Day 1

corn maze

That above is the Corn Maze in Fremont. We waited for about an hour, with glow sticks in hand, and then got turned away at the door. This was the second attempt to go, too. Yes, an act in futility, but a lot of fun standing around joking with new friends, and old friends, and watching random kids play without any external aid- like the one kid that literally stood on a rock for the hour, dancing around and balancing. Had a conversation with a 10-year old behind us on the merits of the iPhone (he offered me $3 for mine).

This evening was one of those amazing days in the city where I absolutely love living here. Ran into two cool people on some errands walking (love a walking city!) through downtown, then happened upon First Thursday!
– Past Tents at Calif. History Museum
– MOMA, Olafur Eliasson’s exhibit, “Take Your Time”– I’ll visit this one again, Matisse, and Joseph Cornell’s shadow boxes, very cool.

Day one of writing: only 520 words, 1147 less than my daily goal, but still a solid start. Follows below. It’s hard going, I’m not used to writing. Need to get a better schedule too.

Beer & Chocolate

Chapter 1

73 mph, her car stalled. Liz turned the ignition and the engine caught, silent almost as the noise from the wind filled her Civic. She felt stabbing pain in the back of her eye as they slowly adjusted to the headlights drawing patterns on each broad sweep of 280. Oak trees, squat and wide on the side of the road, woke up in her headlights, shocked at the interruption. Or, used to it, like hookers on Larkin, used to the attention all night, every fifteen minutes or so. 2am heading north to San Francisco, she sang loudly to stay awake. Nirvana, Polly Wants a Cracker, thinking of Courtney Love and prostitution. It was all so grim. The car stalled two times more on the way home. Each exit was a story in her mind, nostalgia, memories, hopes, dreams, just exits, she reminded herself, everything is not a story about ME. But the examined life, she replied to herself.

Next morning she walked up to Bob’s Auto Shop, intending to talk to John, the owner. Nobody ever explained who Bob was. Guy working on the cars didn’t speak English, and her Chinese was child-like, so they just smiled and she issued little sayings. John here? When back? Car stalls. Tomorrow? OK 4pm. She wanted a reward for having a Chinese conversation. A gold star, or maybe a chocolate bar. She hopped on the 30 Stockton bus downtown.

Slipping into a meeting she had forgotten about, she relaxed, each muscle sinking into the ergonomic chair, her hands folding around a hot cup of tea. Corporate droning voices soothed her like a high priced spa. She was home, Fred curled up against her, she felt his arms reach around…

“Liz?” Melanie, her boss asked from the PowerPoint.

Liz looked up and saw all the faces around the conference table turned towards her. “Right, I was just wanting to say something, earlier …” she droned on about a thought she had in the shower that morning.

Melanie, and the others, listened, and continued on the topic they had started beforehand. Afterwards, Liz and Melanie stood outside the building at the espresso stand.

“What’s this?” Melanie flicked at Liz’s shirt.

“I don’t know, grease? Went to the mechanic this morning. My car keeps stalling.”

Melanie rolled her eyes. “Please tell me at least there’s someone hot at your mechanic.”

Liz thought of the Chinese guy, he was tall, had spiky hair, from grease not hairspray, and a kind of big goofy smile. “Even if the mechanic was hot, I sound like a 4-year-old in Chinese.”

“You talk to your mechanic in Chinese.”

“I admit, I can’t understand him, but what do you say to a mechanic? The same things each time. I swear, the more I learn a language, the more I realize how much we communicate without language. Look at you, just your eyebrows say everything.”

Melanie arched a brow, furrowed her brow, then moved her brows like Groucho Marx. “That’s it, that’s all I can do.”

Liz laughed, then spit out her latte. “Outh, I burned my thonge. Fuck.”