An appropriate way to celebrate the Eighth Anniversary of becoming a homeless bum and beginning these Tales, trying a drug I'd not had before. I've read about it with interest but so far as I know there is only one place here which serves it, and that's well out of my usual circuit. Kava.

Although it is apparently illegal in some European countries, it is still legally available in the USA, and they had a "Kava Festival" on campus. A number of booths selling crafts, clothing, food, with live music performances and, of course, a booth with a huge vat of light brown liquid. So I bought a glass and strolled off to a nearby place where I could drink it while smoking.

A most unpleasant taste, although not as bad as I'd expected from my research. Certainly nothing close to the utter nastiness of peyote buds, although that is probably the best equivalent. Far more subtle effect than peyote, though. The tongue went immediately into a numbed, tingling state (rather like novocaine). The most remarkable thing, though, was that I fell into a totally blank mind state, perhaps for as long as half an hour. No internal jukebox, no fantasies, no planning what to do next with the day. I didn't realize it until afterwards.

It was tempting to go back for a second glass of the stuff but I was worried that I might like it too much, and I really don't need a habit that costs four dollars a glass.


I found a Hershey bar on the bus, chocolate with almonds. Haven't eaten one of those in many years, loved them in my youth. That was before I discovered the English Cadbury chocolate. Alas, the American version of Cadbury (made by Hershey), and even the Canadian version, is just not as good as the real thing. But then I don't eat much chocolate anymore.

I did once visit Hershey, Pennsylvania and the chocolate factory. The streetlights were in the shape of "Hershey Kisses". Only in America.

It was very good to see a news report that the SocSec check will go up by 4.1 percent in January, almost twice this year's increase. I'll go over a thousand-a-month for the first time. It was rather puzzling, though, to get a letter from SocSec telling me there is no longer any limit on what I can earn each month and still get my pension. So if I somehow got a $100,000-a-year job, I'd even so get my monthly pittance. This doesn't make any sense at all.

The Aries Full Moon was a strong one, invaded my not-so-Dark Corner first from the north and then from the south. On Sunday night, well, early Monday morning, it was like sleeping with a spotlight on me. And I dreamed about the moon even while being bathed in its light. Must be a sure step toward being a lunatic, not that I really need to take such a step.

The Saint-Saens Samson and Delilah is, for me, a rather boring opera except for the beautiful duet in the second act, but I did listen to most of it. Prairie Home Companion was bit more weird than usual, but I listened to all of it. Lasser's show featuring songs about singing, though, got on my nerves and I didn't make it through the hour. Weekend radio. Now we have the begging bowl routine for ten days or so. I'll have to make sure to have more books tucked away in my bag.

I've abandoned the strategy of moving to GovSanc2 after three on weekday mornings, awakened by a man stomping on the pavement several times and saying "you can't stay here, you'll be arrested." A few more minutes of sleep aren't worth that kind of rude awakening. It looks like we are into one of the periodic sweeps of that building, since there have been no sleepers there for several mornings.

The past few days, I have awakened and thought, "I wish I could turn the clock back to nine o'clock the night before and do it all over again." I suppose if I did have a room of my own, I'd spend an awful lot of time sleeping.


Correction. Wishful thinking. It's the prudent folks who waited until age sixty-five whose SocSec checks will break the thousand-a-month barrier in January. No one has ever accused me of being prudent. Oh well, the increase will still be welcome, even if not to that level.

I had six dollars and some coins left in my pocket on the morning of Third Wednesday, so was much pleased to see that brown envelope in the mailbox. Got lucky with the weather, too, because it had rained throughout the night, stopped long enough for me to get to the bus stop and the mall before it poured again. Then at midday it stopped again, so I managed to collect the check and cash it without getting wet.

The begging bowl routine began on Public Radio. Sigh. And I goofed at the State Library, took three books and later realized I had already read two of them. It's getting more and more difficult to remember what I've read and what I haven't.

It strikes me as quite bizarre that a teenage golfer is getting so much front-page space in local newspapers, even if she is a millionairess. Well, if she can still play golf at age 65, she'll get her SocSec money every month. By that time, it will probably be over the two-thousand mark.


Antwone Fisher's Finding Fish


the tales