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she was on every guest list, never came to the parties

April 6, 2009

Tired from a day in the sun, you fall asleep with the light on and wake up at 2 am in your jeans.  These are the things that I like.

Spring in San Francisco is not conducive to productivity.  It is conducive to sitting in the back yard with your roommates, eating klondike bars, and discussing the known universe.

That said, I had another restaurant interview on Sunday.  The place isn’t opening till the end of April, and is under heavy construction.  The floor covered in sawdust.  It was dark inside.  It is to be a small upscale Italian wine bar.  They brought us in five at a time and we sat like a panel in folding chairs facing the owners.  It was intense.  They shot rapid fire questions at us.  I felt like I held my own reasonably well given that I was sitting with people who had spent years working at French Laundry and other insanely fancy restaurants and who talked about wine using words like, “the new resin quality of old worlds.”  I admitted that I didn’t know much about wine, except that was becoming an enthusastic imbiber.  I think I did pretty well in the favorite books section.  Everyone else claimed to love One Hundred Years of Solitude.  I mentioned Sirens of Titan.  I didn’t want to leave the favorite books section, afraid to be called upon again to talk about wine.  They would have to be either really smart or really stupid to hire me.  I’m not sure that they were either of these things. 

Then we went to get tattoos.  Or rather Josie and Jacqueline went to get tattoos, and I went to watch, trying to get a feel about whether I could get one, wanting to watch their facial expressions, gauge their pain thresholds.  It was a small shop in Divis, a bit dim inside.  We were as Josie said, “Those girls…”  The giggly ones who stumble in on a sunny afternoon and claim to want a tattoo, but only if it’s so small that it can only be seen with binoculars and preferably hidden behind your ear, on the bottom of your foot, between your fingers.  The place was like the house of no.  No, they couldn’t do Jacqueline’s intricate dandelion design unless it was the size of a beach ball.  No, they couldn’t put a silver nail on the side of Josie’s foot, because it would fade away in a year.  No, they couldn’t do any of it now anyway, because they had real clients with appointments.  We left disappointed although Josie scheduled a time on Friday to get hers done. 

We went to Alamo Square and layed in the sun watching tiny dogs.  We talked about becoming lawyers for the ACLU.  We discussed how much we disliked people in the Marina, and how much the Marina people disliked the dirt in the Lower Haight.  We wished the Marina people would leave so we could go to their restaurants, which we admitted were good.  We discussed how our rent might be re-negotiated considering the economy. 

I went on a date on Saturday with an electrical engineering student from Berkeley.  We had bonded a few nights before over a mutual admiration of Amy Hempel.  What more might two people need?  He met Josie and I at a bar in the mission.  He seemed strange, slow, and silent, although he looked like a movie star, so I wanted to forgive him.  Within five minutes he turned to me and said, “I’m really high right now.  I mean somewhere between wildly high and just really high, you know.”  I was standing between him and Josie at the bar, and had to keep turning from one to the other so that no one felt left out.  Josie tried to engage him in conversation, but he responded to her questions in a voice so quiet that I  had to interpret, “Alex said he’s been in Berkeley for a month.  He likes it.”  We started talking about sign language, the tool of people who can’t hear each other.  Josie it turned out is fluent, somehow this doesn’t surprise me.  Alex said that braille was a waste of time, because he had never seen anyone actually reading it.  We wondered if braille was a universal language or if it varied by country.  Josie said it varied, because it was matched in syntax to the different languages.  But if someone never heard English spoken why did they need English braille.  Josie’s friends arrived and she went upstairs to some private party, and I took the opportunity to flee.  Alex invited me to a peyote ceremony, a suggestion both nauseating and intriguing.  I rode the 22 home exhausted, and the next morning went to the job interview, and the tattoos, and the sun.  Good weekend.

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