dude says do you know san francisco
i said, nope
he said, your thing says you lived there for years.
i said what thing
he said the thing
i go those things are always full of flaws
he said did you not live there for 4 years at the dawn of the internet and you started your own company and you sold beers for the giants and
you left because you read something in the new testament about the rich prince?
i said those reports have sure gotten specific
he goes do this thing be back soon heres a bunch of cash
next thing you know we’re on fishermans warf eating three types of fish and the freshest crab youve ever. we’re sitting on these outdoor stools. a young lady is yelling at the tourists trying to get them to come into her restaurant. there’s five others right next to hers. all selling the same thing.
i got seats available. who wants lobster? best on the pier!
i go, baby. let me hold those menus and give it a try
delicious food guaranteed to help you grow an inch taller. all the seafood is vegan. we dont use salt. and the water’s free. who wants two. i got two right by batters box. free peanuts for the kids. all the proceeds go to charity. thats the bosses girlfriend. who wants a booth. i got a booth. booth of you over there, you look hungry. give the leftovers to the poor. knock on the glass and scare the sea lions. penguins eat free. who needs two!
next to us was what appeared to be a pimp and his employee. they both seemed happy and not a care in the world. surely they were working but what was their angle. he was ordering food, she was reading a book on her phone.
something was fishy on the pier.
amber didnt like the scene so we split. she said she wanted to see all the places id lived.
i wasn’t that into it but for some reason the streets were empty, everything was desolate. so we sped through town.
first stop was the apartment a bunch of us lived in on haight street. because no one was in town there was a parking spot right infront of the door. there was a dude on the stairs smoking a cigarette. 40ish. gay. hippie punker.
i asked do you live here?
oh man, i used to live here like 20 years ago.
he goes, wanna come look around?
shocked i said, why yes i would!
the place looks almost like we never left. it’s cluttered with the greatest things you are bound to find on and around the lower haight. mannequins, stuffed animal heads. props, sound equipment, guitars, bars.
the main living room had been turned into two living rooms. and the middle living room is now the dining room. but with tons of found out and second and third hand furniture.
the kitchen strangely looked identical except for a holder for the pots and pans and a seriously organized dishes situation next to the sink. someone put some effort into realizing that a victorian with 5 bedrooms and no dishwasher is going to live or die by the dirty dishes solution, what ever that may be.
the woman was making like three pounds of ground beef. this other guy was eating a thick steak and bonding with amber because they’re both from the valley.
and a dog waited below waiting for something to fall off the small table.
upstairs the sole bathroom was modernized slightly and the front room where don lived was identical. and then we got to see my room and it was the natural progression of what it once was: enormous tv, and cool art around the walls.
what an amazing defiance of gentrification while all around it, the soul was being sucked out of a once vibrant source of idealism and creativity.
we hugged them many times and amber exchanged phone numbers like eight times to the same guy.
then we drove to the mission and ate a giant plate of mexican food at el faro lito. all i wanted was a burrito but amber pointed at a picture and out came rice beans enchiladas and salad.
the scene was amazing. all kinds of young people, some tow truck drivers, a black girl from compton who seemed more high than drunk, and this guy who amber swore was wasted on cocaine.
got to the hotel, pooped, cuz i had just driven six hours and passed out
next day i had to mail something for a friend of the busblog
we did it in this tiny mall that had a safeway in it. freakiest thing. but this mail place had it all. it was all spread out unlike most mail places. theyd do ups, usps, fed ex. and they also faxed. i needed to send a fax. faxing is still a thing right now, readers from the future.
this place did all of it, had stamps, packing materials. birthday cards. tv going on in the back. for some reason it was my dream store.
who doesnt want an alternative to the post office that has every little thing youd ever need. markers. tape. confetti.
only thing it needed was a couple of packs of baseball cards for sale somewhere.
then we drove to the house of nan king and not only wasnt there a line, but it too had a parking spot right in front of it because everyone was at burning man or some shit. no one was in town. for a good 20 minutes at lunch time, only half of the city’s best chinese restaurant was full.
how good was it? amber didnt wanna eat there. she eats chinese 3 times a week. usually dollar chinese joints cuz she keeps it super real.
she was all, nope, if i wanted chinese i woulda gotten something next door to the mail place, a poor man’s panda express called Asia Chinese.
but when we got there and she bit into the veggie chow mein her eyes got big and she saw the light.
i had shrimp packets and nanking sweet potatoes with crispy chicken.
it was then that amber said, why dont you just do people favors for a living. travel the state. eat the foods. fix problems.
i said, the xbi is dangerous. thats why it pays so well.
she said, this is an xbi thing?
we went around the block to the city lights book shop and she got emotional in there
it is pretty much living history, that book store. and all your friends are on the shelf.
it was nice that she felt the spirit in there.
we drove back fast as we could stopping here and there
and listening to jim acostas book Enemy of the People which he reads to you
and it reminds you just
has hit the fan in the last little while with trump in office.
you really forget how much of it theres been
and acosta doesnt go into all of it, but weirdly he was in the center of a big one
when the white house revoked a member of the press’s hard pass
because they didn’t like his questions.
got home and finished my faro lita burrito.