About a month after Mazie and I found each other again (2001), we moved in together in a little waterfront town in the San Francisco area called Martinez. We lived there for about a year and half, before moving up to the Northern Cascades, where we built a cabin and got pretty much off the grid. Martinez was a miraculous time, and we spent a good deal of it literally in another dimension — a blissful parallel one that only occasionally intersected with what most call “this world”.
We used to stroll around our neighborhood at all hours, intoxicated by the mere presence of each other, like two drunken sailors on a long-overdue shore leave. There was a lovely marina not far off, and that was usually our destination. It was a magical journey, always filled with delight and discovery!
Down the block from us was a corner house with a front lawn populated by half a dozen life-size ceramic chickens. We’d stop and pay our respects during our walks, but apparently looked suspicious. The occupant of the house (an elderly fellow) would glare at us out his window to insure that we intended no harm to his flock. We called him the “Chicken Man”, and his house “Chicken Corner”.
One evening we were strolling by and encountered a woman on the lawn who told us that she was the visiting daughter of the owner, and that he was distraught on account of the sad fact that one of his chickens that had gone missing. We expressed our sympathies, and continued on with our stroll.
The next day Mazie was browsing a local market, and found a ceramic chicken for sale, purchased the critter, and brought it home. Later that evening, around midnight, when we figured the Chicken Man would be sleeping, we snuck down the street to his lawn and placed the new chicken in the approximate place where the missing chicken had stood. It was not the same chicken, but close enough.
We believed that we had been unseen, though from then on, whenever we happened by Chicken Corner, the old man would wave at us and smile.