Saturday, January 29, 2005

Things Have Happened

So many dramatic things. I now have an actual job where I have to do actual work. And actually commute. So as a result I've been a little busy.

Gone are the halcyon days of Purgatory Inc, where I labored for so many years. I know I will always miss the excitement of working with people who sold Avon on the side and had Tupperware parties. And will I ever see Captain Porno again?

Maybe not.

Or the guy who liked to shove a handkerchief way, way into his nose while he was talking to you? So deep that you wondered if it would result in an exit wound? That guy? Ah well, things move on.

We've moved away from Orange County and are now up here on the San Francisco Bay Area Peninsula. It's coming home in a way, since the wifely friend and I are both from the Bay Area. Actually, we're from the South Bay, which looks a lot like Orange County these days anyway, but has maybe three less Jamba Juices per square mile. Now we live on a hill by the airport, and are surrounded by varying degrees of weirdness.

Some happy weirdness I can report is that we live a few blocks away from a Samurai. No, really.

Every time we drive to the grocery store, we pass a house whose front yard is just immaculate. Every last little blade of grass is clipped, just so. The house itself is painted a soothing grey, the trim just setting off the main color of the house. And there is nothing in this yard besides grass and a couple of perfectly shaped hedges.

I have a particular liking for complete absence of clutter, so I feel good every time I see this house. It stands out all the more in our neighborhood of relative weirdness, where some houses seem to be vomiting stuff like old sofas and small dogs into the street via their porches or garage doors. The house has a neat and tidy, very Japanese look about it, so pleasing and austere.

Then, one day recently, we were on the way to the grocery store, and we saw a Samurai on the corner, right by the house. He was sort of a middle-aged, balding, portly Samurai, smoking a cigarette, but other than that, he sure looked the part. He had a kimono on, and sported the requisite ponytail so popular in Kurosawa movies. I could almost picture him with a little flag on his back, sweeping down the plain to meet his almost certain death on the color-coded battlefield.

I wondered if this was what happened to Ronin when they don't commit seppuku. They come hang out on the peninsula, smoking cigarettes and looking down the hill to see if the neighbors' garage sale has anything they might be interested in, like maybe a breadmaker.

The wifely friend and I looked at each other in awe.

"He must live in that perfect house!" I said.

"Yeah," said the wifely friend "Or the house with tinfoil all over the windows."

Maybe it's better not to know.


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