Friday, September 29

Dear Jim,

It´s a breezy evening in Sacto. I just got through talking with one of the women who takes care of dad.

She said one of dad´s arms cannot extend all the way. He injured it a long time ago. He should have gone to the doctor but he didn´t want to.

Dad never told me that. Did he tell you?

The woman must have a great eye. She said dad´s shoulders are not straight. Who ever looks at somebody´s shoulders? When I went to the chiropractor my shoulders were not straight, so she corrected them.

Speaking of a great eye, I´m getting mine back. I was worried because I noticed I wasn´t observing like I used to. All the time on the computer and tablet were ruining what I was always great at and loved to do.

Now when I walk I look even more. I see more too. It´s exciting to notice things between houses that I never noticed before and to look in the distance and feel like I´m on an adventure.

When I come home I love to look through the bars of the gate as I am entering. I see the stairwells on the other side of the property, the roof of the car port and the trees and buildings across the alley and beyond.

There is so much to see. Or, it´s a great big beautiful world. It depends on how you want to look at it.

It may be a great big beautiful world, but I don´t feel beautiful and America sure as hell isn´t beautiful. But I have to observe. I love to do it more than anything else. It´s my connection to God, the great beyond, the great sky.

I was at a bus stop way down in the South Area on Wednesday morning. I waited 25 minutes for a bus as I looked west across a four lane street and a huge piece of property without buildings and with tall palm trees in the distance.

It was exciting and beautiful. It wasn´t windy like the South Area usually is. I was almost at peace. I wanted to travel. I wish the sky was bigger in my neighborhood.

I need to look around more at the same time our country becomes more of a police state. ¨What´s that bastard looking at?¨

It´s scary to know that I´m on somebody´s camera and that they´ve saved me because they feel threatened that I looked voraciously into the space between their house and their neighbor´s.

I say this all the time – We are terrified and incredibly unfree. It´s a heart breaker. I want to feel freer as I get older. But to feel freer I need people to stop being afraid.

Today I read a few pages of Paz. He was talking about the Presidency of Diaz. Paz said that Diaz put an end to anarchy, but also to liberty. Here in America I feel we have put an end to liberty but not to anarchy. People who are glad there are cameras everywhere still worry about getting assaulted. I´m on film, but criminals get to roam the streets.

I forgot to tell you about a fight I almost got in. I was sitting on a lawn outside a two story medical building. It was 5 pm on a Saturday.

I was tired from working. I wanted to sit down. Since I had been cooped up all day I wanted to get some sun. So I sat on the lawn facing west with my back to the building and sidewalk as I read the paper.

After a while, I heard two people behind me pass on their bicycles. I didn´t like their sound so I turned to look.

It was two pieces of white trash – a man and a woman. They were either junkies or homeless or both.

I went back to reading the paper. Then I heard them arguing. I looked again, then went back to reading the paper again.

Then there was another noise behind me so I turned quickly. The man was running after a guy his own age and taller who was hurriedly walking his own bike to avoid a confrontation between them.

I decided I better keep watching in case the taller guy got beat up. He kept placing his bike between him and the punk, screaming at the punk to leave him alone as the punk kept screaming at him.

I was getting scared. I wondered what would happen. Then the guy walking his bike turned into the driveway of the building as the punk followed him screaming.

I couldn´t see them anymore so I thought, ¨You better leave.¨ As I left I passed the
punk´s bicycle laying on the sidewalk. The woman was gone.

I thought, ¨He´s going to come after you.¨ Sure enough, as I was approaching the corner I heard screaming. More than once.

Then, when I knew for sure he was screaming at me I turned.

¨Did you take my phone!¨
¨Did you take my phone!¨

We were real close. I said as firmly and calmly as I could, ¨Leave me alone.¨

He left. I don´t know if I scared him when I didn´t back down, or if he was tired from arguing with the other guy.

I was scared all the way home. I looked for a cop but didn´t see one. Every block I looked behind me to see if he was following me.

I was nervous for hours.

Do you remember that time at the S. F. Art Museum when we were sitting in the lobby looking through the glass doors? You said to me, ¨You have a way of seeing things that puts them into focus the way that glass door puts into focus what´s going on on the street.¨

That was one of the best compliments I ever received.



Copyright © 2021 by David Vaszko