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Catherine Roberts Leach

I Don't Travel Well And Booze



ON THE SECOND DAY of any vacation I am ready to go home. That's no secret; you know that about me. I have drunk a sufficiency of whatever alcohol the locals offer and have done my version of seeing the sights.

From where I'm staying, in a friend's apartment, I can see the Transamerica building, Coit Tower and a body of water that could be San Francisco Bay. I also know of two bridges, the Golden Gate and Oakland Bay Bridge. I am looking at part of one now. And I'm looking at roof tops and standard San Francisco architecture.

What I really want to see about now is my own apartment and more importantly, my cats. Familiar and beautiful sights.

alex2aEven though I need to do this, to go out of town every few years to appease Catherine and shake things up in my psyche, I love my home and always resist leaving it.

Why do people go away? Something about our early nomad? Atavistic? Traveling to get food and drink?

Well, I certainly understand that. It's what I do on vacation. The root of which is "vacate" and refers to temporarily being away from a job I guess. Boring job, hard job, stupid, stressful job. Something I've rarely had. So I really shouldn't be criticizing this whole vacation business in that I don't qualify.

My personal reason for going away—other than making my Catherine happy—is to drink and to eat and out of that to suffer and perhaps to learn. But now I've done enough of all that, and I'm ready for home.

THE VIEW from that Sausalito restaurant was spectacular. And the memory of Sausalito that allowed me to imagine you in various venues when you were here that time and called, was actually a memory of Tiburon. I was confused; I had never been to Sausalito.

Catherine and I got off the Sausalito ferry and into shopland, shiny little boutiques full of uselessness. And the people: I was thinking of something a bit more...something a bit less filled with the likes of me. Hungover old men carrying shopping bags, dumbly following a clutch of family females.

I did see a young man who was wearing an Alabama baseball cap and turned out to be an interesting fellow. Roll Tide, I said. And on about that for a while. He was studying criminal justice and hoped to work for the Alabama Bureau of Investigation. We spoke of Birmingham-Southern College and the boys who set the fires. I told him that I'm from Gadsden; I might not have told him that I had gone to Birmingham-Southern.

So that's it from here. Almost time to walk across the street to the Ritz-Carlton for breakfast and those potatoes I love. I need a shave but forgot my shaving gear. I also forgot a second pair of pants, so I'll be wearing a pair of dress pants that have been worn for several days now. I did bring a spare shirt, and I'll be wearing a great old sports coat from Brooks Brothers. I'll comb my hair.

When I'm asked about my political leanings I say socialist. But here I am, cleaning up for the Ritz-Carlton, hoping to pass.###


6 April 2006

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