Friday, October 29, 2010
Overcast morning, drear. Did you have to move so far away? It would have been nice to walk with you. I'm too shy, I guess you are too. I checked you out, of course I did, I check everybody out. Not that there are so many, there aren't. Once I hung out by the gate waiting for you, sat on the bench so I could check you out a bit better. But I'm painfully shy, I could never make a move. I don't know how people do it, really, outside of a bar. I've slept with only one person in the last quarter century - as long as that. And not at all in the last year, and the four before that I think I could count on one hand. So it would have been nice if one of us had had the ability to chat the other up, if only just to walk together around that lonely circumference. I mean it's a beautiful circumference but I've been doing it all by myself for two years now. There was a brief period, a couple of winters ago when someone did strike up an acquaintance, and I was thrilled, too much so. A short story came out of it, but an end to the acquaintance. I don't know what that was all about - another ambivalent guy I guess, and I am hardly ambivalent. So it would have been nice to walk with you and get to know you a bit, what you're interested in, what you do, and all the rest. This morning I'm thinking of San Francisco, because Ruth's there, leaving. I lived in Oakland for a time, in the early 80s. I haven't been back in - I can hardly remember how long. I moved to New York and went to work at a law firm, and on a long, long document production spent many weeks in Houston, and on weekends could fly home - or anywhere, really. So I often flew back to San Francisco. Anyway, I think how nice it would be to see that city again, a fun place to explore with someone I don't know - with you - because there's so much to marvel at and bask in, the city is so sensual in its delights, the food so extraordinary. I'd love to have a beautiful glass of wine with you, and a sampling of artisanal cheeses along with fresh-baked bread, and lush grapes, and oh I don't know what else - I guess we could go to the farmer's market that I gather is around the Ferry Building - that's new since the last time I was there - is it 20 years now? Perhaps. And all the flowers in bloom even in winter! Trumpet vines with fuschia blooms twined on wood trellises in Berkeley, and in the little garden where I lived in Adams Point white Calla lilies. Outside my window, somewhere near, invisible jasmine bloomed at night, honeyed fragrance wafting in on breezes as I read by lamplight or lay in the darkness. I had two rooms to myself in the big airy wood house, and I slept in the one that was like an enclosed porch, with windows on three sides overlooking the garden. I dated a "foodie" type a couple of times, an engineer who loved to cook. He seemed to like me very much but I found him wooden and terribly dull. He cooked steak with shallots one evening, and was very excited about the shallot. I was young and a bit of a jerk and impatient and could not get excited about a shallot and was incredulous that he or anyone else could. I could now though, I think - I have grown into a much greater appreciation of beautiful foodstuffs. I wouldn't mind getting excited over a shallot with you, and a small perfect steak panfried with sherry vinegar, and soft mesclun salad with that perhaps, and you could choose the wine, a magic elixir served in lovely stems, and we'd listen to music and enjoy the meal and then we'd kiss and then some and fall asleep together on breezes full of nightblooming jasmine and the next morning after breakfast (delicious strong coffee, exquisite pastry, fresh-squeezed juice) we could drive across the bridge and circle the perimeter of the city and eventually stop by the ocean, fog wisping and curling in the hills as we walk along the beach and look out over the waves at the sun shining silver through the clouds, glad that we brought sweaters and jackets because it's so much cooler there than in the East Bay. And the Hudson and the park and the tangled woods and the sloped fields and the views of oceanic mountains would seem very far away and we would marvel that several times we had crossed paths and who knew that we both liked shallots and kisses and each other so much.