Tuesday, October 24, 2017

I almost die on my birthday

I went away to enjoy tide pools on my 71 st birthday like I used to do with my two daughters at two different times when they were growing up in San Francisco. I took the train to LA from Tucson. Pleasant enough. Left Tucson at 8:30 pm and my old friend and former student Hugh Williams picked me up at Union Station at 6 am and we went over to Canter's on Fairfax for breakfast.
He dropped me at Dave and Ori's above Melrose in west Hollywood. Later Amy, Numa, Durmel, Dave, Ori, Steve and Yee met me at Hamaya on 1803 Sawtelle for pre birthday dinner. Very pleasant.

I should have known trouble ahead since the woman I was going away with didnt show.
Her birthday was the next day and I was late getting there after breakfast with Elia and Dave at Fred Segal's on Melrose. She said she was nausceous but we left.
Every moment felt tense. She wasnt feeling well. Didnt like the way i drove. Everything was wrong. I ended up buying take out at a Mexican joint closing the minute I walked in (8pm). The place we were renting was pleasant with horses, chickens, dogs and children in what Steinbeck called the salad bowl of America south of Salinas. (Much too much pesticides in the air)

 The next day i cooked us breakfast in our (complete) kitchen.

 She wasnt feeling well. The original idea was to go to SF and eat in this prison workers restaurant on Embercadero street on my birthday. She said she wanted to leave the next day back to her home by 11 am instead of dinner in SF. She said she was well enough to do one thing that day. Visit the John Steinbeck museum in Salinas and see the van he lived in. No mention of tide pools. humm. shitty I thought. We argued and she drove to the Monterrey peninsula tide pools and wouldn't also do Steinbeck.

Later we stopped long enough for sunblock and
chicken at Safeway. Tense. No fun.

That nite we watched Tony Curtis and Burt Lancaster  with blonde bombshell Barbara Nichols in Sweet Smell of Success, a fabulous 1957 noire with cinema work by James Wong Howe ( I have shots of him on a Cass Carr camera outing with Betty Page).
The next day (my birthday) she screams at me and I offer to sit in the back which I do resizing early photos of mine. She's blasting Van Halen and driving fast. I happen to look up and on the road between highway 101 and Interstate 5 she's driving holding her cell phone in her right hand and passing a gas truck. I look and there is a car coming fast right at us with no lane to avoid us! I scream "WHAT ARE YOU DOING" and she suddenly realizes she is about to kill us and slams on her breaks and gets back into her lane. I said I wanted to drive. She almost killed us in a head on, but she wont let me.

Back at her house we agreed NEVER to see each other again. Wow. We should be dead today, tomorrow and forever.

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