MARCH 07, 2020



So anyway. This time Denby got let off with a mild reprimand from the Judge after this year's V-day Sucky Valentine episode.

It should be considered that the Comissioner at the Court in San Rafeal is a strict disciplinarian and brooks no nonsense in his court.

"Stop coming into my court with your failed romances, disturbed sexuality, and violent amaranta seeking revenge!" thundered the Commissioner. "We do not support any such presentations in this district. You and your charges are dismissed with appropriate fines applied. Seek the Clerk of Court for payment."

"I think you mean inamorata," Denby said. "An amaranta is a kind of plant . . .".

"Shut up! Do not ever disagree with me again! Now get out of here!"

Denby went to his office job, which is the one that pays the rent, as well as all of his legal fees, as opposed to his Island-Life job which pays for his soul's redemption and nothing else. He worked as a lowly step-n-fetchit for a medical group called LongLife that owned several buildings in Oaktown.

In a dark, dusty office with poor light and bad furniture stood a chair. In that chair sat one nurse named Mariah hunched over her workstation. Miriam sported khaki pants, a simple shoulder-strap shirt and a waist-length rope of chestnut hair. Her arms were liberally painted with tattoos. Her face presented full lips, a pert nose and the largest blue eyes Denby had ever seen.

The time was March and the beginning of the Most Dangerous Season and Denby was quickly and irrationally head over heels after that notorious martial artist named Eros armed with a lethal crossbow banged him 30 seconds after entering the building.

He checked with Walter about deliveries and then went down the dismal hall, passing the room with Mariah who turned to face him with searchlight blue laser eyes. That is when Eros did his work. He was pierced by the agency of desire.

She had a problem with eFax and Denby helped her out and could not help but inhale the scent of her chestnut hair. She was a blue glow of a jewel amid the detritus of trash and dust and tangles of wires and bad reception that evidenced a Light of Earth who glowed in the darkness of that cave.

Spring is the most dangerous Season.

Yes, Spring is the most dangerous season. Maybe it is different in other places, but here, wise men remain indoors and order pizza for dinner, hunker down by the TV to watch endless reruns of Monster Truck Destruction and Terminator I, II, III and IV. It's safer cuddled there in the dark lit only by the blackout curtain blocked TV set glow.

Bees dive-bombing the clover, hummingbirds bayoneting the jasmine that keeps throwing out punches this way and that while sending wafts of chemical weapons of mass disruption. Army ants on the march in great phalanxes and squirrels conducting reconnaissance forays add to the mayhem, while raccoons begin nightly raids. The daisy bush bursts with yellow ack-ack blooms while the poppies erupt with tiny explosions across the fields. Squadrons of swallows swooping and diving, ducks performing sorties, Canadian geese streaking overhead in formation and then, worst of all, there are the girls in their summer dresses.

Meanwhile, somewhere overhead, flying in stealth mode -- that naked, blindfolded, fat boy keeps firing off at random his erring arrows of wanton mishap, those IEDs (Improvised Erotic Designs), wreaking chaos in a wide swath more terrifying than Sherman's March to the Sea. Squadrons of women and girls swelling with fatal charms stroll on patrol, their smooth lithe legs flashing beneath their uniforms: thin summer dresses, haltertops, daisy-dukes, and god knows what else underneath that armor. If anything. It's all agitprop left to the imagination.

Save us all from Spring's violent terrors.

Observe Johnnie, happy and carefree as a lark, striding with ruddy cheeks and full confidence down San Pablo Avenue. But after him comes Jane, armed with those sharpshooter eyes, that flippy short skirt, and strappy high heels. Now Johnnie is down! His face wan and his appetite poor, his breath coming out in ragged gasps as Jane cradles his head among the wildly blooming, victorious daisies. Right in the heart, poor lad. A goner for sure.

