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.


  1. Tony, this is a very succinct post! You nailed it. Loved the analogies between sex and eating. I am sure that you could have this published.
    Good to hear that things are 'movin' along' for you.

  2. I don't even know how to comment on this one. I have been with Fred for over 21 years so this is all very foreign to me. And I guess that's a good thing that I don't understand it.
    I really don't know you at all but I always get a feeling that you are constantly searching and never finding. I really do hope that you find peace soon. And that your cup runneth over with love. m.

  3. I'm not sure how to respond either Tony. This Sunday will be 47 years that Bill and I have been together. I have to say that I don't long for the "love" of which you seem to be looking for. Maybe I would feel differently if I were alone. What I do seek is friendship and comradeship. As much as I like Bill and the comfort of our relationship, I still feel a need for "more" so I guess I can understand some of which you write. However, I am of an age which I can no longer trust anyone. I know that sounds cynical but it is the result of my life experience. As exotic and promising as meeting someone from a different city of country sounds, I could never trust them. I've been disappointed (extreme hurt) too many times. I don't and won't go there again. My next "love" will be either a dog or cat. Theirs is an unqualified and nonjudgmental love.