I’ll begin with a confession: I never calculated how much physical response I’d have to the California trip. Emotionality, sure, but….
By the time I got to Huntington I had the feeling something was wrong. Couldn’t eat although I could drink, inexplicably. When I could hear my heartbeat over the waves, I knew it was blood pressure. So, for the first time in my life I called a doctor to a hotel. They were very nice, and prescribed a third BP med. Not fun.
Then Fontana….by this time you throw in a California sunburn, and that was how I looked in the grandstands for the NASCAR race, which Lisa’s driver Tony Stewart won in rain-shortened fashion, although I did not care one thin damn about the rain.
And then Venice Beach. I was still having physical problems galore, as though I was coming down with something….Sure enough….
Found myself with a terrible bug of some sort, because I was run down. So the truth is, I slept, wandered as much as I felt I could, and wrote as much as possible in the Black Notebook, which I not only finished (I filled it, I mean, not that that little undertaking is anywhere near done) but broke the back cover in the process. It gave its last on this trip, believe you me. Found a place called the Sidewalk Cafe, a bar with a bookstore attached. That was very close to where we’d made the promise we’d come back. So my way of honoring Lisa was by telling people stories of her life, and working as hard as I could.
I sat with a very nice woman named Rachel on the way home; she had some basic medical training and knew I wasn’t well. Which my entire physiology seemed only too happy to corroborate. Still, I made it home even after trouble at Customs, made it home and by God that fever’s been breaking ever since.
To all of you who’ve sent well wishes, please forgive me for using the blog and not, say, Facebook; I’ve just wanted to let everybody know I’m back but not quite ready for the world just yet. That’ll take a day or two, methinks. However, there are drafts of poems and I did keep a handwritten journal as per normal. It’s funny—how many times people watch me write and they ask about the handwriting. That needs a separate entry.
I digress. I love all of you.