Hanging On | Road to Recovery

I think screen time activates my heart murmur. It didn’t seem to be happening today until I opened my computer screen, especially when I took the blue light filter off.

I’m drinking green tea.

It’s green tea mixed with a bunch of other shit like licorice root and burdock root.

Today at 1pm I see the sports medicine doctor. I couldn’t be more overjoyed/terrified about this. On the one hand they could confirm they think everything’s OK and I could start heading south as early as Friday. On the other hand they could tell me they think the original assessment is wrong and that I need an MRI and possibly surgery. Either way I just wanna get this over with.

SHAK is down today. Good. The sooner it corrects the sooner it can go up again.

SE Limited is up. Should I sell it and buy something else?

ACB still posed for a big break?

God I love this tea. It doesn’t taste like green tea. It’s delicious. And only SLIGHTLY caffeinated. Gets rid of all those free radicals so you can smoke till your heart’s content. I will be drinking wine within the next few years, I’m sure of that. Could even be within the next year. But I’m not quite ready not. Not quite.

I just want to know what’s going on with my fucking knee.

What could I do today to integrate my senex? Meditate. Clean up my boat. Do acid.

If SHAK finds support at the 110 level all bets are off.

After this cup of green tea I’m going to have another cup of green tea and hopefully walk to Whole Foods. I say hopefully because the last few times I’ve thought I was going to walk to Whole Foods I got to the parking lot, where my car is. I then got in my car and drove to Whole Foods, which is roughly the calorie-burning equivalent of walking there, but not quite. The temperature on the boat is 60 degrees. There’s water in the bilge compartment and I don’t care. I have an automatic bilge, why do I keep cleaning it out?

Should I be injecting peptides into my knee? I have collagen peptides on my boat but nothing to mix them with. They’re unflavored so they probably taste like bovine. I need smoothies to mix them with, and I have a Magic Bullet but since I live on a boat with just a refrigerator no ice cubes. How to get around the ice conundrum? I could turn up my fridge until it’s basically a freezer. But then I can’t have anything else in there.

I will have fasted 15 hours by 10am.

Today the sun sets at 4:53! When I get back the sunsets will probably already be after 7pm. They say a meniscus tear can take three months to heal with conservative treatment. So maybe that’s how long it’s gonna take? But what about this ACL stuff? I could see myself turning into one of those problem patients today who refuses to leave until he has answers. “Give me a fucking MRI!”

Today is probably a good day to wear sweatpants.

Twenty four minutes till I can eat.

Every summer feels like the last summer of my innocence. This last summer, for example. Bouldering every day. Hanging out with Carolyn. A mission to Mexico. What will next summer be like?

This last summer seemed so pure. It seems like something was lost. But maybe it’s good that it was lost. Maybe the negative elements of the puer aeternus will be lost. Maybe hanging onto that innocence is the problem. But it’s so beautiful.


“Please” aka Green Tea | Road to Recovery

Today was a red-letter day in my recovery. Why was it a red-letter day? Because today I figured out a plan to get me back to bouldering, or at least back in the direction of bouldering, and today I completed the first step of that plan, i.e. I drove out to the Reiter Foothills, parked my car, put my climbing shoes in my backpack, and walked halfway up to the boulders.

I didn’t climb, of course.

Actually one of the reasons I didn’t climb is because there was a ruby-throated tanager (I have no idea if this was the actual bird) at the trailhead that seemed to be chirping some sort of warning signal. It was as if the bird was saying, “Mark! Mark! Don’t climb Warm-Up Slab V0 without a pad! You’ll fall! You’ll fall!”

Indeed, that was sort of the plan, if I made it up to the boulders, to climb Warm-Up Slab V0, just to get my hands on the damn granodiorite. But I haven’t climbed in awhile, and the granite can be slippery, and with my knee how it is it wouldn’t take much to make the injury worse — much worse. So I held off. I hiked halfway up to the boulders in the glorious sun, and at the summit (aka summit for me), I started formulating a plan:

Step 1) Hike halfway up to the boulders.

Step 2) Hike all the way up to the boulders

Step 3) Hike halfway up to the boulders with pad on back.

Step 4) Hike ALL the way up to the boulders with pad on back.

Step 5) Hike up to boulders using semi-sketchy trail from main gate.

Etc, etc, etc, etc, etc.


