Six thirty five.

An hour ago I hacked my beard completely off for a clean shaven look. Aesop barely recognized me afterwards. On my way to the market, there was more asphalt put down on the sidewalk; they must’ve done that yesterday. A man speed walking passed me on the street and said good morning. Lisa noticed my face and said she liked it. I wore the blue sweater that Colleen gave me when I stayed at Residence Inn three years ago. I was distressed yesterday, but I still don’t understand exactly why. Going to Bi Mart seemed to trigger my alcoholism all over again, though Grocery Outlet would’ve been even worse for me. Ten years ago I had more innocence and naivety than I have today, unless I was guilty for drinking the whole time. It raises the question of what is innocence and what is sophistication. I’d say that my pug dog Henry was an innocent lamb, loved by everybody. I can’t boast the same for myself. I wish I could! Some people duck the issue of ethics with gray values. I used to do this, too. But I think in the end it was just self defense. Henry made it to 14 years before he had to be euthanized. Besides his cataracts and hearing loss, he had a heart murmur. The staff of the veterinary hospital sent me a sympathy card, signed by everyone who worked there. They also made a plaster paw print to remember him by, but I remember him anyway. Henry was my innocence.



Quarter after eight.

I had planned on going to church this morning, but I feel tired and probably won’t make it. From my house to the church is a mile trip and I just don’t have the energy to hoof it. I was at the store a half hour ago and spoke a little with Heather, and I also saw Kat and Corey as I passed their house and said hi. There was some activity in front of the dog rescue place beside Valley Restaurant Equipment. I don’t know what was going on. I observed to myself that Maxwell Road is sort of a slum compared to other places in town. For economic reasons, it has become run down and relatively unattractive. It hasn’t looked good since the early eighties, when I was in junior high school… But on second thought, Maxwell was always a little poor and ramshackle. I love it, though. It reminds me of my mother, when we’d have lunch at Luigi’s on spring and summer days. The hot garbage grinders were awesome, toasted in big ovens and packed with veggies, long before Subway came to Eugene. Ninth grade was a great year for me, being a big fish in a small pond. It was the last K12 school year I really enjoyed. We had a very tough vice principal, but I think he was basically a good man. He was the one who got things done, while the principal was rather a reclusive coward.

Nine twenty five. I must’ve read 17 Tarzan novels that year. I still have dreams of those beautiful paperback books occasionally, with the Neal Adams and Boris Vallejo covers. But by the time I was 16 years old, the innocence had worn away and Tarzan appeared corny to me. I was growing up.