“‘I remembered I wanted to be a veterinarian once,’ Debbie says. ‘But now I’m more or less in the vein of being an artist or a model or a cosmetologist. Or something.’ ” – Joan Didion, Slouching Towards Bethlehem
Well Debbie, I remembered I wanted to be an archeologist once. But now I’m more or less in the vein of being an educator or a child-wrangler or an autism-whisperer. Or something.
I’ve been obsessed with Joan Didion, and making fierce efforts to embody only her admirable qualities, since I was seventeen. During college, I used to pretend to be J. Dids, mostly when in underwhelming social situations or when consuming events that are supposed to be amazing but lean toward disappointing.
Here is my role model:
Sans shades – shades are tacky in the indoors.
I continue to strive for Didionionia experiences.
Yesterday I made the voyage to the Presidio to have lunch with mamacita Sarah. I knew it would be far, and I knew it would be nice. But I didn’t expect it to be so lovely. I’m sad that lovely is an overused, maybe banal word. But it was just lovely. The Presidio reminds me of visiting lots of historic places in New England as a kiddo – like Plimouth Plantation in Santa Monica, but not.
Sarah’s office at Futures Without Violence, which I may or may not jokingly refer to as The Wife Beaters, is in the former band barracks of this military-fortress-turned-posh-office-space.
Hang on, there’s a phone call on line 1.
After egg and tuna salad sandwiches on a bench by a palm tree, I went and checked out the SF national cemetery. I’ve also been to the national cemetery at the Punch Bowl in Honolulu – a biggie Joan Didion destination, which she writes about In the Islands. Why? History sure. And nation-state ideology. And death. 13,000 soldiers killed during WWII alone are buried in a volcano crater in Hawaii. The SF cemetery as 26, 425 graves. That’s a lot of war dead. The U.S. is just shy of 5,000 soldiers killed in Iraq alone. (Probs between 600,000 and 1.2 million Iraqis…but who’s counting anyways?)
We may need a new Punch Bowl…