Jim and Charlie are walking to the psychiatrist's office in the photo on a street that reminds me of why I love Berkeley so much. The trees, the stucco and wood-shingle houses, the walkability.
We had parked a block over on Telegraph Avenue and made a quick stop at a neighboring CVS. Charlie had said 'doctor' about 100 times in the hour between his bike ride and going to the doctor; while sitting on the couch in the doctor's office, he had then said 'silver car' at least twice every minute, with a few pauses to answer questions Jim and I directed at him.
Charlie's worries over the visit to a new doctor probably had something to do with a behavior squall on Monday after he and Jim returned from their bike ride, on the mantel of the fireplace. As has often been the case, Charlie refused a bandaid -- except, right before leaving for the doctor, he picked up one from the table, put it on his forehead and kept it on.
After the appointment, Charlie was up all night, getting dressed for school at 6am as I was getting ready for work. As of Wednesday night, he started taking a very low dose of a new medication. The psychiatrist told us to stay in touch and that he'd only be gone the week of August 25.
Thursday, Charlie got sick at school. He made it through the rest of the day and was sound asleep by 9pm at night. He usually makes sure to have his two iPads and some other mementoes on his bed when he sleeps but that night he left them symmetrically arrayed on the rug in the living room. Friday he woke by 8am and stayed, standing by his bed or back in it, there till almost noon. Jim rightfully concluded this was Charlie's way of saying he wasn't feeling well and a day at home was in order -- and, when he finally came downstairs, it was to slump in the brown chair and doze off.
On waking, Charlie called so ardently for me that Jim decided to hoist the bikes onto the silver car, drive across the bay via San Francisco and meet me in Millbrae, preferably as close to Highway 101 as possible to avoid any haphazard driving hither-and-thither to find me. So after I got off the Caltrain at the station, I passed the taxi line, crossed a parking lot and made my way past a Chevron station through some low weeds to just beside the Millbrae Ave. exit. (It all made me feel I was at an intersection, 440 and Communipaw just before you get on the Rte. 1 & 9 truck bridge on the edge of Jersey City.) Sure enough, a familiar silver car appeared some minutes later.
We proceeded to the baseball field park where Charlie and Jim start their weekend 'airport to Oracle' bike rides. Charlie said 'no' about riding and called for 'Berkeley.' We proceeded back north on 101.
Once we were driving through San Francisco in surprisingly little commute hour traffic, Charlie said 'bridge,' his way of asking to go over the Bay Bridge to ride bikes. Efforts to point out that Jim had already driven him over the bridge and that we'd been at the start-the-bike-ride place proved futile. We drove through Treasure Island and back home, Charlie saying 'bridge' and not stopping when we got home and my parents dropped by and I made some dinner. Charlie paced while 'bridge'-calling; this faded out as Jim talked about trains and riding the bullet one in Japan and past journeys with an old friend.
It's depp into summer and it's a new phase. Jim's sabbatical is over. I've been working on my ancient Greek, Latin and classics syllabi, reading Herodotus and thinking a lot about classics and the Internet. Jim's planning site visits to rapidly-becoming-historical-San-Francisco landmarks.
By Saturday, Jim and Charlie were riding.