Eating with Beats – Part I


Oh yeah, Vince and his stories. I loved that guy. Love that guy. He’s still around I know. He was so in love with that woman who loved that other man. Her husband. That’s such a sweet love story. He was one of those tortured souls in San Francisco that share the air with each other. They all breathe the same way – you may look at it and think it to be a sigh, but it’s the best they can do. Imagine having that love and knowing that you connected in a way that’s supposed to work – that the universe tells you is going to be just fine and then – no, it doesn’t happen like that. There is a dragon you have to put down or some lat test you have to make it through in order to save the princess, but in the end you find out that life had dealt you not a castle and a sword, but the remains of Holocaust¬†survivors washed up under the Golden Gate Bridge. How are you going to take a woman away from a man who survived a concentration camp? Vince didn’t have it in him to do it – though he could have. I could feel it in the details he told his stories with that he filled in the love making with steps around the city. It was such a hint of sublime.

Me, I never experienced love like that. Even with my man who I have already told you about and we’re not going to go over any of that anymore because it’s not going to solve your crime and it for sure is not going to do anything for me, but with him, it was like a child love. Like that Slick Rick Song “A Teenage Love” fun – good times and perfect pictures to show people when they asked, but nothing there. Nothing to tell stories about. He’ll be a line or a sentence when I’m old like Vince – for him, Lotta was his entire story. If you listen to him long enough, she’ll come into the picture. He’ll tell you how he almost lost her to Kerouac one night – oh did he not like that man at all! I’m a fan, how could you not be. I would have slept with him just to say I had, but Lotta was a little drunk that night or high or whatever else was being passed around in those reading days and old Vince had lost her in the crowd. He made her out as she was going through the door with old Jack and grabbed her shoulder, looked the man in the eye and said “She has a husband working to make a home for them.”

That was all he said and from the story, the way it goes in Vince’s rendition of it, that was all they needed to stop the moment. I would assume that Lotta was a little more upset than Jack because Mr. Jack had plenty to choose from in his own right, but Lotta, the way I think she was thinking, and this is because I’m a woman mind you, is that her husband – destroyed inside from the memories of what had been taken away from him, couldn’t bring it in the bedroom anymore. Lotta was just looking for a good romp. Women need that. We can do it just as detached as you all could. I think that’s what she wanted from old Vince, but he wanted the love. Neither ever happened, so it became this long friendship of almosts and subtle looks across tables.

Now let that man get back to his machines and fixing things. You take that away from him and he’s going to crumble. It’s the last thing we wanted to go and do that. What else do you want to know? You want me to tell you more about the club? What we did? You want details? I think that’s all in whatever pages your typing up there. I think the most you’ll be able to do is slap us with a few years and that will be suspended once the story dies down. Nobody is reading the newspapers these days anyway. I guess the end of that is going to help us out right here. Why don’t you go out and do something about the real acts of criminal out there. Why don’t you go have those homeless people haunting the tenderloin and put them to work doing something. Who’s payroll are you on? What are you going to do when those city budgets have to face a choice on whether to cut you or fire teachers? You think the voters are going to choose you? You should have joined us in the first place. There’s plenty of money in that to go around. The damn meter maids are making more than –


Ah, so here is where they stopped writing everything down. Nice. Finally. What a long read. I’m just going to continue it on from here and let the readers enjoy. See, the cops there, they weren’t idiots. They had been facing cutbacks as well. They knew the people they were protecting at this point didn’t care about them past what their responsibilities were. It was something we didn’t count on and had to meet up about. The choices were pretty simple though: Bring in the cops or shut everything down. They weren’t going to arrest us – they had nothing and the story was dying down anyway. However, now that they knew about what we were up to, to keep it going was going to take even more cash. See, this is where those tough choices start to come in. How are you going to act in the face of all of this? Where was the funding going to come from? No matter how much you want to exist pure, money is the factor that wins out – and that’s never clean. Never simple. It’s the death blow to most movements because the people holding the cash are only interested in making more, and they use people like us who are interested in building something fantastic.

Only thing is, once it’s constructed, are you going to be able to look at it and see your vision, or the blurred reality of compromise? I didn’t care to tell you the truth. For me, there are no illusions of anything being one way or another. People are going to die no matter what – we can’t pass judgement or let anyone else do that for us. I’ve seen to much to believe that each person out there, each body you rub up against is going to have something that would jolt you back hidden in the comfort of their own memory. Look at Vince.

Having his soft core little affair with another man’s wife. The man was out hustling do everything he could to make life, well, life, and there she was drinking with Beats and trying to listen to Jazz. Who’s wrong in that situation? Is there any fault at all there with just being a human and caving out a piece of the world that makes sense?


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