Friday, June 5, 2009

What Happens On the Way to Work

Herded onto the commuter train car this morning, I found my place to stand, adjusted my music, looked down and realized a burn victim sat in front of me. At least seventy percent of his face looked damaged by fire. One eye missing completely, the other appeared only sort of functional. I only took occasional liberties to gaze at him; I'm not rude. His hands looked young, healthy. His hair, moppy with curls, was dark brown and youthful. I imagined him pretty hot before the accident. I figured he must have suicidally low self-esteem with a face like that. He probably didn't have much luck with the ladies. I internally chastised myself for ever complaining about my ugly leg psoriasis. If I threw myself at him, he'd be elated, right? He'd let me ravage him, no questions asked. Who knows how long its been since he touched a woman, I assumed. Then I saw it. He had a wedding ring on his left hand. Mostly-blind-burn guy is married. And not that I want to get married, but a date of some sort with a fella I fancied would be a nice change-up.
There is no good place for breakfast near my office. Most places microwave their eggs which is sick. I figured I could just have cereal, but I didn't want cereal. I just told Nichole I was considering veganism, but all of a sudden I wanted eggs and cheddar cheese. Either corporate or microwave or both are my only options really. The burrito place uses a skillet but then I'd have to walk by my office to get there. I hate to confuse our receptionist. Boudin's is the choice I make (corporate, but just to San Francisco). While I'm waiting for my egg, cheddar and avocado on sourdough, I take a quick staff inventory: all Latino. The white people keep filing in, ordering and waiting. I feel weird. How did this happen? And it's obvious, but no one acknowledges it. Temporary satisfaction with the world: the egg was sent through an oven.
I pass a Subway, McDonald's - both staffed entirely by Latino men and women. Starbucks is the only chain which has a diverse staff, including white, black, gay. Hell, I am not even sure if a Latino person works there. Why is Starbucks different? I think I've stumbled onto some sort of phenomenon. But I consider I'm the last person to notice it and I'm not the person to figure out what it means or make an attempt to change it. I just feel weird being a part of the equation.
There are ten voice mails waiting for me, but one is a hang up. I love the hang ups.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I'm On Vacation! Day 6 FINAL DAY - Upstate NY & The Catskills

French Press/Nutty Nuggets/Finish packing Frog/He's moving to Portland, ya know/Moving/Cleaning/Hungover/Can't shit/To Anna & Brendan's to return mattress/Omalord, goats/Ged the cat is the coolest cat ever/Dump/Dump-guy re: Beam "I drink that stuff religiously"/Unexpected trip down memory lane via shitty Clark recording/On to Heaven/I make my first pizza/Enjoy Rupa the dog/Fur like Max/John, the neighbor kid, gives us ride to Albany airport/Nice, nice kid/Security woes/Short goodbyes/Him to his gate/Me to mine/Unexpected puddle jumper to Cleveland/Entire row for sleeping to SF/I think of crashing/Again and again/We don't/I make last BART/I drink with Blalock & Nathan at Stork Club for last call/See my Ruby again/Drink shitty Tequila and use the old standby, Michael Scott, to fall asleep/Back to Oakland life for now

I'm On Vacation! Day 5- Upstate NY & The Catskills

Sleep in/French Press/Nutty Nuggets/Write/Listen to Frog's set list/Inspired/Take photos/To Heaven again/Taylor gifts to me cutie cutie Salt & Pepper shakers/Research ride to airport/No success/Make hummus!/Dinner party at Seema's, Charlie's, Rishi's/Frog's babysitting gig/Other fams come: Laurie with Charlie & Ava, Anna & Brendon with Aemon/Grill out/Fresh cheese/Lot's of red wine/More Ommegang beer/Hummus is a hit/Kids love the Frog Man/I love these full-timers/Back to the cabin/Finish the night with Beam and Ace Ventura Pet Detective