So today I completed step 1, which felt like a fucking triumph, and it also felt like a triumph because I was bathed in sun for most of the hike, the vitamin D coursing through my belly, licking my neurons, and it just felt good to get out, even if getting out meant driving through Monroe, quite possibly my least favorite city in Washington.

On the way back I suffered a slight slip, buying some caffeinated beverages from Trader Joe’s. Oh no! A week of caffeine cleanse and now I’m back on the wagon. Aka off the wagon. Aka last night I had some GT’s Adaptogenic Tea and had trouble getting to sleep. And today I’m having green tea. Black tar heroin could be next.

Speaking of things you inject, I also decided on the hike that I’m probably going to order some BPC-157 peptides on the internet and inject them directly into my knee. This healing process is just going too slow. I mean, I walked out of a bouldering area (see: hiked) with a pad on my back FIFTEEN MINUTES AFTER ORIGINALLY HURTING MYSELF. And now three weeks later I’m seeing hiking with a pad on my back as some kind of achievement? It’s insanely frustrating. I mean, there has been improvement, but it’s at a banana slug’s pace. I’m not used to being injured like this. I’m not used to forgetting what it feels like to crush. I’m not used to not bouldering (except for the first 36 years of my life when I didn’t know what bouldering was or at the very least scorned it). I’m not used to this desperation, damnit!

So that’s why I might inject some shit into my knee.

The green tea I’m drinking tastes faintly of licorice root. The Yogi label says, “The world needs your unique gifts, don’t leave with them still inside you.” I like this saying, though it would’ve been a wicked opportunity to use a semi-colon properly, though I imagine semi-colons are a little too aggressive for a brand like Yogi. Stick to your periods and commas. And your burdock root. God, this tea is actually really good.

What’s on tap for this week? Tomorrow I have therapy at 10am, which I’m super hyped about. On Wednesday I have my appointment with sports medicine at Swedish and I’ll be damned if I don’t get some answers about my knee. Please, just tell me if you think it’s seriously injured, and if you think it’s seriously injured refer me for an MRI. If it’s not seriously injured, immediately start speaking to me in Spanish, because my brain will already be heading south in my ’97 Subaru towards Mexico, possibly with a stop in San Diego to get peptides.

Please, tell me what’s going on. Please help me.




Elevation | Road to Recovery

Despite not having much to today today has so far been somewhat of a capital day. I woke up and watched the Liverpool vs. Manchester United game, TRIED to write a blog, took a shower, and then got in my car and went to Whole Foods. At Whole Foods I got: a Rebbl Dark Chocolate Protein drink (I’m not drinking caffeine right now, i.e. tea and coffee, but I do allow myself chocolate. This delectable drink from Rebbl has about 20-30mg of caffeine in the form of cocoa, so I can kind of get messed up), and a Kind Bar. Lately when I get bars I almost exclusively get kind bars, because they have a much lower glycemic index, and I’m obsessed with glycemix indices. A Kind Bar often has about 5g of sugar, and 5g of fiber. Contrast that with a White Chocolate Macadamia Clif Bar, which has 21g of sugar. The choice is clear.

Today is also my first day not wearing a knee sleeve. After my successful visit to Whole Foods I went to The Arboretum, where I walked about two miles.  I did this all while talking to my friend Steve, which was capital since it was great to talk to him and also made me not realize how far I was walking. My knee has felt like crap lately, and this is distressing. I don’t know what to do. I think I’ve decided to just wait till my sports medicine appointment on Wednesday at Swedish. Again, the choice is somewhat clear. If they think it’s really messed up, they’ll refer me for an MRI. And if they think it’s not that bad and just needs time and physical therapy, then I’ll go to Mexico. But I’m done wearing a knee sleeve. I’m done taking ibuprofen. And as of later today or tomorrow I’ll even be done with the General. Time to stop sabotaging myself.

I really hate taking ibuprofen. One day it will be proven how bad it is for us. In two hundred years we’ll look back and be aghast at how we ever put that into our bodies.

Now I’m back on the boat, and it’s almost 2pm. It’s cloudy. I’ve got the heater on. My succulent is looking gorgeous and it’s begging to be transplanted to a bigger pot so it can send out tendrils and start new growths. This succulent and I have been on an amazing journey; it’s the longest I’ve ever had a plant. I’ve left it out in the rain till at was at the point of death, dropped it in the lake, and now, only after much trial and error, have I learned how to properly care for it. The hardest thing about taking care of plants sometimes can be leaving them only. Neglecting them. Is this a metaphor for life? For relationships? Does this succulent love me back?

