san diego sunrise

Last night, at 10:00 pm, I took a cab from the San Diego airport to my brother Matt’s house where I was greeted with a hug and then a smooch from his dog Sadie. My brother’s wife, Stacey, is visiting her sister in the Seattle area while I help Matt with my eighty-five-year-old mom who has Alzheimer's. After a brief chat with my brother I lugged my bags to the upstairs guest room. There, on the dresser, was a care package that Stacey had left me. It included a card wishing me respite, a bottle of seven-year-old bourbon and a crystal glass with which to drink it, a miniature pewter motorcycle tied with twine and slung around the bottle’s neck, a bar of caramel and sea salt chocolate and a silly book called Stuff White People Like. My sister-in-law definitely gets me.

This morning, after a restful night, and as the sun rose over San Diego Harbor, I thumbed through the book, at times chuckling over the author’s satirical list of 150 things that white people like. Here are some of my favorites:

Standing still at concerts
Religions their parents don’t belong to
Farmer’s markets
Wes Anderson films
Asian girls
Having two last names
Knowing what’s best for poor people
Bottles of water
Multilingual children
The idea of soccer
Music piracy
Premium juice
Public transportation that is not a bus
Rock climbing

Gifted children
Acoustic covers

After flipping through its pages I realized the book might have been better titled Stuff White Yuppies Like. Still, it made me laugh at myself and at the absurdity of it all—that being the truth. At the end of the book is a score sheet labeled How White Are You? My score was a mere thirty-four percent. Praise the Lord.

As the sky began to brighten I stepped outside on the balcony with my camera. A foghorn sighed in the distance making me pine for my former home, San Francisco, which I haven't visited for nine years. Watching the sun come up I imagined my mother snoozing in a downstairs bedroom and wondered if she'd recognize me. I hoped my brother was doing okay and relished my sister-in-law's kind gesture. I felt a headache coming on in the absence of caffeine and wondered if Calvin had had a seizure last night. I toyed with the idea of eating the chocolate bar for breakfast, regretted not having been able to get the bottle of bourbon open last night, then considered going back to sleep just as the sun cleared the horizon, like a big bald head.

this morning's sunrise over San Diego harbor

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