Friday, August 3, 2007

Making Dinner

Blonde on Blonde plays on my laptop which is sitting uncomfortably on an unplugged microwave which wobbles atop a kitchen stool. I’m making dinner. Its Friday night around eight and in a little bit Joey will pick me up to go see The Format who are playing tonight at Great American Music Hall. I’ve scarcely seen those guys since our tour with them last summer.

My stove top is bustling now with simmering pans and boiling water. A cutting board is strewn with the entrails of slaughtered vegetables now popping and hissing as they cook. I’m pretty excited about this month's apartment. Its central enough that I can get downtown or to the mission in about the same amount of time, I have no door to my makeshift room, but I like the light and my roommates are absent with work most of the day and night.

The neighborhood is a little sketchy as usual, though. It’s “transitional” they might say, mostly furniture stores and mechanics, goodwill and liquor stores, unmarked black doors with rainbow flags hanging above, a few yuppie bars and nice restaurants and music venues. Day and night my heart gets yanked down to my feet at the sight of the destitute walking the streets alongside me. There are so many shelters constructed of sheets and shopping carts, cardboard and newspapers. The addiction is gut wrenching. At certain times when I am the only person walking along that appears to have a place to live, I feel like I’m in a zombie movie – as sad as that is to say.

A taxi driver who took me to my place after last call the other night, who had commented on my blue striped sweater and black rimmed glasses as the Lovin’ Spoonful look, who I had endeared myself to through a discussion of bars that he had worked at in tough areas of Oakland over the last several decades, warned me to watch myself day and night. This is not far from where Ryan got assaulted a few months back. I’m being cautious – especially when there is not another person on the street for blocks and blocks.