Yesterday we went to Berkeley to see our friend M who lives in Brooklyn. We have known M for 9 years. He was our classmate at grad school, one year behind us in our poetry program. He was in the Bay Area for the MLA conference. He had a book published last year, and he needs to promote it and network.
We went out to breakfast at a restaurant called Cafe Leila. Erik and I had breakfast burritos. They were good. M had huevos rancheros and coffee cake.
Then we went to Muir Woods. M has a disability, so a ranger gave him a lifelong free pass to national monuments and national parks, and it covered everyone who came in his car, so Erik and I didn't have to pay either.
At Muir Woods we walked around in the coast redwoods and talked and talked. We spoke about the end of the world (how the Mayan calendar ends in 2012), a CIA psychic, dragons, movies, books, the MLA conference, our friends. Erik took lots of pictures. We walked for hours, going very slowly because the rain made everything slick, and M didn't want to fall--he fell once in the morning in San Fransisco, before we saw him.
Then we went back to the car and ate sandwiches and drove back to Berkeley. We had tea at a place called Far Leaves. There we talked about religion and meditation and recited poetry to eachother. I recited "The Emperor of Ice Cream" and an Emily Dickenson poem that I will quote here.
Apparently with no surprise
To any happy Flower
The Frost beheads it at its play --
In accidental power --
The blonde Assassin passes on --
The Sun proceeds unmoved
To measure off another Day
For an Approving God.
Erik and M recited some haiku translations, and M did some Rumi quatrains. It was fun.
Then we went to House of Curries for dinner. Erik and I shared bangan bartha, paneer tikka masala, two rotis, and some rice. M had chicken tikka masala, garlic naan, and a papadam. His garlic naan smelled really good. We used to get that all the time.
Then we went to a cafe that's near House of Curries. M got a piece of lemon cake. I got a cinnamon bun and hot milk with a shot of almond. Erik got a large hot chocolate which he didn't like very much.
Then we took M back to the Ashby station and said our goodbyes. It was a good but exhausting visit. Erik and I stopped by Elephant Pharmacy for some bread and soap before heading home for Sacramento. I slept in the car while Erik drove. We got home around midnight.