Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Orange Slices

Once…you held onto the door of my car and pleaded to me with cartoon eyes never to leave you. It was summer then, the air smelled of grapes about to turn sour, or vintage, I wasn’t quite sure. It was perfectly cinematic. I became familiar with the distance, friendly with personnel at the Burbank Airport, comfortable with the concept of what I was told that love should feel like. I documented significant and insignificant dates in a little notebook because I can never remember anything of relevance unless it pertained to my own sorry self. Once…I arrived at your house for the first time anxious. The quintessentially Angelino fa├žade of the building, resting on top of that hill with that often too misleading beacon of hope, the Hollywood sign was always disappointing up close. Hipster before instagram hipster friends, an accordion added to any trio rock band gives them street cred, we sip brandy here, only troglodytes drink beer, unless of course it comes from a Pabst can, can it be considered acceptable. Running through the catalog in my head of not-so-dumb-sounding-pseudo-spiritual-bullshit to fit in. I still haven’t read the Autobiography of a Yogi. I hated what I had become, but I loved you. Once…you would fall asleep, shoji screen windows open enough to let the Santa Ana winds have their way with your dreams, soft eclectic sounds from National Public Radio stabilizing, me chain smoking on the thin balcony overlooking what appeared to be Glendale…cities run together forming prefectures in Southern California. The warm air spoke quickly about the past and nothing of the future. We could lie in bed like that all day. The world outside was happening around us and while we still felt so utterly connected to it, to it, to it I was withdrawn. Once…there was no urgency. Sunday strolls down Silverlake Boulevard, farmers market, tofu scramble, fair trade beans, my hand in yours and your hand holding up high my insecurities…and if we could only figure out how we could be connected to the world but still be far from it because we are either all interconnected or we are not. If we could only be more concerned about whether or not there was a band playing at El Cid or if it was Flamenco night, but you must at least try to make it to Flamenco night because the set meal is delicious and didn’t you know that this was the first sound stage for the movies in all of Los Angeles? I stood in line for the bathroom like you were the most beautiful woman in the world. Once…it was a holiday. It was summer again and we were older and the air smelled of sage. And with the kindest of eyes, mimicking the eyes of goddess you told me, I just want to sit in the sun and drink my ice water with orange slices.

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The streets of North Beach have made me soft, The ones on the East side of Columbus. Before, I used to walk the streets past street sheets And addiction, addicted to the complexities of my existence. Prolonging the day in pulsating unfeeling, I closed my eyes without worry for sleep. In the Loin you can get anything that you want if you want it And closed mouths never get fed so you ask. It’s important to sell postcard pictures at Walgreens though To remind us all of where we really are. Sups write legislation to close the parks after a certain hour Because surely those without a home will cease to exist if there is a posted sign. The Mayor gets an erection with every erected crane taller than five stories high, and Cops read romance novels outside of the Hilton for protection. Hide your shit, ferries back and forth, tickets to Alcatraz, blazing saddles, bike the Golden Gate, I love visiting but I could never live here, there are just too many of the gays, but keep the niners, Or, bring the superbowl, or billionaire boaters, build more buildings, yes! I see another crane! And Herb Cain laments that he has run out of vodka. Here in North Beach, it’s the 6 AM chardonnay shakes outside Vieni Vieni, It’s the Saloonitics, unwanted patron picture behind the bar indicating wake. And the Cops here used to wear uniforms inside Gino and Carlos before shifts at Central, Now they dress down but drink up with more corruption. Never trust a cop says the cop on his bike and Booker smiles, We are all Socialists here. We are high class imbibers on this side of town And we are a better sort of existentialist Aint none of us have a problem that can’t be solved with one more shot of Fernet. Marina dwellers, transplants from New England drink here, play drunken kickball here, Get reported by their neighbors for changing their wood sash windows to vinyl ones Aspire for membership at the Olympic Club, play golf on their work breaks, Design apps to qualify data about gelato, piss and moan that their keg party is served by Aaron Peskin North Beach has made me soft. We worry about walls blocking views of the Bay, Trader Joes Has been out of Soy-rizo for over two weeks and no one, I mean no one there has any answers as to why...