September 4

I spent the day with my friend Annie, Georgiann, Georgia Cooper, the inimitable. We’ve known each other since we lived in Berkeley, California back in the mid 70s. Her son, Grey, and mine, Zeb, were friends. She used to live with Jessie Miller, whom some of you might know.

Annie’s the kind of friend who doesn’t mind (too much anyway) if I just take a nap or read my book — as said The Nightwatch “The extraordinary Bestseller from Russia) by Sergei Lukyanenko. I did get The Daylight Watch and The Twilight Watch from Borders. I felt bad about that actually. I, of course, got lost on the way and went into Bookland (I think it was), an independent bookseller where I generally prefer to buy my books, and asked directions to Borders. Aggg.

Anyway, Annie felt bad too, but we didn’t call Bookland to see if they had the sequels. But that’s Annie too. I was slightly freaked to see Annie using a walker, though she warned me about it — like I was surprised to see my friend Oscar Garcia using one at the Kalapa Festival. I’m sure you know how it feels to flash back on youth when all was mindless and fraught and then see the consequences of youth — sickness, old age, and . . . yes, that’s coming too. However, Annie looks great other than the walker, though she uses it with panache.

So Annie doesn’t mind (not too much anyway), if I blow into town on my way to or from Nova Scotia for a night, i.e., 12 sleeping hours with one or two on either side, or for two nights, though she might prefer more. I’m used to her contemplative way of going about things — otherwise known as slower than Molasses in January, which gets in the bucket just in time anyway.

(The river is called the Androscoggin — which means “snake-y in the local first nation’s tongue. That little dot in the middle of the river is evidently a lobster buouy.)

As said, she still smokes. I emphathize. I’d kind of like to, but it makes my lungs feels like an elephant has sat on them after a time. It makes my back hurt when I stop. Plus of course, one of the more compelling reasons, they’re expensive. But, nonetheless I shared what I could, which at this point is one, maybe two, if I’ve had some alcohol, before I get nauseous — another compelling reason to limit it. I decided to listen to that stomach.

(The photo of the grasses on the right was a picture taken out Annie’s kitchen window just as the sun was going down.)

So, we can sit outside in the chairs. I didn’t mind taking them out and helping open doors and such (I’ll only be there a little while), though Annie’s walker has this cool basket that can hold quite a few things, a drink, ashtray, cigarettes, a book. She was trying to get me interested in reading Iris Murdoch (see I remembered the name Annie). I tried reading a bit when Annie was out on a smoke break at the Tavern we went to. It was a particularly vivid description of the human body as a kind of organic eating and fornicating machine of various holes for input and output. She thought it was amazingly funny. I can visualize too easily and perhaps I used to see things that way too easily, which had the effect of making me an object with no affect and too distant from being in my body, such as it is. It seemed to reflect too much self loathing. When she came back from the break, she read a description of the lead character’s kitchen that was supposed to be a reflection of Iris Murdoch’s, which was kind of disgusting actually. Sorry. Though I really quite liked Annie’s delivery. She had an interesting kind of pursed-lip PBS-mannered, futsy kind of voice style punctuated by sips of Irish coffe that suited the writing style. The closest I get to a worldly wise cynicism in my authors is Tom Wolfe. And, I know (or maybe I don’t) that she probably wouldn’t be interested in a lengthy description of the sci fi, lit j books I do read. I hardly ever read “character dramas,” though I do get interested in seeing where the characters go, like the boss of the “Others” Nigh Watch, named Gesar. I’m trying to see how like the Gesar we just heard about at the Kalapa Festival he might be. And, Annie doesn’t mind (at least not too much) that we don’t share author loves.

I think Annie’s spirit is coming to peek out of her gestalt more. She’s got quite a pixie quality about her and I think looks quite beautiful (just being objective here). She probably won’t mind if I say that either. You can see Annie’s a friend well worth having.

I’m trying to see what I wrote from last time, so as not to repeat myself, but the blog won’t open up. The signal is kind of weak here at the Comfort Inn outside Ottawa, but strong enough that I can get this composition in.

What was I going to say? Oh yeah, Annie gave me the Suzann Duquette’s (or the Duke — or maybe it’s Duq — as Annie calls her) number at her B&B. She was in, and I was in for the next night. Annie’s roommate Foley (I know I said something about this), was very kind and explained how I could get to Barnet without getting lost — going down the 295 to Yarmouth (yeah, there’s one in Maine, just across the water almost from the one in Nova Scotia) and out 115 to 306 to 16, to 2 in Vermont. I think that’s right. Thank you Foley.

So, went to sleep early and managed to leave Maine about my usual 10:30.

Techie Journey Details for those who might care

For those of you who might be interested. The price of gas in NS was $1.08/litre, in NB, $1.05; in Maine, mostly $2.75/gallon, a little lower in NH, but back up to $2.75 by the time I got to it. Lower in Ottawa, to $0.95/litre — maybe so Harper will think prices are reasonable every else. I hit the 1,000-mile-mark just before I hit Ottawa.

New Hampshire and Vermont next. Gotta catch up a bit.