The Presidio of Memory

…that was it, the feeling, the one good feeling with confidence Bob felt that day, the hokey honking of horns, the cold November rain and wind, thanks Axl, the green turned to red and apple yellow, mountain Evian in autumn, the bitter dark organic coffee, the rain protruding into Bob’s soul, the soul that wanted to be Henry Miller, with or without an accordion, living in Costa Grande, the cliff dwellers in the fog, the canyon dwellers at Ferlinghetti’s cabin under the bridge, wild cats seeking through windows, the ferns and redwoods, the stillness in the fog, the Presidio of memory that never stops being in the corner of the sky, in the canopy of autumn leaves, the drapery of twigs blown across streets, Sinatra’s Trilogy collection, what is right to the anger, the dissatisfaction of growing old, responsive leaves hang onto tree limbs, and hang there until the wind or the ice or snow comes and blows them off, their red and chocolate colors undeterred by the rain, advancing into blue and ready to disappear, would it be south, or in a home with white furniture and meat and lawns to be cut, crews to be cut, dried into pemmican and walked around Eleanora on

… the cold chill to Bob’s bones, underdressed and obsessive in the face of beauty, hinging on a fit of laughter at the Sovereign Grill hamburger stand …

a day hike while on a campy, the bees, always the bees, monstrous sound when you are three miles from the nearest car and an hour at least from a hospital, the hum and buzz of certain stinging death just over the ridge, also November, perhaps that very day in ’05, then on to the Majestic Gorge, the cold chill to Bob’s bones, underdressed and obsessive in the face of beauty, hinging on a fit of laughter at the Sovereign Grill hamburger stand at the American Saga at ISMOF, trying to breathe, laughing at the passersby for some forgotten reason, the silliness of being so totally in joy for one five-minute period that you are in arrears the rest of your life, a Faustian day that can never be refastened to the clock or beaten back against the current far enough to become F. Scott or Hem, writing until he could not, then fishing and drinking, then Cuba, then Cuba became Cuba, south of Florida, Cuba of coffee and of colorful birds and song, Cuba of cigars and time warps and preservation, Cuba north of Costa Rica, the beach to the rain forest, personal tourist in the head of the guide, Costa Rica also of coffee, and it seemed Bob could go there anytime he wanted, but only in his head, and only in flashes, not in deals or compromise of growth, or of waking to crows on a November morning, or December in Hopes Ridge, caught at the cusp of technology with the big screen tv in a hundred-and-twenty-five dollar a month farmhouse within shouting distance of Interstate 65, morning walks down roads that no cars would touch that day, dirt roads with mugs of well-water coffee and hazelnut creamer, not Taste O’ The World, which was Bob’s favorite, but the Daffodil ones that tasted lighter…

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