Is it noon yet? Can I drink? *looks over at the clock* Shit.. only 11:30.. okay after I'm done with this then.
Right, so I left from work early. I've always enjoyed the drive from SAC to SF mostly because of the twist mountain part, it makes me cackle. On the way, the high winds and dry grass meant wildfires and I saw the start of the ones that are in the paper today. Woo boy... fun!
I checked into the Grand Hyatt at about 1-ish. This time I was actually able to pronounce it as I hadn't been hanging with MNS all night. Also, the guy with the top hat did not try and carry my bags for me once again, which was a bit of relief.
I settled into my room, took a shower, and hooked up the ps2 figuring I'd blow away a couple hours before I tried to figure out the BART system. It is not recommended that you spend time heavily playing San Andreas for the record.. I keep wanting to steal all the Faggios.. er.. I mean Vespas I see out here.
Bored and restless, I decided to bolt from my hotel. I meandered down to the BART station on Montgomery and stared at the terminal in an effort to make sense of all the maps. (My spatial reasoning skills are terrible.)
I actually ended up navigating properly on the first try and, to my surprise, emerged from the station in Downtown Berkley at 2:45. 'Well shit,' thought I, 'Now I've got like... 3 hours to kill before dinner.'
I wandered around the city for those 3 hours, bored and listless. There was much less to do than I had imagined. Berkley is also apparently the home of "hit you up for money", because man oh man did the bums come down hard on me. Stupid babyface.
As I approached one, he shouted out, "Man in black! Hey there man in black! Help the homeless?"
To which I gave a no-thanks sort of shrug because this was time number 50 for being asked for change that day.
He called out behind me, "Man in black, you're gonna have to learn how to give!"
I laughed to myself, almost responding, "You know, I'm more of a taker..", but my horrible mouth already gets me in enough trouble as it is.
Favorite bum: The guy sitting on a piece of cardboard with his dog. He just said, "Peace brother, peace always." I just grinned at him. He had a hat of change out be he wasn't shaking it or anything. As I passed he said, "That's right, keep that smile always. Don't let them take it from you."
Right on you crazy cat. Also, no one plans to end up a beggarman, I often wonder about those my age and which will become that little rat trappy dude on the corner. So, if I'm looking at you strangely, it's probably because I'm suspecting you.
At about 6, MillMan calls me "Is this Q?"
"Uh.. y-yes.. I think so."
"Heh.. well the place we were going to is closed so we're going to blah blah blah 26something telegraph road." (Note, this is what I heard, probably not what he said.)
"Do you know where telegraph is in reference to, saaay, the college?"
"Uh.. a couple blocks south I think."
"Cool.. I'll find it."
The problem being that when I said telegraph he heard "restaurant" and when he said "23something" I heard "26something". This means I spent even more time walking south down Addison for BLOCKS hoping for a cross-street with a sign of Telegraph. Finally I turned around, stopped in a Barnes and Noble and asked.
"Oh, it's about five blocks east from here."
Well shit. It would also help if I had a good sense of direction. So I finally stumbled to Telegraph and walked until I got to the 26somethings. However, it was around this area that the foodstuff places stopped and became gas stations and houses. Not a good sign at all. I called Mill for clarification when I found out that he had actually said 23something and that they were already getting ready to leave. Dammit.. I hadn't eaten anything, but more importantly, I hadn't had drinks. This made me very surly.
My legs were already beginning to complain from the now 4+ hours of meandering (which I haven't been doing too regularly in STL times because of the heatwave, but will get back to.. so I wasn't really ready for it.), but fuck it, you know? Just fuck it.
So I turn around on the street when this young kid starts walking closer to me and says "Hi!" He's obviously a freshman and kind of a little nerdy maybe but in a sort of adorable ruffian kind of way. He starts talking to me like he knows me, and then is shocked when I'm not a student. Goddammit.. just when I thought I was beginning to finally look old.
Anyway he walked beside me for a good 10 minutes just gabbing away. I suspect his parents told him to "make friends" or that he was lonely, or that he was trying to social network, or maybe he's just actually nice. But whatever the case, best of luck on your Chemical Engineering friend.
So I go and see two shady cats hanging outside some non-descript eatery.
"Are you who we're looking for?" one asked me.
"Maaaybe.. do you know the secret password?"
"Oh.. then clearly I'm not.." as I feigned walking off.
