05/14/2019 0 By BuddyCushman

This is Tuesday and I have decided to fast today. It’s 1:25 in the afternoon and so good so far.

I am also home alone today, always a treat. It’s 1:27 in the afternoon and I’m all alone here.

I was aware of both facts last night, – fasting and alone-ness – meaning I knew I’d have extra time to get things done, no breakfast sitting in front of the computer reading the San Diego Union-Tribune sports section or The Athletic, and equally important, an absence of noise in the home. So I wrote out a “To Do” list last night in anticipation. You can see it here. Already, now at 1:30, some of the items to be done have been checked off as completed, items with numbers involved have markings to indicate progress. When I finish this there’ll be another check.

Not on the list of things hopefully to be done was watching the library DVD “City of Gold”, a documentary about Los Angeles Times food critic Jonathan Gold. I watched this maybe a year ago, year and a half, and loved it then and vowed I’d buy my own copy. Ihad it on my Ebay watch list all this last year. But at about $24 it felt a little too rich for my social security blood, and thinking about it recently I had the “aha” of using the old library card again, which I did, and just finished watching it for the second time – with a dearth of both noise and food.

“City of Gold” turns out to be a love story, a love Gold had for his hometown of Los Angeles. It’s a wonderful movie, stimulating, touching, incredibly hopeful. Because, ultimately, this is a colorful, encouraging, acknowledging view about diversity – how our lives become enriched by the shared difference of others. The give and take of connection. How we grow as a species. A rejoicing.

These days, in 2019, it seems to be the norm to fear “others”. Jonathan Gold gives us a love letter which so clearly shows we’ve got it wrong. The total dumb-ness of contempt prior to investigation.All of which reminds me of a fun story.

The day after Mother’s Day I’ll tell on my mom here a bit. My sophomore year of college – at Cape Cod Community – a fellow high school classmate named Julius and I decided to rent a cottage together. When I told my mom she wasn’t happy about it. Why was I doing it? She was kind of stuck in the old “other” thing. But I was going to do what I was going to do and Julius and I (also a guy named Frank, a year younger, we needed the dues) got a place and lived together that academic year, and I’d go home with him and eat dinner at his house with his family and he’d come to my house and hang out, and the opportunity appeared for a Jonathan Gold look-what’s-right-here-in-front-of-you – See, the quality of another, different human. You see, Julius had it all over me in just about every category – looks, courage, athleticism, big-time lady’s man, easily sociable – you name it, he had it over me. Except for one thing. I was white and Julius was black, and all those folks who worry about “the other” – which is the majority of folks – wouldn’t see him having anything over me, and it included my mom. The funny thing is, after nine months of being in and out of each other’s lives, when I was back home for the summer, probably screwing something up as usual, my mother stopped me one day, looked deep into my eyes, and asked me this: “Why can’t you be more like Julius.”

So watch the movie. It matters.

Sadly Jonathan Gold passed away last summer, just 58 years old. He probably would have wondered about my decision to fast from food for a day, and surely would have wondered why I chose to watch a movie about the love of food on a day I was fasting. Like I always say – Duh.

Anyway, now I can check off the Blog post on the list because however this has come out it’s going up. And for fun, here’s the acrylic paper painting. I still have time to check everything off. It’s only 2:21 in the afternoon, and it’s quiet around here. And I have no plans for dinner.