San Francisco, 8.56am, 28.12.2010 – excerpts from the journal
wet, grey morning in SF. standing outside Militha Hotel. grabbed a couple of cupcakes from the breakfast table, a modest and underwhelming thing with only coffee and tiny muffins on offer. a plastic tray half empty. receptionist watched sullenly and i felt sorry for him. standing outside on the curb waiting for Fran to pick me up, luggage, hat and all. couple of black guys come by sweeping the trash around the sidewalk, decked out in bright yellow ponchos. one tall and thin. the other shorter, rounder. they are bitching about their jobs. tall one has dreadlocks and a wonky winter hat. he looks up and sees me in my sleepy disarray, getting honked at by expectant cab-drivers. beams at me with the most beautiful and disarming smile. says, “see what we gotta work with, huh?” how did a guy with such a nice smile and good humour end up working a job like that?
heading down south to Santa Cruz and Monterey today. first time to Couchsurf and first time using Craigslist. pretty excited. world seems a lot larger when you can tap into the resources of an entire community. “is it safe?” is the most common question we’re being asked. i don’t even rightly know. i suppose there are ways for such things to go wrong, but part of the exhilaration is always in finding out there really are interesting and weird people out there, who are decent all the same, certainly more decent in a way than those who wouldn’t risk a “who knows” to the popular assumption that all is not safe…
the world seems so much larger and smaller at the same time with such a community in reach. apartments, jobs, volunteer opportunities, all manner of things. i could make a pretty damn good holiday just tripping around CA and beyond with the power of Craigslist. i want to pull a Grace, a Kerouac, a Franziska someday. i need that wild card part of life back. no more what should i wear today or which leather bag to buy or what to give a boyfriend for his birthday. more where shall i go today and who can i meet and what can i see? things that open up the world. time to shed my belongings and be reclaimed by what mother nature gave to me and the spirit in my being.
here is Fran. time for the highway.