The problem is now I don’t know what to do with the rest of my day. It’s Sunday. I have no one to hang out with. I do have a shit ton of good books, and I can always go on another walk. I could meditate, something I tell myself I should do every day and almost never do it. I could stretch. I could have lunch. I could listen to the audiobook I just downloaded, The Wisdom of Psychopaths. Or I could lie down for a bit, elevate my knee, and just think about things.

I think I’ll do this last one.

Walking Fremont at Night | Road to Recovery

Not even 9am and I’ve put a General in. Really seizing the day. My knee feels significantly worse but that’s due to self massage. I’ve been massaging the shit out of it. The stiffness worries me, though. It’s still quite stiff and it’s been over two weeks since the injury. God, I want an MRI. How can I get them to give me an MRI. Maybe today I leave for Mexico?

The power did not go off on the boat last night. The heater stayed on. I slept well. Yesterday was sunny in Seattle and today promises more of the same. In fact, it’s only supposed to rain two days in the next week or so. So not a terrible time to hang around a little longer. Wait to see if the MRI referral gets approved. Check SHAK every 15 minutes. Revel in the glory of its meteoric rise. Feel the heater buzzing at my feet. Hang out with friends. Walk to Whole Foods. Read good books. Watch my succulent become increasingly healthy. Watch my green queen become increasingly not.

Yesterday I went to Fremont for dinner, aka PCC, aka I bought a bunch of goodies and then went to Ophelia’s bookshop with the idea that I wasn’t leaving there without buying a book. I bought three: Emotional Alchemy, by Tara Bennett-Goleman, Manuscript Found in Accra, by Paulo Coelho, and The Greatest Treasure-Hunting Stories Ever Told, edited by Charles Elliott with contributions from such heavy hitters as Edgar Allen Poe and Jules Verne. I did not deliberate long when buying these books. The whole escapade took about 10 minutes. The bookstore was packed, which I was happy to see. People do not read enough.

After Ophelia’s I walked over to the new SBP in Fremont, which was an experience both amazing and traumatic. Traumatic because it pained me to see such beautiful blocs, such a beautiful climbing facility — the lobby glowing in the night winter air — and not be able to climb. Amazing because the gym looks amazing, and because I climbed up a set of stairs on the outside and just stood there, looking in like a boy looking at a Christmas tree display in a department store, watching two crushers climb in the corner. One of them flashed an orange. One of them flashed a pink. “Enough, Mark,” I said. “Enough.”

I’ve been sleeping well ever since I gave up caffeine. I’ve been feeling more creative. It is important to let your mind rest if you want to be creative. There is nothing more creative than an idle mind. I don’t mean idle in the sense that it’s not working. Our minds are always working. I mean idle in the sense that you’ve given it some time to just wander. Sometimes my mind is my greatest enemy, but ultimately it’s my dearest friend.

Giving up caffeine was hard. The first day was fine because I was coming down off a wicked yerba mate high, my neurons still sizzling far into the afternoon. But the next day I woke up with a headache, irritable. It felt good to be irritable and not be ashamed of it. I felt more like myself than I had in a long time. My mind becomes more my enemy when I abuse by doing things like drinking too much caffeine. With caffeine when I get irritable I have a tendency to discount my irritable feelings because I think they’re coming from the caffeine. But with no substances governing my brain I know that the irritability is real and needs to be respected. It’s easier to respect and honor your shadow when you know it hasn’t been provoked by a substance. Much of my twenties and thirties have had me ashamed of my shadow, constantly trying to suppress it or sweep it under the rug. Anytime I felt jealous or angry or insecure I told myself these feelings were unacceptable. When you read lots of books on Buddhism and Zen and Taoism you start following an unachievable ideal. Would the Buddha be jealous? Of course not. The Buddha sat by a river for 16 hours a day watching the ripples and eating rice. Would a Zen master be perturbed by someone calling her a name? Of course not. She would only smile. But I am not a Zen master, or even remotely enlightened. I experience all of these feelings, and sometimes to a deafening, heart-wrenching degree. And to want to rip them out of myself, to want to excise them, to want to slice them out of my brain like a surgeon might do with a scalpel — that’s not healthy.

