Miller Time

First Forays

UNITED STATES—So here we were, after two days in the country. We took a depopulated bus. Hey, it was a Sunday and we would learn that Madrid is in summer mode. People leave the city. The siesta is religiously observed, in the land where the siesta was invented, due to the torrid climate. The banks close at 2 p.m....

Arrival In Madrid

UNITED STATES—Finally, just after nine in the hot clear morning, the bus curled around the overpass to the housing development 50 kilometers north of Madrid, where I'd spent two wondrous days. It left Fernando free to go back to his chores and Carmen and I were off to the city, passing through a number of smaller cities and developments....

A Poetic Journey

UNITED STATES—Since being on the airplane to Madrid, I'd reencountered poetry. I grabbed a few scraps from the shelf above my desk because we were going to read at a literary bar on Tuesday night. Already on the airplane, I took a few poems and did something to them I had not done in a long time, if at...

More Spanish Pages

UNITED STATES—After lunch, the jetlag, wine, swordfish and potato salad suddenly caught up with me. I was nodding off and falling over onto our driver showing us the lakes and the blue rugged mountains that evoked the Western majesty of the San Fernando Valley. Fernando pointed out one craggy face. "A lot of mountaineers rappel up that side. A few...

Spanish Pages

UNITED STATES—It was Summer Solstice when I arrived and enjoyed the first fruits of accidental tourism. I had been prepared to take my Euros and invest in a ride on the Metro, directly to Madrid, where there no concrete plans yet for a place to stay. But instead, at the last minute, a Spanish friend in Los Angeles arranged for...

Welcome Party

UNITED STATES—I tried to prepare myself in the plane for the time change in order to hit the ground walking, if not running. I ate lightly and drowsed as we flew over the "pond" I wonder what wag in what century came up with that nomenclature for the Atlantic Ocean? I kept rehearsing the actions I needed to take...

Joy: An Anecdote Of Doggy Destiny

UNITED STATES—This is a story about dogs. I was walking my two dogs on a Saturday evening in Hollywood. I was on my way to Yucca Supermarket and I remembered the teaching of one holy man--such as occasionally inhabit these streets--imparted when I was very new to having a dog. Seeing the tension produced when my chihuahua terrier tugged abruptly...

Bedside (23)

UNITED STATES—It is a new scene. There is darkness, closed shades. A huge Victorian bed against the wall, and all around there is stuff, dusty boxes, knicknacks, kewpie dolls and tennis rackets. A figure lies in bed--Davy. His left leg is propped under the covers in a leg cast. Mom trundles along on a rubber-socket reinforced cane. "The doctor says you'll...

Bedside (22)

UNITED STATES—"The silence filtered through charcoal silence. I want to let it all out..." "Well this forced the issue, something like the fall had to happen. And now it's bringing everything out into the open." "Like the fact that you're an embezzler...? Davy glares at her. "Can't you tell when I'm kidding?" "Freud said there are no jokes." "That may be true. Have you ever...

Bedside (21)

UNITED STATES—"You know I figure I owe mom about twenty thousand dollars over twelve years." "You carry that around?" Karen says. "I do," says Davy. "Somebody told me not to worry. That whenever a mother gives something, they never expect it to be paid back. It was comfort at the time." "You were comforted." "And it was the beginning in Los Angeles, my...
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