Friday, February 2

Dear Jim,

It’s going to be 70° today. That’s too hot. I’m sitting at Starbucks under an umbrella. My head is covered, but the table and my arms are in the sun.

This Starbucks doesn’t seem as busy as it used to be. I don’t know if there is too much competition or what.

It must be a horrible company to work for because the staff turns over a lot. I would think the managers get tired of interviewing people.

The other day I was sitting in a window at a different Starbucks. I saw two freight trains within twenty minutes pass by Sac State. It was great to have a vista of them and the trees in the distance.

I could sit there all day gawking. It always amazes me how little curiosity or awe people have. Hardly anybody looks out the window.

While I was sitting, a college guy came over to ask me if I would watch his stuff while he went to his car. I didn’t want to, but I said yes. So I put my book down and my eyes on his laptop, drink, jacket, and bag.

After two songs he still was not back. I turned around a few times to see if he was coming.

Ten minutes and he was still gone. I thought maybe he was part of an experiment by a Psychology or Sociology Department to see how long people would continue to watch someone else’s stuff. So I stopped watching and started reading. Finally he came back.

Then a staff member about my age came over to me. He was relaxed and could talk with anybody. He made me feel good and he made me aware that I don’t have that easy-going non-threatening manner that would be helpful to have in these crazy fear filled times.

He asked me what I was reading. I showed him the cover. It was in Spanish. He said the simple title perfectly. I was embarrassed that my accent is not as good as his, then he said he speaks Portuguese but not Spanish.

He was impressed I was reading Spanish. I told him I read it pretty well, but I usually need a dictionary. I said for this book though, I’m not using the dictionary because I pretty much understand it. I said at home I’m reading a story about contemporary Mexico, but there is so much slang a paper dictionary is not enough. I told him I use an online dictionary, but sometimes that does not work so I Google the word or phrase.

He impressed me. He wasn’t hurried or worried. When I work I usually hurry and worry. I’m trying to be calm and not worry, but the more improvement I make, the more overwhelmed I become because there is a lot of tightness inside that can’t wait to get out.

We are a tight society. Don’t you think? I was thinking of all the nice coffee shops there are. The companies try to make the shops fashionable. The staff tries to be cool. But everybody sits in tightness on their computer, never talking to the guy next to him or looking out the window at the sky or trees or the stranger passing. I’m tight too, but at least I look out the window and make eye contact.

There is always music on at the coffee shops I go to. But even though it’s supposed to make people feel good, it distracts them from what’s going on inside and it encourages people not to look at or talk to the people next to them.

If a woman came in with her kids and started dancing with them, or a young guy came in with his girlfriend and they started dancing, the manager would tell them to stop. That’s what I mean by a tight society. “We might get sued if you fall.” “We don’t have a dance permit.”

Last night was a full moon. I could see it through the blinds, but I was too agitated to open them or go outside to watch.

After noticing it a few more times I finally said, you’ve got to calm down and look at it. So I opened the blinds to look. It was incredible. I could see the face of the man in the moon. All the craters and mountains.

It was peaceful and beautiful. I realized how disconnected I am from what is important. I didn’t look two minutes, but it was important for my soul and my mind that I did.

I’ll never forget the time we were walking down the big street in your neighborhood. The moon was out and so were a lot of people. I said ”Look at the moon,” but you had already seen it. You said it always amazes you that when you walk when the moon is out, that you are the only one looking at it.

The other night I was going to my Spanish meet-up group. I hadn’t been in a long time. The full moon was up and the air was cool with no wind. It was incredible. I kept turning my head to look at it. I wanted to stop and watch. The weather was so good I could have sat in the park I was passing by for two hours. But I wanted to get to the group.

The meeting wasn’t so great. I understood more than I ever did, but I still have a hard time speaking, especially when I am tired like I usually am when I go.

I told dad I regretted not watching the moon. It was a Summer night in January. If this was thirty years ago, I would have raved about the moon to the group. But I didn’t even think of it.

One night when I lived in the South Area I got home from a dance. It was Summer and there was a full moon. It was incredibly beautiful. I was incredibly lonely. It was too beautiful to go to bed so I sat in the driveway watching it, wishing I had a woman.

It would have been great to sit on the lawn with a woman I loved and not say anything, then go inside later to fuck. It’s too bad our society does not have public service messages on the night of the full moon, telling men now’s the time to hammer your wife, and telling women it’s a great night to be pounded.

Well Jim, I wish I were married so I had someone to share my lunacy with. I wish you had had someone who saw God in the crescent moon like you did.



Copyright © 2021 by David Vaszko