Sunday, September 26, 2010

Six Days in The City

By Elliott Joseph

Reprinted from California Living
San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle

Copyright 2010 Elliott Joseph

From a diary found under a bench in Washington Square

11:10 a.m.
Up after nine and a half hours. Feeling good. Better wash T-shirt. Hair coming along.

Breakfast at Jim and Dora's. Saw Kim and Charles. Fog burning off.

1:00 p.m.
Almost succeeded in controlling left nostril after twenty-five minutes of concentration in Washington Square.

2:00 p.m.
Observed some suits. Wasted lives.

3:00 p.m.
Read "Walden." Really dig Thoreau. Wind coming up.

5:00 p.m.
Hunza's for a shake.

7:00 p.m.
Gold Spike for dinner. No wine.

9:00 p.m.
Cold tonight. Double espresso at Trieste. Rapped about war and photography.

Felt stiff neck coming on. Practiced concentrating on the left nostril again. To bed at two.

11:25 a.m.
Up after nine and a half. Neck OK.

Bumped into Maggie at Jim and Dora's. Said she's going to buy some belts and set up a blanket at Embarcadero Plaza. Asked me if I want to go into partnersip. Baba says, "All life is an effort to attain freedom from self-created entanglement."

1:00 p.m.
Held breath for three minutes in Washington Square.

2:00 p.m.
Hitched to Golden Gate Park. Got a ride all the way in a new Ford pick-up. Golden Gate Park was designed by one man. Why does man foul the nest?

5:00 p.m.
Took three hitches to get to North Beach. Bumped into Red Ed. Said he was going to Oregon. "I love a broad margin to my life." Sky bluer than blue. Bought some groceries.

7:00 p.m.
Beef stew at the U.S. Saw this groovy chick. Great teeth. Libra. Would you believe, a lawyer!

9:00 p.m.
Walked. Glad I didn't sell my black turtle neck sweater.

Smoked. Resolved never to shave the beard for anyone. Thought I was getting a headache, but it passed.

Ten hours. At this rate, I'll live to be a hundred.

12:30 p.m.
Breakfast at Jim and Dora's. Should take coffee black.

1:15 p.m.
Tried the right nostril at Washington Square Got a dog's mess on my left leg. Surprised I didn't get mad.

2:30 p.m.
Walked to Bank of America building. All bombing is insane. Peace has to start with each of us. Sorry I sold my camera.

4:30 p.m.
Watched the commuters running. To eat their meals? Play tennis? Make love?

6:00 p.m.

7:00 p.m.
Liver and onions at Little Joe's. The way he sweats!

9:00 p.m.
Peeked into three pornos. Do our bodies think?

10:00 p.m
Picked up this girl. Sally. Works for an advertising agency as a secretary. Has an M.A. in English, but didn't tell them so she could get the job. Inglorious man.

Three times.

9:30 a.m.
Phil, Mark and a guy named Bob crashed pad. Hitching all night. Mark going back to get his degree. Went back to sleep.

Called Sally. Crab meat salad at Mama's. Sally paid. Wondered whatever happened to Ruth Moore.

1:30 p.m.
Left nostril exercise at Washington Square.

2:00 p.m.
Wondered what I'll be like at thirty. Not all that far to go. Felt the warm sun under my skin. Bob made me laugh this morning. Said he'd come to San Francisco to make it.

3:30 p.m.
Walked to Cala Foods. No opening yet. Checker cum laude. The dears don't know what they're missing.

6:00 p.m.
Letter from mom. Herb got a raise. Her hints used to be more subtle.

7:00 p.m.
Everybody to the U.S. Had to wait twenty minutes for a table. Maggie there. Said she's got the belts. Told her I'm not cut out for business. Now how would I know that?

9:30 p.m.
Browsed through Tower Records. Shot pool at the Sport.

Alone again.

11:00 a.m.
Registered at Opportunity Personnel. Why is filling out an application so degrading? Should be called a supplication.

1:00 p.m.
Changed back into jeans.

2:00 p.m.
Dim Sum at Hang Ah. Wondered who is going to rent all that office space going up.

3:00 p.m.
Cable cars filling up. Must be the weekend again.

4:00 p.m.
Fell asleep on a bench at Washington Square. Hit by a frisbee.

6:00 p.m.
Walked to Henry Africa's. Didn't go in.

7:30 p.m.
Ham steak at the U.S. Mixed with the tourists on Grant. Called Sally. Out.

9:00 p.m.
Saw Errol Flynn in The Adventures of Robin Hood. Couldn't believe it!

Irish at Buena Vista. Not one face made me happy. To bed at 1:30.


Hitched to Tam. Thick white fog bank off the coast. City absolutely the most beautiful sight. Raced a dog. Hitched to Stinson Beach. Alive at last. Should go back to Mendocino one of these days.

# # #