Monday, September 6, 2004

Laundry consumed my friday morning. The ritual of laundry is much like writing. I start with the jumble of clothes and memories and throw them in big machines, I set timers, I plot and plan the most efficient way to get everything done. The week comes back as I fold that black shirt I wore to the meeting (and my, wasn't it nice sitting next to the H-ster) and I went to the beach in those jeans (hence the sand - filled cuffs). It is an act of revisiting and resetting. At the end, the clothes are all folded and put away, waiting for the next round of adventures.

Friday afternoon I returned to the Secret Garden and I retrieved the Nikon, ran to 'Tola to get a battery for it (and retrieve more pictures) and I packed for a spontaneous trip to Frisco. I really needed to get some references of Ocean Beach, of the cement wall, the windmills and the cliffs. I especially was excited about trying out the camera (my grandfather was fond of the city, I am sure that it had been there before).

I took the coast highway. It was a glorious day (how can one distill 70 miles of coast into one lowly adjective?). I stopped at my favorite abandoned shack and shot it up. I make it an annual thing.. I go there, by myself, every year and I take pictures of the same things. The eucalyptus, the graffiti, the holes in the walls, the crumbling floor and the farm machinery. I had black and white film, so I didn't bother shooting the orange pumpkins or the pink flowers. I was looking for things with extreme contrast; the white walls, the black shadows and the textures.

Two hours later, I arrived at Ocean Beach. It was a zoo. I always forget what a huge beach it is. The sidwalk was a freak show. Elderly couples vied with gangs of hoods for glimpses of the sea. A drummer (with a complete kit) competed with hip hop blasting from an enormous red truck (when the song became the noises of a black couple making loud sex (OOH! you ar' So beeuhg, Bay-be, Come ON! Fastuh!), I had fun watching the people passing by blush and giggle). Everywhere I looked, there were moony-eyed het. couples in various stages of PDA, from hand holding to full body contact. I almost took a picture of a pair of congo players, but they told me "no pictures." I was a bit irritated, but I respected their wish (I am going to put them on the cover of something.. if you see a gratuitous drawing of an two men playing congos... then you will know I have had my revenge). There were plenty of bald men to distract me from my goal. It was hard to tear my eyes away.

The crowds were so different than flip flop town. No tans (lots of pasty white people), no bikinis, no odor of coppertone. They looked like city people at the beach. The soot and culture from their hoods seemed to cling to them. The cluch of wannabe white ghetto boys from the Sunset (too fresh scrubbed and clean to really be from the TL) lounging by the Porto-Sans. The impossibly slender, chanelled-to-death ladies from the Pacific Heights, powerwalking down the sidewalk in their manolos. I didn't need to venture into the interior of the city... it was all here.

I camped out at M-town, between the shadow of the mountain and the glow of the lighthouse. My parents were happy to see me.

On Sat I picked up Bart in the Necropolis. My city skills are so rusty... I had to get off in DC to retrieve my zines that I left on the platform. But I got on the wrong train and ended up back at DC. When I arrived at the terminal, my black bag was there, on the bench, right where I left it. I breached the ground at 16th and Mission. Its always such a shock to leave the cavernous bart stations and return to the surface. I was overwhelmed by the smells and teeming colors. Cellspace was about 8 blocks away so I hoofed it. It was sweltering. I was wearing black (my zine-selling uniform...). I met other rubber people (she didn't know the secret of sewing rubber by machine, and I didn't feel like enlightening her), and the Famous Artnoose, the SC Zinester Twins and two SC poets. I ran into Mr Wobbly. I saw a lot of anti-bush, pro-anarchy literature. I would have liked to have stayed longer.

I had lunch with Larry at the Mels on the fifth and Mission Garage. It was good catching up with him. On my way back to M-town, I took a detour to Cellspace. I collected money (whoo Hoo! art is SO rewarding). I arrived at home just in time for dinner. My parents had a family from church over. They were classic Peninsula People: Mr, a retired CEO and Mrs, a leggy woman with ridiculous shoes (the P noticed her legs) and their daugher, a five year old whom they kept needlessly apologizing for. It was fascinating watching the father relate to his daughter (and in turn contrast it with the way my P related to TKB). They were nice, and on our evening constitutional, I ran into two handsome firemen whom I had gone to high school with. They recognized me first. My mojo must have been high, because by the time my family and our guests returned home, the way the firemen "couldn't keep their eyes off you" was legendary.

I spent Sunday morning hiking the Mountain with the P. It was hot, I brought a jacket (old habits die hard) and the Canon. We took pictures of ourselves next to the "no loitering" signs at the summit. Then I baked my sister's b-day cake and headed to the Valley. The family gathered at my sister's apartment to gorge on chinese and cake. We spent the afternoon lounging and digesting like an overstuffed pride of big cats, next to the airconditioner, with the shades drawn. It was too hot for anything more active. I spent some quality time with the TKB under the coffee table.

Headed back to SC in time for church. I had a splendid time hanging with the Mountain People downtown afterwards. They were all very kind (me and my bike got a ride home in a car). We then headed to the mountains to watch funky old seventies shows from the BBC.

So now it is Monday. I am listening to the M-ster's show on the radio.

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