Wandering

Bah to the time change.

I’ve been here a month now. I know this because I’m supposed to drop the rent check off tomorrow. Sometimes I wake up in shock, like, wait, I live here. Other times, it seems like I’ve been here forever, drinking Fat Tire at The Boys’ and having the world at my fingertips.

Yesterday I didn’t feel intensely motivated to work in the morning, so I took the bus into San Francisco to get my fast pass for November and mail some things. I ended up ambling around the City for almost four hours, soaking in the chaos of the Financial District on a Monday.

It struck me while I was looking at the work on the Citi Bank building that not many people bother to look up. There’s all this amazing architecture and everyone hurries along at its feet without looking up at these soaring buildings. Some of them have spectacular Art Deco facades with intense sculpture that only the pigeons, rats of the sky, seem to be enjoying. Cap’n Raspberry was remarking the other day that he thought it was kind of sad how we don’t ornament our buildings anymore. It used to be that buildings reflected what they did, with women bearing sheaves of corn on the merchantile building and odalisques leering down from fancy apartments. Now it’s glass and steel and cold edges wherever you go.

I wandered quite a way up Market, and popped into the Westfield Centre for a moment. It’s not that I wanted to buy anything in there, but merely that I find it an amazing cultural experience. I can only tolerate it for about 10 minutes before the intensity drives me insane, so I wandered around on the third floor and watched overdressed skinny women dragging around overdressed sad looking men. Outside, union members picketed. It’s a pretty cool building, the Westfield, to be fair. They have a big glass deal over the centre and the whole building is kind of structured around it. The floors are excellent. I felt dizzy looking down through the elevators so I took a piss and left.

Then I went to Cody’s, where my friend Tyler works. It’s become a running joke to me that every time I stop by Cody’s to see if he’s working, he’s not there. I was beginning to think that he was only pretending to work at Cody’s, as a front for his sizeable escorting service. Or something. Anyway, I was looking at Volume 0 of Transmetropolitan and heard his voice so I barrelled around the corner to say hello. That was nice.

Then I cruised over to Chinatown to pick up sesame oil and hot chili sauce, which disappear at an alarming rate in our house. Puff almost picked up some sesame the other day but I said I’d go to Chinatown and get a tin, so I did. Thirty dollars later I had enough frozen dim sum to fill the entire freezer, along with three pounds of tea, a pound of incense, four packets of thai noodles, and an assortment of other vitally needed goods.

Walking through Chinatown reminded me of coming to San Francisco as a child with my father. He would always take me to Clement Street and Chinatown, and we would eat at the Hang Ah and get an assortment of cheap Asian ingredients that we had no hope of obtaining in Fort Bragg. I missed him, almost viscerally, while I walked through the chaos of little old Asian ladies, tourists, piles of fruit, and bicycles. For a moment I thought I was eight or nine again, swinging a Roald Dahl and trailing in my father’s wake.

The best cure for feeling maudlin is wandering the adult clubs along Market, so I did. My groceries were heavy, though, so I hopped a bus for the Transbay, and home.

Going back across the Bay Bridge, I read What to Eat and wondered about the wisdom of self righteous food columnists. I think I liked Food Politics better.

The sun came out at the end of the day, fighting to be seen over the clouds and creating a streaky orange sunset, the fog settled in on the Financial District like a fat lady hovering over a toilet, and then the roommates came home and the house was alive again.