Headed north from the visit with my grandparents to the dreaded B-bridge and to Bear Town. I always get a thrill when I pass under those huge sooty arches that signal you are about to leave the earth.
When I arrived at the Pad, I barely recognized it. The floor was gone, just boxes and cardboard and piles everywhere. He gave me a hug, and thrust his newest anatomy book into my hands. Ah, the meeting of art geeks. It was from DK and the photography looked like the legitimate child of Robert Mapplethorp--all the lovely flesh but none of the nasty anal-insertions.
He asked me if I was hungry. I always am. So after picking up chicken-curry pockets at the aptly named Thai Tuk Tuk market (the timing was so cool, he asked me what a tuk tuk was (he pronounced it tuck tuck) was and then before I could answer, we walked into the market, and all I had to do was point to a pristine, never-been-used tuk tuk that was sitting there, doubling as a magazine rack, in the middle of the check-out area. The place was american-thai. The interior was spacious and airy, the linoluem shiny, the products modestly tucked in boxes, the food-workers were wearing gloves. It was great. The only thing I missed was the fruit. No rambutans, no mangosteens, no durian (thankfully), no piles of ridiculously colored and shaped fruits anywhere piled like offerings, to the sky) we headed to Pomagranate, purveyors of fine kosher italian food. The chicken-curry pockets were delish-- roasted chicken with sweet and savory curry in a deep-fried pastry. yum.
The tricky filet minon
When FB takes me out, its usually family-style, so all the orders from the menu need to be kosher, and more trickily, the combinations need to be correct. So when I expressed an interest in the filet minon kabobs, he had to cancel the salmon. I was mystefied, both animals have the right amount of toes and body-coverings. He explained that they cook the fish in.... butter! I have to confess, there was goat cheese in the salad, but he avoided that pitfall by having me steal an uncontaminated fork from the next table. The filet was melty and full of beefy goodness, and the chicken he ordered as substitute for the butter-drenched salmon was moist and tender. And the garlic potatoes-- heavenly.
Next Challenge, the Kosher Box
Fan Boy is moving. He is taking his comic-book collection. We needed to pack them. He sent me on an errand to exchange a magazine box for a comic-book box. He gave me the simple driving directions to Comic Relief, a mere 5 blocks away. He gave me a 20-spot to cover the cost of an additional box and my total driving expenses.
Half an hour later.
I am fumbling for his number at the payphone at the corner of University and Shattuck. After failing miserably to find Comic Relief (I went from the campus to the freeway, and yet that tricksy Shattuck completely eluded me twice) I gave up, and tried to call the store. But the number was disconnected. So I called FB and confessed. It turns out that I was a mere block away, had noticed the Adrian Tomine posters and had completely failed to make the connection. Additionally, I failed to find parking, so I stashed the vehicle at Durant, 5 blocks away, for a cost of 50 cents. I did find the store, and exchanged the box. I returned to the pad, a miserable, shamed and completely pre-menstrual wreck. I was going to return the 20 (cuz he cancelled the extra box order) and as I fished in the pocket it wasn't there. It was your money, he said. I was mortified and completely angry with myself (at this point in my life, the Dollar had taken nearly cambodian proportions-- the amount of money that has been misplaced this last month had now topped the 1000 dollar mark-- but that is another story). I might have said something regrettable. I decided to cut the losses and in the interest of protecting my relationship with Fan Boy, I sequestered myself with my sketchbook on his porch. I sulked.
A friendly tap on the shoulder
"how are you doing?' His voice was gentle. He was smiling. I don't know how me maintains his friendly and nice demeanor in the midst of moving deadlines, inept friends, piles of comics and a messy housemate. He carefully explained that he needed more boxes and another comic book box. CR would be open another half hour. If we walked quickly, we could make it. The night was nearly balmy, but cold enough to warrant a fleece. The air was fresh. It was good to be moving. We scoped out the recycling in front of Utrecht. Soon, my little cardboard sweets. We made it to the store, sans a car, got the box, and he reloaded on all his favorite titles. On the way back, we indulged in some serious dumpster-diving. Art stores are the best.
Kamille's Kustom Kosher Art Box Service
I was up till 3 in a pile of packing tape and cardboard, making the perfect boxes to hold his framed art collection, his blank canvas collection and his semi-finished painting collection, in addition to his works on paper collection. The deal was sweetened with a recording he had made of an interview with Umberto Eco.
I am in love. I wonder if Umberto is single? Can you say "Baudolino" one more time for me?
I listened to it three times. Then I switched on NPR and listened to the report about the Pope-in-Cologne and the pesky Jewish settlers who were resisting relocation over and over and over again. I noticed a theme. Maybe all that the Israelis needed was the right box.
At some point I faded, and crashed on the futon. Fan Boy bustled around all night, and when dawn came, I volunteered to help some more.
The Nazi Hunter
R looked and moved like a red-haired Andre-the-Giant. He landed at 7:30 to help with "the big stuff" brimming with stories about how he washed his red mop in the neighbors front yard. While waiting for FB, he politely inquired about my life. I told him about all the little art students I had and blah blah blah. I must've prattled on for quite a while. He seemed fascinated. I finally asked him what he did, right as FB was returning with a load.
"I write for the Chronicle" he annouced.
FB looked at him, "Is that what you are telling people these days"
"Hey, 2 articles a week certainly counts as "work"" was the reply.
R went back to the house to fetch something.
"Don't let him snowball you, he is one of the most brilliant people I know. Worked for years for the Anti-defamation league hunting down Nazis, now he's the president of his own marketing firm."
Oh. Of course. I hadn't known the anti-def people hunted as well.
He left at 8, to take a conference call.
We finally finished loading the canister. Then it was time for showers and Fan Boy's signature kosher scramble. Then I offered to drop him off at his meeting in the Mission on my way back to Muttonham.
While FB snoozed in my car, I ran all over the mission (wobbly's old 'hood-- ah, memories), taking pictures of the most excellent graffiti. I saw one of the Last Gasp workers going for a coffee run, and I ran after her, yelling her name for nearly a block. I forget that city people aren't super fond of crazy behavior like that. But one must maintain one's connection with the publishing world.
I finally delivered FB, by now, nearly a zomby, to his meeting, and I hied myself down to MH to prep a class.
And thus ended my last 24 hours with Fan Boy.
Saturday, August 20, 2005
Another 24 Hours with Fan Boy