Wednesday, May 10, 2017
A Desk With A View
Really, this is the most picturesque city. Above is the view in which I've been rejoicing from the office for the last ten days, and it's a measure of the beauty of the place that it's really not all that special a view.
The weather has been glorious, my little hotel is as accommodating and gracious as ever, and my colleagues not more than normally appalling. If it weren't for actually, you know, having to work, it really would be an ideal trip. As it is, I've managed a goodly share of amusement, one way or another.
For one thing, I ferried out to Sausalito one day, very much enjoying a bracing little sea (well, bay) voyage and an excellent lunch at a place Mr. Muscato and I had enjoyed last January. And then, of course, there's been the fun of seeing our own dear Mr. Penee, once in my neck of the woods, when he came downtown for dinner, and then over the weekend in his own stomping grounds out Castro way. We sat in a central local café and discussed the woes and wonders of the world, joined by the never dull Super Agent Fred. That would have made for a delightful and terribly sensible Sunday afternoon, but after Mr. P. wandered off for one of his many daily naps (I do rather envy the life of a leisured Californian), SA Fred and I decided to stop into a local landmark for a cocktail. Really, just one; it is Sunday, after all.
Well, that's when things get a little hazy. What I can say is that it's a testimony to my basically strong constitution that I managed to be on time and essentially coherent Monday morning. Oh, he's a bad influence, that boy, and you know that, like dear Oscar, I can resist anything but temptation. It's really rather startling, I've been thinking, the extent to which one attracts a great deal more attention (in some settings) as a tidy gentleman of fifty-something with distinctly silvering hair than one ever did a couple of decades ago. Rather fun, really, to get more than the occasional passing glance, but must the glancers call one daddy?
But I powered through the closest thing to a real hangover I've had in a very long time, and the balance of the week so far has been quite pleasant. We had a shortish day for various reasons yesterday, and I grabbed the unexpected time and headed to the Museum of Modern Art, which is having a truly splendid exhibition that pairs some marvelous Matisses with paintings by Richard Diebenkorn. Now, I have to admit that, while I was of course aware of Diebenkorn, I didn't really know much and didn't particularly like what I did know. This show took care of that, in spades. It lays out the two artists' works in ways that make it brilliantly clear how the American took the French master's work into this thinking (and painting), a wonderful journey of learning and experience that illuminates the work of both and leaves one full of joy and even awe at the artistic mind and eye. Magnificent things.
So I've not just been debauching, no matter what Peenee says. You now how reliable he is, anyway...
The last few days of the trip will, I know, go quickly. Dinner with dear old friends tomorrow, and back on the plane Saturday. In the meantime, one hopes for a few more oysters, and perhaps even a few more passing glances. It's only flirtation (for I am indeed a very married man, and awfully happily so), but goodness, a little positive reinforcement never hurt a boy that I've heard of, no?