thinking of themselves all the time. Don't call on Tipitina when the Big one hits. I guess they don't have no earthquakes back where you come from."

"We have hurricanes," Tipitina said.

"Well y'all can just go back where you came from . . .".

The bike messenger arrived in the door with his gortex shoulder bag and scuffed outfit. It was Nick, one of the better messengers from Express Messenger.

"Call for pickup, Ex-Mess," Nick said.

"Here ya go," Tipitina said, handing him a packet.

"ökay. sign here,"said Nick.

"You listen to me, I am talking to you," Myra said.

Tipitina rolled her eyes and Nick grinned.

"Yáll be careful on the street," Tipitina said.

"Älways," said Nick and he was out the door.

"Them biker types are all driftways scum. Come here from the East coast and wanting to live the hippie lifestyle without workin'.

"Ï think his family is from Moraga," Tipitina said.

"Moraga! Now that is real High Life Town and Country nowadays! He don't look high life to me."

"His family got forced out by the developers when it went upscale."

"That's what I thought. They probably all come from Okies. He'll never amount to nothing."

"Ï think he is studying pre-med at State."

"How come you know so much about this guy? You aint sweet on him, are you?"

"Ï eat lunch down by the Wall where they take their breaks. I talk to all of the messengers. They are nice people."

"Nice people! You call that Doing Lunch Downtown? I feel sorry for you; maybe you oughtta go back to where you came from, like I said."

Tipitina sighed. It was another full moon and difficult people acted more crazy than usual.

Out on the street, Nick hopped on his bike and took off past the woman wearing the Viking hat and a fur coat in the 80 degree heat. The Viking woman paused to let her eyes adjust long enough to observe a man wearing rags and bearing a tall wooden staff enter the Higher Grounds Cafe where a poetry reading was in progess.

"Although I see him still, the freckled faced man ascend the dun grey hill in his grey Connemara clothes . . .".

The ragged man paused in the aisle between the tables that faced the stage and rapped his stick sharply on the tiles, shouting, "Words, words, words! All they is, is just words!"

The reading poet stopped with his mouth open staring at the apparition who glared back, daring anyone to refute him.

Evening fell upon the land, or lay down like a quiet drunkard to recline over the hills draped in shadows, pensively watching as the Supermoon arose with stately grace among the wrack of fog and cloud.

Out on the edge of the Island College greensward Don Luis Guadalupe Erizo sat with his own pensive gaze staring as was his wont, at the full moon.

Out from the burrow trundled his long-time companion Dame Elouise Herrisson, who paused to look at the Don looking at the moon.

After a while, she, a master of the obvious, said, "Mssr. Philosophe, tu cherch' encore une fois à la lune."

"Si." Senor Erizo responded.

She remained wisely silent with her own thoughts, but sat a little closed to him, feeling the warmth.

And so the couple sat among the hedges as the supermoon passed overhead on a peaceful night with no sirens or screaming. Indeed it was a quiet night on the Island and no one got stabbed or shot.

From far off across the water came the ululation of the throughpassing train as it trundled from the glowing gantries of the Port of Oaktown with their sentry lights, letting its blues cry keen across the flickering waves of the estuary, the riprap embankments, the grasses of the Buena Vista flats and the open spaces of the former Beltline, through the cracked brick of the old Cannery with its leaf-scattered loading dock, its ghost-haunted, weedy railbed, between the interstices of the spectral chainlink fences until the locomotive click-clacked past the shuttered doors of the Jack London Waterfront, headed off out of shadows on the edge of town to parts unknown under the immense Supermoon.