SHAK seems to be finding some support at the 112 mark.

My boat is littered with books but because space is a premium they don’t last long. Most of them come, stay for awhile, and then get shuffled off to one of the little lending libraries so common on the Seattle streets. Some of them have stayed — I’ll never give them away, titles like Book 5 of My Struggle and The Order of Time by Carlo Rovelli. The bouldering guidebooks will also stay. Bouldering guidebooks are something I’m happy to accumulate. Even if I’ve never bouldered in Tennessee or have any intention of going there soon I wouldn’t think it a terrible idea to buy a guidebook for that region. You buy a guidebook and next thing you know you’re planning a trip there. Motivation doesn’t breed action, but the other way around.

I washed my hair with distilled white vinegar last night.

It’s time to get off the boat now. It’s time to do a long walk and see how my knee holds up. And by “long walk” I of course mean walk to my car and drive to Whole Foods. Because I like to be amongst the things, the commerce! I like to be amongst the bars…


South? | Road to Recovery

A pitter patter of rain blankets the water around me, a soft murmur to accompany the blending of grey day into black night, the colors fading from the sky, and as I sit in my boat and contemplate the closing of the day I can’t help but wonder: Could I eat the raw bacon in my fridge?

I pop a General in and assume my perch on the bench seat of my boat, my computer propped up in front of me. In just a few minutes I’ll leave my boat and drive to Fred Meyer, a premier destination for foodstuffs. Everyday market sellers come there to deposit their freshest wares, leeks and onions and lettuce brought in on wagons carried by mules. Yes, only the freshest foodstuffs go to this Fred Meyer, located on 85th and Greenwood, all in the glory of this purveyor living up to its slogan: “You’ll find it at (eponymous).”

My haunches are warmed by the small machine buzzing at my feet, the air of the boat purified by the two plants I still have. The peace lily has been gifted to a dear friend to purify the airs of his house now that he has brought a swaddling babe into the fold. The babe that shall be named. The babe that shall rule the kingdom of Seward Park.

I haven’t decided if I’ll embark on my journey south tomorrow or not. My knee has been hurting more the last few days, and I’m not sure if this is because it hurt me to rip my boots off my feet yesterday or because this is a natural part of the healing process, this pain that one day increases, and the next day goes away. Oh, I wish there was some sort of imaging system that could look into the depths of my knee and tell me what is going on. And indeed there is such a system, but since I passed the nurse’s ligament test the other day, the insurance company will not approve it. I am stranded on an island in Lake Washington. My soul longs to wander but wonders whether it is healthy enough to do so.

I have a mind to leave tomorrow, taking no highway part of the interstate system. Airport Way to Military Road South, turning into the 161, taking me right past the illustrious Wal-Mart of Puyallup. This brings me to Highway 7, then Highway 12, then over toward Longview and into Oregon, through towns I would normally never traverse: Eatonville, Morton, Mossyrock, Olequa, St. Helens, and the enigmatic Scappoose. I could stay tomorrow night at the Best Western in St. Helens, I could stay the second night at the Crystal Crane Hot Springs, and I could prey that my knee gets better, that my meniscus gets better, that my LCL gets better, that whatever it is in my knee that needs to get better gets better before I get to Bishop, California, the best bouldering town on the planet. Or it could not get better. I could still not be able to climb. In which case I head further south, and further, and further…

Either way, right now, the rain continues. I must leave. I must trust. I must get wet.



Curative Properties | The Road to V

I’ve always been a huge fan of dandelion tea for its kidney cleansing properties. When I wake up in the morning the first thing I think is, “Dandelions!” and vision of cottony strands blowing in the wind dance in my head. Then I get up, streak into the kitchen to put on the kettle, and hold my cheek against it until it burns, letting me know it’s hot enough to steep.



It’s raining in Seattle and I’m contemplating putting a snus in. Bit early for that, probably. I would leave the house but this is the kind of rain that soaks you to your fibula if you’re not careful. The kind of rain you might drown in if you get stuck in a ditch looking for the keys that just fell out of your pocket. And yet just around the corner from here there’s a prickly pear cactus that’s in full bloom. How does a prickly pear cactus survive in Seattle? Aren’t we supposed to get two inches of rain in the next two days? I hope not. My boat already leaks enough. I also hope that the doctor gives me a referral for an MRI today so I can get the hell out of here. And if she doesn’t? Well, then I guess I just leave. Yes, that’s it. I just leave. I assume that everything in my knee is fine. And I just….leave.

