july 6

call me uncle chris. i found out this morning that my oldest cousin has had a baby! i haven't seen her in three years, and now she's a mom! i can't believe it... how amazing. my eyes teared and i had to reread the sentence in my mom's email. she said i'm an uncle, but i'm really a second cousin or something. in chinese culture it goes by generation, so then i'd be an uncle, and i like that better. wow. how wonderful! i sent an email to all the friends i could think of, outside the walls. "you're old ;)" "congrats". i should write to her. i wonder what her son's name is.
in the abstract universe afforded me by intellectualism, this was a wonderful dose of reality, emotion, and joy.

several of the gang at work are back from vacation, back from where californians go - to the woods, up into the mountains, or lake taho. they're animated even on monday, and a new employee has arived in the buzz. i watch them break in another fresh family member. you'll need an account and a place to sit. this is for plain paper, this is for food, this is other. there's a great chinese place in town.

while waiting in sproul plaza for wayne, chuck, and josh (visiting from delaware), i was sitting on a cement wall next to a guy maybe a few years older than me, scruffy blond hair, southamerican vest and bare feet, who was aloofly engaged in conversation with a man who had just asked him for some money. the latter was a short stocky indian man with an old hat that reminded me of a taxi driver, and his face nearly enveloped in a big black beard. he asked about where we were both from, coincidentally different parts of new jersey, what we were doing, how we liked america. the guy sitting next to me had graduated and then gone to live in a kabutz (sp?) and was here the visit a friend of a sister. he was into communism, his parents fostered it in him, and he was mildly proud of it. his voice got loud and took on a european accent when he got excited or passionate. the short guy stood there and looked around and then came back to tell us that you can't fight america, the system. don't try, it's too strong. that was what he had to say, and walked away, so that we wouldn't see his wounds. his bitter war came out in small pieces, pulled out by fear. i couldn't tell if he was in some way enlightened, or just crazy.

07.05 | july | 07.08