TRAFFIC! - POLLUTION!
21 October 2003
Yes, I must be back. I was on the road at the crack of dawn this morning (my doctor's
appointment having been cancelled). My ultimate destination: San Francisco.
It had been my plan to go to Weight Watchers this morning and return to the chart at
the bottom of this journal page, but, amazingly, I overslept and woke up too late to make
it to weigh in. Just as well...it gives me leeway to enjoy myself during the wedding
festivities later this week!
So, with no weigh-in, and no doctor's appointment, I decided to....travel (just
'cause I hadn't traveled in...oh...hours, you know).
I drove down to my mother's for some coffee and a brief visit and then got back in the
car to drive to San Francisco to meet Steve, who is in town for a week. I hadn't seen him
in a long time and didn't know when I'd have the chance to catch up with him again (and
besides, I had bought him a kangaroo scrotum as a souvenir, and that's not the sort of
thing you just mail to someone!), so we planned to meet for lunch.
The morning weather was beautiful and I loved the sight of fog flowing through the
Golden Gate bridge. It was such a lovely sight, I almost didn't mind the $5 toll to cross
the bridge (I am so old, I remember when you could cross for twenty-five cents).
Steve was staying at the home of his friend Ken. I've been to Ken's a few times, but
I've always come in from the other bridge, so I had to drive across town, turn
around and come back as if I'd come off the Bay Bridge in order to find it. But I did find
it. (I took a picture of Steve with my new camera, but it didn't come out well, so instead
I'll add a panorama photo of the amazing mural that is across the street from Ken's
house...hardly anybody sees this, since Ken lives in a little side street that is hardly
seen at all).
I first met Steve four years ago--just about this time, actually. At that time I had
never heard him sing, but had seen The Last Session and was curious about this guy
whose story was wrapped up in this show I'd been affected by. He was coming to SF for an
appearance and, thinking he was a big star or something, I tentatively asked if he would
like to meet me for lunch, since I wasn't able to make his show.
To my delight, he said yes. We went to Rocco's,
a restaurant around the corner from Ken's house, stayed 2 hours, and discovered that we
got along very well.
Four years later, we were back at the very same table at the very same restaurant (the
difference being that this time Steve, the starving artist, didn't even pretend to
pick up the check). It was nice to sit there, thinking how far the two of us have come in
our friendship and what a close relationship we have developed over these past four years.
We talked about The Big Voice and its New York readings; we talked about the new
show(s) he and Jimmy are in the middle of writing (big stuff--these will be
hits--especially one of them, which has a sure-fire subject matter and someone who is
eager to get it on the stage even before it's written). We got caught up on our respective
vacations, mine to Australia, his cruise around Europe and the Balkans (even starving
artists can afford to travel if they are hired by cruise lines).
After lunch, we went back to Ken's to watch the pictures of Steve's trip on his
laptop--lucky for him, I don't have the Australia pictures in a format to be shown yet,
but I'll get him next time.
I managed to get out of town before the peak of rush hour traffic, but just zipping
around town and on the freeway through the increasing traffic reminded me that I am no
longer in Australia. The freeways are wide and packed, the air is brown, the afternoon
heat was oppressive (we are having record temperatures for October), and I was on a time
schedule, so somewhat rushed. All those things I blissfully left behind six weeks ago.
Life is picking up where it left off again.
Tomorrow we leave for Santa Barbara, where we start the preparations and count-down for
Tom & Laurels' wedding on Saturday. (There may or may not be an entry tomorrow night,
depending on when we get in to town and if anything noteworthy at all happened on the