AMTRAK RESIDENCY, DAY 10
My brain apparently knew that I was hopping back on the train tonight, so it woke me up early again, traitor. I took a shower. I packed. I waited for Anna (my daughter) to wake up. And then we went to eat breakfast at Bruxie which is this place that stuffs heaven between freshly made waffles and if you eat that heaven, you float up from happiness like a balloon. (My heaven was pastrami flavored.) So many travel stories center around food, aren't they? I just noticed. How boring. I won't bore you with food choices anymore.
This afternoon we went to Venice, for an innocent walk that turned exciting pretty quickly. And it wasn't all the marvelous street performers and cute little shops and art on the building walls. No. It was a guy who while walking past reached out with his hand to touch my daughter's breast. He almost cupped it—his hand came to within inches. And I flew off the handle. I have a very personal approach to any kind of sexual harassment in public due to my past, so I marched up to him and yelled him in the face. I told him that this is my daughter, and how dare he invade her private space, and so on. The guy was shocked at first, then he tried talking back. I yelled over him and sent him on his way. He turned and called me a "stupid dyke," to which I walked up to him and told him what I will do with his privates if he calls me names. He got scared and finally retreated.
I felt very proud of myself.
After this excitement my blood was boiling, so we went to have tea. Anna told me that she doesn't want me to leave so as have "a scary mom" around to scare off any morons of the sort we just met. And then we talked about things women can do in public to defend themselves, which isn't much, unless we happen to be exceptionally strong or carry a pepper spray or a taser (I wonder if it's legal).
In the evening she took me to downtown LA for a surprise. I didn't know where we were going until the last minute. It was the coolest bookstore I've ever been in—The Last Bookstore—where books formed walls and desks and were arranged by color and by genre, and there was an art gallery upstairs, and reading rooms, and even an art installation with a writing desk and an old typewriter and a long ribbon of paper running from it to the ceiling like an endless story. Of course I started browsing books and chatting with the friendly staff. And of course they asked me how come they don't have any of my books. And of course as soon as I'm back home, I will be sending them a few signed copies. What can I say? I love bookstores and people who work there.
In the end we had to leave, it was time for me to get to the station (I miss you, Anna, so much, I wish I could stay longer!), and there after the initial confusion—Texas Eagle train's departing platform wasn't listed on a tableau as it was part of the Sunset Limited train because in San Antonio our sleeping car will be separated from this train and attached to another one—I have boarded the carriage and found my roomette and immediatelly felt like settling in and writing. It bacame a home on wheels. Well then, now I will attempt to sleep so tomorrow I can dive back into writing TUBE, that cute charming story about a train eating ballerinas. Let's see how many nightmares I will have about this tonight.