Stare.
 
2001 Notebook: Weak XXVII
 
   
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2 July 2001
More Free Art
Louisa’s a dervish, that’s all there is to it. She zips and zooms and dives and twirls and never ever stops, and even when she sits down at her desk she doesn’t sit still. That’s when she turns her employer’s writing implements into small sculptures using the most rudimentary of tools. Art beats working any day.

Louisa’s as generous as she is talented; she gives each piece away as soon as she finishes it. That’s the way art should be.

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3 July 2001
“English” Muffins
I was riding down a quiet hillside street in San Francisco when I saw an amazing sight. Right there in the middle of the pavement, I spotted an unblemished package of English muffins. There they were, sitting silently in the center of the quiet street, as if they’d just fallen off a grocer’s shelf.

Poof! Another surreal San Francisco day.

After ascertaining that the muffins were in fact fresh, clean, and perfectly edible, I took them back to the lab. That’s when I noticed the corporate baker’s description of the muffins: “An American Tradition For Over 100 Years.”

I wired a few friends in the Yuck (I’m told that’s how sophisticates pronounce “UK”), and got three separate replies confirming stories I’d heard over the years: an English muffin has nothing to do with England. There are no English muffins in England.

I wonder why anyone would call any foodstuff except fish and chips English? I guess it seemed like a good idea a century or so ago.

The “English” muffins were tasty, especially since they were free.

4 July 2001
My Name’s Hannah
Hannah walked across the room of the cabin and introduced herself as soon as I walked in.

“My name’s Hannah,” she said with a big smile, “and I’m shy.”

That was a great line, especially from a four-year old. I can’t wait to plagiarize it.

5 July 2001
Collar Bones are Beautiful
Amy told me she met the weirdest doctor at a picnic yesterday. I told her I thought all doctors were a little weird. After all, who but the weird would spend too many years in school in order to spend the rest of their lives surrounded by sick people and playing golf?

“No,” Amy corrected, “I meant the weirdest doctor.”

“Let’s hear the evidence, prosecutor,” I requested.

“Well, first, he’s got a fetish for collar bones,” Amy began.

“That’s not very weird, is it?” I asked. I may have blushed while I tried to remember if I’d ever told Amy about my fascination with collar bones.

“Nothing wrong with gnawing on a good collar bone now and again,” Amy agreed, “but this guy took it a bit far.”

“Just out of healthy curiosity,” I wondered aloud, “how far is too far?”

“He told me in medical school he refused to examine corpses above the stomach cavity,” Amy explained. “He said that if he peeled off a woman’s skin to examine shoulder muscles and other bones, ‘my romance with collar bones would be over.’”

“Sounds like real love to me,” I opined. “So what did he do?”

“First he told me he’s an oncologist and amateur photographer,” Amy replied, “and then he asked if I wanted to pose for some ‘interesting pictures.””

I confided that amateur photographers scare me too.

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6 July 2001
Lake Cleawox Dock
I was in the process of mistitling this piece when my learned hosts gently pointed out that “Lake Cleowox” is, in fact, spelled “Lake Cleawox.” Why they did not tell me half a lifetime ago, this I do not know.

Whatever.

Lake Cleawox Dock is another of my boring retinal pictures, and is available in the PDF format.

7 July 2001
Marcus’s Book Review Methodology
I was talking with Marcus about traveling and everything else, and brought up William Least Heat Moon’s book, Blue Highways.

“Did you finish reading the book?” Marcus asked.

“No,” I replied, “I was in a friend’s ...”

“That’s all I need for a book review,” Marcus interrupted. “You didn’t read the whole book; that’s all I need to know.”

At first, I thought Marcus was being unfair to authors and readers in general, and to Least Heat Moon and me in particular. The more I thought about it, though, the more I appreciated the beautiful simplicity of Marcus’s book review methodology.

8 July 2001
Things Are Different on a Bike
I took an incredible bike trip today. I rode to Leigh’s Ferry via the House of Torments, then road back to the lab on Cornbridge Way. I didn’t realize until just before midnight that I rode uphill all the way to Leigh’s Ferry and uphill all the way back.

Things are different on a bike; that’s the only possible explanation.

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©2001 David Glenn Rinehart