Tuesday, June 28, 2011
the san francisco chronicles, day three, part one
on the last day of may, i flew into san francisco for a few days of r&r before my stint crewing on the aids lifecycle. i stayed at a b&b in the castro district from tuesday through sunday morning, and i took no netbook with me...instead, i took an old fashioned composition book and a pen. i found myself writing--a lot! this series of posts are my transcriptions of the writing i did in the foggy city. below is day three in the city.
sleep is wonderful. i think about how often, as biological creatures, we need something in order to thrive: sleep, water, oxygen, touch, food. i might add "vacation" to that list. oddly though, it is often when on vacation that i don't sleep. or sleep enough. but not last night--the melatonin did its work. this morning at breakfast i met a whole table full of fellow travelers: saulo and phillipe from brazil, marcus from germany, and my friends from wednesday's breakfast, ann and helen from england. saulo and phillipe are beautiful men--makes me want to book a flight to brazil immediately. but that's another story. the amazing thing about this breakfast is that we got to talking about our respective countries: cell phone etiquette, biking, vacations. and as it so often happens when discussing other countries, i found myself wistful for a place where people know how to relate, interact, eat, drink, and love. since i am not planning on moving outside of the country, i have to go where the best of these options may occur relative to how they are displayed in american terms. to that extent, it is my observation that san francisco trumps los angeles in all of those categories. in fact, i will go out on a limb here and state that i don't even think there is a competition. in los angeles, i think people are forgetting how to eat, or at least they soon will. that is because they are systematically removing everything from their food: dairy, gluten, wheat, carbs, calories, meat, oil, salt, flavor. i mean, seriously!! angelinos, IF they drink, are trying to remove the sulfites from their wine. IF they interact, they are removing, as much as possible, the face to face part of that. they have certainly succeeded in removing voice from interaction--in fact, i know some people in los angeles who boast of never answering their phones--they only respond to text or email!
and love? well. hmmm. that;s a tough one. i have been in los angeles for so many years that i don't know if i have enough of a comparative context to address that one. with food and drink, it is fairly easy to compare geographic experiences--all i need to do is go to a couple of restaurants in another city. but with love, not so easy. what i do know is that in los angeles, from what i have seen, people tend to love publicly, conditionally, conveniently, and temporarily. love is treated as something to "check off" a list, like going to the dentist or getting a job, but i don't know if it is on many people's regular maintenance schedules. it has not been on mine for a while, that's for sure. i think that in los angeles, people are trying to remove stuff from love like they are doing with their food and wine, except with love they are removing tension, commitment, time, empathy, and curiosity, and relying on sex to fill the cup to the brim. and it takes a lot of sex to fill that cup.