Its Friday, the day after the Fourth and the day I leave for Las Vegas. At one point in time I eagerly anticipated this trip but now I do not and did briefly consider cancelling it. . But I am going, already packed with my faithful personal driver scheduled to pick me up and whisk me off to the airport. I have researched the two hotels where I will be staying and found that Barry Manilow is in concert at my very hotel, I am considering concerting with the man. There is also an Apple Store in Las Vegas and will take more refresher courses. It is hotter than Hades there but there is sure to be air conditioning. I am also planning to do some street photography and have been busy deleting old photographs to make way for new ones. I am also planning on doing some serious rethinking about the blog. The Long Lost Strangers guy petered out and plans are to go back to Square One and incorporate earlier written stories on Betrayal. The first step is to find the stories which are located somewhere on my computer, the old computer that spent at least a month in in Iceland because Icelandic Air did not have a system to retrieve anything left on the plane and so I had to buy a new one. I threatened social media and it magically appeared but that took an entire month. Oh well, this one is lighter and more portable, I am flexible. Flexible Alexible. My ability to adapt to change amazes even me.
This is definitely a new phase in my life. Perhaps phase can be the word of the day. Phase is both a noun and a verb but here it is being used as a noun. “A stage in a person’s psychological development, especially a period of temporary difficulty during adolescence or a particular stage during childhood: most of your fans are going through a phase.” I can scarcely be regarded as a child or an adolescent but, other than that, it does accurately describe what I am talking about. I already feel totally integrated into this neighbourhood and find myself neither looking backward or too much forward. I am a San Francisican or a Hayes Valley Girl, loving the sound of the later. My Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Days have fallen away into distant memory, the connections formed severed. My London days retain vibrancy and connections to people remain strong but no so Vancouver. Some days and former connections are the stuff of stories but that is all and I am under no illusions about the lasting power of relationships formed there. I have moved on.
It was a Funny Fourth. It was off to Stacks for brunch and a hysterical conversation with a man seated at the bar. He appeared more interesting than the dullard I was first seated next to and so I moved. My goodness what a word with a treasure trove of synonyms. Dullard:f ool, stupid person, simpleton, ignoramus, oaf, dunce, dolt, moron, cretin, imbecile; informal duffer, nincompoop, booby, dope, chump, nitwit, dimwit, airhead, birdbrain, lamebrain, pea-brain, numbskull, thickhead, fathead, blockhead, bonehead, dunderhead, meathead, muttonhead, wooden-head, dipstick, dumb-bell, noodle, dumbo, dum-dum, ass, donkey, jerk; British informal wally, berk, divvy, nit, mug, pillock, prat, wazzock, silly billy; North American informal doofus, goof, goofball, putz, bozo, boob, lamer, lummox, dummy, turkey.
So the first dope, birdbrain, nincompoop was huddled over his phone in dumbo clothes whereas the other guy was in red, white and blue (as was i) and was lively. We immediately struck up a conversation he was an Uber driver, of all things. Faithful readers will know how I hate Uber. But we did not let a little thing like Uber get between us.
Me: I am retired but guess what I did for a living.
He; You were a call girl.
Me: Uproarious Laughter deafening the entire restaurant.
Me; No! I gave it away free.
He: I like free.
Me: No, seriously, I was a lawyer.
He: A call girl is a more honourable profession.
As you can see we had a great time while the muttonhead remained crouched over his phone. My funny man left on his appointed Uber rounds but as I was near the door I chatted up people as they arrived at the justifiably popular restaurant, posted food and drink photos on Instagram and had a great time. Homeward, stopping to speak with a police officer on the beat – a great guy, more to be shared about that encounter. Got packed and then did shopping and food preparation for a guy called Victor that never showed up. Undeterred I went to the large gathering room located on the first floor of the building and therein found a mass of people including many handsome young men. They were celebrating the Fourth in grand style, friends who had attended Berkley and work for tech companies in the City. We had so much fun. They gave me the responsibility of picking the most handsome from their midst. It was difficult to choose but one in particular caught my eye. They left to watch the fireworks from Coit Tower but before leaving I told them of my count. The guy picked as the most handsome raised his hand and became #64. I wonder if I will get to 100 before Christmas.
The photograph is the of the crab frittata and the Bloody Mary. The Bloody Mary contained this Instagram message. “This is the Bloody Mary from Stacks with bacon. They think of EVERYTHING here.” I consulted the owner about the choice of entree – most people do not even know who the owner is. The staff all said they would miss me when I am in Las Vegas but I am reminded by an old adage.
He: How can I miss you when you won’t go away.
The guy that said that years ago, Alla Soufi is dead. It was he that went away and I do miss him. The guy that I picked as most handsome (#64) looks like Alla. Actually #64 is more handsome and his colleagues report that, unlike most handsome men, he has a personality.
By the way, my blood pressure is 132/74. My Internist opined that I am going to live forever, so perhaps I will. For some strange reason I am listening to Neil Diamond’s If You Go Away It is such a sad song, particularly since it is always me that goes away. I weep for those I have left.