Or I just….stay.

Or I just….leave.

When it’s raining like this I have this strange desire to say, “Fuck this rain, I’m moving to________.” Insert name of place with more desirable weather than Seattle. Mexico? Colombia? Chile? Argentina? Spain? Ha! The weather in Seattle is perfect, if you’re perfectly deranged, which some people are. The weather in Arizona is terrible. It never rains and if you stay too long you might become an anesthesiologist. The weather in Mexico is fine if you’re on a surf vacation for two weeks, but to live on the coast where the highs are in the….and the lows are in the….

And to live in Mexico City with all that pollution…..

And to live in Bogota with all that tinto….

It’s untenable, unfeasible, unreasonable, unfathomable, and frankly, unseasonable.

And yet nevertheless…

(Side note: SBP Fremont is open!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

I’m thinking about what to have for breakfast. I might go to PCC and get some sort of breakfast burrito or smoked salmon or vegetables. But for right now the rain is still far too fierce. I don’t have a rain coat, all I have is a puffy jacket and there’s no way it would keep this monsoon out. We’ve probably gotten an inch in the last half hour. The streets are flooded. This is nearly biblical.

And yet, a breakfast burrito beckons…

Less than two hours till my phone call with the doctor. My whole life hinges on this phone call. My career as a professional boulderer. My career as a professional mason. My career as an ornithologist. What will she say to me? “Listen, Mark, an MRI, really? You’re not worth our imaging…”

Or maybe something along the lines of, “Everyone knows you’re faking it. You felt a ‘tearing in your knee.’ Ha. Good one. I would sooner cut myself than refer you for an MRI.”

I mean, she could say anything.

If I leave Seattle and my boat sinks then, well, that’s fine.



The Peace of Wild Things | Road to VB

As you can see from the title of this blog post, I’ve decided to start over on my “Road to V-grade” journey. I’m doing this in part because of my recent injury, and in part because of my recent injury. There is still so much stiffness, so much lateral instability, but the good news is that the tenderness around the lateral cruciate ligament (LCL) is almost gone. I attribute this to time, ibuprofen, and the sound of the rain falling softly on my boat.

I woke up this morning and did not engage in my regular routine. My regular routine is to check Shake Shack’s stock, then Sea Limited, then Aurora Cannabis, and then to do a plethora of other things on the internet ranging from checking my email to checking the news to googling the words “coronavirus stats.” Instead, this morning I woke up and just lay there for awhile. Then I started reading a book by “Dr.” Joe Dispenza. Then I started reading a book by Dan Richards. Then I got up, un-made my bed, and sat there looking at the raindrops on the window. Then I put the kettle on.

At some point I also lit a candle and checked the status of my plants (the succulent is doing better than ever and I’m going to transplant it to a bigger pot. The green queen is still slowly dying, though I’ve started a watering schedule).

I tend to get down on living on a boat while others tend to be excited about it. I know deep down the boat isn’t the problem; if I lived in an apartment I’d find other problems to complain about. Seattle would still be rainy and gray and gloomy and the sun would still be setting at 4:33pm. If I lived in an apartment maybe I’d have too much space, maybe I’d just accumulate clutter, I’d have higher bills to pay and my rent would be much higher. I could have noisy neighbors! Here on the boat I never have to worry about people playing loud music or talking loudly or walking loudly on the floor above me. I share walls with no one. The only sounds I hear in the night are the sounds of the wind, the rain, and the occasional passing train. On rare occasions I’m awakened by some kind of animal splashing around outside the boat. It could be anything: a duck, an otter, a muskrat, a beaver — even a seal that’s transgressed the barrier of the locks in search of salmon or other easy pickings (though now that the kings are gone this happens less and less). At night when I wake up there’s only silence. My neighbors are all asleep. The city is too far removed from this place to cause any problems. Other people live in the heart of the city but can’t hear the heart beating because of the all the other noise, the traffic, the people, the stress. Here you can hear the heart beating in the distance, the slow, throbbing pulse. But here it’s like living in a park. It’s like living in a place the city has forgotten. It’s not Seattle. It’s not Ballard. It’s not Magnolia. It’s a tiny dock jutting out into the water, often frequented by ducks, sometimes frequented by my neighbors, and in the summer frequented by my bare feet as I stride to the end of the dock and plunge into the cool waters of the lake. How far away summer seems, both the one preceding us and the one to come. How anathema to today it would be to be warm on the dock, to have the sun warming your skin, to dive into the water, to lay on the dock and feel the sun warming your body as the water drips onto the warm wood below you. And yet this is the place that all that happens. But it doesn’t feel like the same place, not right now, not in the winter.

