I think of the cool summer breezes I have been missing while completing my year end report writing manifesto. I live in a magnificently tragic city dripping in decoupage and art deco buildings. Oakland is a city to be savored with all of one’s senses. As my winding down period continues I promise I’ll be doing just that. Seeing. Tasting. Smelling. Feeling. Listening. I’m going to get out there and grab this city by it’s balls. Good morning Oaktown! I’m young, free and single and I’m throwing myself on your lofty concrete shores. I will cover the waterfront. I’ll wander along Jack London Square and give thanks to the Bay Area I call my home. And I will stand, eventually, right upon the city’s very edge and gaze out into the waters where I’ll ask myself the usual questions. “How cold and dirty do you think that water is anyway?”

I like my water to be clean. We give thanks for companies like Brita. I can shower safe from harm should I choose to do so. Our dishes are clean. We use antibacterial dish washing liquid. I mean it kills bacteria, right? We pour it down our drains where it flows someplace and then theoretically goes right on killing even more bacteria. Does it flow into the bay? Am I an environmentalist? Is San Francisco Bay getting better every day thanks to all of us using these fabulous home products?

The house mate recently invested in the ultimate in relaxationland’s finest. It’s our new outdoor jacuzzi and it’s deluxe ladies and gentlemen. It even has this thing in it called the “Ozone-ater” which supposedly pumps ozone into our water. This ozone combines with the bromite from a magic tablet and somehow all the bacteria molecules rise to the surface and evaporate or die or something important like that. Is pumping Ozone into our water releasing more Ozone into our environment? Is that a bad thing or are we helping Mother Nature? I mean don’t we all need just a little more Ozone in our lives? Perhaps the holes in our planet’s atmosphere up at the North Pole are being filled right now thanks to all the redwood hot tubs in Northern California.

At our house there are no pesky little germs on our forks and knives and spoons. There are no amoebas breeding in our hot tub either. My friend Stephanie would be happy. We don’t see each other very often, primarily because she’s bacteria phobic. She doesn’t like to leave her house. She uses napkins to open any doors and answer telephones. We went out to eat once and she brought silverware from home in a clear ziplocked plastic baggie. She said, “I know these are clean.” If only she could find her very own Boy in the Plastic Bubble. I mean there must be someone out there for everyone on this big blue marble, right?

I am burning a cd for myself I am calling “The Summer of My Discontent.” I’m enjoying it immensely. Fly Pan Am, Faun Fables, Plastikman, Cowboy Junkies, Richard Buckner, Calexico… I do not know that I am particularly discontent though, it is more the summer of exhaustion and emotional lethargy. It has it’s magic nonetheless, and many of those moments have been found in the jet streamed waters on the backyard deck. Something rather marvelous is going on. The House Mate and I are getting closer again. There is something which inevitably happens when you spends hours together, naked, frothing in Ozone ridden heated waters. It’s called conversation. I think for both of us it has been almost worth the price of the hot tub alone.

Way up to the north in the Arctic Circle I am reminded that you can sit at night and watch the Aurora Borealis toss amazingly beautiful colors across a night time sky. I’ve never seen it, but it still have a dream to do so before I die. Dark, atmospheric, colorful, dreamy – and yet it’s all just light and dots coming together enhanced by our poorly fractured ozone to create images of sheer utter beauty. It seems even when things are broken, they still can be startlingly beautiful.