Jackie Link's Blog

- A blog for no good reason

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Existential ennui, poppies & then Gypsies

I am bogged down with existential ennui, winter funk, the blahs. I Don't Feel Like Playing blues. I'm waiting, more or less patiently, for the next new thing, for the excitement to return. Not unhappy. Not happy. Blah.

Maybe worrying about the world's and my money doesn't help with the mood-thing?

I stuck the big camera on my back and went riding around the waterfront this afternoon, no destination in particular. I passed these Icelandic poppies in a wrought-iron bicycle flower stand at one of the piers on The Embarcadero, thought they might be worth trying to capture and rode back. There were too many other things in the frame to use the whole bicycle, but at least it gave me something to bring home.

I stopped at the Friends of the Library Book Bay in Ft. Mason, looking for Hemingway's "For Whom the Bell Tolls," needed for my next class in April. They didn't have a copy, but I came across an interesting book about the Gypsies in the south of France, called "Little Money Street," by Fernanda Eberstadt, and bought it.

The Gypsies would often overwhelm the ER where I worked and I've done a lot of reading about them over the years, trying to deal with feelings they aroused. When they came to town, usually the same clans each season, our ER at Children's Hospital was where they came with any illness. But if one was sick (and one was always sick), the entire clan had to participate, tying up our phone lines, taking all the space in the waiting room, raising the noise level beyond belief. The funny thing, though, they never used their real names, so the long-distance callers from around the world never knew who to ask for and I had to just leave them on Hold, terminal Hold. Oh, it was a challenge, never easy.

Once, many years after Children's Hospital merged with PMC, I was walking on Fillmore St. during the Street Fair when one of the Gypsy women "working" the fair greeted me enthusiastically, like a dear old friend. She was one of the matriarchs and I had never, ever, in over ten years, seen her smile before, and there she was, acting like I was family. What could I do? I smiled back. She didn't bear a grudge for all the mean looks I'd given them all. Sigh.

1 comment:

LAUREN said...

it's that grey area, between winter and summer, when it's not quite spring yet and you know there's still rain and cold to come, even though it's sorta nice out.

and the economy.