so it's about 24 hrs since i last wrote and i'm in roughly the same place i was then: back in the berkeley library. only today becca and i are on the other side of the computer room w/ the bunny out of sight.
yesterday, after leaving here and wandering around some, ben and i made our way back to the house arguing about which of us would have to sacrifice art to be the breadwinner. we had pretty much compromised and assumed we would both work part-time and be expressionists part time and agreed that neither of us was interested in being poor when a woman jumped -- literally, jumped -- in our path.
i thought at first she wanted money b/c i couldn't make out what she was saying. once she slowed down, she explained more coherently: she didn't want money, she wanted advice. she was 53 years old and lonely. life, she felt, was pointless. her children were grown and raised and were off elsewhere raising growing children of their own. she had had a job once but no longer and there was apparently, tho i didn't ask, no husband in the picture. so: 53 years old, alone, on an unsatisfactory diet of fatty food eaten without company, she didn't see the point in going on. help me, she said.
it was a strange situation. i asked her if she didn't have other people she could to. surely, a priest, a community leader, a doctor ... ? someone had to be more qualified than a couple of teenagers. no, she said, they all told her the same thing: relax, watch tv, eat yr fried chicken, and be grateful. "but i'm tired of oprah winfrey," she said. the rough whine of her voice made me sympathize heartily. eventually, we advised her to change small things: mainly, get to a library and try a different supermarket. ben knew of an organic one not too far away. she seemed doubtful but at least slightly mollified. and she thanked us.
the evening after that got more normal. we took a nap (*cough*cough*) and then made dinner w/ alyssa and laurel, consumed said dinner, chatted over peppermint patties, and went to sleep. i've had very disturbing dreams recently, prominently featuring pain, fear, and often bathrooms. i can't really figure it out, except that it may be the belated effect of all the violence-against-women literature i've been reading, mixed w/ my parents repeated exhortations to "be careful" and my usual general paranoias.
that, and this strange susan sontag book i went thru on the ride over here called death kit. if anyone has read it and can offer any solace or insight, i would much appreciate it.
this morning i read thru a collection of sherman alexie short stories and really liked all but one. i wasn't imagining this either -- he actually did mention diet pepsi in each.
at any rate: i continue to be happy, the weather is lovely, and i am constantly reminded of how lucky i am.
i'm missing my first writer's center class today. ah well. enjoy, yanni, and take notes for me.