I still had clumps of egg attached to my teeth and made the realization that when I eat eggs with soy cheese they congeal into an adherent mess in my back teeth. Lovely. I had just a few weeks left before internship and residency started and coming to conclusions, summarizations, and understandings seemed important because in short order, I would rarely have time to ponder, make realizations, sleep or dream.
We were back driving through the streets of Oakland for the first time in 4 years and heading to ore and salvage to find furniture and bits for the new apartment. In the last week, knowing we would be going to Ore and Salvage, I imagined that we would run into Mel. That is if he was still alive- and still living in the house on Solano Ave and still doing carpentry or construction and still being Mel. A dear sweet man, a Mr. Fix-it, fun to be with but largely alone, reading books and pursuing astronomy, ham radios and other hobbies that thrived when done alone. I had last seen him in the late 70’s, when I was still with Ann and Mel and I were remodeling her first house and bidding on small carpentry jobs. Like hanging the heaviest door made out of the hardest wood, which had sat for 3 years getting harder awaiting someone insane enough to hang it. We spent so many hours getting this door hung and finally succeeded but not without a lot of damage to this beautiful, solid core door. I am not making this up but the homeowner was largely vision impaired -legally blind – and we were relieved to know she never ever suffered knowing what a mess we made of the door. About 2 years after we hung it, I ran into her at a party and she said she was surprised we had ever agreed to hang it—no one else would because it was so heavy.