In the summer, time stops. Just for a moment. In the winter, it drags on forever.

I have always thought that if you’re uncomfortable in a situation it’s best to change the external factors. If you’re cold you need to go to a warmer place or put on more clothes. If you’re too hot you need to go to a colder place or take off clothes. If you’re hungry you need to eat. If you’re thirsty you need to drink. If you’re feeling stuck or stagnant you need to move! But what if instead of constantly changing the externals you changed your attitude towards them? Just seeing my boat through the eyes of others this morning has made me so much more appreciative of where I live. The silence, the nature, the water, the solitude, the closeness to wildlife. I complain about a small living area, about the cold, but how many people when they walk out their front door are greeted by ducks? How many people, when they go to the bathroom at night, see a beaver wading in the shallows, gnawing on a freshly-felled branch? How many people can step off their back porch into a lake? How many people get to get down on their hands and knees at night after a hard rain and clean flithy water out of the bilge compartment? We could all benefit from observing animals more, animals who “do not tax their lives with forethought of grief,” to borrow words from the Wendell Berry poem The Peace of Wild Things. Does the merganser ply the waters of Puget Sound thinking about what ill fortune may befall it in a two years, two months, or even two hours? Its countenance belies a peace, a congruity with the present moment that most of experience maybe one or two moments a day, if we’re lucky. Many of us never experience it all all, so quickly are we moving from distraction to distraction, perceived important task to perceived important task. The keyword here is “perceived.”  These tasks give meaning to our days, even if this meaning, when rapped on sharply with the knuckles, emits a hollow sound (not unlike the flake of Forestland’s Marathon Man V0, in Leavenworth). When the events of our days are boiled down for a few hours so that everything superfluous evaporates, what then is left at the bottom of the pot? Probably a few interactions with our fellow humans, a meaningful glance, a fleeting touch, a burst of laughter, a photo of two smiling friends/lovers on a bed wearing sweatpants and white t-shirts. These things stand glistening when everything else is stripped away. If you were to do the same thing with the day of a merganser I imagine there would be a lot more left in the pot. A lot less water to evaporate.

It has stopped raining (see: as much) and I look at the three books on the bench seat in front of me: Leavenworth Bouldering, Becoming Supernatural, and Joshua Tree Bouldering. In other words: The Bible, a book, and another Bible. A book sandwiched between two Bibles of rock and stone, granite and granodiorite.  I get up and head to my car, just to take a drive. There’s nowhere in particular I want to go, but my car has good heating and it makes me feel like I’m doing something.  A perceived important task even if I don’t really perceive it that way. But when I get to Fremont and I’m sitting there looking at the rain that’s still falling on the window I notice a street sign that’s crooked, one of the bolts having been ripped out of the ground, and for some reason noticing this is not superfluous. This would be one of the things left in the pot at the end of the day when all else is boiled away. Glistening, and rather unexpected.





Second Wind | Road to VB???

I don’t want to get my hopes up. My knee still feels pretty fucked. But yesterday I went to the doctor and I…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. (……………………………………………………………..[………………………………………………………………………..])





….passed all the ligament tests.

Yes, you read that correctly. The nurse did the standard tests for checking to see if ligaments are intact and I…………………………………..I………………………………………….(….I………..) I passed. I passed the tests. With moderately elevated colors. She even did the ACL test TWICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! because she wanted to make sure it felt solid. And it did. And I DIDN’T jump for joy, because that might endanger my knee. But inside I did a backflip for joy. And then I walked carefully out of the doctor’s office.

