A pile of unpeeled fava beans and Whiskey Wilson the Pomeranian-papillon blonde make this a Wednesday in May, make this northern Californian spring.  The shrinking potion and scattered clothing and my immigrant houseplant mark my arrival, as always – you will know me by the texture of mess in your apartment.

This summer we’ll both move away from trains and I’ll worry about everything – as usual: work, money, fiction, The Right Thing To Do – and you’ll continue to be too busy to stretch or ice your hurt knee.  There is so much.  Paperwork and bean-peeling and boxes to pack and suitcases to buy and airplane rides to pay for and sleep through.  Tuition to earn.  There is the sublettor to find and there will never be an end to the unanswered e-mails and phone calls. There will never be an end to the unread books and unwritten grant applications.  And there is the bed-making and sheet-destroying, there are the songs to listen to and wine that must be drunk.  There is always, always the necessary filming and performing of pornography.  Mascara to put on and wash off.

I can’t believe we’re here: running the dog at seven forty-three a.m. in a deserted patch of Golden Gate Park with one leaky cup of coffee between us.  The crows that Whiskey Will chases through the particulate grey are bigger than he is; they swoop black-patent-shine just above his head and land in a cluster, ten feet away from his frantic, galloping body before taking off again, with absolute grace and disregard.  We’re sleepy and unwashed in elasticized clothing.  Two different meanings for the word “jumper”.  The dog eats two-thirds of a corn-cherry scone while we try to teach him to come when called, and I wish that someone would do this for me, would teach me my name.

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