Monday, July 24, 2006

and we've come such a long, long way

Well. I get the distinct impression that the angst and general b*tchery is getting tired. Or maybe I have grown tired of it myself. Either way, as I struggled to fight the brain melt that comes from my apartment topping 90 degrees this weekend, I sense that writing about sitting around working all weekend is a bit banal.

Instead, let me go back to when AL was visiting. It may have seemed like his visit was ill-timed, and in some ways, it may have been. Still, it was great fun. On Saturday night, walking all the way home from Bill Graham, we could hardly speak, equal parts hoarse and dehydrated. We had also been standing for over four hours at this point, so the walk, while somewhat refreshing, also felt doubly lengthy. We stumbled into a convenience store around Market and Dolores, where the quirky cashier insisted on pointing out several times to AL: "You tall!" AL got a disturbingly large bottle of Gatorade, downing half of it before he had even paid for it. I got a bottle of Vitamin Water, and after taking a large gulp of it outside, felt 400% better: every once in a while, something as simple as the right beverage at the right moment can cause euphoria.

AL had to be fed, then, so we crawled into Kelly's Burgers. He sang the mighty burger's praises, but I remain uncertain of whether the burger was actually pure deliciousity on a bun, as he put it, or whether his dire hunger had biased him. As we were walking back to my apartment, AL took in the scene, and remarked, "Dude, your neighborhood is awesome!" He has visited four times now, but I think this is the first time he has really seen San Francisco through my eyes, appreciated it for the reasons I appreciate it. Some of this could be my fault: it takes a while to settle into a city such that you can show it to your friends in a way that adequately sums it up.

The next day, before he took his red-eye home, we drove to Marin along with two other friends. One of these friends had heard about something in the North Bay that she described as a hike/beer festival. This seemed suspect, but I figured if she delivered on the beer part, AL would be happy. When we got there, it was exactly what she'd described it to be. We hiked through a seemingly quiet trail with scenic views of Mt. Tam and then, WTFF, we came upon a raucous beer fest. I have been told that we are not allowed to divulge any further details about it, but I will share one of the pictures of the festival:

Even though I do not really drink beer these days, and am not particularly sporty enough to be hanging out with the crew that was assembled, I appreciated the randomness involved. I also appreciated that AL was in his element. In less than an hour, he had managed to polish off a small pitcher of Hefeweizen and then disappeared from sight. When we finally tracked him down three hours later, he was sitting at a table with new friends, playing a drinking game. When I informed him that we were leaving, he said, "Oh" and paused thoughtfully. He was actually trying to do the long division to devise some way that we could leave while he could remain behind. Coming out of his beer haze, realizing that he actually had no other means of returning home and that he was flying home that night, he said, much like a 7-year old would upon his mother calling him for dinner, to the table: "Uh... guys, I have to go!" It was equal parts pathetic and hilarious.

I have compared AL to a Golden Retriever before, and I stand by that. By the end of his visit, I was not weary of him. I was, however, run ragged. I remember reading that there are certain types of batteries that don't recharge well until you've drained them of all their power. Let's see if such is the case with my reserves.

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