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Castro Street

Good working fool that I am, I wanted Jose's morning gig to be covered, so I got up at 6:30 in the damned morning, got dressed and slogged through puddles and rain past the out-of-order phone booth at the corner to the one that works at the gas station, only to find that Jose never called me back. I'm gonna guess he has the morning shift covered, and the evening shift too, and/or he's pissed at me, and at half past dawn with a yawn, I don't care which.

♦ ♦ ♦

Now I'm wide awake, prolly up for the day, so I'll write, but I don't know what. I'm staring at a blank screen here, waiting for a moment of inspiration when what I need is a cup of coffee.

Ah, I should write about the Castro, and working there. The shop, Unusualia and/or Urban Mermaids, is close enough to Castro Street it counts as part of the neighborhood, which is, of course, San Francisco's gayest. Also it's just a cool place to exist, but let me take a snapshot for readers in Iowa and Ohio, who might (think they) have never seen gay people.

To begin, 'gay' is a rather limiting term. The preferred nomenclature is lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender (LGBT), because there's more going on than just dames with dames (L) and guys with guys (G). There's also guys who like guys and dames, and dames who like dames and guys (B), and guys who identify as dames and dames who identify as guys (T). Put them all together and it spells LGBT, and of course, I'm writing this from an outsider's perspective so there might well be more variants that haven't occurred to me.

People are who they are, not who you expect them to be. That's how it is on Castro Street, and it ought to be like that everywhere. Any person in the neighborhood might dress like you'd never dare, be pierced where you wouldn't, wear more leather than an average cow, sport more tattooed skin than not, have hair in colors extended beyond the ordinary human range, and do all sorts of other things you'd decline.

And that's fabulous. If you need normal, stay away from Castro Street — we don't need you, either.

LeeAnn and Stevi's shop, like I said, is in the Castro neighborhood, but it's on the edge, a ways down Market Street. That distance is the difference between standing at the shore of a raging river, and wading out into the currents. Walk two blocks to the heart of the Castro, and you'll get wet whether it's raining or not.

Yesterday, they sent me to hand out their flyers at Castro & Market, which is the capitol of the capitol of LGBT Land. Standing at that fabled corner, more than a few people saw me in the green cape and assumed I was promoting a new sex club, and that's a reasonable assumption — sex club invitations are what you're often handed at that intersection. A couple of couples even declined the flyers by telling me, "We're under 21," and I laughed and explained, you don't have to be a grown-up to shop at the shop.

There were plenty of costumes more outrageous than my silly green cape — it was St Patty's Day, after all, an especially flamboyant occasion. Best of show was a middle-aged guy with a goatee wearing green spandex, with a green wire four-leaf clover hanging from his pierced lower lip, designed to intertwine with and complement his beard. It was a great look.

Runner-up? A hunky black man whose afro was leopard-spotted green.

Ah, beautiful Castro Street. Wish I could live there, but the rents shout an emphatic 'no' for a poor fellow like me. Always love being there, though,

♦ ♦ ♦

Checked my messages again in the afternoon, to make sure Jose hadn't called. I would've worked for him tonight, but I guess he didn't need me, and that's OK, too.

Dahlia called, though, to warn me that there would be revisions to the script. I took a deep breath before calling back, and said this real nice, but my answer is no. I've typed the script enough, thanks. Instead I bused to the theater and brought her the disk, so whoever types the revisions won't have to start from scratch. It won't be me, though.

From Pathetic Life #10
Saturday, March 18, 1995

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.

Pathetic Life 

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