Tony and Laurie have sold the Forest Knolls Lodge
and will move into Berkeley, where Laurie’s mother
left her the house. Tony is having trouble standing.
He says, I’d rather read The Mad Pomegranate Tree.
Odysseas Elytis is an acquired taste. All Tony’s tastes
have had to be acquired. He’s not acquisitive, mind you,
just particular, especially when it comes to marriage.
Laurie looks forward to getting out of the bar business.
She wants to go back to reading French lit in French,
otherwise why was all her education acquired? Lydia
Davis has nothing on Laurie, who could be translating
instead of tending bar, and Tony, who left college
behind after a straight-A year, has been devoted
to her well-being, as she to his, and they are happy,
I think the word is. In Berkeley they will make a move
that is their third: San Francisco, Forest Knolls, now
Berkeley. Too bad Mario Savio is dead, Tony remarks,
he would’ve been perfect to run this place, I would’ve
made him a partner, given him controlling interest,
been privy to the world as it will soon be, not is or was.
In Berkeley I drank passionately in The Mandrake.
The woman tending bar liked to talk about potions
for making love. She was like a sister to me. Older
sister. She told me all about the vaunted sixties.
I told her nothing about my part in it, if I had one.
She liked to pour a head on the house beer, serve it
with a bowl of hot peppers for those who requested
such fare. I was one. I always walked out, not only
inebriated but on fire with passionate frenzy to live
more now than when I entered the dark establishment.
Now there is no place to go but home, Cathleen’s–
either Lagunitas or California Street. I am happy.
I am aging. I need to stop writing now and start living.
I care nothing for taking up Buddhism this late in life.
I tire of Catholicism, the priests growing more dogmatic.
If I love to fuck, I love to think. Imagination most of all.
Cathleen loves to hear me read what I write, unless it’s
what she calls "a rant." I would be through with all that,
but such intemperate speech may well be my mainstay.
Who cares? If I shut up she may begin to miss my voice.
(1 June 2011)
copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander