I've found the best seat in the house, and if you live in Berkeley you can find it too: take the westbound lane of University Avenue and follow its line of sight eastward, past where the road dead-ends into campus, a short distance up the hill to a modest outdoor table beside some sort of medical building, with a lawn and trees holding off the cars, a reliable wireless collection, and a fine view of the bay. I've spent most of today up here. At noon Marin was pale blue and the bay a deeper blue, with white flecks of enormous ships; now the bay is fogged over and the sunset is a smoky white glow, probably how one would picture Absolute Spirit if the people who thought about Absolute Spirit went in for concrete imagery.
My last day in this troubled country. And I can’t help my country, so I did what I could for the house; the vacuum cleaner, a fine aerosol poison fog to kick off two weeks’ starvation for the fleas. I had to go around the kitchen covering all the food-related items with plastic wrap, like a low-budget Christo. Now I am back at my perch above the bay, waiting for the permethrin and s-methoprene to diffuse. I had been teasing Pica, a little, about buying the complete Virgil in Latin (which she doesn’t read) and taking it to Berlin; but before climbing this hill I stopped at Black Oak Books and discovered they had acquired more of Donald Davidson’s classical library, including the complete Thucydides in Greek (which I don’t read), so I tried to fight sentimentality, but guess what. Θουκυδιδησ ‘Αθηναιος ξυνεγραψε τον πολεμον των Πελοποννησιων και ‘Αθηναιωνand I know I paid too much for it. (But ladies and gents of the jury, I let alone the even more expensive, handsomely annotated edition of Aristotle’s Prior and Posterior Analytics, also from Davidson’s library, because the syllogistic logic is not so interesting. If it had been the Nicomachean Ethics I might have caved.)
The Absolute Spirit in the west is brilliant orange now, and I’m hungry, so I should go air out the house. My train comes tomorrow at 5:17 a.m. So “À Berlin! à Berlin! à Berlin!” I say, like the Parisian mob at the end of Nana, but with milder intent and (I hope) happier results.