Self has been most undisciplined: she’s been back from Bacolod since early October, and not once has she gone to the Stanford libraries to continue her readings on the Philippines. Stacks and stacks of books, waiting for self’s hungry eyes, and Stanford only about six miles south from her house.
Today, she whipped herself into shape: she got herself out of the house bright and early, and went directly to the campus — no stopping for anything along the way. After she’d parked, she started to walk with grim purposefulness. A bunch of men in suits asked her where the Bookstore was. “Over there, diagonally to your right,” she said. They didn’t look reassured.
She approached Green, just over the rise. There was a crowd milling around the outdoor kiosk that sells coffee and pastries. As usual, the courtyard in front of the Halo was jammed with bikes. She went inside and got a Visitor Registration Pass. She asked for specific books, and was directed to the second floor. She found a carrel (No slouching in inviting bean bag chairs, self decided: she has to work!). Then she read, for almost four hours.
At about 2 p.m., her stomach grumbling insistently, she wandered outside to grab a drink and sit in the sun. She’d barely settled herself and snapped on her phone when she saw she had two messages: one was from the Apple Store on University Avenue, reminding her that she’d signed on for a tutorial tomorrow on how to use her iPad’s many features. The other was from Zack, and she called him back immediately. It turns out that the both of us have the same problem with insomnia. Self knows that hers is caused by anxiety, from not being sure she can do what she has set herself to do. But we’re both writing, so that’s good.
She was still chatting away with Zack when she looked up and saw a familiar, stoop-shouldered figure shambling into the Library. “Professor Dien!” self shrieked. He didn’t turn. Self practically bellowed: “Professor Dien! Professor Dien! Professor Dien!” Finally, just before he was about to pull open the glass library door, he turned. Self left her bag, her books, her phone on the bench and went running up to him, stammering: “It’s ME! I used to work for you! You don’t remember me?”
He looked exactly the same. Well, maybe his hair was a little more gray, but his face was still essentially the Dien face. Self was so happy to see him!
Shortly after that, self headed home. It was truly a beautiful day! The sun was shining in all its glory, it was warm, almost like spring. She swung by the Redwood City Library on her way home, and picked up two books about how to write your own will (!!!)
Now she’s about to start cooking dinner: arroz con pollo.
In other good news: self thinks she may have finally found the right gardener to help her tame her front and backyard. His name is Keith. He drives a beat-up old truck. He looks to be about 70. He came two days ago and ended up spending the entire day. Self treated him to burritos from Tacos El Grullense on El Camino at Jefferson. Though resident in the area, he said he had never been there before.
“This is the best place for burritos in Redwood City!” self assured him. (At least, that’s what niece G used to tell self, when she was still a Stanford undergrad, and self puts great stock in all of niece G’s recommendations)
Self ended up telling Keith about her upcoming trip to India. The first thing he said was, “Got your shots yet?” Then self told him that, even though her doctor had recommended she get hepatitis shots, she had refused (She hates needles. Besides, she had a suspicion she might get sick from the shots). “Don’t drink the water,” he said next. Self was curious about these very emphatic pronouncements and asked him if he had ever been to India, and he replied in the negative.
Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.