I have found the answer to me not working out as regularly as I’d like to, and it is a black lab named Gracie.

Seven years ago, my dad and stepmom went to the market to buy fresh tomatoes and came home with a wiggling mass of black fur, ears, and paws.

She hasn’t slowed down one bit.

And my legs hurt!

Before I forget: Happy birthday, Mac. I never forget your birthday because it’s on May Day. You don’t even read this anymore but this is the only place I’m wishing you a happy birthday, so deal.

My grandmother is still not doing well; my stepmother has gone to Detroit to be with her and to relieve my uncle. No news is neither good nor bad news, at this point. It’s just no news.

I saw Pas yesterday, and timeshifted a bit, which is always disconcerting but I bet would have been moreso for him if I had leaned over and given him a girlfriend-type kiss when I got in his car. Not that, I suspect, either of us would have minded in the moment; it’s always before and after the moment that undo us.

Anyway, we had a lovely dinner together, talked and laughed. It’s always the same, that comfortable yet sparkly feeling around him, such a constant in my life even if I only get to spend meatworld time with him every year or so. This year, twice already: what a treat! And there’s just something so special being around someone I have known and grown with for a decade. We still have so much in common, yet just enough to be interesting to each other. Plus, he’s terribly self-effacing and cute. If he were local to the Bay Area, I’d set him up with Jen. Although I think I missed my window of opportunity with that. (woo Jen!)

Later, my writing partner and I chatted on ICQ a bit, mentioning my timeshifting, my tenuous grip on the agreed-upon group reality, and then I got to ask him any three questions I wanted. I was sleepy and not very original, but it was exciting to be able to ask someone any three questions in the world, and have him answer them. (I think we were supposed to have a writing meeting.)

All this quality time with Dad is making my head spin. The timeshifting is getting worse, but in a cheerful way, as I turn my head once and am about to head out to the front porch to wait for Pas to pick me up to go to play rehearsal, turn my head again and remember I have to empty out the dehumidifier in the basement and remind Dad to take his various medicines. The memories are so close to my surface that extricating them from what’s happening right now takes too much time. I’m processing it all at once, I think, that’s why it gets jumbled. Yesterday I missed the turn to our house because I was in another time-space. Normally I don’t do that while I’m driving; maybe it’s the stress that’s making it harder to sort out.

Ooo, I love the journal entries in which I sound like a total fruitcake. Really, I appear to be totally functional most of the time, and that’s all that matters. Just don’t freak out the locals …

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I give respect and reverence to those who came before me.