Not such a good poster while punching a clock

I was pretty good about writing when writing was what I was doing. Now, I get up at 5:30 in the morning and roll into my riding clothes.  In the Breezeway Cafe (the marina kitchen at the top of the dock), I slurp a small cup of coffee to get my eyes open before rolling out of the parking lot on my new bike.  It’s a Giant.  I like it. An hour and mumble later, I arrive at the workout place and, well, work out.  Just my arms – my legs are taken care of. Shower, ride to work, work. It’s not that I don’t have deep thoughts.  I ponder while I ride.  An hour’s a long time, even that early, and I rarely make it all the way to work without having some kind of wonderation about the state of some piece of the world.  But I’m on my bike during all of that. I have even had a thought or two while working.  I know, I know – don’t fall over.  Thinking on the job?  Scandal!  But really, I wish it was okay for me to stop and log on, or at least to jot down a note.  Maybe that’s the answer, a little pocket-sized notebook. Anyway. The point was that I was better at writing when I was writing.  My fiction fueled my nonfiction and vice versa.  I really badly miss India.  I miss the people, the food, the smells and sights.  Not so much the crazy traffic, but hey – nothing’s perfect.  The hot humidity made me want to sit in cool rooms under fans, and I did.  I sat in front of the computer and I was so, so productive. Sigh. Okay, enough of that.  I have a book 2/3 written and now I need[…]

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Hunkering Down…

It’s amazing how the time flies when one sets his mind to “the long haul”. We started the re-build project on the port side saloon and just like that it’s been two weeks and now we have a great big hole where there used to be a port side saloon… My birthday has come and gone. The winter seems to never want to give way to spring but the inevitable longer days are forcing the old man to give a wide birth to the beautiful sailing weather ahead. We are seeing India pass from the now to the safety of our distance memories and I can’t help but hold on with all my remaining strength to that beautiful place that taught me so much about reality, life, myself and the mass of humanity that invades my dreams. The future… …Is coming soon!!!

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Go-a to Goa

The Rajdhani Express is the nice train. You get fed; you get tea; you get lots of nice things. But it’s still a train. And not really that nice. When we arrived in Margao (or Madgaon), I was exhausted by doing nothing. The bumps and wiggles of the train car had pulled my stitched-up belly this way and that all night, and I was tired. We shared the compartment (we were in AC2, meaning there are 4 bunks in the compartment) with a nice couple who were heading home. I wasn’t feeling like chatting, though, and James was reeeeeally not feeling like chatting. We made our beds in the top bunks and stayed up there for almost the whole ride. Anyway, once we arrived, we picked a taxi by following the first person who offered us a ride. It’s about 9km to Colva Beach, and that’s where we wanted to spend our last few days in India. I’d looked on the internet and discovered that there were some nice resorts that weren’t too expensive. We were thinking we’d spend 1000 rupees or more in order to have a real good vacation between our work/recuperating time at the house and the travel into the unknown. We’d just gotten the payoff from selling all of our furniture, kichenwares, etc, and we knew we’d be spending that cash until we got to the airport and converted it to dollars. At a serious loss, since the dollar had strengthened a great deal since we’d started spending. There we were, in Goa, approaching the beach, tired, sad, excited, pained, with a big chunk of cash in our pockets. Oh boy, did we ever overspend on the room! The taxi pulled off the main road – the one that dead-ended on the beach – and headed[…]

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… And yet more choices.

Dena went back in the hospital today… And that day was January 15, 2009. No longer today but this day is identical in so many ways. …The hard part! The doctor informed her that if she ever conceives again it could kill her, no good, Dean concurs and that means a mini-laparotomy tubal ligation was in the works, words I didn’t even know until today. I hated it all ‘cuz I was alone with no one to talk to. To, for, with, my self-pity made me mad as well, what about the easy part? Things are starting to spiral away from our safe little jungle flat and I find myself clawing at my immediate environs for security and since all I do here is write it’s the only thing I can do to feel comfortable… At 5:00am we’re on the motorcycle in the pitch blackness of Kovalam road heading north to the Manacaud Junction and our fifth Indian Hospital experience. Our first elective one, we chose to do this. Obviously I’m still working that one out in the moment, blinding lights on a coal black street, the continuous honk of an India highway. Dena’s doctor, an amazing physician, Dr. Kavitha, is calm and smart with a wicked sense of humor who was seemingly well educated in (if I understood correctly) Mumbai with a stint in New Delhi and another one in Tamil Nadu. She made us wait, a lot. (Really, that’s not a complaint, it’s an observation and one that is all doctor encompassing.) … Anyway, I trust her, she’s cool! She wears the most amazing silk saris (INTO SURGERY!) and takes no shit in any of the 6 languages she speaks fluently, English not being one of them but she does a bang up job trying! …And now! <[...]

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Choices

Bleeding so heavily that the nurses exclaimed over it from between my spread and raised knees, I didn’t feel lucky. My calm in that moment was a pacified fatalism. Everything that could be done was being done. If later there emerged ideas of could-have-done-more, they would have their day, their time. That moment of dissociation and concomitant relaxation had grown from the tip of a sterile needle taken from a syringe. They’d searched both arms in vain, but with impressive teamwork. The ladies chattering in Malayalam fretted that there were no veins to be found, because they’d been sternly ordered to get me on fluids. They worked me over like dough – pressing, squeezing, rolling – and finally spied a possibility. With my left wrist cocked sideways, thumb pulled in line with my forearm, they moved quickly to get the IV tube into the hint of rubbery, rolling duct running under the pale skin that should have revealed every vein like an anatomy model, were those veins not collapsed upon their scant, sluggish load. I averted my eyes, as though too modest to watch the penetration I was allowing, though I looked back as soon as the insertion was complete. I watched a long, thick needle come out of the IV feed and be replaced by the blunt end of a bag of fluids. That’s all I know – fluids. Ones I needed, ones I lacked, presumably because I misplaced them along with the fetus I was miscarrying. A nurse, roughly my age, tore open a syringe package and I couldn’t figure out how they’d get another needle in another vein when the first had been so hard to find. She drew something from a tiny bottle in the way that was familiar to me from movies, familiarly pushed the[…]

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