Thursday, April 23, 2009

Last night I went to Cori's book reading at the Modern Times Bookstore on Valencia Street in San Francisco! Oh Cori, she did such a great job! I can't imagine discussing anything so personal in front of a crowd of people, but she was terrific. And very pregnant! Yes, the dress was for Baby Clementine, another Leo due late this summer. She wrote this book, called Sweet Charlotte's Seventh Mistake, and although I bought this book many months ago (and read it twice!) I am now the proud owner of a signed copy.

I took the train into the city. I often pull my hair up into a bun with a loose clip, and then wrap a scarf around it. My hair is thick (thick I tell you!) and coarse. Grandma Mary says I have "horse hair" because it's not unlike a mane. Great. Anyway, I only wash it once or twice a week (though I rinse it more often) because it gets so dry if I use shampoo. I've thought about using homemade shampoo, or rinsing it with vinegar instead of just hot water, but nothing's come of those thoughts yet. My hair is so straight. Stick straight. Heavy, thick, straight hair. Probably somebody's dream, but you know how it is...grass is always greener, etc.

Anyway, there is a point to all this! Because I don't wash my hair every day, or even every other day, I try not to let it get too dirty. So that's why I often wrap it up, and that's why I ended up on a BART train, wearing a scarf around a bun, and, I shit you not, knitting a shawl. It's funny how many people were staring at me! I thought it was the knitting, which can be mesmerizing to watch, but then we went into the tunnel and I saw my reflection in the darkened window and no, I'm pretty sure they were staring at me because I looked Amish. Whoops!

When I got to the train station, I had 5 city blocks to stroll before reaching the book store. Now, I lived in San Francisco for many years, and specifically, the Mission District was my 'hood. I cannot tell you how many burritos I have eaten at La Cumbre, or how many middle of the night 'dinners' I've eaten at La Rondalla after our restaurant shift ended. I've walked my roommates dog at the dog park next to the police substation. I've ridden on the handle bars of my friend's bike, flying down 18th Street from Church to Van Ness. I've caught the #24 Mission Bus in the middle of the night (but don't tell my dad, my god he'd have a heart attack). And none of it felt odd at all. Just normal, city life.

I just got such a kick of walking those same city blocks last night! I guess that's what I looked like, when I was 22, but seeing it through my eyes now as a forty-*cough* year old, they all just looked so...rowdy. Really? Falling out of a bar at 9 o'clock on a Wednesday night? It's a school night! The sirens, the yelling, the people hanging out of their windows from the flats above the store was all so loud. And I know it hasn't changed at all in 20 years. It looked and felt exactly as it did when it was me and my friends standing on those street corners arguing about whose landlord was most like satan.

So what can I say? Even the Amish, can't get a raised eyebrow on a Wednesday evening, walking up Mission Street. My kind of place, even to this day!

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