Some year. Some years. Some time. Somewhere. Last night we went to Shoreline to see a movie. We took my red, convertible Miata. Today I’m watching a cheesey movie and Will Ferrel is doing fake Islandic accents. I immediately expected to hear you respond with your German voice. Ja.
Lately I’ve been having the memory of when we were delivering Flynn. To this world. I can see the carpark from the hospital room window. I remember the 4runner you had when we met at NASA. Was it blue? Yellow? (I bought a yellow 4runner, that was a piece of shit—remember?)
I remember your duplex, a few blocks from Kims. You had a small garage, and that’s where your bmw motorcycle lived. You had a black helmet. I remember Denise and Tom’s house in. . . Milpitas? Their home was messy and homey. Lynn and Larry’s house. With the really green lawn and the beautiful flowers. It was across the street from the flute lady. I took lessons from her. Remember?
Remember when we ran into that flute teacher on a flight between Dublin and London? In London we stayed on the second floor of a biggishh B&B. We went downstairs for breakfast. There was one other person in the room. We left the breakfast room; to the left was a hallway to the kitchen. On the right was the large, brown door that led to the street. We left the building and turned left. We walked down the road. It was my first time out of this country so I thought the various front doors, right on the sidewalks, was amazeballs.
Homes are puzzle pieces I can’t fit together. Momentarily think I’m talking about our cottage in the Castro. The tiny front door, the patio. The 2-story building behind us had an entrance—do you remember Freddy? A missing finger, or a big band-aid? Did he have a guitar?
Still in The Castro cottage: exit through the big lack iron gate, turn right, and down to Castro Street. The theater is a block or two to the right, across the street. Past that, a few blocks—for a second I think we’re going to see the ice-cream shop we’d hit on Castro Street, in Mountain View. The last shop, on the right—railroad tracks just next door. I miss Kim’s. Lunch destinations from NASA. I watch these moving memories through a window of crystal-clear glass.
Sometimes—I’m having a memory in one of our old living rooms and then I realize it’s just my old living room, in the house in which I grew up, in Cupertino. I would practice my flute near the front window. I would watch my mother, on her knees, in the garden, holding colorful annuals in her soil-covered hands.
Mountain View house. Front door opened to the living room, to the left, and the small dining area, to the right. The kitchen straight ahead, the bathroom door to the right, the bedroom door to the left, and straight back the back door that led to the small garage. To your BMW.
Today I woke up in Scotland. Now, we’re in a tavern/pub. It’s upstairs. The damp air indicates it’s later afternoon—the time of day when the air is more damp. We park on the dead-end ally, on the right side of the street; the front of the small car faces the two story building. Up the stairs we go. Shiny, caramel walls hug us as we walk inside. Windows. Stained glass windows showcasing flowers, a cross, a pretty mosaic. On the other side of the windows lingers wet, grey air. Here, in Scotland, it seems like we are often walking through clouds.
We are meandering in the highlands, with Cawdor Castle being today (or tomorrow’s) destination. You order soup and a beer. I have cider and a salad. Later I’ll ask you to stop at a market so I can get some cookies. Then I’ll let you eat all of them.
Now, a local asks us where we’re from. We are told that this man’s son is currently in New York, but the father doesn’t seem to know why, exactly. He drops his shoulders and laughs. We laugh too. Scottish people have big smiles and big laughs, so it never feels gloomy here. Not really.
We haven’t yet been invited to the Scottish boy’s birthday party, that happens later. We’ll see a young man lifted up, while sitting in a chair, and he’ll be carried around the large room to pick up the pound notes his friends and family are waving at him.
I’ve been coping better in unfamiliar places. Jay has, without purpose, made this happen. With him. I never feel unsafe. He’s confident, he’s the smartest person I know—this never changes. It took me some time to realize I was safe, with him. It gave me a sense of safety that would grow, allow me to take risks. Taking risks, with Jay, is what forced me to start living.
I fall back asleep. I want to travel more. I want to go back to that super scary Scottish road that wound and wound and wound. But. I wake up in Hawaii. That’s okay. I love waking up here. Especially Kauai. Especially when It was when we stayed closer to the North Shore. We drove our red rental car to a spot on the road where a sign with a red arrow pointed down, to the sea. We parked next to the arrow, on the highway.
We walked through all the trees and mud, and then to the sand. We set up camp. We saw fish. We swam. Every time I got into the water in Kauai I was in awe of the warmth of the sea. I’d no idea that the ocean could be so warm. It wasn’t in Half Moon Bay. Or Trinidad. Or Ireland.
It was Hawaii. Watch out for jellyfish.
I was sipping a cranberry martini that Jay had made—
Remember when we ran into my flute teacher on a flight between Dublin and London? In London we stayed on the second floor of a biggishh B&B. We went downstairs for breakfast. I kept giggling because I was eating breakfast in London.
I was 19.
Outside the breakfast room, to the left, was a hallway to the kitchen. On the right was the large, brown door that led to the street. We left the building and turned left. We walked down the road. It was my first time out of this country so I thought the walk was amazeballs.
Sometimes, as I write this, I momentarily think I’m talking about our cottage in The Castro. The 2-story building behind us had an entrance—do you remember Freddy? Was there a missing finger, or a big band-aid? Did he have a guitar?
To leave the Castro cottage: exit the open giant, black iron gate, then right, down to Castro Street. The theater is a block or two to the right, across the street. Past that, a few blocks—for a second I think we’re going to see the ice-cream shop we’d hit ON Castro, in Mountain View—the last shop, on the right, and the railroad track, on the other side of the small blue building.
And then we drove up the hills. And drove down to the beaches. And stopped in Woodside. Cause there’s a million ways to be free. You know that there are.