April of '96 in San Francisco

Today I was back at Judith and Jake's house for maid duty. Her son is coming to visit in a few weeks, so for the next couple of Tuesdays I'll be there, trying to make the place habitable.

I started by changing the kitty litter, a task I'm not sure Judith has ever done. But the stink remained so I sleuthed the source and found a huge mountain of drying but still stinking cat turds behind some loose lumber on the porch, just a few feet from the litter box. Why the cat prefers pooping on the floor to pooping in the box, I dunno. I only scraped it up and then sponged the residue.

Washed all of the dishes, something else Judith rarely or never does. The sink and overflow on the counter were like an archaeological dig — bowls had been stacked but were still full of Fruit Loops and Alpha-Bits, which had hardened into a glop of sugar and stale milk. Someone had oatmeal for breakfast earlier this month or perhaps late in March, and didn't finish it, simply adding the bowl of oatmeal to the tower of dishes. Several plates near the top of the pile had UPC stickers on the back, so when every dish in the house is dirty they simply buy more dishes?

Cleaned the bathroom, tossing ten pounds of old mail-order catalogs I'd always hesitated to toss when I lived there, but jeez, some of them dated back to 1990. They'd been stacked atop a plastic mini-table that was kinda disgusting, so the table took a hot shower for ten minutes. Scraped muck and yuck out of the sink and tub. Scrubbed the toilet, though it's so shit-stained you can't really tell. Beat huge quantities of dog hair and dust out of the shower rug. Scooped three armloads of dirty laundry off the bathroom floor and piled them in what used to be my room, because there was no space in the laundry room.

And the bathroom looks much better. I'm seriously proud of Judith's bathroom.

When I came out of the john, though, and saw the rest of the house again, all my energy drained away. Told Judith I was done for the day, and she paid me and offered me dinner at Jack in the Crack. A Jumbo Jack for Judith, two for me, three for the dog. We got 'em to go, and ate at a tiny park on the waterfront, where there's a fabulous view of both bridges.

I played with Lugosi the giant dog, but he's bitten some people, so by city edict he has to be leashed and muzzled whenever he's outdoors. It's basically a dog park, though, and Lugosi gets along well with other dogs, so Judith was non-compliant. Lugosi wore the muzzle, so we couldn't play fetch, but she let him loose from the leash so me and the dog ran everywhere, and I hid behind rocks and bushes, then leapt out and scared the monster.

♦ ♦ ♦    

BARTed home pretty well tuckered out, and it occurs to me that Judith and Lugosi are the only flatmates I miss from the house in Berkeley. And that yesterday and today, friends took me to dinner. Who'll buy me food tomorrow?

I'm digging it all — odd jobs between easy days at the the rez hotel, lazy nights, old movies, a typewriter that works, BART and MUNI instead of a car, lots of time alone but also a few but real friends.

Nothing about any of it isn't an improvement over the straight-laced responsibilities and life left behind in Seattle, and also over working at Macy's a year ago.

Maggie called my life "pathetic," but I like who I am and especially where I am. It feels good and keeps getting better. No complaints from me if April of '96 in San Francisco lasts another 25 years, and when time's up I'll die happy, wrinkled, and alone, in a cheap room in the Mission.

From Pathetic Life #23
Tuesday, April 23, 1996

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment

The site's software sometimes swallows comments. For less frustration, send an email and I'll post it as a comment.