Weekend trip to SF, and arrived in a glorious warm October afternoon, with sun too bright to not have the shades. Lunch and the a long walk up Dolores past where Judie, Eric and Barb S lived after The Farm, during my dark phase, post Farm. They were cool, and better jobs, were figuring out their futures, and I was lost, post bad relationship, need more medicine, always or so it seemed and on the downward spiral. Even now when I come to SF, there are always the ghosts that come up.
Loss, addiction, uncertainty, insecurity, will I see some of the Ghosts, why was the attraction so strong, is it still or is it curiosity, and I don't need more shit in my life, feeding into that crap and tsuris, but I've really got it all, more than enough anyway, so like why bother? Shouldn't really. Instead let it go. Dig up the past and get dirty. Real dirty.
Let it go. What I've got is pretty doggone good, and I'm a lucky kind of fellow.
Sam D is a supremely, quintessentially nice guy who continues to draw a bad hand, special needs daughter, son now with health problems and his own special needs, but Sam is genuine, the pizza is good, and the Pie and the Big Lank and I have a great walk home, after some of the best ice cream on the planet at Bi-Rite. Overheard, "I'd be down with Big Mouth Burger", an announcement to the Big Hipster's date, and SF is almost one big hipster amusement park, and a great town, but then there are the Ghosts for me to deal with.
Coffee in the neighborhood in the morning, listen to this morning's Techno Hipster conversation, "So we got about six month's more money before we go back to San Jose to get more, or have layoffs. We need to build revenues and then go public...at least that's the plan..." How different is this from the 49ers' conversations about hitting the Comstock Lode, or the Lost Dutchman's mine, overheard on the Barbary Coast 160 years ago? Who were their ghosts?
Going to the farm brings more of them back. Beautiful, idyllic setting, under the eucalyptus trees, great BBQ tailgate picnic, but it's the Farm, and wouldas, shouldas, couldas, there is SO much money and they are all so beautiful and smart, too smart for their own damn good, Judie would later say while we reconnected about friends who won't ever attend the reunion. Was is snooty? Not according to Rob. My friends weren't! Look around! He's right, but other ghosts are there. Medicine. Want one? When did you stop? I've got a card. A license to buy retail. One wouldn't hurt. Wonder if he can share? Top of the proverbial slippery slope. "I'll send Otis back to the car....". No, really, it's okay. More than okay. Been there. Play that movie all the way to the end.
The new stadium is beautiful, the Incomparables, well, incomparable, Thunderchickens humiliate the Dawgs, and afterwards, O-Burgers. Goodbyes, let's do this again next year in Oregon.
Ghosts exorcised? Somewhat.
Next day, coffee place and overheard, "That's why I go to meetings!" with her fat fingers pointing. Okay then!
Brunch at the great Mexican place, with chiliquilas con huevos, que rica, but at the end, a large rat scurries out of the corner and out the front door, causing much alarm, grown man with sandals on climbs a chair, and I offer a helpful, Necessitan un gato!
After offering the perspective of the ages, and helping the nephew deal with his own ghosts, we all got 'em, an absolutely wonderful walk over the hill though this charming part of the city, into the park with the smell of eucalyptus, coyote warnings, flowers and hawks circling, realization that the daughter is doing quite well, that the ghosts are that, just ghosts and part of all the memories, not to be ignored, denied or sublimated, but are just a small part of a much larger whole, and perspective, time and health all serve to put them in their place.
It's a good place to be here now, looking back, looking around and smiling, and looking forward. Not necessarily self-satisfied, but recognizing good fortune and self-aware.
Thanks for the help, Pie.