I'm On Vacation! Day 4 - Upstate NY & The Catskills

Mountain morning air/Relax on the cabin's deck/No unnatural noise/French press/Nutty Nuggets/Frog thinks better than Grape Nuts/I think just a bit different/Organic grapes/Markedly different from pesticide-infused/Apple cider vinegar Oregano Oil cocktail in my belly/Head to Heaven/Homemade Fruit & Nut bars for the road/Travel to Cooperstown for the Ommegang Brewery tour and tasting/Join a group of dudes/Miss the important part/Catch the bottling portion/The more boring of the portions/Tasting/Yumbo/Overhear recommendation for Cooley's/Use GPS and dumb luck to find Cooley's/Cooley's is a bar/Not a cool bar/Just a bar/Redeeming quality: Ommegang beer on tap/Dinner menu is useless for a veg/Frog points out Deep Fried Macaroni Wedges on the menu/I agree I've never had such a thing and yes, we should order them/The server had no qualms in recommending them/Turns out they're shaped like Chicken McMurder Nuggets/Breaded Kraft Mac & Cheese/Frog asked the nature of these treats/Cysco/I thought "Cisco" as in, they've been flown in from San Francisco/This revelation didn't come out until some time later/Frog explained Cysco is a frozen food provider/Good laugh at my naivete/Flown in from SF? Mmm, will get some fresh when I go back home!/No./Andes Hotel for real dinner/Real Republican/Sit at the bar/Enjoy only veg option: Portabello Mushroom sandwich/Share fries/I drink a Bud Light/All of a sudden: Calories Count/Back to the cabin/Read portions of Harry Chapin's autobiography/Beam/Go thru Frog's wardrobe/Abbey Ale/In bed by 3

I'm On Vacation! Day 3 - Upstate NY & The Catskills

Day 3: Upstate NY/The Catskills
7 am bus from the Port Authority/As dingy as imagined/Bus/Sleep/Four hours/Josh pick-up/To his and his wife, Taylor’s, restaurant Heaven/Norman Rockwell picturesque at every head turn/Outside and Inside/Meet Bea & Walker/Froggie’s lesbo surrogate mothers/They are cooking/They greet me heartily/Leisurely brunch of egg burrito and all the coffee I could handle/Scone/Sweet Potato home fries/Guacamole of the Gods/Meet & Greet/Many good peoples in Heaven/Time moves slow there
Grocery store trip/Drive for miles/The Price Chopper/Logo looks like: Meat cleaver takes out American flag/Tahini costs $6/A forgotten price chop/Enough food to make it/Back to Heaven/Failed Frisbee/Met the five dogs across the street/Don’t ask me to recant their names
Windy mountain road to Frog’s cabin/Up in a mountain/Green/Green/Green/Quaint/Simple cabin/Fresh air surrounds/Goat cheese quesadillas for dinner/Big hit/If I do say so/Ommegang’s Three Philosophers/That’s Belgium beer brewed an hour away/Delish/Also, Budweiser/Half a spliff/Froggie fills the cabin with his beautiful songs/I sit in awe of my friend and how far he’s come

