I had a most interesting weekend full of stealing, rescuing, and interactions with people and animals.
My St. Patrick’s Day lover came over Friday night as I was drifting off to sleep for my early-rise weekend. I had gone to bed early. I had been meaning to break it off with him, so when I sleepily heard him call my name from outside after I failed to answer the door, I dragged myself out of bed to bring him the nearly-empty tequila bottle he had left at my house, and have a little chat on the front porch. He was halfway through a clear bottle of a Miller Genuine Draft and looked mischievous, as usual, and said he had brought me a present of Kombucha, that he, then, bewilderingly failed to produce from his grocery bag. For being so cute, fun, and charming, he is really just far too young, with work and moral standards leaving much to be desired. Having just revealed to me he had stolen some batteries from Whole Foods for his voice recorder (he couldn’t afford them), and was now in need of a cell phone charger, batting his eyes, I wished him good luck and blew him a hand-kiss, and silently scolded myself for, once again, taking a relationship too far out of sheer curiosity (for, in this case, magic, timing, and novelty). You’ll have to trust me on the upsides to this one, which I won’t go into right now.
Perhaps it was some kind of leprechaun revenge karma then that I got my cell phone and charger stolen three hours away at Chico State University the following day. I left it charging in what I thought was a great spot free from wandering eyes and sticky fingers for a couple hours. Nope. And the kicker was that I had left it just inside what appeared to be a locked batting cage. When I jogged by it briefly an hour in, I noticed people inside. They had just popped a ball out, and asked me to throw it back. I retrieved it for them on my way back, not remembering to check on my phone. I realized later it was most likely them who took the phone. I doubt anyone else would have noticed it. Buggers.
I went to warn a couple groups of people that they were in the travel path of the hammer throw. I have seen someone get hit with a hammer (an 8.8-pound steel ball) at 180 feet out and it is not pretty. A lot of people will falsely assume they are “safe” along the sidelines of a hammer throw competition, even turning their backs, and I know better now. While I was warning this couple I noticed they had the cutest 8-week-old black and white puppy under a blanket, and I got to pet him a few times. They said he had been rescued and turned into a shelter after someone found 7 puppies in a tupperware container on the side of the road. He was already such a loyal pup to his owner, who said they had had him for only one day. He kept crawling into the shade of his owner’s body to get out of the midday sun and falling hard asleep.
Later, I found myself under a tree at the track, and little branches started falling on my head. I look up, and a bird is furiously tearing off little six-inch branches and throwing them down toward me. The bird then seems to find a multi-spoked branch she likes, and flies away, carrying it off in her beak somewhere. Some time later, the bird has made a couple of trips, and I’m sitting on a chair under the same tree and I see a bright green caterpillar drop into the busy footpath. I quickly “rescue” him and take some time letting him crawl on my hand and admiring him before finding him a good branch to live on while he “gets his wings”. Got a few cute shots.
I drove semi-cross-eyed from fatigue back from Chico to San Francisco in the team van, arriving close to 1 a.m. It’s too late to catch the BART, and I decide not to just show up and crash at my old house on the couch in San Francisco like a bum, and instead, take, for the first time, the late night bus back to Berkeley. I already know this will be a minimum 1-hour trip. Thankfully I get a ride to the pickup point, where a different bus pulls up 10 minutes later with a man in it wearing REALLY thick, weirdly misshapen, almost triangular wedge-shaped, eye glasses, thicker in the middle, that appear cracked, foggy, and pointless to the point of being comical. His hair is a little Einsteinian and he is trying to chat up the bus driver, teasing and taking his time, and the driver seems slightly annoyed. It turns from comical to deep as the man gets off the bus with no small frustration and two walking sticks with balls on the ends, and I realize this man is more blind than crazy. It’s nice how, just when you think your life is giving you lemons, someone like this shows up and makes you go, yeah – my problems? Not so bad after all. He asks for help, says his balance is not good, and I help him traverse the island and get across the road to try to find his next bus. He says he’s from LA, and as we pass a sewer manhole he starts going off about how bad the San Francisco sewers smell. Like diapers. And he’s right. Sewers here are particularly repulsive. He says I guess that’s how you know you’re in San Francisco, the sewers smell of diapers, unlike sewers in other cities, he says.
At 1:47am my bus arrives, and I have to leave the blind man alone to depend on another stranger or else I risk waiting 30 minutes for the next bus. I wish him luck and board amidst a cast full of characters. Half an hour in, somewhere in Oakland, a thin young black man gets on and sits next to me. He smells thickly of alcohol and weed, and his music is rapping in his headphones. Ten minutes goes by and he falls fast asleep, leaning toward me, and his head falling notch by notch finally onto my shoulder, where it comes to rest heavily as he knocks out. I decided to just let him rest there. It makes me feel a bit maternal. He has a cute short afro and he has no idea he is leaning so heavily on me right now. Unsure of whether to wake him so he doesn’t miss whatever stop is his, I finally wake him gently after about 10 minutes, a few stops before I have to get off. He smiles apologetically, mostly sleepily, realizing he had probably trespassed my space, but not knowing to what extent, and keeps an upright posture the remaining time.
A nice lady originally from New Jersey sits across from us with her husband, they both appear a little tipsy. They transferred seats after they noticed a noxious odor coming from a rather short and round woman with a small head, her hair wrapped up in a dirty wrap, who after pacing the aisles, decides to sit in front of them. The New Jersey woman has beautiful, loving and sparkling eyes, and a strikingly misshapen mouth where parts of the jaw don’t line up and teeth are missing or not aligned. She chats me up about being from Montana, and she likes my earrings my friend U made. We talk about family and the pace of life in California versus the east coast (the reason she moved out here). She tells me to be safe as I leave the bus to walk home.
It was actually kind of nice to bump into so many “others” this weekend and have some good exchanges. LML
PS – I got to pet a huge iguana today, named Skippy. He was strapped to his owner’s back, riding on a bicycle down Valencia street during Sunday Streets. Couldn’t get a picture as my memory card went with my stolen cell phone yesterday :-)