Palm Springs & A Corpse

January 23
Wow, January is three quarters done already. How did that happen? One day at a time I guess. I write these pages in Scrivener, and so I can see each entry labeled with its date down the side of the page. Twenty three entries, pretty darn cool. That, my friends, is a lot of written crap. 11,746 words, to be precise. Wow. If only I had written those into my fiction, instead of into my wandering maze of consciousness. If only.

Those are some pretty sad words. Funny how words can give connotations that have nothing to do with what they are actually designed to say. For example, the word should is loaded with guilt and shame. If only is full of sorrow and regret. I much prefer those two words to the should, however. That one word is extremely dangerous. It implies power owned by someone else. It implies you are wrong in your negligence to do something. My mom used that word a lot. I hate that word.

We met Phil’s cousin and his wife in Palm Springs for Thai dinner last night, then wandered through the street fair afterward. It was fun. We had to park about two blocks away and so we walked up Arenas street to get to the restaurant. It was like walking through a gay strip for a full block. Both sides of the street were lined with gay bars and stores targeted toward gay men. It was an eye opener. We walked up one side, and looking into the bars, could only see mostly older men sitting around. They were quite crowded. That was fine and I was quite interested, never having seen a gay bar before.

The food at Thai Smile tasted fine, but there was not enough of it. Jacob and Phil could have each eaten another full portion. And they gave really tiny cups of rice to go with the dishes. Come on, rice costs how much? There was not much meat in the dishes either. Ella’s sweet and sour chicken was mostly vegetables. That kinda sucked.

It was dark by the time we walked over to the street fair. I’d never been to a farmer’s market at night. It was pretty cool. Nice sized as well. We saw a guy wearing a plastic roman helmet and chest plate playing the electric cello. The effect was a bit weird, but it was cool music. Maddie bought a cd.

We stopped and Ella got a cinnamon and sugar crepe at a street vendor. I declined the powdered sugar on top. What a mess that would be. We enjoyed watching them being made. Ella also got to ride a pony. I watched her ride away into the dark with a strange woman leading her. That made me a bit uneasy, but my logical head overrode my nervous heart regarding the risk involved. Thankfully, my head won and I didn’t go running after her. That would have been a tad embarrassing. To be honest, my gut said it was okay, otherwise I would not have let her go. Yeah, I’m a bit protective that way. Trying to become a bit less so with the older kids, but it is a hard habit to break.

On our walk this morning in the campground, we were stopped halfway around the campground by staff members. Apparently, there was an ambulance in the other half of the park and no one was allowed over to that side. This did not make sense to us, as ambulances are in the park quite often. There are mostly seniors here, after all, and they tend to have a higher need for ambulances. The really weird thing was that they had the entrance blocked off as well. There was a line of cars waiting to turn right and get out of the park. They weren’t even allowed to leave. Very strange.

A pair of old ladies were out walking their dogs as well, so I asked them if they knew what was going on. Old ladies usually know everything, right? But they didn’t and it felt a bit weird asking. We could have asked the staff to explain, but somehow it felt like we were being intrusive or nosy or something. Why is that?

In one way it was our business because it did affect us by now allowing us through to our normal walking path. And I know a lot of folks would have no problem asking. The urge to ask was strong, but the social norm held my tongue. So now we are still curious. If we ignored that silencer, we would know, be done with the subject and on to other things. We both had heard the ambulance coming in, but it did not use the siren going out. Phil thinks someone probably passed away and they didn’t want people to see a corpse carted off.

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