MAY 13 , 2018



So anyway. The transplanted Household of Marlene and Andre, which had relocated to Marin, got together with residents of the Island who still held on against the filty stream of greed and venality at the old Mama's Royal Cafe in Oaktown.

(Put a Merkin in your Firkin!)

Suzie with Dawn, along with Amy Holliday, Gilberto Ameida with with his mother, Marvin of Marvin's Merkins (Put a Merkin in your Firkin!) with his mother, Ms.Light who worked with Larry Larch as part of Pushy People Anonymous (PPA) was there with Rolfy the terrier and her mother, and from the transplanted community there appeared Tipitina alone, Sally, Marlene with Andre, and Sarah, who had children but none of whom showed up. Marlene got breakfast in bed, served by Little Adam because she pretty much fills the mother role for the guy these days, but she showed up with Andre and Little Adam.

The gals at Mama's shoved a couple tables together to accomodate them all and they promised to be quick in and out on account of the special day that was Mother's Day all over the place and the line to get in went almost around the block. But brunch at Mama's Royal Cafe is a kind of Oaktown Tradition and been so since 1974.

LIttle Adam was all amazed about the attention being paid to Mothers everywhere.

That's because she is the one that brought you into the world, Mrs. Light said over her elegant pince nez. Her silver hair had a touch of blue tint.

O heck no, LIttle Adam said. My real mom be a skanky ho' doin' meth and X all the time and bein' crunk. Marlene be the best.

Adam, don't talk about your old mom, Andre said.

Awww. She be crackhead threw me in the street. And you be dope more than that wanksta. Glad he gone bye bye Felicia.

Let's change the subject, Marlene said.

And so how is school, said Mrs. Light, with the understanding there were a few issues here.

He is doing very well, Marlene said proudly. He has been tutoring some of the kids in math.

That is a sign of strength and high intelligence, said Mrs. Light.

Yeah, I got Nilo to stop punching the walls of his room, Adam said.

Must be hard on the furnishings, said Mrs. Light.

Nah, his room walls be cinderblock. But he wasn't paying no attention. And he kept beating up the other kids; he was gonna get throwed out. I said, Nilo you like going from school to school all the time? What about the friends you never see again? You gotta stop that. Its no fun always bein' on the outside.

The best education is to be a good example, said Mrs. Light. That is, she said in a creaky voice, the real OC.

What? said Adam, Marlene and Andre simultaneously.

I mean, said Mrs. Light, you gave him the four one one. That is good. Now then, what about the Almeida family? What is going on my dear Gilberto and how are the chickens about whom I have heard so much . . . ?

the Angry Elf gang causing intermittent misery

The chickens were going great guns, but as it turned out during conversation many who had lived all their lives on the Island were finding the changes and the land greed becoming more and more onerous. Then there was the problem of the Angry Elf gang causing intermittent misery. Families who had maintained businesses for three generations were packing up and leaving. The ones who still remained asked about life in the country of Chief Marin and were told it was not so great on account of high prices, higher rents, unreasonable people, ill-stocked stores and few advantages other than Beauty. There, the Northern counties held a clear advantage.

it was all part of the master plan

On the Island the Disputed Bicycle Bridge had faded in memory in favor of the Disputed Bicycle Paths, which provided sufficient acrimony and entertainment for all those who observed the shenanigans. The road along the Strand had become so congested with obstacles by way of favoring bicycles and pedestrians with concrete-guarded impediments that many figured it was all part of the master plan to make it impossible to drive at all down there, and so force the fast-moving yuppies to move away and everyone else to take to two wheels.

Well, said Mrs. Light, I shall have to dust off my old Raleigh with the training wheels to get about. Perhaps I can also get a terrier to pull me along with the basket loaded with groceries.

Rolphy, laying under the table, barked at this notion.

Mrs. Almeida thought that an intriguing idea, but perhaps with her children set in harness instead of a terrier.

Finally a good use for children before they can earn their keep, said Mrs. Light.

The brunch was a great success and the gang was happy to be reunited with old friends and catch up on what had been happening since the terrible Night of Broken Fire on the Island.

So anyway the phone rang at Denby's place. He had found lodgings apart from the others underneath the house of a woman who specialized in clearing houses and landscapes of vermin by way of humane, organic means.

Have you weighed yourself recently?

Denby? Denby? This is your mother Denby. I am surprised you picked up the phone. You are not well? That is not surprising. I remember how you used to spit out your oatmeal when you were smaller. You used to be a lot smaller, Denby. Now look at you. Have you weighed yourself recently? Have you talked to your doctor about the things I mentioned. Of course you have not. You never payed the slightest attention to my good advice, And I have given you much of it.

