Oh Lord… 36 hours… and no planned heroism

Ξ June 24th, 2005 | → 5 Comments | ∇ Whatever |

Up at 4 AM. Sleep is impossible as tomorrow nears.

I like to get up early anyway… often before 5 AM. The house is quiet and the then the birds come! I am not a birder. I do like to browse a bird book once in a while, but I am not a expert. However, one of my favorite things in Costa Rica is to listen to the birds just before daylight.

In the US, I HATED the freakin’ things. Sparrows I think, or grackles (sp?) or whatever… and they just made noise. Indistinguishable noise. Once in a while I read about small towns that set up bounties or traps… I related.

Here, things are different. The songs (calls) are astonishing. If I had a good recorder, I’d make a tape and post it here on the blog, but I get too much machine noise, so it’s maybe just a mic problem.

Anyway, these songs are enormously complex and exotic, and after many years, I still never tire of the mornings or even being awakened at 4AM by this music. Without going to deep into birds… there are a whole group of night singers who create the softest songs at maybe 1 AM when all of the world is at rest. They sing only about once every 1-2 months, but if you happen to be sitting out on the teraza when the begin… it is unforgettable.

I simply do not believe I am getting engaged tomorrow night…. Holy Shit!

Got an HB email from my lovely Kirsten yesterday… she called me a brave man and wished me luck tomorrow. LOL. Silly rabbit!

I have met some truly brave men or heard them speak. Vets mostly. Most say they do not remember their bravery. They remember being very, very scared and then they reacted. None said their heroism was planned.

Anyone ever see the movie 84 Charing Cross Road?

84, Charing Cross Road is the title of a book by Helene Hanff, published in 1970 about the long correspondence (1949-1969) between Helene Hanff and Frank Doel of the Marks & Co. bookshop at 84, Charing Cross Road. A stage play and movies have been made based on the book. The first movie in 1975 wasn’t much, but the re-make… the 1987 version starred Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins and was pretty special if you happen to suffer being a terminal romantic. I am. Shit, I used to tear up at those Maxwell House cpmmercials.

The gist was that Helene was a book lover (i.ei nut) in the 30-50’s , and lived in New York. Frank was the manager of Marks & Co, a bookseller in London located at 84, Charing Cross Road. They met by writing MAIL to one anyother… originally about books and later or a more personal nature. Mail! Remember mail? That was where you could write something… maybe vent a bit… say something stupid, overt, nasty, aggressive, passive, whatever then just tear up the thing before you bought a stamp and mailed it. Ahhh… those were the days… before the instant and “Oh MY GOD what did I just send” of the Internet… Oh well…


There is a closeness and a very special relationship between Helene and Frank, though they never meet. You get the feeling that… had they met… something truly special would have resulted. It was perhaps the best cast movie I know of. Great flick. Great chick flick. Great first date at home flick. Rent it.


I have never met Kirsten, but we have talked by phone and email for a few years now. She is the brave one and one my life’s heroes. She is a talented writer… I mean really good, though she seems unable to capitalize letters… was that a ee cummings thing? Maybe I’ll invite her to write here. If she accepts, you’ll all be in for a treat!

I have never been sure it would be safe to meet her.


5 Responses to ' Oh Lord… 36 hours… and no planned heroism '

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  1. kirsten said,

    on June 24th, 2005 at 8:59 pm

    safe? no, not safe. safety is for those more scared than i. not in for a treat here, just a gal who’s had two glasses of champagne and possibly more to come. ee? no. just lazy.

    i love you tim. it’s not our movie. we’re cold pizza and rocky & bullwinkle.

  2. kirsten said,

    on June 24th, 2005 at 10:23 pm

    so my girlfriend (barbara) and i just polished off a bottle of cheap champagne. cheap = big bubbles. i get sneezy with those teeny bubbles in the costly stuff. barbara is from bavaria and has been drinking longer than i’ve had years on the planet. she’s better at it than i. remember the days girlfriend meant a girl who’s a friend? i was more comfortable then.

    i’m at odds.

    life is a circle. sometimes our circles cross and we stop and pay attention. sometimes we come across a person who helps us to REMEMBER. they remind us this life is short and meant to be lived!

    at odds? most certainly but am not sure i have the grace (sobriety?) to explain this one.

    hero? i am a girl just between 30 & 40 who remembered to have the courage to live this life! i raise two beautiful daughters they said i couldn’t, then shouldn’t have. i have some symptoms of multiple sclerosis but do not claim it as my own. i celebrate everything. if i have the opportunity to floss my teeth one day, i’ll most certainly have people over for dinner and buy sheets with a whopper of a threadcount. if one of the girls pees in the toilet as opposed to a diaper i’ll make chocolate chip ice cream. my life is ordinary, but anything but mundane.

    i have no need for sensibility! we’re lucky to have 100 years on this planet and i will not give up a day.

    and yet……i scoff at safety even as the brushes swirl in my mind! there are so many pictures only i see. my odds. now you have it.

    all my love, kirsten

  3. kirsten said,

    on June 24th, 2005 at 10:26 pm


  4. Steve said,

    on July 26th, 2005 at 1:16 pm

    If you haven’t already done so take a look at 84 Charing Cross Road – Revisited http://www.84charingcrossroad.co.uk – the real story of Marks & Co

  5. on July 26th, 2005 at 4:21 pm

    […] In today’s mail, I received, in addition to the 36 emails for penis enlarging and Viagra/Cialis (how do they KNOW?), and a couple of more hate mails from fans of Stephanie, I received a comment email from reader Steve, located somewhere in Great Britain, who read an earler post where I referenced 84 Charing Cross Road, a book/play published in 1970 and later made into a fine movie and an excellent play. […]

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