Wednesday, April 1, 2009

in which i fall into a wormhole of awesome

Monday morning I took care of the leaving-an-event stuff. The packing. The checking under the bed to make sure all of the shoes ended up back in the bag. Sending the unsold merchandise back the store. All in all, kinda boring.

By noon, all of the crap was taken care of, and I had a whole day to spend in San Francisco before my 10 PM flight home.

Alex (who worked Michigan with me last year) and I walked down the street to Mel's diner for cheeseburgers and fries. Yum. Alex and I caught up on what's happened since Michigan. She is writing her dissertation on the history of leather dyke culture. I can't wait to read it. Because I'm geeky. And seriously, doesn't that sound interesting?

Marcia joined us a bit later. Marcia Baczynski is an amazing relationship educator (check out her upcoming classes on the sugar event page) and a good friend. I don't get to see her enough, so hanging out with her was a real treat. After Alex went back to the hotel to finish some stuff up, Marcia and I set off for the Mission.

It had turned into one of those days when I felt like I could touch the sunlight and everything was prettier. Magical. Glowing. The breeze was perfect. People were laughing on the street. Everyone seemed just a little bit nicer. We wandered thru Good Vibes. Confirmed that the njoy 11 is bigger than I thought. Seriously. It’s big. And I’m a size queen.

We kept wandering. Marcia decided that we should go to the pirate store next. A pirate store! Really? What could be better than that?! Marcia is brilliant. The store was fabulous. It was started to support 826 Valencia, a nonprofit that is “dedicated to helping students, ages 6-18, with expository and creative writing”. The story goes that they found the space and wanted to open the workshop for the kids. But it’s a retail space. And they had to have a retail operation in order to rent the space. So, the pirate store was created. Because, San Francisco didn’t have a pirate store. Clearly they needed one.

The store was like being inside a live version of the lighthearted parts of a David Egger’s novel (surprising, since he founded the non-profit and the store). The front of the store was full of pirate paraphernalia. Like leeches (in case of infection). Snuff. Scurvy Be Gone. Compasses. Onesies for baby pirates. A box of mops that the store staff drops on your head at opportune times. You know. Things every pirate needs.

Kids were in the back of the store (the big part of the store) writing and giggling. Occasionally, they would come up to the front of the store and harangue the customers, encouraging them to “buy stuff and support the program”.

And there was a big round flat thing. That tilted. And spun. It was some kind of art thingy. That had the whole world on it in satellite images. With copies of the children’s stories on the locations of said stories. You could zoom in. Or zoom out. Marcia found her parent’s house on the east coast. We were practically in their living room. I find these things deeply intriguing. And creepy in equal part.

After getting dizzy from all the spinning and tilting I dragged Marcia over the aquarium theatre. A little patch of delightful secretive kid-like funness. Two old theatre chairs were set in front of an aquarium. The entire area was draped off in velvet. Like the coolest fort EVER!! We decided that the only thing that could make this better was ice cream. Luckily, ice cream was only a few blocks away. It was around this time that Marcia declared that we had fallen into a wormhole of awesome. I agreed. There simply was no other explanation.

Marcia took me to an ice cream shop near Dolores Park, where the ice cream came from happy organic cows and was full of exotic flavors. Which I appreciate. The honey lavender/orange cardamom cone that Marcia had was delicious. My mouth was in paroxysms of glee with my cookies and cream (made from organic happy oreos?). Sometimes simple is better. We took our cones over and lolled about in the sun on a hill in the park. We watched a bloodhound get his belly rubbed. We were offered Magic Cookies (which I was surprised to find out are not just extra special good cookies, but cookies with marijuana in them. Which I suspect makes you feel extra special good, but perhaps tastes like un-washed ass. With grassy streaks on it.). The light made everyone look pretty and the grass shone an extra-sunglasses-needed-green.

Marcia finally had to go back to work and I went across the street to meet up with another friend. Alix owns a fabulous online boutique, The Inverted Eye, which sells “subtly kinky items and discreet fetish antiques to discerning clientele”. We were hanging out, caffeinating, having a lovely time when the phone rang. Two of Alix’s friends were in a random bar in North Beach and they wanted company. A few minutes later we were in the car setting off across the city. At rush hour. Surprisingly, traffic didn’t suck and we found a parking space near the bar (see aforementioned worm hole of awesome).

I’ve been in San Francisco about three times in life. Enough times for me to know that I really like this city. But not enough to know my way around. The first time I was in the city by the bay was for my first honeymoon in 1996. I’ve always said that everyone (including me) should have gotten a clue from the fact that I showed up to the rehearsal dinner in combat boots and wanted to go to the gayest city in the world for the honey moon, but it took seven more years for me to figure out that I was a dyke who shouldn’t be married to a bio boy. Anyway, while James and I were on our honeymoon, we (of course) paid a visit to City Lights Bookstore and ended up drinking in the bar next door. Which I suddenly realized was where I was, once again, headed. Odd. And what a difference 13 years makes.

The friends had made friends with a pot farmer. He was nice. We had a few drinks, they waved down a cab for me, said good-bye and then I set off for the hotel to go to the airport. To catch the red eye home.

What a good day. Deep in the wormhole of awesome. I didn’t want it to end. But I did miss my bed. And the dogs. And the girl. And the store. So, the red eye it was.

But I’m plotting a return trip. I need more ice cream from happy cows.

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