I know mom. You gave me a lot.

Well you do not sound very grateful. After all I carried you for nine months and six days and then there was the labor lasting 12 hours. It was almost like you did not want to leave!

Mom you told me that story before.

It is so nice and warm up in there where you were and I held you so safe protected from gangsters and all the trouble you seem to have found since leaving my nice warm, furry . . . .

Mom, okay now. It is a little wierd.

A little wierd? Sonny I am your mother. I wiped your chin chinny chin and I wiped your popo while your father . . .

Okay mom.

Okay mom! Okay is not okay. You were not even going to call me I can just feel it.

Mom it is nearly midnight here.

I will be the loneliest dead mother

Okay so it is a bit early the day beforemaybe for you. But not for me. Denby I am not getting any younger you know. I will not be around forever. One day I will be dead and under the ground and the leaves will blow across my unkempt plot there in Colma and I am sure no one will come to visit or call and I will be the loneliest dead mother that ever there was . . .

Mom stop crying, I will come visit you.

O! And when will that be . . .

I meant when you are dead . . .

WHAT?!?! My son refuses to see me until I am dead and gone?! Aaahhhhhhhhh!!!

Okay mom, what is this really about?

Well, since you mentioned it, there was the mysterious shadow on the xray the doctor did recently and then there is Abigail -- remember Abigail? - is having a potluck and she is having the Halvorsens over -- remember the Halvorsens from Minnesota? and their darling daughter Ruby who got a degree from either Stanford or Midwestern I cannot remember which, but she was always so cute with that haircut . . .

Now that you mention it, Denby said, I think Ruby does not care so much for men.

What do you mean by that Denby?

I mean that Ruby prefers the company of women, mom.

Well okay be that way. Just throw a monkeywrech into the pudding why don't you. Here I am trying to work up something with the help of Ruby's mom for her and you and there you go as you always do causing some kind of monkeywrench and here I am having worked my fingers to the bone providing for you and wiping your popo and you going out in your halloween costume with no clothes on underneath -- don't you find that embarassing?

Now that you bring it up again, yes. You had my pants in the washer at the time as I recall.

Now don't go changing the subject. It was embarrassing and that is what is important. Anyway I want you to come to the potluck and see your cousins.

And see Ruby, I guess.

Denby, I feel you can change her heart.

Mom, Ruby is what she is. She is not going to change herself because of me.

O yeah, go ahead and destroy all my dreams and visions. You are a hard case, Denby. I wonder how you got so hard. You are killing your mother, your poor mother . . .oooooooo . . . .

Mom, did anyone ever ask Ruby what she thinks?

Who cares? She will come around. Believe me, I know her mother; we talk all the time at Jaqueline's Salon. Ruby can change. In these times a woman has to be adaptable. And all of us have engaged in a bit of ... experimentation. That is entirely all right. See how broadminded I am . . . ?

Mom! Are you saying you have . . .

Now Denby before I met your father I was a lost soul. Nevermind about that. I need you to come to the potluck on the 30th. And attend the wedding for Lucas and Chantra afterwards. Kill two birds. I have you down for the 27th arrival.

Mom . . .

Of course your poor mother, who is about to die of something because of a mysterious shadow on the xray and nobody cares about this poor woman wasting away whom nobody ever calls and no one ever visits because she is a castaway old shrew . . . .

Mom . . .

And me the one who carried you and wiped away your popo and here I am fated to wither on the vine like a . . . a dried up fig nobody wants and nobody calling and all alone I will fall down and reach for that electric locket thing and it will fall from my feeble grasp as my last breath goes and nobody caring they are all out cavorting with harlots or something and me dying alone and Mr. Peepers, the cat, will come all hungry and bugs will feed on me in the hallway the way I heard they do on Discovery Channel . . . Oooooooooooohhhhhhhhaaaaaaaahhhhhhh . . . the cat . . . the bugs . . . !

Okay mom, stop crying.I will come out.

O thank you thank you Denby my mostly only son, save for Sanford, I will be so happy to see you and Ruby together. It is all settled. You make a mother so happy!

Okay mom.

Let us part from this tender scene between a mother and her mostly only son.

The sound of the train horn keened from Oaktown across the estuary and wended its way through the fog-shrouded Northbay's well-matriculated hills and the sleeping bulk of Princess Tamalpais, as it also traversed the estuary to cross the Island and die between the Edwardian house-rows as the locomotive click-clacked in front of the shadow-shuttered Jack London Waterfront, trundling past the Ohlone burial mounds to an unknown destination.