Tuesday, October 25, 2005


I love to bike, drunk.

I love biking anyway, and was slightly disappointed in my recent trip out to the Bay Area not to do it more. I had a spectacular visit, mind you. But I do read Chris Carlsson's blog on LiP Magazine's site
(www.lipmagazine.org/ccarlsson) involving, amongst other things like good radical books, about biking in the Bay, and I lust. Nothing beats biking.

Tonight, I spent the evening digesting my trip out to the Bay Area with a coworker, Moises. We caught up on store gossip and issues (this following a Board of Directors meeting) and personal bruhaha that had developed in each others' lives after the last couple of weeks' absence, over a few drinks at a local haunt. I implored him to visit La Mision ASAP, as Madison is not the source of solidarity he may be seeking 24/7. He said back in Oaxaca he heard constant rumor of this Mecca, this Sugar Skull Day of Dead Rivera Quality Murals Mecca, before he ever even came to the States and had a wife and two babies and a life in Madison. So we'll find a way, but he says *I* have to get to Oaxaca, first. I'm up for stats like that!


Missing Scotch, the cat, has gotten harder. I have sent out invitations for a Cat Wake/ Day of the Dead/ Naked Ladies party for November 4th. It has been a long time since Erika and I have thrown a party, and the last Naked Ladies party (despite me taking a roll of pictures without flash, none of which turned out) was a total ball.
However, it is when I am in the middle of a day, no thoughts for her at all, that my periphery catches her, out of twenty years' worth of habit, and I cry out, suddenly, and feel stark.


I find I need my need for people more without Scotch around. I am much more atune to it. I also need my need for things like, as silly and adolescent as they are, biking drunk, middle of the night, down the middle of the street, laughing with Moy over the trifles of aggression, the moon peering down over the cold fall Wisconsin air, laughing back at us, more.

How could losing a cat do that? I spent a lot of today, ostensibly my day "off", looking at photos of her. New photos, the last roll I took, the day before I knew I would be putting her to sleep, and classic oldies I have seen countless times over the 20 years I had her. Drawings from my "zine" about recent events in my life. I sensed just how deep all of this is. And also, finally, today, something clicked: that she is still here, that I miss her body, not her spirit. I stopped worrying that she couldn't find me, which I didn't realize was a concern until I stopped having the concern (so many things are like this!).

I am far from done with grief, but in a process like this, it is a relief to find a step to check off the list, for now.


Alongside personal changes, I continue to be concerned for Prayas and his part of this world, and the Earthquake live-out after-flash nastiness. It is true: Katrina brought it home to me. How long has it been, as an adult, paying awareness to these things, that I had so carefully noted the outcomes of serious lack of preparation (read: unnatural disaster) for "natural disasters", intellectually, without really *feeling* it? Today they are still reporting negotiations that will last likely til the end of the month between Pakistan- and India-controlled Kashmir: who will take the dead? Fine. Hard enough.
Try who will take the living.

Meanwhile, there is little to nothing out there about Guatemala's recent hurricane.

Times like these I regret having learned French over Spanish, though honestly studying post-colonialism in former French colonies has proved far more progressive and intriguing than what I can get from former Spanish colonies.

To be up on disaster. On crisis. As if knowing who is dead, as if knowing who is killing who or which bureaucratic windfall caused the demise of this village or that township, will fix it in retrospect. I am not insinuating that it doesn't offer insight or prevention. Rather, that disaster, crisis, has so much more to teach us about ourselves, what we see and do not see, what we refuse and accept, about daily life, about cycles, than what we see in that moment; BBC's special report, man jumping from Twin Towers, Tsunami, Tsunami, Tsunami. It is certainly not intended to be all about us. And yet, how can we ignore that what we see in the report, what our media REPORTS - is all about what we don't see in daily life? Would we really be that shocked if we opened our eyes more often? Would I?


It is still true, though. My favorite former secret. I *do* love to bike. Drunk.

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