b r e a t h i n g r o o m
1 Nov 97
We ran into Kate, the sister of B's first real boyfriend, friends of ours who in fact crashed at our place for a few weeks when their house in the Oakland hills, which David (Kate's brother, B's ex) had built with his bare hands burned in the 1991 fire, right around this time of year, when B and I had ourselves just moved in together. Quite a way to start an intimate relationship. David and Laurie, his longtime companion, are sturdy faithful, almost naively good people and I'm glad I know them. They've just moved into a house David finally broke down and built on property (with a vineyard) across the street from the site of the original house, which he is still re-building painstakingly. I don't think I have that kind of fortitude, but I suppose you can't know until you're tested and I don't want to encourage the goddesses of irony to take me at my word and introduce me to my mettle unduly.
Years ago Kate lived with B and David briefly but I'd never met her yet. She has a sharp intellectual mind and a speaking voice much like David's, sort of languid, betraying the Oklahoma to southern California history of their ultimately Welsh family.
Later in the day we finally got to hike in clear weather. We walked past pastures and estuaries and made it to the last lookout before the descent to the beach, which we declined to make. I managed a crude sketch of the valley vista before us - pen and ink line drawings just don't capture the nuances of gray and brown and green in this autumn - which maybe I'll try to scan and post here:
Resting before we headed back, I read to B from the last-but-one chapter of the Fellowship of the Ring. She'd read The Hobbit when young but had skipped the whole Tolkien craze of the late sixties and seventies and only now wondered if the stories might be worth reading. We are always on the lookout for books to read each other at night, so I offered to read the whole trilogy, long as it may take. Now she reads another layer of meaning into her surroundings, when a grad student in the U.C. system, no doubt the child of hippies, sports the first name Lothlorien, and a BeOS utility is called Legolas.
Copyright © 1997