Scheduling failure, belly tetris, and productive nothing.
That was a very worthwhile complete waste of time.
As I mentioned before, I haven’t needed to plan anything ahead of time for the last few years, an atrophied skill that has gifted me a few nice Friday nights home alone. That’s fine, I’m too old and happy to get freaked out by that, but….you know. Enough is enough.
So when I heard about a book release last night it sounded perfect, even before I read about the free beer and pizza. Some guy wrote a book about his roadtrip up the West Coast. I had three questions: How good is his book? How did he get it published? Who wants to go with me?
It was last minute, but I found three people to come along. Superb! I finally got the dogs, house, errands, and miscellaneous stupid sh** squared away with just enough time to realize how little I’d really gotten done, then it was time to start the journey.
Thought: “Woah, I could almost fall asleep on this train, good thing my stop, Montgomery St, is next.”
Announcement as we pull in: “This is Powell St.”
Little boy on the street: “Donation.”
Me (in a Scottish accent): “For what?”
Boy: “My school.” Conversation happens. He’s adorable and weird.
Me (Scottish throughout): “Does this bus actually come?”
Me leaving message (no accent): “Sorry, I was at the wrong stop, I’ll be there as soon as I can.” No response. Follow up texts and call: no response. My directions to the park led me only to city streets, no park or friend in sight.
The book release was full of friendships already established and conversations well underway, not a fellow solo bystander to be had. I walked in, around, and out again.
So my social night ended up being a wander through the streets of San Francisco, a city that’s colder than I remember. I was hungry for a burrito until I watched a dude beat the living crap out of another guy on the street next to me, that kinda ruined my appetite. But it came back just in time for the game between Mexico and Panama, and though they didn’t talk to me, I was part of the crowd while I played stomach tetris with beans, rice, pollo asado, and guacamole.
I won, and so did Mexico.
They did victory dances and I took a digestion stroll. The city was big and dark, smelled like urine sometimes and sounded like inner city words my skin color must never say. Headlights reflected off lane lines, laughter had many accents and one meaning, and a group saw the news of Mexico’s victory and the crowd went wild.
I was tempted to feel down about my utter social failure, until I realized that there are far too many versions of Happy to put all those chips on one outcome. My solo night of walking with hands deep in my pockets, accents at will, observations relentless, and smile facing mostly inward…was great.