When the light is right, sitting in a Berkeley café, I can feel like a mini-Rick with many mini-llsas arriving.
Like yesterday, I was on-line ordering a just-discounted book by L, whom I had met in that very café, when in walked my recently retired lawyer-friend M. He bought a “Schiz” and while we were catching up — books, movies, gyms — since our last lunch, N, who had worked with M but had not seen him in 30 years, recognized his voice.
N had recently sold his law practice in Stockton and was traveling around the world with O, a Danish woman, while trying to decide where to live. They were in town for a three week at the Nyingma Institute to be followed by two weeks at Spirit Rock. I did not press my books on them since they seemed to be traveling light. (On the other hand, if all you have on the agenda is silence…)
While M, N and O were discussing the infelicities imposed by the homeless in Berkeley and immigrants in Copenhagen and I was completing my purchase of L’s book, P, a writer/illustrator of children’s book, offered me a Jodi Picault novel she had come across while cleaning out her shelves. I don’t read Jodi Picault myself, but I thought — correctly — Adele would like it. As I pocketed it, Q stepped away from the coffee bar. We had recently become acquainted when he’d bought a book and I’d learned he had given up architecture to independently study physics.
As it happened, at breakfast I had just read in the NYRB about “locality” and “spooky action” and if (and How) everything was connected and it had occurred to me, especially since recent events had turned me against politics, I might benefit from taking up physics myself, even though when I had tried to read “The Cosmic Code” — about the time M and N had last spoken — I had not gotten past The Heisenberg Principle.
Well, Adele said, when I recounted this story, you’re much smarter now.