Lucky man

Sarah-Katherine slept ten hours straight through, but me being me and extra keyed up, I woke up early. Usually I'd go back to sleep, maybe masturbate as a sleeping aid, but not this morning, not with a woman I have feelings for lying next to me, her hand intertwined with mine — and she did it herself while she was asleep.

With her chin on my neck, her breath on my cheek, her legs curled over my knees, and her big ol' bobbies nuzzled into my side, I was wide awake. It's not often that an attractive woman sleeps under the blankets on my bed, so I just laid there, listening to her petite snores and whatever sounds leaked out of her dreams, and knew I was a lucky man.

When she woke up, yeah, I was a lucky man.

♦ ♦ ♦

Back to San Francisco we went, and first thing, she tried to get her zine Pasty into a few shops. They both said the buyer wasn't in, try again some other day, etc. It's the ordinary runaround that keeps Pathetic Life out of all but the finest newsstands in America.

We went to Good Vibrations, the adult toy store that should be a holy pilgrimage for anyone who'll admit enjoying sex. Sarah-Katherine does, so she bought a vibrator the size of a baseball bat, which I'm hoping she won't need to plug in until she's back in Seattle.

We late-lunched or early dinnered at the Sincere Café, which remains the finest cheap diner in the nine-county metroplex. Sarah-Katherine ordered the lemon chicken, which looked good, and she said it was terrific. For a mostly-vegetarian like me, the Sincere's printed menu looks slim, but here's a secret — if you say "No meat, please," they'll serve a #1 porkfest without the pork, which is almost as good as a #1 porkfest.

Our next stop was Epicenter, which sells an outstanding selection of underground music and publications, including Pathetic Life and now Pasty. My favorite part of the store is the free reading room, full of old zines and comfortable couches, where we loitered a long time and never felt unwelcome, so let me add a plug: Epicenter is on Valencia near 16th, a block from the BART station, easy to get to but hard to find. The sign is tiny, and it's up a flight of stairs behind a plain glass doorway, at 475 Valencia. Doug says, those stairs are worth climbing.

Finally, we took a #33 bus to the Castro district, and I bought a pre-read novel at a reasonable price at Books Etc. Then we wandered inside A Different Light, where the prices aren't so reasonable so I didn't buy anything, but Sarah-Katherine did.

And through the whole day, talking about our mostly-aligned moral codes, politics, and hatred of idiots, and about some of the crazy things we've done in our lives, the words were always easy.

That's not the way it is with me, not hardly ever and with almost nobody. Even when I'm writing, words don't come easy, and when I'm talking words sometimes don't come at all, but today was different. Sarah-Katherine makes me comfortable enough to melt my silence, and that's rare.

She's moving from Seattle, she says, and hasn't decided where, and I hope it's here.

♦ ♦ ♦

If the time and place can be worked out, she's been asked to pose for sexy pictures for a zine or magazine while she's in San Francisco. No, she wasn't asked by me, and I don't even remember the publication's name, but I plan to buy thirty copies and paper my bedroom walls.

Sarah-Katherine isn't sure what she'll be wearing or how much she won't, so back at the house Judith volunteered a menagerie of her lace, leather, satin, silks, and funky but not really sexy hats (there's no such thing as a sexy hat), while a lucky man sat on a lawn chair in the living room, enjoying a fashion show and taking notes.

From Pathetic Life #14
Friday, July 14, 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.


  1. I'm extremely happy for you. Even if the future led nowhere but heartache or disappointments, just the chance to savor these rare days is better than to have never have known it. While I'm happily living with my dream girl, I still remember fondly the singular experiences with special ladies who have disappeared through the years (two have actually died young). I still imagine what could've been in an alternate universe and it's enough. In my daydreams, I ignore all the downsides and impossibilities and flirt with the road not taken. Had they worked out and my real life girl had not, I'd be daydreaming about my real life girl. It seems to be how the brain keeps things fresh and has nothing to do with real feelings.

    I hope we learn what becomes of Sarah-Katherine. I searched her zine and it seems like she disappears from public view in the past decade. I hope she is either at eternal rest (not a bad deal, really) or living a happy life off the grid.--Arden

    1. Wise observations, appreciated. It's wistful, remembering, but I *know* absolutely that my eventual wife was a better match, and there's nothing I'd exchange for those years with Stephanie.

      Sarah-Katherine remains a sigh, of course, and a very happy memory. I found an email address and sent her a note a while back. It didn't bounce, but there was also no reply. I do hope to hear from her again, and will continue hoping until I do or don't or die, but I'm not going to make a pest of myself.


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