Monday, November 07, 2011


So as I was immediately informed after my arrival by the Tarot reader who may or may not have cancer, and may or may not have been looking to excite my sympathy(she did, I find it hard not to care about people who are suffering, especially when they can tell fortunes or pretend to) that Bali is full of demons, which claim I put aside, except it would probably sell well, unseating vampires, I could not that easily dismiss the caution of my smart sort-of-friend Rex Reed, who says if there are rice fields, there are cobras. Not too long after that e-mail, I met a nice English couple(they are careful to say they are not British, but English, insisting there's a difference, not being Scottish or Irish which I know from Belfast friends is someplace they were not meant to be anyway) and she told me of a favorite cat who was killed by a spitting cobra. Well, there's something to avoid.
Woke up in the middle of the night with absolutely no sense of having to go back to sleep or attempt at meditation, just content to be quiet and wait for the light, which does, eventually come if you're still alive, and saw a man working the rice field with his right hand, while he carried his baby on his left arm, little head cloaked in white like a lama, the wise kind not the animal. Babies do not cry in Bali, mostly, I think, because they are held in someone's arms until they are two or something like that, because the soles of their feet are not closed, according to the locals, so if they were set down, demons could come in. But what about spitting cobras, while Daddy works the rice?
Spent yesterday as a kindergartner learning how to touch type from the BBC online tutorial, which has music, cartoon yaks, and Oops aloud if you make mistakes. Had a good time finding out I am still a student but I was only up to 16 words a minute after graduating from that level, and I think I am faster than a speeding bullet if I type wrong, which I have done for eighteen books, more if you count the ones that never saw light which doesn't necessarily come in the book world even if you're still alive. So am abandoning my attempt to touch type and will simply try not to go blind, so I can still see the keyboard and whiz into my next literary adventure. Have no idea what it may be, which would be partly the definition of adventure, according to my wonderful friend Sandy who was murdered here but we won't go into that, as my wonderful friend Denise who is still alive says that way lie cement shoes.
Denise is the once-pastry-chef-now-restaurateur from Seattle who kindly sent me the e-mail when Mimi died saying 'Come to Bali,' so I did. She visited me yesterday afternoon at my present locale, a stable with rooms upstairs, a lovely pool and a not-bad restaurant, and a new French restaurant across the un-motorcyled road, unique in Bali where all is Vespa-clogged and buildings-in-progress. Went in there the other night in a rare moment of panic at What Have I Done? aka What Am I Doing?, and had a really bad pizza, but as Denise pointed out: "It's across the street." A gift from cholesterol Heaven.
Today, having been up most of the night, I had a true longing for French toast, so went to La Lucciola, Denise's restaurant by the ocean, at 8:45 only to be told they didn't open till 10, inaccurate, I found out later as most things in Bali are, but by the time that misinformation was corrected I was at Ku De Ta, the very pricey expat place near the Oberoi that I used to walk to mornings when I was staying there, to be served in those days by Mahar, a lovely boy-man whose wedding chest I contributed heavily to, as he looked at me with tears in his eyes and said "I will always miss you," which touched my soul and my pocketbook. I went to look for him last time I was here, but he has gone to sea with the cruise line that the Nation voyages on, so I guess he was looking for me.
Well, there I was at Ku-De-Ta where they didn't have French toast so I ordered ricotta pancakes, very disappointing, but happily there was a piece of plastic baked into the middle of them, which I got to show a waitress who remembered me, and she replaced them with a croissant. Then I passed two earnest young men who had been talking potential deals but had left untouched their plate of beautiful cut fruit so I also had a piece of papaya on my way down to the beach to visit Heimisch, or it's probably spelled Hamish, a 17 month old who had been working the faucets that wash off sand as you come up from the beach. That caused a bit of a stab to my heart, because I remembered Robert at that squeezable age, when he had a love affair with our garden hose. Power to a toddler. Our friend, great writer of mysteries, Bill McGivern, wanted to invent something called 'Stay Baby,' that you could spray on them and keep them that way. Alas, he never worked it out, so Hamish's Grandma Janet said he was inching toward the Terrible Twos, which count for nothing as compared to the Frightening Forties.
Maybe I'll take a nap.