I have now been in San Francisco for almost four months. Wow... time really does fly when you're having fun. And I really have been having fun. Things aren't perfect, it'd be nice to have a job or, you know, some source of income so I could, ya know, pay for things... but life continues to be good. I'm alive, I'm healthy, and I'm trying damn hard to enjoy what I have and where I am. Where I am is a great place with great friends and that is at least two of the most important things in life.
Anyway, that first paragraph was mostly therapy for me.. gotta remind myself of these things every so often! Now, to deliver on the promise of the title of this post: A few weeks ago I caught a BART train to Berkeley just to scope out the scene, stroll around campus, gawk at some coeds, etc... On the train was a man. A very special man. Probably a hobo, possibly drunk, likely crazy, definitely holding a dozen red roses in one hand and a samurai sword in the other. Now, I have seen some shit on the NYC subways in my day, but nothing quite like this! Thinking back, I realize that if this man had looked like Comic Book Guy, maybe I wouldn't have thought twice... a samurai sword would be a perfectly reasonable gift for any woman who loves Comic Book Guy. I imagine that woman loves samurai swords and World of Warcraft in equal measure. However, this man was no lovably geeky fat man. No, the man before me was a haggard, post-apocalyptic-looking, world weary homeless person who probably had a very long and colorful history with the women in his life. The roses say he cares, the samurai sword says he cares... TO DEATH!! Du-du-daaaaa! He was quite the sight, pacing around the train for a minute before finding a seat, one down and facing me. Awesome. I avoided eye contact at all costs, obviously, but in my periphery I could see him set down the roses and begin to unsheathe and sheath his sword, ominously eyeballing the blade as he slid it in and out. Was I being punked here? Come on, this guy was just too much! I wasn't worried about myself really, but I was definitely growing more and more concerned for whoever was on the receiving end of those roses. I had to get off at the next stop but I took one last, long look at samurai man... I haven't heard anything in the news about a samurai killing but I am prepared to pick him out of a line up if necessary. The end.
When I got to Berkeley I looked around a used bookstore then headed to the UC Berkeley campus. The campus is beautiful and the people on it are, too. Just a little too beautiful. In fact, the more I walked around, the more I began to feel old, fat, and dumb. I mean I don't really think I'm any of those things (not quite yet, anyway), but, man, seeing all those good looking 22-year-olds running around with books and purpose and stuff will give a man a complex. Not to glamorize college.. been there, fully aware that it's not necessarily all it's cracked up to be. But, sheesh, relative to being unemployed (voluntarily, but still..) in the real world with no real great way to meet members of the opposite sex, college seems like a fuckin' utopia. Maybe one day I'll die and go to Berkeley. And all the girls will love my hat and want to do me.
By the way, the world can thank Danie and Jesse for my new hat.. One of the best birthday presents ever! I always wanted to wear a hat like this because all the cool dudes in old movies where them. Frankly, I never thought I was cool enough to pull it off, but, check me out, clearly I am way cooler than I thought. I think I would have liked the days when everyone wore fedoras all the time... why did that period end anyway, I wonder? It's kind of a timeless look I think and I always wanted to be a sort of timeless guy.
Speaking of movies, they have been my primary diversion since I've been here (and all my life, really). Jesse loves movies, too, and we have been hitting the theaters hard, seeing everything from old Hitchcock and French New Wave movies to Avatar and District 9. There are two primary independent theaters we have been frequenting, The Castro Theatre and The Red Vic. One is a beautiful, huge, old 1920's movie palace, the other a dark, dingy, tiny, church basement-looking hole. They each serve their purpose, but the palace is definitely the place to be. Some of the highlights from our movie diet include: The 400 Blows, The Hurt Locker, The Godfather I and II, Panic in Needle Park and Serpico, District 9 and Alien, Rear Window, Marnie and Rebecca, Moon, Whatever Works, A Serious Man, Where the Wild Things Are, and Up In The Air. We all went to the Godfather double feature at the Castro.. over 7 hours of movie for 10 bucks! That's a lot of sitting, and our butts did hurt, but you can't beat the value. I remember it being a really happy day.. I woke up feeling good, the weather was perfect, I took a nice long walk, bought rye flour at Whole Foods, had a fish taco lunch at Pancho's (our favorite local Mexican place), and then watched two classic movies on a giant screen in a very cool theater with my friends.. a good day! We were reminded of some important lessons from The Godfather, too: never take sides against the family; no offense to your present consigliere, but sometimes you're gonna need a wartime consigliere; and, finally, leave the gun, take the cannoli.
This weekend Danie and Jesse are in Mexico so I have the house to myself. Today I am going to take a break from lounging around the house naked and head down to the Castro for another double feature: Niagara and The Asphalt Jungle, both classic film-noir starring Marilyn Monroe. It's part of the Noir City film series... the poster's cool:
I imagine there will be lots of great hats being worn in these films. It seems like the perfect occasion to wear my hat, although I fear it may be too much like wearing a band t-shirt at that band's concert.. know what I mean? Ahhh, screw it, I'm doing it.. I look too damn cool in that hat not to wear it.
PS. Don't plan on using "A Dozen Roses and A Samurai Sword" as the title for your next movie because I am already planning on that.. hereby copyrighted.