Yes, Spring is the most dangerous Season. And now Denby was captivated by the nurse Mariah with her tatoos and everything besides. Her beautiful eyes glowing in that dark pit. His daydreams featured images of Mariah riding on top of him with her luxurious rope of chestnut hair flying about like a cowgirl riding a rumpus. In short, he was hopelessly smitten and tottally lost. Ah the poor sod.

As for Denby there is fantasy and then there is acting upon impulse. Some things are better left to the warmth of imagination's oven. Or at least left to simmer a while so as to learn the best way to cook the pot. When Denby mentioned going to a concert together the nurse slapped him, issued an impressive volley of sailor's language and ordered him to take his aging carcass from her office before she had the DON write him up. A red-faced Denby departed, still thinking Mariah looked rather adorable as she spewed that torrent of profanity.

Heading back through Fairfax, still mooning about the nurse, Denby got off the bus to pick up lotion for his psoriasis at the CVS when a truckload of gangmembers from the Angry Elf consortium spotted him.

"There's the old guy!" one of them said.

A few hours later, Denby crawled up to his narrow cot, bloody with torn shirt and stockings, a bent nose and missing teeth and flopped down. It was the perfect end to another day in Paradise.

In the Island-life offices, now located in the San Geronimo Valley, the Editor considered the options that lay before him. Spring would be sure to come but then there was the coronavirus to consider. And the leggy Joanne who remained on the horizon with her desire and her charming weaponry.

All things considered equal, the Editor decided to sequester. The CDC, no less, had said that men of his generation needed to absent themselves from public life because of the coronavirus. Then again there was Eros flying about smacking people right and left with his errant arrows. Another violent danger in this time of cholera.

Following personal tradition for this time of year, the Editor purchased a stack of Michelina's Ready Meals and prepared to stay in for the duration, avoiding all contact and the leggy Joanne for several months. Spring would have to happen without his participation this time as this sun of York overcame the winter of discontent. Only to leave a legion of still-breeding thoughts. And so Richard II breeds another Richard III in afterthought. A conundrum of one mal-formed king creating the predecessor before his time, while time continues posting on proud Bolingbroke's horse in advance of his own time.

Or something like that. Leave Shakespear to duffy English professors to figure out and leave love to go without any figuring out at all for it was all impossible.

Even so Denby gave at least a try, for the Editor strategy was his strength and not disaster. Our Lady of Carlisle would not leap at him coming out of the lion's den, no sirree. You decide who was wise.

Let my inspiration flow, in token rhyme suggesting rhythm
That will not forsake me, till my tale is told and done
While the fire lights aglow, strange shadows from the flames will grow
Till things we've never seen will seem familiar

Shadows of a sailor forming winds both foul and fair, all swarm
Down in Carlisle he loved a lady many years ago
Here beside him stands a man, a soldier by the looks of him,
Who came through many fights, but lost at love

While the story teller speaks, a door within the fire creaks,
Suddenly flies open, and a girl is standing there
Eyes alight, with glowing hair, all that fancy paints as fair
She takes her fan and throws it in the lion's den

Which of you to gain me, tell, will risk uncertain pains of hell?
I will not forgive you if you will not take the chance
The sailor gave at least a try; the soldier, being much too wise,
Strategy was his strength, and not disaster

The sailor, coming out again, the lady fairly leapt at him
That's how it stands today. You decide if he was wise
The storyteller makes no choice, soon you will not hear his voice
His job is to shed light, and not to master

(text by Robert Hunter)

The sound of the train horn keened from Oaktown across the estuary and wended its way through the redwoods of Marin's well-matriculated hills and slid over the sleeping bulk of Princess Tamalpais following the old, forgotten railbeds that once led along Sir Francis Drake Boulevard to the coast, stirring the coyotes who began to howl their evensong which carried forth on the winds over Fairfax and White's Hill, ululating through Silvan Acres and the mist-shrouded niches of the San Geronimo Valley, coursing with faint gray shapes along the ridge-tops through the drifts of fog to an unknown destination.