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11.27.02, wednesday night

If you wish, you could find us easy, most likely at Victor's in East Oakland on random weeknights. We will be the couple reading books by neon-light, serenaded by jukebox ranchera, to which other patrons sway, sigh, moan. Tonight Jose Who Repairs Tires On Ships That Carry Nuclear Weapons will order us cokes & Jack Daniels; he migrated to the US years and years ago to pick cherries in Northern California.

Look for him; he is the one most likely smiling at you, especially if you are a stranger. Jose has been coming to Victor's since 1976, the year before I was born. If you want respect in this bar, you must curry favor with this man, this rotund and hairy man, whose flesh is fat at the ankles, peeking darkly above age-grey socks, worn black-buttered shoes. After chatting with the Heron, Jose will ask him to refurbish and enlarge the only picture of his dead father.

. . .

Time is meaningless, I declare impetuously this morning; for us, there is only this strange and lovely space that we have made, via the relationship between our bodies, between our bodies and others, between ourselves and the places we inhabit or encounter, abetted by language, curiousity, and memory. We make up fabulous stories or, provoked by some object, image or event, remember; he smiles: "We are making history."


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