Monday, July 7
Another perfect day in Sandpoint. Instead of my usual late sleep, I got up, had a modest breakfast, and went for a walk along City Beach. Hardly anyone was there and the lake was glass. I was sitting at a table looking at the water when a woman with her gray hair tied in a pony tail â€” always a bad sign â€” sat down unbidden across from me. Another bad sign.
â€śYouâ€™re Ben,â€ť she said. â€śRight?â€ť
â€śI used to see you around and now I never do,â€ť she said. â€śI used to see you on TV and now I never do.â€ť
â€śIâ€™m on quite a lot,â€ť I said. â€śFox, CNN, CBS. Many places.â€ť
â€śIn fact,â€ť the woman said, â€śI thought you were dead.â€ť
â€śWhy on earth would you think I was dead?â€ť
â€śBecause I havenâ€™t seen you on TV for such a long time,â€ť she said.
â€śI just told you I am often on,â€ť I said. â€śBesides, I suppose there are people who are both not on TV and not dead.â€ť
The woman drew a heavy sigh. â€śWould you like to have breakfast with me?â€ť she asked.
â€śNo, thank you.â€ť
She looked highly confused and started to cry. â€śI live in the wilderness,â€ť she said. â€śI havenâ€™t had a TV for more than thirty years.â€ť
â€śWell, itâ€™s not surprising that you havenâ€™t seen me on TV then,â€ť I said to her as gently as I could.
â€śI know,â€ť she said. â€śIâ€™m sorry. I donâ€™t know why I said what I said. I guess thatâ€™s why I live in the wilderness.â€ť
â€śGood luck,â€ť I waved to her as I got up and walked away.
She got into a battered Nissan van and just sat at the steering wheel crying. I felt terrible for her. But I think sheâ€™s probably better off living in the wilderness.
I went home and made some eggs. I opened up my emails. There was one from a woman who used to live near me in Malibu. She wanted to know if I would let her live in our home in Malibu while she found a house to rent. Short answer, â€śNo.â€ť But thereâ€™s more to the story. Sheâ€™s getting divorced. The last I had heard from her about six months ago was that she was madly in love and was getting married. â€śWhat happened?â€ť
â€śI found out he was cheating on me with at least 15 different men,â€ť she wrote back. â€śIt was quite a blow.â€ť
â€śWhat made you like him in the first place?â€ť I asked her.
â€śHeâ€™s a great guy,â€ť she said. â€śBut I noticed he was jealous and usually the jealous ones are the ones who are fooling around themselves.â€ť
The woman in question lives in Alaska. â€śIâ€™m impressed at how far he must have had to drive.â€ť
â€śOh,â€ť she said, â€śhe has a pilotâ€™s license and a small plane.â€ť
She added a LOL sign and then said, â€śAnd our sex life was great. Well, not great, but good.â€ť
This poor creature. God help her. She has no money. Guess where she hopes to get it. Not going to happen.
I gave her the name of a realtor I know in Malibu and said goodbye. Look at all the lonely people.
I went off to the post office, which is the watering hole here in Sandpoint, to send in many bills. All I ever do is pay bills. Thatâ€™s it. Just pay bills.
Then a long nap and then off to Bottle Bay with Tim Farmin, ace boatman, and Alex, Ace Wifey. Before we left, I asked Alex to hand me a Peppermint. As she was unwrapping it, it fell on the carpeted floor. Alex picked it up, blew on it, and handed it to me. IT WAS SO CUTE LIKE WHAT A LITTLE KID WOULD DO!!!!
That is the kind of moment that makes my life worthwhile. Alex is all her sweetness blowing the cooties off my Peppermint. Worth more than diamonds.
Zooming to Bottle Bay. Wolfing down Chutney burgers. Watching a stunningly statuesque woman walk in wearing a halter top. Alex said, â€śVavavoom.â€ť
Then, back home, another nap, and a trip to Wal-Mart. There are legions of friendly people at Wal-Mart. Friendly, helpful people. And many Christians who thank me for Expelled. And who should be shopping for produce right near me but the sexbomb in the halter top with two little kids in tow.
â€śI recognize you,â€ť she said, â€śand I just want to tell you that Iâ€™m from Whittier and I think Richard Nixon was the best President we ever had.â€ť
A beauty and a genius. I bought her a Bentley.
JUST KIDDING ABOUT THE BENTLEY!!!!
Then to get a strawberry milkshake for Alex at the Dairy Depot. A young woman holding the hand of a small girl of about six, both with flaming red hair, pointed to me and asked the little girl, â€śRemember how you said you wanted to be famous?â€ť
â€śUh-huh,â€ť said the girl.
â€śThis man is famous,â€ť she said. â€śHeâ€™s been in a lot of movies.â€ť
The little girl looked dubious. â€śWhat movies?â€ť she asked. â€śAny that I saw today?â€ť
When I got home, wifey was fast asleep. She has waves of goodness vibrating off her when she sleeps, an aurora borealis of kindness and love and when I lie next to her, I feel as if I am under the covers on a chilly day.