In keeping with the holiday spirit, I took this old guy I know for a walk at the Newport Back Bay. He is 89. Soul of an artist. Gentle. Sweet. But you can tell he is lonely. Desperately so. His wife died a year ago. His only wife.
Can you walk this dirt path without falling on your face? I asked.
If you let me hold your arm I can, he said.
So off we went. None too hurriedly, I might add. Precious old man. Beautiful day. Warm & sunny.
Later I introduced him to my artist-friend, and let them talk about art while I played with her son (.. the Bug's age).
Everybody seemed to enjoy that. (Especially the boy, who I spun around 'til he nearly puked. Why do kids love that so much? "Again!")
While walking down our trail at the Back Bay, my ancient friend told me the story of how his dad lost the family house -- in Brentwood, where OJ used to live, in Los Angeles -- during the Great Depression, and how that traumatized him as a youth (.. born in '22).
People who were walking in the other direction gave me some of the warmest looks I've ever seen.
» eDawg & Chopsticks
.. while telling me how much he appreciated the advice I gave him .. back when he was trying his darnedest to drop outta college.
We had talked for hours that night. That was back when I was still with the Bug's mom .. living in 'the Big House' .. in Laguna. Before the Bug. All of us were there.
What a place. This photo (stitched) is great, but doesn't do it justice. The magic there, I mean. Five levels, cut into the steep Laguna hillside. High up. 180-degree view. Catalina island in the distance.
Lots of kids lived there. And their friends were always visiting. High-school energy. Middle school energy. Laguna energy. eDawg's step-sister, Mikaela, is the one who came up with Bug's name. Heck, if it wasn't for her, the Bug still wouldn't have a name. =)
Maria sold the Big House right before the market tanked. House-flippers bought it and got killed. Put an end to their house-flipping days. Maria always was lucky like that. She didn't wanna sell.
••• today's entry continues here below •••
He took me to the restaurant his family frequented back when he was a kid (.. when his parents were still alive). Trip down memory lane. I told him his folks would be proud of the way he turned out.
He ordered lunch for us in Mandarin (speaking). Very impressive. (He spent a year living & studying in Taiwan.) Kung Pao shrimp. People who order in Chinese should get the Chinese discount. That's what I always say. We had a big conversation about Mao & the history of China with our waiter.
So I've had a precious week, even tho the Bug was back East.
» The Places We Live
Before closing today, I wanna share a site I found particularly moving » The Places We Live.
No way to adequately introduce a site like this .. other than to say it's for a book. A picture book.
Funny thing about the book » it's NOT really about "the places we live." Is it? Not us. Maybe this is why the images grow on you. Haunt you. For many, the world is not a very pretty place. Book should rather be titled » The Places THEY live.