Terry Hertzler 9 p.m., Nov. 26
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sunday 16 september
16 September 2012 1 Moon 89 Summer 55 Spaceage
I sit at the dining table fairly late at night – 10:30 pm – and struggle to write. I used to write more in years gone by, and indeed have always prided myself on my letters and words and sentences, my semantics and syntax and pragmatic powers. But in recent months, and years, I have given much more time to working on videos and playing one or another versions, variations or levels of my favorite computer game (Civilization).
Yet, here I am again, writing. A glass of fruit juice – no alcohol tonight – at my right hand, a plate of leftover spaghetti moistened with chicken stew and warmed in the microwave, sitting by my left hand, my fingers click and clack on the lettered keys of my little laptop computer notebook.
Take a bite of my midnight (well, not quite eleven pm) supper.
Today was, is, my baby brother’s birthday. It is oddly disturbing to see him looking so old at 54, and realize that I am 62.
Our father died in 1977 at the age of merely 56 years. His father died in 1950 at the age of 62. Our other grandfather, Mom’s dad, died in 1947 aged 67 or 68. Our great-grandfathers died at 77, 45, 65, and eighty-something.
With a few exceptions, the men in our family have all died in middle age. The women, however, have mostly tended to live into their eighties and nineties.
Contemplating these facts – which I have since I started studying my genealogy thirty years ago when my father died – have given me occasional pause. But only occasional. It did not keep me from smoking many years, and now that I have stopped (almost six years ago) this awareness of my mortality and family life history has not kept me from becomming quite obese (I now weigh 350 pounds).
So I sit and write.
We had a pleasant time, my brother and his son and Mom and I, eating lunch together at the Southwestern yacht club where Mom has been a member since the days with our first father in the 1970s when they bought their sailboat the Santana and kept it there.
Even after Mom sold the boat after Dad died, she kept her membership in the club, and has always enjoyed going to eat lunch, or hosting a family party there.
So we went, and sat and talked, and because Bruce had agreed to drive us home, I was able to indulge myself and have a stiff drink, a double tequila, followed by a single.
On ice, the way I like it.
I had the crab sandwich, which I have never tried before at SWC, not in all my years of going there. It was rather good. Not as delicious as the crab cake sandwich I ate two months ago in Seattle, but that was a different environment, there in the little Pike street restaurant bar looking out over the rooftops toward the waters of Puget sound.
I chose the crab sandwich because Bruce and Connor had been talking about a game Bruce invented where you order something in a restaurant using only one one-syllable word, and if the wait person understands you, you win the game.
I decided to order “crab” – but the waitress said: “the sandwich, or crab louie?”
So I did not win. But the sandwich was actually quite delicious, and I do love crab. I am always afraid, however, that it will taste old and flavorless. So far, in recent years at least, I have been lucky.