Wednesday, August 08, 2007

A love-hate relationship

A list of things in my pocket for the evening stroll: a small container of food, that goes in the breast pocket of my jacket and it doesn't look strange if the jacket is unbuttoned; tissues, toothpicks and the throat lozenges in the other breast pocket; camera, Avanti condom and oil lube, money in my right pants pocket; a small bottle of water, latex condom and water-based lube, money in my left pants pocket. That's right -- I'm getting ready to go to Buena Vista, but for some reason I can't stop shitting -- what a mess. Then I keep eating a few bites of food so I don't get hypoglycemic, but then I have to shit again.

The moral of this story is: don't trust Google maps, okay? Because I decide that maybe there's a shortcut I don't know about, so I try to find a map online of the pathways through Buena Vista Park, but I just find Google maps. Fuck Google maps -- I hate Google maps! But I'm getting ahead of myself.

So I take a cab to the place where there's supposed to be a shortcut, sure enough it's a pathway for maintenance vehicles that goes all the way to the top, I can't believe how easy it is until I realize that I'm in the entirely wrong place, it's another peak that looks kind of like the peak where I should be except that the viewing angle goes in the other direction so I'm facing the wrong way -- not that it matters which way I'm facing I mean I can turn around, right? But the problem is that I can't figure out how the fuck to get to the other peak, the peak where I'm supposed to be, so that I have to walk back up to this peak and then all the way back down the new road I've discovered and then around the whole park -- what is all of this stuff on the side, buildings that don't look nearly as posh and there's the mental hospital that got converted into condos, the entrance looks pretty glamorous.

Anyway, by the time I get to the usual entrance, that's when I realize I should just leave, I mean I've already reached my pain and exhaustion and hypoglycemia threshold but I sit down to drink some of my water and eat some of the food, slowly, while looking at the palm trees in front of the usual mansions -- the audacity of planting these palm trees right across from the redwoods on this cliff! Anyway, I still feel hypoglycemic but I can't really leave after I've got an all the way here, even though I haven't gotten anywhere really yet just up to the top and then back down.

I start the new climb and someone’s stumbling down in the dark, are you okay? He says yes, I realize he was fumbling into some kind of fighting position -- not someone cruising, probably sleeping or smoking crack. Walking up the not-quite-stairs, I'm trying to keep my body relaxed so that I don't hurt myself and the exercise feels good -- it doesn't actually feel that far to the viewing platform where there's a bench. I sit on the bench and some guy comes over, starts talking about how he's going back to Australia because a friend from his childhood has a rare form of leukemia and he’s a doctor so he wants to go back and see if he can help, no not help but spend time with his friend and yes, maybe help because that's what he's trained to do, right?

Obviously this guy's tweaked, he says I bought a house in 1994 for 487,000, when I sold it in 2000 it went for 1.8 million, I mean we sold it -- I caught my lover of 14 years in bed with another guy, and to think I'd been loyal for all that time and he was propositioning coworkers of mine -- and I'm the kind of guy that finds it hard to keep $20 in my pocket but then I bought three houses in Las Vegas except that the tenants in one house turned out to be cooking speed so the house blew up but that was okay because of the insurance, except that I was on the city council, it's not a good thing to have tenants like that when you're on the city council -- I was just flipping those houses anyway I lived here in San Francisco from 1994 to 2000 and all of my friends were in the dot-com industry and after it crashed they left and San Francisco hasn't been the same since then, the other night I hooked up with a guy for sex at my house and he ripped me off blind, I've lived in a lot of cities and the guys here are really awful I think it's awful, really.

Some guy’s coming towards us, swaying like he's had way too much to drink, then he motions for us to make space on the bench so I move closer to my new friend, I'm eating the rest of my food now and the new guy notices my bottle -- is that water, he says. Like I'm getting give him some of my water -- it's gone anyway.

The tweaker continues: I knew I wanted to be a doctor when I was in high school so I took anatomy and physiology but then I've never ended up practicing in a hospital, I went to law school also because someone told me I could make a lot of money as an expert witness in court cases, then I spent a long time as the warden at Vacaville Prison, you have to be a doctor in order to be a warden, in case of an emergency, but can you believe that I thought Noe Valley was another city I mean I spent so much time commuting to Vacaville that when I got back I never left the Castro -- to think that Noe Valley was right around the corner, just the other day I discovered Union Street because my father sent me some money, it was waiting at a bank up there and then I thought oh, now I have money and there's all this shopping -- it was great.

But in high school I had the hottest chemistry teacher, this was 1977 in Santa Barbara there was still counterculture there -- this guy was so hot, and he asked me to be his assistant I was so excited just to spend time with him. Can you believe the first thing he did was teach me how to make G, then MDMA and crystal -- I went away to college, we grew apart, but then after college I went back to Santa Barbara, saw him at a party and I was crying my eyes out about how lonely I was and how much I missed him and then we got back together, he was my lover for 14 years and to think that he cheated on me like that, I walked in on him after 14 years, I'm going to Australia but I'll be back although I hate this town, I have a love-hate relationship I mean I'm a vodka snob -- I saw this recipe for a pomegranate Cosmo on Oprah, but I think she said to use Stoli and I don't drink anything less than Belvedere I like it crystal-clear the good thing about this park is that I get exercise, I had two heart attacks and then I needed more exercise.

The guy next to us has been sneezing and coughing for a while, and in between he looks over and says hey, I'm sorry, thanks, nice to meet you. My tweaker friend gets up to go, so I follow him -- I have to piss anyway. By this time I'm too hypoglycemic to cruise really, I mean I'm cruising but I'm too hypoglycemic -- this one guy wants me to lie down in the dirt so he can fuck me that way. Are you kidding -- I'm not messing up my clothes! Then there's the guy who walks around jerking off and then you suck him for a minute and he walks away. I mean I suck him for a minute -- don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying my minute, probably more like four or five minutes, but then it's over and I'm still walking in circles until I'm finally Walking down and I'm angry that my body’s already hurting and why was I listening to that tweaker for so long I mean I was enjoying his stories -- I've never heard anyone say that they miss the dot-com years, I mean I'm sure that's true for many many people just not ones I'm talking to. Outside the park it doesn't feel so humid, did I even mention that it was so humid in the park? Like a microclimate because as soon as I step outside there's a gust of wind and it's freezing and I finally feel okay until I'm home and everything hurts and I hate myself for going to the park I mean I just wanted to go somewhere beautiful to cruise instead of that fucking Nob Hill Theatre and it wasn't even fun, I didn't even take any pictures now I've ruined my life that's what I'm thinking I’ve destroyed my body why do my shoulders hurt so much -- my neck too, I need to drink water and eat something.


grantatee said...

the monologue of the stories reminded me of david w.'s book.

sorry you were in so much pain.

looking forward to seeing you sometime soon..

mattilda a.k.a. matt bernstein sycamore said...

Really? Well that's a good reminder, for sure -- I couldn't ask for anything better than that!

And yes, lets get together soon!

Love --