Friday, June 15

Dear Jim,

How are you? I’m sitting outside at my favorite coffee shop. I just said hi to a young Asian women who sat down across from me. I was looking at her sleek expensive computer that is as attractive for a computer as she is for a woman. She was amused by my gaze at her PC. We made good eye contact.

There was another young woman sitting at the table to my right. She was tall and white. She was wearing shorts and sandals and had backed her chair away from the table to face my table. Her legs were stretched out and her feet up on the seat of the chair in front of her.

When I glanced at her feet, her toenails had horrible baby blue polish. I thought ”Oh Christ!”. It’s the shade of the season, so for the rest of the Summer I’ll be seeing toenails of women who have no sense of color.

Before the Asian woman sat down, two cute 18 year olds stood across from me. They were talking.

You know how we used to wear worn out jeans? We wore through the denim so that white threads of the material were visible. The more knee there was the longer the white threads of material were.

Well, one girl had really short shorts. The front covering her pockets was so worn and the threads so long, that you could see the whites of the pockets. I could have peeked at her undies if I wanted, and if she was 28 I would have. But 18. I cringed.

Remember the term root huggers? It always cracked me up.

What was great about the Asian women was that she was dressed modestly not sexually. I could have looked at her all day.

There’s been sad news in the world of famous people. A week and a half ago a celebrity writer and a celebrity fashionista killed themselves. They were boomers.

The media is talking about depression and getting help, about staying connected to your family and friends and neighborhood. But nobody has mentioned that these two were boomers.

We boomers took ourselves too seriously. We still do. We isolated ourselves even further from our stifling Godless culture when we claimed to know all the answers and to have the right to do anything we want.

When I saw the news I thought ”What’s wrong with us boomers?” I wonder how many people made the connection?

You should have seen the photos of the writer. He was very striking, very handsome. He looked like a man of the world- sophisticated and successful, somebody who would attract attention as soon as he walked into a room; somebody you would look to for wisdom; somebody who made you wonder how come you aren’t like that.

I was afraid when I saw the news. I had envied his success – a cook who became a great and famous writer. Now he’s dead. Am I supposed to be happy?

Another thing the media hasn’t mentioned is that boomers have contributed to the destruction of America and Western Civilization. So you can say it serves the boomers who kill themselves right, for boomers have insisted on destroying western culture. Or you can say the boomers have led the nation into the sewer, but they are not mature enough to face their shit so they kill themselves.

Ten years ago I read the beginning of his most famous book. He was working in a restaurant in the seventies. He talks about how the staff used to steal from the owner.

He told a story about the time the crew was cooking for a wedding reception in the dining room. The bride came into the kitchen, said something to or looked at the chef, then they went outside. The chef pulled up his apron, pulled down his pants, then fucked her against the dumpster.

I put the book down. I was disgusted. Like I wrote to you in July, “My generation!!”

Sunday is Father’s Day.

Love,

Dave

Copyright © 2021 by David Vaszko

Friday, February 16

Dear Jim,

I’ve got two Fuji’s in the window to finish ripening. Somehow I remember you used to have bowls of fruit on your table. I think you meditated on them. You loved the still life’s of fruit of the old European guys that we saw in museums.

I don’t meditate on the Fuji’s, but I love to glance at them. There is nothing rich or subtle in the appearance of most apples. I remember you telling me that an orchard man in Wenatchee said that when he was a kid, his dad grew apples to taste good; but nowadays he doesn’t carry on his dad’s tradition. He grows apples to look good so they will sell. But that’s just it, they don’t look good. They look flashy. They look phony.

Even though I don’t meditate, I am becoming more centered. When I am doing something, I look at my hand or I look at the door knob as I turn it. I want to get to where I naturally meditate. Just have Fuji’s sitting around so I can contemplate them.

In the seventies or early eighties there was an article in Harper’s. It was about a guy in Vermont who lived in the mountains with his wife and kids. The guy would contemplate for two hours at a time.

Dad used to do that every morning before Mass for an hour. What a great combination – meditating then going to Mass. And of course he prayed before meditating.

I’ve thought of taking a yoga class or doing Tai Chi, but it doesn’t feel right. I would like to go to a meditation group where the leader doesn’t talk about peace and tranquility and all that Eastern shit, but says ”Contemplate Justice, Truth, Beauty, Freedom, Love, Lust, Hate, Fear, Confidence, Youth, the peak of your powers, falling apart.”

You are going to find peace and tranquility whatever you meditate on. It always amazes me that the chic seekers of Eastern wisdom don’t give the slightest shit about Western values. Except Prosperity.

Wednesday was Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday. What an interesting combination.

I didn’t get ashes. I hardly ever have. Dad can’t remember if he got them this year or not. I think getting ashes is an admittance that you are a sinner.

I’m usually self-conscious so I do not get them. Maybe next year I’ll swallow my self-consciousness and do it. It’s a way to acknowledge we are a bunch of sinners without getting hysterical or saying ”I was a…” But we are still sinners even if we don’t have our old bad habits.

Then there is St. Blaise Day. I used to like getting my throat blessed. In these disgusting times, it would be good to get my throat blessed as I ask God to help me not to speak profanely or with hate.

The other day I got together with my friend I lived with for eleven years. She is going through a very difficult time.

She’s a year older than I am but is always sick. Her sister is 73, an invalid. But as pale and stressed as she looked, there was something good I noticed: ”Your eyes look great. The colored parts are real luminous and your whites are really clear.”

She prays and meditates. She prays to St. Anne. She did yoga every day for at least fifteen years, but hasn’t done it lately. She listened to the same yoga tape every day. It broke after I moved out.

February is her favorite month. She loves camellias. They are looking good this year.

February has always been my least favorite month. This year, even with all the sun and wind, I have not gotten as many headaches or been as down as I usually am.

I remember a lot of times coming home in the daytime in February to go to bed because I felt so bad. Do you remember, I guess it was the late eighties, when a friend of mine moved from Sacto to the Marina? You and I and her spent a sunny drought year Sunday afternoon in February on the Marina Green.

I felt like shit. I had a sinus headache all day. I couldn’t eat. When the outing was over, you and I went to mom’s and dad’s. I was in bed the rest of that day and at least all of the next. I wondered what dad thought of me.

Tonight is the crescent moon. I’ll have to step outside to watch it.

I’ve been thinking a lot the last few years about our cousin who committed suicide. It’s something I struggle with. I was too self-important to attend his funeral. After mom died and I was grieving for her by writing her letters, I decided to write to each of our dead family members. I wrote to him. I assume I apologized to him for missing his funeral.

He was a gem like you. Everybody loved him. I’ve told some of the family that the two best of our generation died young.

Mom thought he was gay. She thought he might have killed himself because of it. When I think of him, I remember thinking that something wasn’t right, even though he was a great guy and full of goodness. I wonder if he was pissed off at our aunt and uncle and our cousins.

That was a tragedy. If I ever see our cousins, I will apologize for not being there for them.

That’s it for now Jim.

Thanks for letting me get this off of my chest.

Love,

Dave

Copyright © 2021 by David Vaszko