Rina Alert

Here’s Vesma’s Acacia.  I’m a little iffy about which of the 1300 species it is:


The enormity is sinking in. Rina arrives tomorrow and it’s now 8:00 at night and I’m sitting here paralyzed over what I must do next to prepare for her visit. Instead of snapping into action, I’m writing this.


When Charmazel was due in December, I not only dug out from under a significant percentage of the piles of ‘stuff’ stacked around, but I also re-organized the whole damn flat so there’d be a nice, private bedroom with a real door and an openable window onto Anne’s garden with a view of Twin Peaks. And the window even has blinds.

Now Rina’s coming for two weeks, and I look around and realize that the State of Decoration has not progressed a single step since Charmazel was here.

Sigh. I mean, in most ways it’s just as well that I got a defective copy of the gay gene and have no love for torch singers or flair for flower arrangement, but it wouldn’t have hurt me to have got a basic grasp of interior design and some need to neaten my nest.

I remember fifteen years ago when I was still trying to find a replacement for Allen, and I dated this guy a few times until I figured out that I would never be as important to him as his dog, and I wasn’t even asking him to follow me around with a plastic bag.

But before I’d reached that conclusion, we were sitting in my kitchen for probably the fifth time and he looked around and said, “You know, your place is comfortable.” I thanked him graciously for the compliment, I think convincingly ignoring the glaring subtext “…in spite of how it looks.”

I told that story to my friend David last fall, and he didn’t even have to look up before saying, “Well, it’s not overdone.”

OK, I now have forty-six minutes before bedtime. The pile of boxes in the corner of the dining room is gonna have to just stay there, and there are some stacks of papers at strategic points in the office that will also be remaining. What I will do in the morning is put out my fluffiest towels for her in the bathroom and make up her bed with the good sheets and the duvet, which I hung off the balconette all afternoon in the sun and breeze.

The excellent news from earlier this evening is that I achieved a major breakthrough in design: on two walls I have hung old Mexican blankets from the picture rails, thus getting some color and a little texture into the place. One of those walls is even in the guest room.

Besides, we’re not gonna be in here except to sleep, she never having been to California. Hell, after reading about her in my tales since 2001, everybody wants to meet her. She’s a little nervous about this, but I tried to reassure her when we Skyped this morning that all she has to do is speak perfect English, out-bicycle Lance Armstrong, and fillet a mackerel in three chops.

Oh, good grief: flowers! Yesyesyes. I’ll run down to the Castro in the morning and get a gay florist to sell me some flowers appropriate for a Dutch lady’s bedroom.


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