Last week I received a phone call from a dear friend In Washington State, which was not a surprise as we had plans for a few months that he would be coming here to Laguna for a weeks’ vacation.
He would ride his motorcycle from Washington down the coast and visit friends along the way. Spend a week with me then go off to San Diego and perhaps Mexico to visit more friends. He was to be here April 22 for a concert the trip was built around. It had snowed on Easter and the roads were not conducive for anyone on a motorcycle. My friend has been making this ride for some 25 years and it’s become a ritual. Some of his stories on his rides, have been rather wonderful since he is a big fellow riding a Harley getting stopped by the police is not uncommon. When they find out he is a judge, or a lawyer who represents police, or see his military pins on his jacket, they stop the interrogation, and begin “ What freedom there is on the road.”
This call was different. After pleasant silly greetings, Mark said,” I won’t be riding down.” My response was, "I see you got an attack of good sense.” We then discussed plans, trains and automobiles, getting here, traveling from place to place.
"The reason I’m not riding is I’ve been having headaches, and after ruling out needing a new pair of glasses, it seems I have a cancerous brain tumor…"
The joking stopped, he assured me it was operable and was not going to metastasize.
We continued setting up his arrival dates and plans. “By the way, no one knows. I’m really not ready to talk about this.” As it turns out, he flew into San Diego and stayed a few days with another mutual friend. On the drive up, they had car problems and in the heat he lost vision in one eye temporally. How scary !!!
At my house the headaches became worse. He would have long naps, be up at 8am, nap at 10am, and not eat well. His last full day here was the day of my first book-signing, the other compelling event for this trip. He said he needed to stay home, that he was too uncomfortable and didn’t want to feel stuck.