Anyhow I was unclear on who was who until R343L came by and gave up the secret (thanks be to her.) Both Aphr and MM are fine people indeed who I would put just below "would take a bullet for" but just above "would go back into Zed's place with a hatori hanzo sword to stop him from sodomizing the two of them", so you know, that's pretty high right?
Pleasantries were exchanged during which time I leant a lighter to some random bloke and then thanked him for the pleasure of letting him borrow it. I dunno.. it was confusing.
LinzDe appeared as if by magic and announced we really must be off, during which time R343L and Aphr disappeared. Coincidence? I THINK NOT!
MM and I split off from Linz a little later since he had "real people" instead of us imaginary Internet folk to hang with, and frankly, I don't blame him. I mean.. just look at us. No seriously, look at us.
Mill and I chatted while we could and walked down to the front. Bad idea. See, my legs were already a wreck and here I was torturing them further. However, there amid the INTENSE pot smoke and smell of patchouli I stood and enjoyed myself as best I could. My first thought was, "Shit.. I really needed some drugs for this."
I mean seriously... it would be the proper time for it is all I'm saying. That screen behind shadow... WOO!
Shadow didn't play Organ Donor, I was pissed about this. Also, Tru Speaker doesn't do Mashin' on the Motorway properly, I would've preferred a DAT to that. (A ratatatat)
He did, however, do "Walkie Talkie" so that was okay.
Then a little waiting as Massive Attack's LED boards showed various facts about the city of Berkley. Eventually they came out and I was disappointed to find out that Daddy G wasn't there since he had indeed become a Daddy 4 days prior. I mean, I'm not one to kick a gent in that situation, but seriously.. that's 1/3rd of the group. Bullshit. Half of what I enjoy is the dichotomy of Daddy G and 3D's voices playing off one another. Fuckers.
Anyway, in short, too much Horace Andy is what I have to say to that. I know I know.. people love him and he's a "legend" but fuck that shit. The Horace Andy tracks are the ones I usually skip and you fuckers know that's the truth. Don't argue.
When I became concerned that I was going to collapse after standing still for another 3 hours after all that walking I started to look behind me and marvel at how hard it would be to crank out. I'm not one to kick a hippie, I mean.. I don't want to have an extended conversation, mind, but really they don't bother me as much as some of my compatriots. However, I began to hate every swaying, flailing, patchouli-smelling motherfucker in my path as I tried to push through. Each one became a little obstacle of ridiculouslness rather than a harmless thing in my pain.
Eventually I made it out though and hobbled to BARt, where I was confused that there was a transfer on the way out and almost missed my ride.
Back at the Hotel, I decided I was going to go over stipend and just fucking get room service since I was starving. It was overpriced Pesto Ravioli with veggies and rolls, but fuck it. It was awesome. Seriously. I wish I could've enjoyed it more but I was so hungry I wolfed as wolf was meant to be.
I slept then, like a baby, like a sore and hurty baby.
So, as for day 1:
Urge to Napalm all of Berkley for it's failure to amuse me: a little
Still it was an experience. I woke up this morning well worn in the knowledge that whaler-boy was going to be calling me today to meet up. I can only hope he will make up for the no drinks last night with his patented style of debauchery. He messaged me saying, "I'll call you when I wake up.. I promise it won't be early"
He wasn't joking.. it's not.
anyway, waking at like 7 I decided that if I didn't get out and move today I'd be too stiff and sore for the rambling drunken debauchery of this evening so I bolted for a bit of a wander.
Put in a good random 3 hours during which I took 0 pictures. It's almost as though the camera is a hinderance out here rather than an asset. Back home, I feel like I'm sharing things I already know, whereas here, I want to keep the experiences since there's so much new and worrying about capturing them means I miss things. I don't really want that.
I decided today that I would speak with anyone who talked to me... bum or not.
The only person who really spoke of note was a guy trying to sell me one of those homeless papers. "Hey there young man. Where you from?"
"Daaamn.. that's a tough town! I was gonna hit you up since you look like an easy mark.. but daaaamn."
I laughed, unsure if he was guiling me or not, but I just kept walking and wished him a good day.
Also, attention everyone, Girls in Cheongsams = Very yes. Y-yes please.
Oh and note to the little waifish goth-punk nymphette who tried to stare through my sunglasses as I passed her: No, I will not give you what you are seeking by looking you up and down. Get over yourself, get a few years on you, find a time machine and call me about 8 years ago and we'll talk; promise.
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