There was Angel’s auto repair, Angel’s grocery and Angel’s tire shop, one after another, grocery in the middle on the corner, Angel wrapping around the corner, controlling one end of the block.
The grocery had two coolers stocked with grape soda cans and such, but they weren’t plugged in. Large aluminum spaghetti colanders were stacked on top of the coolers next to cowboy hats.
A white shelf ran down the center of the store, on the far side a weight bench was set up, and some clothes, not looking for sale, were draped across it. The shelves were stocked with religious icons of the catholic persuasion, and napkins, and odd flea market scraps.
It’s a place like this that makes me realize how precious space is in San Francisco, where every inch has to produce income, retail square footage is so costly turn over must be constant.
That leaves no room for the seldom used, the misunderstood, the lost. A dusty corner is left for an elderly man in a rent controlled unit on the edge of town by the transfer station, but that’s about it.
Thankful for top ten lists and five common mistakes. Thankful for twice as fast and half and half. Thankful for numbers and how they add up. Learning division is a sign of maturity.
I’m bitter the generations before me haven’t left me a castle. Not even a horse. Oh, to have stonework from the time of guilds. How can I be thankful for my good health in the face of so much loss?
I’m not thankful for elections, the junk mail, the exception from the national do not call list for campaigning.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m thankful my parents raised me knowing they loved me, and telling me I could be successful in this world. But how can I excuse forced church attendance?
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Or it really confuses you and you end up out to sea with prescription drugs tumbling through your blood and whores and fags and Muslims…well never mind.
It is important to be given a sense of right and wrong, to realize there are consequences to your actions, that’s how you come back to port alive. Thank you Jesus.
By the time a nation understands the reality of its traditions it is on the decline, and as we gather together with our families celebrating what evidently was the beginning of a genocide of American natives, we at least have each other.
Chicago ATM with walk-in freezer flaps….
Looked like an old man tinkerer crossing the street. His back hooked like a scythe, his old green sweater puffed up along his spine from the bones. He dragged an old suitcase made of nylon with tapestry fabric on the zippered cover. It was dirty, the streets were dirty, it’s a city.
A variety of bottles hung off the side, like you imagine a pack mule might be rigged for trekking – jute rope looped around the bottle necks and tied off to the handle so they clunked together like dumb bells with no news to toll.
He pulled on a strap and two wheels carried it along behind him. He passed out of site and I stood there thinking about money.
He seemed quite rich. The house was minimally furnished with heigh end pieces – glass and steel work table, set playfully with a ping pong table across the middle. The black marble counters kept someone busy cleaning but it wasn’t him.
A casual pile of 4 or 5 Iphones, the latest model, drew my attention and I dared ask, “Why do you have so many phones?”
“Arent they wonderful?” he answered.
I left it at that, not wanting an explanation for any of it, leaving the magic of wealth unpenetrated. There are rumors it’s quite ugly to a poorer man’s eyes.
Got hired to haul the garbage on this street in half moon bay. Someones filming a movie about surfing and they cancelled garbage service for the week, so here I am. Independent Garbage Man.
Don’t look for me in the credits. This is unsung hero territory down here.
“This line is like dumb ass long.”
So the wisdom is in the DMV non appointment queue.
Have a boat, a scooter and a truck to register. I’ll be here till Monday.
someone stuck this micro billboard on this parking sign. In vain I climbed a short ladder to tape my business card up there. I must come back with a six footer.
Yes sir. Been some time since we checked in on our drunken private eye. We find him again at the far end of the bar, a dark lager in a pint glass dripping its head down the inside. He’d been speaking about an old case, an investigation into an alleged drunken mother’s behavior. He tailed her around town, she stopped at bars. Drinking and driving with the kids in the back seat? Bingo. Sole custody for dad.
“It’s what’s called a hot tail, I kept a complete chromatic change in my backpack while in pursuit on the bike. I even had a backpack in my backpack in case I was spotted. I would become a guy in a green jacket with a blue bag, not the guy in the red jacket with the black bag that was behind us five minutes ago.”
Mr. Louden was hoping for a little work in the morning, painting a fence in a back yard for someone in the neighborhood. The years spent smoking crack kept him from the financial obligations Internal Revenue expected of him, and now the majority of income diverted back to them.
“Fence painting doesn’t pay well, but such are the wages of sin, which apparently must continue to be paid long after the sinning has stopped…” he lamented from his barstool, then picked up the newspaper he’d brought with him and went back to his quiet world in the public eye.
Some asshole put on Eminem and they began dancing by the tables near the windows. Cant a local tavern have a decent tuesday night atmosphere? One without downtown overpaid merrymakers out blowing off steam like drunken college boys gone cowtipping? Perhaps this part of town is sleeping standing up, but not to provide sport for overstimulated ADHD generation scene slummers.
(here one notices the narrator’s voice has become infected with the lead characters bitter ennui. It’s similar in the way that one starts watching football when everyone around you is cheering it on.)
The plan was – smoke hella doobies and be peaceful all day. But then after the Price Is Right was over there were gongs and chants and shit coming from the street. People were marching down the bike lane outside my house.
I had to ask myself, “Can I be peaceful if I’m protesting something?” then I remembered the Indian chief Ghandi told his Souix warriors that it was okay to fight violence with nonviolence. So I went outside.
It was like walking into George Bush’s best acid trip. One guy had a sign that said “No fags on the moon”. Another said “Jews are responsible for coupon scandals”. I’ve never seen so much hate. “Remove tools from white men, they remodel too often”? That stuff hurts.
After the marchers passed by I trailed along to see where this was going. It was just a few blocks before the crowd filed into the neighborhood polling station. Inside they set their picket signs down and rapped to an election official, who checked their names against a list of qualified voters. We all remember from Mrs. Hutchinson’s in 6th grade – that list used to be white men only…
Each protester lined up like the lunchroom and got a ballot, a marker, and the chance to vote. I’m no dummy, I went to high school for over six years by the time I made up all the units and stuff. And I still can read. So I knew what it all meant. If we have a democracy built by common people voting, it’s mad important that that population be educated to the highest degree possible, or we’re gonna elect ourselves to our own doom, homey. Our own doom. Know what I’m sayin’?
Who wants dummies voting? That’s what I’m saying. Men afraid of losing their power, that’s who. That’s what I’m saying.
So I got in line and voted, knowing the deck was stacked against me, but like praying to God, symbolism is powerful.
Then I went home, cuz it was getting time for Judge Judy and I like to watch justice being served, yo! That was my most peaceful election day yet.
Doug, at one point in his performance, straddles an actress laying on the floor and does “shampoo commercial sexy moves”, as requested by the director.
“At that point I look out in the audience and try to lock eyes with her dad, because I hate her,” Doug confides. “She shushed me once.”
In other news, the storefront is almost finished painted. Brandon says, “remember that joke you had – ‘why do they call it shitting your pants? You shit your underwear.’ – I liked that joke. ”
So I can be funny. Like white on rice. Brown rice.
That’s it for now. Good night.
56 quarters from 1958 are worth $350.19 on the spot silver market.
In other words, $14 in change then require 1400 quarters today to be equal. That would be 22 hands full.
US currency has devalued that much in 50 years. Time to learn Mandarin.