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We ran out of coffee, yesterday morning actually, and stumbled in somnambulance through the day. This morning Angela and I went to Cafe Moto early, where barista Tom Ward poured us a cuppa Guatemalan. He’s playing two gigs at the Casbah this weekend opening for The Crawdaddys and The Unknowns’ 30-year reunion.
It was just the jolt I needed to finish reading Yukio Mishima’s The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea. I think I understand the diabolical 13-year old genius at the core of this story, The Chief, maybe because of the societal forces that urged me to Distrust my bourgeois upraising in the days I started listening to bands like The Unknowns, though I was struck by the notion that it would be impossible for my dad, a “good father” in a line of good fathers, to understand:
If we don’t act now we’ll never be able to steal again, or murder, or do the things that testify to man’s freedom. Well end up puking flattery and gossip, trembling our days away in submission and compromise and fear, worrying about what the neighbors are doing, living like squealing mice. And someday we’ll get married, and have kids, and finally we’ll become fathers, the vilest things on earth!
Saw a link to this report in the Guardian UK about the 100 most sought out-of-print books. Madonna’s Sex topped the list. Lynn Cheney’s lesbian pulp Sisters clocked in at #21. The only book that grace’s my shelves is #59 W. Somerset Maugham’s Tellers of Tales: 100 Short Stories From the United States, England, France, Russia and Germany, if it were in better shape I might sell off for $50. I’ve had it for a long time and want to say that I got it from my Nana or my great aunt Peggy. I have only read a few stories from it — Maupassant, Chekhov…
There’s a little farm down in Imperial Beach, near the border that we buy from at The Golden Hill Farmer’s Market. They had a special event where you could pick your own tomatoes, so I took the trolley south with Angela and Cecil. We carried our bikes on since its roughly 2 miles from the trolley stop to the farm. Tijuana was just across the river valley and we passed several border patrol agents on horseback. The idea of working on a farm full time, in the summer heat, started the refrain “Don’t want to work on Suzie’s farm no more” running through my head. Volunteers directed us to our furrows and we ended up picking the most delicious heirloom tomatoes Angela or I had ever eaten. Deep red and heavy with sweetness. A group of guys picked out a little bluegrass on stringed instruments under a tarp while the farmers served a yummy gazpacho and bruchetta on compostable plates. I already planted the seeds from one of the tomatoes in our garden.
Angela and I are engaged in The Year of Quitting Stuff. This month we are trying to create as little trash as possible. This means not buying anything with disposable packaging. We’ve been eating fresh produce (but not cauliflower which only comes wrapped in plastic) and out of the bulk bins. We bring plastic bags from home to refill. I tried to make my own soy milk, which didnt turn out tasty enough to put in coffee. I did make peanut butter, which tasted better than it looked. In January we quit alcohol for a month. We’ve quit “processed foods”, coffee, excess stuff, restaurants and the internet/tv. We will probably put our car up on blocks next month and ‘walk, ride a bike or take the bus’ to get around. The main idea is not to be addicted to anything; or at least to gain renewed appreciation for the things we are addicted to in everyday life.