Sincerely, goodbye.

Woke up early because I needed to use the john, and I used it and abused it, but flushing the toilet, it only gurgled.

No water? It's 5:45 in the morning and a shower was on the agenda, and also I'm really thirsty. Running water is a thing I need, but again, the water's been shut off here at the hotel?

Went downstairs to moan at at the night manager, and he was said he didn't know why the water was off, and didn't know how to turn it on again. "Doesn't Mr Patel pay the water bill?" I said, a stupid thing to say because of course he pays the water bill. Cranky I was, and thirsty.

Walked outside and around the corner to the 24/7 bodega for something, anything to drink, but they don't understand 24/7 and it wasn't open yet. Instead I took a passing #33 to the nearest 7/11 and bought three big bottles of water.

On my way back to my room, a tiny sign by the front desk told me there's be no water until 8AM, as work continues on the sewer main under Mission Street. The sign was so tiny, I guess the night manager hadn't seen it, same as me.

♦ ♦ ♦  

The above is not an interesting story, I noticed as I wrote it. You may have noticed, too, and neither are the stories below. 

It's my life, though.

♦ ♦ ♦  

The big roaches are kinda fun to hunt and kill, but the little ones are no fun at all, and now — only days after the room was sprayed with insecticide — they're everyplace.

I grab a zine off the pile, and a tiny roach comes scurrying out from behind the cover.

Think I'll take a swig of water from the big plastic bottle, and there's a dinky little roach crawling over the bottle's cap.

Lie down in bed, and a midget roach comes running across my pillow.

They're attracted to the warmth of my electric typewriter, so when I put in a sheet of paper and rolled it around the carriage, an iddy biddy roach got accidentally mashed into the paper.

The last roach fatality made me laugh, though, and I've tacked the roachy paper to the wall.

♦ ♦ ♦  

I walked around the corner to the Sincere Cafe, thinking I'd have their marvelous cheeseburger and fries for breakfast, but a sign says, "Close for remodeling."

Men with no respect for Chinese cooking were hauling out the cooking equipment, the seats and tables, and carrying away the best cheap diner in San Francisco.

Wherefore art thou, Ken the waiter? Why didn't you tell me the apocalypse was coming, when you brought a Number 1 to my corner of the counter just a few days ago?

And how can remodeling the Sincere Cafe do anything but ruin it? Prices will need to go up to pay for the newness, and the newness won't have any of the charm of the place's oldness. Whatever they reconstruct in the same space, they can call it "the Sincere Cafe" but it won't be sincere.

For a few minutes I stood in shock, watching the workers destroying the place. Hired killers, basically, and none of them even Asian. Et tu, Ken?

I knew I loved the Sincere Cafe, but I didn't really know it until it was gone. I couldn't even smile about "Close" instead of "Closed" on the sign.

After only a minute agog, I came home without even a thought of eating at some other place. Fuck some other place.

The old Sincere was everything I loved about San Francisco distilled into chop suey and pork fried rice, and even if it's coming back, it's never really coming back.

From Pathetic Life #24
Wednesday, May 1, 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.


  1. Ah, man, I miss the Sincere, and it was gone 4 months before I even got there.

  2. Still my treat, man, when they're done with the remodeling.


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