Not on the List

I started today by writing a too do list. Posting on this blog wasn’t on it. I only write lists to stomp down the feeling that things are about to get out of control. Such scheduling of the tsunami calms.


A walk through downtown Juneau with Aki was on the list. We take a short route that does not take too much time away from the listed activities. The little dog and I pass Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, where I once again have to discourage my Catholic dog from peeing on the threshold. We climb up Gastineau Street and ignore homeless camps and even the ravens that perch on the taller alder trees.


We drop down a long, twisting stairway until reaching the tourist trapline on lower Franklin Street. We walk the docks, passing a couple of great white cruise ships and a line of locals pitching land excursions to debouching tourists. We stop under the Marine Park Shelter for Aki to pee near a couple of homeless guys who sit on a bench. I ask how they are doing, not in a cop voice but in a tone that tells them I hope they are fine. After passing lines of tourists made grumpy by the rain, I really want to hear someone say they are enjoying the day. Both men, still clean after showers at the Glory Hole, smile and say they are, “good.” I can see the evidence of their happiness, if not joy—deepening of laugh lines, smile from one, surprised glace at his bench mate from the other. Making someone smile wasn’t on my list either.

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