In Downtown Local, Cat Stevens continues his search for a hard-headed woman. The counter canisters advertise Quaaludes and Downers, but contain varieties of penny candy. A lady with extraordinarily long and curly grey hair exchanges her shades for bi-focals at the table outside. Her tan Fedora tells me that she’s a transplant from the Bay. Cat Stevens knows that he will be blessed. I tend to agree. Then he launches into one of my divorce songs and my heart cannot help but clench. Oh, baby baby it’s a wild world.
I’m ten miles from Pigeon Point and feeling fine. But Cat croons about Sad Lisa, reminding me that somewhere people don’t fare as well as I. My head bows; I wish those unfortunate souls the strength to endure until grace comes to ease their burdens.
A text sounds on the phone in my purse but I ignore it. Outside the sky rises clear and blue, though a fog still lingers at sea. The road rose and fell in the winding tendrils of the ocean’s shroud.
Along the way, I saw swimmers and children chasing the waves on the beach below the highway. The tension eased from my spirit as it usually does this close to my Pacific. I played tag with a couple on a tandem pulling a little carrier. At first I thought that a child rode in the back, and I shuddered at the nearest of death. But after the third time of passing them, I realized that they must be on a southern journey down the Coastal Highway. The woman had the seat in back. Her hair streamed loose from beneath her helmet. The sight touched me. She leaned deep over the handle bars and pumped the pedals with an enviable vigor as her partner recognized my car and waved. I didn’t honk; I didn’t want to startle them.
My mid-fall journey took me as far east as Lake Shore Drive and will end two hours inland at my tiny house community in the California Delta. Just now I’m miles from nowhere. Like Cat, I’m taking my time.
It’s the nineteenth day of the fifty-eighth month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.