I got in my car, my white, ’97 Subaru. I turned on the ignition. I drove down Yesler Way towards downtown, in the rain, a sea of brake lights and traffic lights and me straining to see and not run into anyone. I took a right on Alaskan Way and cruised down the waterfront, past Ivar’s and the Great Wheel, the stormy Puget Sound lurking just to my left, my native Bainbridge Island just eight miles across the water but mentally so distant. And then I was at Whole Foods celebrating the good news by buying treats. And then I was back at the boat checking the bilge compartment to see how much water was in it. And then I was reading, and then I was sleeping.

And now I’m on the boat. Forever on this fucking boat. Reclined on this fucking boat. Eating chips and guac on this fucking boat. Wanting to get off this fucking boat. Wanting to sell this fucking boat. And also wanting ibuprofen. Thinking about a trip to Met Market for ibuprofen. Thinking about having more chips and guac. Thinking about why my fucking Green Queen is dying. Thinking about how I need to call Country Doctor at 1:30pm to schedule an appt with my PCP.

So what are the next steps. Well I got an x-ray today and I gotta talk to my pcp and then maybe I’ll get an Mri so we can figure out what’s really going on and if somehow there’s not a bunch of torn shit then I’ll just continue to rehab and take it easy and in a week or two or three I’ll probably head south again.

To. Mex. I. Co.

Champers y Co.


And now it’s sunny today. And it’s supposed to be sunny tomorrow. And part of me wishes I had just sent it south to Mexico, seen the doctor there, gotten an MRI there, but another part of me knows that that kind of thinking is futile. Another part of me knows that in 200 years I’ll be dead, you’ll be dead, my Green Queen will be dead, the blue corn tortilla chips will be crumbs on the floor, the guacamole long turned to mold, California still in flames, the entire state burning from head to toe every summer, another new virus plagueing the nation, the world, Haiti, Cote d’Ivoir, the Ivory Coast, etc etc, and hopefully tonight I’ll sleep better than I did last night, and hopefully sometime soon I won’t be sleeping on this fucking boat, because I don’t like this boat anymore, and maybe I’ll put it on Craigslist right fucking now, though honestly I know I won’t, I need a fucking MRI first, but then maybe I’ll just put it on Craigslist, why keep it till spring, could I just sail it south right now no obviously not it’s too stormy if i wanna sail south I have to wait for spring but i dont wanna wait for spring and chile just closed their fucking borders or made quarantining mandatory again and Im sick of this fucking coronavirus and the fact that gyms are closed and all I wanna do is send V8 and…….

Ok, breathe.



Tru Life | Road to Nowhere

8:01am at the Tru by Hilton and what is this river flowing next to me? Is it the Multnomah? The Willamette? I’m going to guess Multnomah.

Damnit. It’s the Willamette. There is no Multnomah River. There’s a Multnomah Creek, but that’s about it.

The Willamette is flowing and nothing can stop it. It’s been raining for days here and so the river is swollen. I see whitewater and brown. I just had my anti-inflammatory smoothie and now I’ going to get in my car and head north for a bit before I talk to my therapist. I see my therapist at 10am. Joy. No seriously. But for now I’m going to enjoy the warmth of this hotel bed a LITTLE longer. Watch the joggers go by. Think about how I ALMOST stayed in the worst hotel in the world laast night but then didn’t because I was in the lobby checking in and a guy walked by not wearing a mask and looking like he had recently committed homicide and I said….

“Is it too late to cancel?”

I think the girl knows what’s going on.


“OK, then I’d like to cancel.”

I walk over to the Tru by Hilton which looks cleaner and newer and less crowded. The girl working greets me and I ask how much rooms are and tell her the rate I saw on Booking. Then she gives me a LOWER rate, the lobby looks infinitely less crowded with crackheads, and suddenly I’m in room 501 and it’s clean and wonderful and I’m happy and taking a shower.

And then.

And then I’m BACK in the lobby and the girl working gives me her employee discount to buy some snacks because she thinks they’re too expensive.

And then.

I’m upstairs in the hotel room watching a Friends episode co-starring Susan Sarandon.

And then.

Something about watching Friends makes me profoundly depressed so I turn it off and put on an audiobook about stoicism.

Oh but now I’ve SERIOUSLY been in this hotel room too long and must go. Gotta pack the car. Gotta drive north a bit before I have therapy. You know.

I’m listening to The Scent of Petrichor by Franz Gordon, my new favorite pianist. It makes me infinitely happy to have a favorite pianist who is still living.

Today I find out more about my knee!!!!!!!










K later.