I'm On Vacation! Day 2 - NYC & Brooklyn

Day 2: NYC & Brooklyn
Oversleep/Miss my Boltbus/Book another/Don’t cry about it/Good mood ruin/Breakfast at the Zephyr CafĂ©/Hilton’s shitty breakfast joint/Nasty downtown DC eat options/Corporate suck-offs/Don’t cry about it/Good mood ruin/Bus!/Wifi!/Outlet!/Write!/Write!/Chat!
NYC/Cozy/Breezy/Noise-ridden/Mostly honking/Cab to Froggie/Josh’s East Village apartment/Guitar/Journey a few blocks/I’ve heard stories about this burger/Kate’s Joint/Highly recommended Boneless Buffalo Burger/Veg/Greens/Vegan gravy/Vegan cheddar/Soaked shared fries/PBR tall boy/1/2
Not-scary subway to Brooklyn/Meet bandmates/Oh yah, feet update: Killing/Walk/Williamsburg/More Frank & Estelle Costanza than Hipster/To my delight and to the destruction of stereotypes everywhere/Hidden loft space/Unfriendly resident/Sound check/Me to resident: “You need any help setting up?”/”No.”/Catch up on blog reads/Walk/BBQ/Found the hipsters hanging with the NYFD/Israeli transplant takes a close-talker liking to me & Froggie/Tecate/Beam/Tecate/Beam/Walk/Showtime
The bands were quite likable, fun, worth watching, much showmanship abounded, happy energy from the stage. Me, though, I felt alienated, alone, lonely. I sipped my free Red Stripe and sank lower and lower. Maybe that’s why I loved the music so much, cos everything else was corrupt and black for me. Thank you, Love or Perish. Thank you, Violent Bullshit. Thank you, Children, for which Froggie’s drumming completely filled my hole. His hair tossed my mood. The awkward chugged down the minutes that followed. A handful seemed interested to talk to me, the majority ignored me like the help. Either they’re flawed or it’s me. Always hard not to think it’s me. Didn’t help to look like a butch lesbian in jeans and a T con Chucks. The girls were tiny and cute in short dresses and skirts. Same old daily conversation with myself. I wish I was an animal. I’m always bored when I notice I don’t add up. Bored cataloguing the hidden qualities I know I have. This is what causes me to text folks whose test I’ve passed long, long ago. Froggie finally says his goodbyes and we hightail it back to NYC. It was nice dissecting the evening with him, like old times. I felt restored, valuable, listened to, counted. Then I slept for two hours.

I'm On Vacation! Day 1, part 2 - DC

Day 1, Part 2 – DC
To break up the monotony of my prose, the following is written in lyrical form. You’ll get the gist.
Lucked out with early check-in/Bed like a cloud/Uh oh! Mini bar/Price scan/No, no, no and not $5 for Jack/Bathrobe (can buy for 60)/Resist the urge to put it on immediately/Feet hurt so bad…must go on
TV/Write/Must go on/Hungry
“Brunch!” says guide book/Du Pont Circle/Only 12 blocks away/And I did it/Without headphones on/Clumsily figured out restaurant is in rear of bookstore/Sure, I’ll sit outside/Third degree burn to my neck/Eggs benedict/Iced coffee/Corn bread/Fresh pineapple and cantalope and watermelon/Colts notebook/Pen/No headphones
“White House!” says guide book/Not that far now/ Yes, a protest/More teenagers/I’ve become one/Would rather be the other/Photos of the Pres. Digs/Nice enough/Protesters chanting “President Obama, President Obama”/20/Small men/Small women/Blown up images/Brown children behind barbed wire/Bloodied baby/Recorder on/Open speakers/My open heart/The world suffers, a few voices strain to let us know/Thanks for the photo op/The inexperience of your real pain/I’ll tell my friends/All of this running through my head/Action vs passivity/Where do I fall?/Her English washed in thick Sri Lanken/”Do you know what we are doing here?”/My breathe released the dam of my heavy heart/Near embarrassing sobs/”No, not really. I’m just moved by your will.”/Awe for action/A twenty minute briefing/Military regime/Ethnic cleansing/Concentration camps/Mother torn from father torn from children/No United Nation/No CNN/No NGO’s/ No Obama/Please Obama, think of Sri Lanka/Sorry to bother you, Mr. Obama/Yes we can/Must be moving along/Keep hope close/Your voice will make a difference/It has to
Treasury Department
No time now for Holocaust Museum/Back to Hotel/Research Sri Lanka/Don’t forget
Down pour
Ford’s Theater/Too many teens clog the entrance/Cross the street/Home where Lincoln died/Three rooms/His short bed
Liquor/Down pour/Feet
Met Arli and twelve or so lesbians at Toledo Bar in Adams/Morgan/PBR/Beam/Grilled cheese/Fries/Ketchup/PBR/Beam/PBR/Beam/Trans party/Time to be movin’ on!/She thinks I should live here/Perhaps she’s right/Political/Historical/Muggy as a juicy fart
Final act/The Lincoln Memorial at night/$26 cab fare to pull it off/May have been more majestic with less teenage clutter, minus the blockade I had to manueaver around and had I been more sober