Ten Years of the Unreliable Blogger

Posted on Thursday, November 30, 2000, at 3:47 pm:

I’m guessing that I was 7 or 8, which would mean that Chris was 13 or 14. Chris & next door neighbor friend Robert were messing around with Robert’s motorcycle & had ridden out on the dirt roads that weave around in the grape vine fields. I hunted them down & was bothering them, asking them to take me for a spin. Robert said he was out of gas & that he’d let me ride if I went to a nearby house & asked them for a little cup of gas. I didn’t believe that he was out of gas, so I asked him to take the gas cap off & show me. He did & there was clearly still some gas in the tank. Robert insisted that it was oil, which goes in the gas tank as well. I didn’t buy it & bugged them for a while longer before heading back home, mad. Soon after I’d gotten out of their line of site, I heard the engine start & a couple of minutes later Robert & Chris rounded the corner on the motorcycle & passed by me, laughing. I continued stomping my way home. At some point they came back to me or they stopped & let me catch up with them. Robert let me get on the back & ride until we were just out of site of the house. I got off the motorcycle, so that mom wouldn’t see. Chris & I got home; and my mom was furious, somehow she knew that they’d given me ride.

Two Cacti

Two cacti, each less than half an inch tall, growing behind the tree in a deeply shaded corner on the street side of the fence. They get a narrow sunbeam for an hour, maybe, from under the fence in the afternoon. I find them while cutting out a rose bush that’s been lost under the tree’s canopy. I scratch the ground to dig out their roots. They’re in sand that spilled over from the brick landscaping on the lawn side of the fence. I push my fingers in and feel for the roots’ ends. The roots curl back and grow into a crack in the brick. I cut them off there and and bring them around front, plant them next to the front gate.

The thing that I appreciated most when we first moved up here to the hills nine months ago was the movement of the fog over The Bay. The fog could just be a narrow ribbon across the horizon, starting over the south span of The Bridge and extending over the north of The City. The next morning the sun would rise behind us and there would be a still white pillow covering everything below us (except the clumsy lump of Albany Hill, the tips of the spires on The Bridge, and the three-pronged radio tower on the hill across the way). I would drive down into that cloud to work. If it hadn’t burned off by my drive back in the evening, it would rise up the hill and spill out around us, rushing silently between the houses.

That season is starting up again now, a couple of months before we move down into Alameda. We’ll live and work under the fog for half the summer and fall there.