“I’ll dis the facial nature of your ballywho”
-Del the Funky Homosapian
Those two guys? I met them when they stumbled into the O’Farrell theater on the back end of one of my double shifts. They were sitting way in the back just laughing at everything. I had just put together a new routine with Superfreak playing in the background. I always liked dancing in front of an animation. Those two though were just messing with my show. Usually I’d be pissed when my dancing got interrupted, but business was slowing down a bit. Funny because the money around the city was really booming, but I guess nobody wanted to come down to the old places when you could slap down hundreds and watch 18 year olds going at it for the first time live, or watch it for free on the internet. To keep up my habit, I was starting to do stranger things – more beatings, more blood lettings, and it was exhausting. The money was still good, but it was all going to junk at that point, so it wasn’t like I was living the high life.
I saw them both smoking a joint, so I figured that might mellow things out a bit. It never really did much for me, but hell, anything new in the midst of trying to figure out how to make money is always welcome.
“Why don’t you come back stage and smoke that,” I yelled. “Unless you’re both a couple of back seat suckers.”
I showed them how to get backstage and they stumbled in, laughing and pointing at all the naked women. Little boys. Regardless of their age, I think men are always little boys. These two though, they had a softness in their eyes and I invited them to sit down on the couch.
“We’re planning the revolution you know,” the one who introduced himself as Alberto to me said. “It’s complicated. This is a good place to do it though. Thanks for joining up.”
“I’m not joining anything,” I answered, taking the joint and looking at the quiet one who just keep checking out the details of his surroundings.
For the next half hour, we sat exchanging life stories. I heard about how he was on his own in Venice and pretty much rode his bike up the coast to San Francisco, sleeping on the side of the road. Sometimes watching amazing sunsets over the cliffs of big sur, and sometimes getting beaten down by locals who didn’t like people sleeping in their backyards. I even talked about my early days in Watsonville with my mother covering the inability for a solid union to protect the pickers of garlic and grapes. I told them about the thorn pricking me and tasting the blood for the first time.
By the time it was done, by the time we were done, we’d exchanged enough stories to know each other well enough to enjoy deeper. It happens like that with some people – you just know you’re part of the same tribe and perhaps you were separated in some grand sandstorm somewhere. It’s nice to reconnect.
We went to Sparky’s on Church street which was a fancy spot trying to look like a dive but had great people and a fantastic bookstore across the street that stayed open late and had a magnificent cat alway decorating the window in slumber. Coffee. Smokes. Burgers. Everything that kept us going while the darkness did it’s thing on the outside. The talk of revolution turned to more a self independence tone – it would be a rebellion I guess, but nothing to overthrow what was out there. The thoughts around the table were that if we were to try to overthrow anything, we’d just become part of it. Better to create something on our own. After all, this was America right?
Well, it was San Francisco, but close enough.