He strained; he pushed; he looked; he saw Regent's Park before him. Long streamers of sunlight fawned at his feet. The trees waved, brandished. We welcome, the world seemed to say; we accept; we create. Beauty, the world seemed to say. And as if to prove it (scientifically) wherever he looked, at the houses, at the railings, at the antelopes stretching over the palings, beauty sprang instantly. To watch a leaf quivering in the rush of air was an exquisite joy. Up in the sky swallows swooping, swerving, flinging themselves n and out, round and round, yet always with perfect control as if elastics held them; and the flies rising and falling; and the sun spotting now this leaf, now that, in mockery, dazzling it with soft gold in pure good temper; and now and again some chime (it might be a motor horn) tinkling divinely on the grass stalks - all of this, calm and reasonable as it was, made out of ordinary things as it was, was the truth now; beauty, that was the truth now. Beauty was everywhere. (52)
This book, Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, is the perfect book to be reading right now, on this trip to California, taking in all these new sights. There is a beautiful relationship between a book and the place it is read, both appearing more magical in the transaction, both taking on characteristics of the other. I read the above passage in a park in Oakland, waiting for Bonnie to get off work, a couple of redwoods standing nearby.
My first night here I went to some lesbian dance party at The Transfer called Cockblock, which was mildly fun, but not really what I was looking for. Afterward, we went to some other gay bar, The Deco, which was just closing and were about to go to a motel across the street for an afterparty with the people throwing the party when we decided it'd be awful, it probably being just be us plus them, and so we started to run away. While sneaking away from the bar, a group of bike kids passed us by, Bonnie asked where the party where was, and this guy hopped off his bike. He walked us back to some guy's house and we hung out with these straight bike kids, listening to amazing old records that one of those boys was spinning, listening to one of the boys, Doug, talk about graffiti and fashion, and doing lines of coke with this photography student. It was such an amazingly random and weird interaction, it being just what I wanted and making my night five million times better.
Saturday there was walking around Oakland with Bonnie, the already mentioned reading in a park, a gallery opening in the Mission, ate an amazing burrito, and then went to this really fun, though totally straight, Britpop night at Annie's Social Club, probably made more amazing by coke done in the backseat of Matt's SUV.
Yesterday, I tried to go to John Coltrane Church, however it was closed because the congregation was in Paris for the week. So I walked around San Francisco, taking in all these sites and all these various neighborhoods, some neighborhoods, Chinatown and the Tendorloin, seeming particularly amazing in their distinct characters. I went to his male strip show and video arcade place, "Knob Hill," watched someone younger seeming than me, a skinny boy, do a strip show for me and two other men, not too many people watching strip shows at one in the afternoon. Bored with that, I went downstairs to the video arcade, where in one of the booths, I got a blowjob from an old man. Then I walked up some big hills, sat in a park by the water, and ate an orange. After Bonnie finally woke up, she met me in the city at the Eagle for their Beer Bust event. I stared at a bunch of leather daddies, watched Prince perform briefly on my way to the bathroom, and got totally shitfaced, trying to get my money's worth in beer. I smoked far too much pot with some crazy man and basically that was it, that was calling it a night. By seven o'clock, I was wasted as possible, and could not deal with talking to any of these people because I was making no sense and nothing anyone else said was making sense. My brain was totally fried and I just stood close to Bonnie so I wouldn't have to make the extreme effort required to talk to strangers that wanted to talk. Jeff gave us a ride back to Oakland, at which point I fell asleep in Bonnie's bed, recalling long lost memories, long thought forgotten, in that hazy prelude to sleep.
Bonnie is in the shower now, thus the rush in the composition of this, the quick detailing of things, and soon we are going to Big Sur and to Santa Cruz! I am so excited.
(the nice bike kid strangers)
(the really cute and nice doug, who loves fashion)
(yeah for student discounts!)
(refer back to that earlier woolf quote)
(the state of my sobriety is proven in how I did not notice this photo was blurry at all)
(i am in love with this eagle statue. someone told us it had a spirit. possibly true.)
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