Cancel your meeting across town. Don’t even attempt the subway. Instead head deep into the west village. Stop first at Joe’s for the cheapest best small coffee. Listen to their conversation about San Francisco.
” what a wash! ” they say.
” couldn’t get a good lay there to save my life.”
” buncha hipsters and homos.”
Note their skinny jeans. Note their ironic mustaches. Pick up a paper, glance through the real estate section. Dream of your winning lottery numbers. Add one more dolop of cream find a lid and refasten your hood.
Duck and smile out the door. Look out for the puddle.
Suck down the coffee. taste the icy rain water gathered on the lip. Note the fairytale brick houses with sweeping stoops with bare black vines clinging to them.
You love this neighborhood.
Imagine living here.
Think of new winning lottery numbers.
Imagine Getting up in the morning and walking Down the stoop to the corner store to pick up milk. You would know the people at the store you would ask them about their family.
Duck into that bookstore that you saw last week that you wanted to stop at. Note the long haired cat in the window and the front table display of Henry Miller books.
Do a lap around the wall shelves which are a light pine, almost too fresh, not sanded.
Try to quiet you wet footsteps you are the only person there besides the clerk who is reading Wired Magazine and glancing sideways at you and your wet raincoat. The floor creaks. These old buildings…
Imagine your own book shop. It would have free coffee and tea. And friendly people.
Exit as quietly as possible saying “thank you” then wondering why you said that… Why anybody says that when they leave a shop.
The Corner Bistro:
The bast of warm air hurts your nose. The old door swings like a threat.
The interior is all dark wood. Not out of choice but because that’s just the way it is. Sit at the window. look at the menu: it’s on the wall in felt and plastic letters.
Order a cheeseburger – medium- and an ice water.
Nod knowingly at the bartender even though you don’t know anything. He is arguing with a crochety lady at the bar who looks like a librarian and is drinking white wine. Do not aknowledge her.
Your burger arrives on a plastic plate. The lettuce is almost white – pinch and toss – the tomato is a joke – remove it. Ask for more pickles. Dowse the whole thing in ketchup. Press down on the top of the bun so the pickle juices melts into the meat juice.
Shimmy the burg as far as it will go into your pie-hole.
Take a bite and savor this staunchly un-organic, un- sustainable masterpiece of modern gastronomy. The thick plasticy taste of American cheese glued to the top of your mouth; the ketchup gathering in little droplets on the corners of your lips; the extra pickles slipping out the other side; the pink warm meaty center staring up at you. You nod. Your mind goes blank. There is nothing in the whole world besides you and this cheeseburger.
Never remove your elbows from the wide wooden bar.
Order a beer.
Lick your fingers.
When the bartender asks you what you do, what brings you here… Look up at his baggy eyes and white hair, smile, and say “nothing.”