Counting Fish

Calaveras County. The 60′s.  I was 6.

We went to a forestry preserve – I think, now, it must have been a fishery.

At a tiny stream in the middle of a small, flat meadow, a forest ranger in short sleeves knelt looking through the running water at his hands.

We walked up to him.
I asked him a question.
Like I do.
And there was no response.

I asked again.
No response.

Just as I was pulling in  breath to ask again, my mother leaned down and whispered “Shhh. He’s counting fish.”

The sun filtered through massive redwoods.  The water sparked like an invisible wall between two dimensions made visible for a just a moment.

Counting fish.  Requires complete focus.

Later I learned there are many kinds of fish that people count.

Most are not actually fish.


Today the Verizon guy was fiddling with yellow cables in the box outside my porch.
I walked downstairs to ask a question.  Like I do.
“Are you thinking?” I asked him.
“Nope, I’m never thinking” he answered.
“Then can I ask you a question?”
“Sure,” he said.

And that’s how I learned to reprogram the password on my modem.

Lucky for me he wasn’t counting fish today.

Or maybe he already had them numbered.

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I’m Seeing Friends

martiniwaiter_wwiw_090117_wDHCOn Saturday, it became imperative I fill one wall of my studio with drawings of my – how do I say this – my 2-dimensional friends.

It’s the only thing I know to call them. I’m not trying to be cute.

I dragged the deskjet color printer up from the first floor.  I didn’t freak out when it printed everything green. I found a box marked “Printer Cartridges for the Deskjet” and they fit! They calibrated themselves. And the printer didn’t jam. White paper went in … and my friends emerged.

My friends.

As each appeared I experienced utter delight.



“Well, Helloooo!!!” I actually said that aloud.  “I’m so happy to SEEEEEE you” – and I was.  I was thrilled to see each of them – even the laconic frog crooning in a Calaveras honky-tonk.


I don’t understand it.  I could see them any time on my computer. They’re just drawings – they’re not actual people. I drew them myself.  It’s not like I met them — but it feels like I did.  They feel like friends.

And I love having them in my room. Playing the piano. Handing me a martini.  Smelling the world with a slight air of suspicioon.  Offering me a place to sit – on them.

I LOVE them. I LOVE having them in the room with me.

I still don’t get whywhy it’s so utterly delightful and happy-making.

But it is.


It is SOOOOOO good to SEE them.



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The Man Who Wasn’t Yet

The Man Who Wasn't YetOne of the books I didn’t write today is about a artist – a woman of a certain age -  a performer – recently rejected by her long-term partner, who decides the best way to find the man of her dreams is to craft him – by starting a coaching business for successful billionaires who want to expand their ability for personal expression.

It’s a Pygmalion-type story … you know, kind of “My Fair Lady” with a mustache.

Well, one of them has a mustache.

No … both have mustaches.  I forgot – she’s a woman of a certain age.

I mean an UNcertain age.

And of course she’s highly attractive to absolutely every man who hires her — though none know why — she doesn’t fit the standard profile of an attractive woman.

Ohhhh … and her name is Henrietta Higgins.

No, too obvious … Holly.  Yes, that’s good – Holly Higgins. No, Huggins.

Holly Huggins.

Anyway, as it turns out, Holly’s business is wildly successful and she becomes a billionaire, all her clients want to marry her and …

… and I didn’t get any further than that.

So … that’s the book I didn’t write today.  What book didn’t you write today?

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