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2002-08-18 | 1:14 p.m.

Slept almost 12 hours last night. Not much better the night before. I've learned to recognize this--probably took me years longer than it should have--as an indication that I am in a funk. But why? Why is hard to reckon. I always want to know why. I look for the smallest changes, clues, evidence. There is a reason for everything, if only you can ferret it out. My reasons are never glamorous. I get a pounding headache and I think back: Has any chocolate passed the threshold of my personal shrine? Why yes, as a matter of fact. Nothing Belgian or bittersweet, nothing worth having a headache over. The shameful testament is a leafy silver mulch of crumpled Klondike bar wrappers under the computer monitor. A flash of Oreo blue in the trash can. Sometimes when what you did is bad, how you did it is almost worse. I think of the man who murdered George Moscone and Harvey Milk. I don't know how tall he was, but he was a small man. He ran a baked potato stand at Fisherman's Wharf. His name was White. He killed a man named Milk. He said he ate too many Twinkies and the Twinkies made him do it.

Who needs fiction when life is so full of resonance?

When I sleep too long I have strange dreams in the morning, when I should be awake. This morning I dreamed we were out front, watering plants, and the new neighbor lady was down on her knees, plucking out the plants that were growing between the cracks in the driveway. Even though Felony and I were standing about eight feet away from her, at those hose, I chose to ignore her and motioned to Felony to do the same. Maybe, I reasoned, she thinks it's her driveway, since it is located between my house and hers (really Carmela's, and Carmela is still very much living there, thank God). This impression would surely be rectified when Duff came back and parked the van in the driveway.

Act II, Scene I. The new neighbor lady is having a yard sale. It is mostly furniture, nice furniture, that she has arranged on Carmela's lawn and driveway and also, my driveway. And hey! Look! Some of these things are mine! There is an antique dresser, which has been horribly resurfaced with wood laminate since the last time I saw it (who did that?), other pieces of furniture, and two enormous painted canvases that I had forgotten about. Apparently, these are the things I stored with Mr. Bartkowski when I first moved in. I had forgotten all about it!

So I go to the new neighbor lady and explain, as delicately as I can, that some of these things are mine, so I would like to remove them from the yard sale.

"Well," she says, in a voice that means I am not likely to get my way.

"You had to pay to store them?" I guess, and she says yes, exactly. She expects to be reimbursed for the items that belong to me that I didn't even know were put in storage because I am a flake and forgot I had them.

When I hear that, I don't know what to do. I don't want to pay for things that already belong to me. Especially since we don't have any extra money. And having lived without them for so long, I am tempted to just let them go. Let her sell them at her yard sale, in my driveway, as much as it galls me, because then it will never be a crisis for me again.

I'm not sure I need to bother much with the dream analysis this time. Everything seems to be sitting on the surface. I do have a new neighbor, though she is not living in Carmela's house. She is chatty, beyond chatty, and I am mildly worried that she is going to show up on my doorstep one of these days and expect to be invited in. I already know she was here once, returning some buckets that the kids delivered fruit in (in acknowledgement of her giving us pears from her yard), and I was so relieved when I saw the buckets there that I had not heard the knocking. I was home at the time! It could have been a crisis.

I feel I have left a lot behind. That there are pieces of my life floating around and I can't keep track of them. My sister and niece had a yard sale here that included furniture I would have liked to have kept for myself. I am ashamed of the yard and especially the things growing in the cracks between the sidewalks. I am sure my neighbors think ill of me because the lawn has gone yellow. I have become mildly obsessed with renewing the lawn. All by myself, if necessary. I have read at least six books on lawn care. Nothing sinks in. I am prepared to write a small report, just for myself, to help me remember the crucial details of lawn rejuvenation. If this sounds like a joke, it's not.

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