A too-brief California prescription ended as it began—hoofing between the Bart station at 16th and meth addict landing, and home for (part of) my stay, lugging bags still too heavy for a chaika frame. On the way heading out, I had synaestheted a parting meal of Mexican comer,—another failed chilé relleno burrito (the bar is set so high), alfajores, and melon aqua frescas—but Pork Store Café across from an old homestead on Albion, where the crack ho in residence on my doorstep apologized each morning with a sweet puff to the face (fine aversion therapy to gateway drugery), would compensate for negligence on every recent trip where I did not nostalgia victual on this little piggy pork chops, this little piggy sausage patty style, this little piggy crispy bacon slab, this little piggy slathered on biscuits, and this little piggy with two over easy and hashed browns, carrying on as usual all the way home, and for some time to come. Today, this little piggy, piggied.
And this pink piggy (replete with a starter tan), remaining in California-skinned self until some offensive Gotham something or someone snatches it away, enjoyed her parting pig fest prandium with Mike and Dave from the San Francisco Fire Department. Bags plopped at one of the four-tops in the window nook; they were already settled in to their seats gabbing fireman style,—like family, but family—seeming to be waiting for me. My California detection for tweakers and freaks is fine tuned. They were cool fella piggies. Though no action of mine served to ice break until two heaping plates were placed in front of me. Mike needed assurance I wasn’t one of those who could eat anything I wish without gaining weight—No, this was the main meal for the day. Smiles. I was in.
They pardoned me if I would speak with mouth full, which I typically don’t. And didn’t. But experienced fork compositions were swift between lines. Firemen speak through their eat. They have much to talk about. They renewed my interest to spend time at the Gotham ladders. Perhaps Jonathan Deutsch’s work has left room for a femme investigation. Perhaps time to finally break some ice with the Fairway-frequenting ladders.
When their food arrived, Dave yucked—Thanks for the laughs, but now they’d be enjoying their meals warm. Did they school me in firemen style eating and yucks. Typically, someone chatting with a mouthful grosses me out. But they obviously know what they’re doing. Well-mannered firemen, Mike and Dave are. I was never an unwitting participant of any piggy boluses. Nor was there a break in our debates—the real location of my Upstate Gotham neighborhood, is John’s LES birthplace really at the other end of the island, Harlem is where, the nuances of Left versus Right (coasts, not red v blue), people that are too PC, and what makes life in California a better place to live.
There wasn’t time to finish my meal. I packed it to go, to give one of the ghosts down the block. In typical SF junkie form, the partially decayed lady who asked me for money eyeballed the food to ensure it wasn’t sushi before she took it to go go.
This parting prandium in California was blessed by new friends, Mike and Dave. While I packed my meal, Mike explained it’s easier to give than to receive. With that, he’d like to pay my bill. He was right. It’s not easy to accept a random act of generosity as such. But then after a minute of hemming and hawing, then offering to cover the tip, I finally relented. He knows the act will come back to him. We yucked that he couldn’t be hopeful it would be in the form of a good parking spot. Those dogs above are fickle when it comes to car-ma. In the meantime, a shout out to Mike and Dave, tapped here to them. I wonder if they’ll find it. But if you meet them sometime, sitting at the table next to the window where they assured me they will be until I return again, enjoy some yucks and treat them to their meal. We are sure it will come back to you.