Thursday, September 9, 2010


I'm sitting at Cafe Abir on the corner of Divisadero (Divis, in local speak) and Fulton with a large glass of coffee. It's two in the afternoon.

This is how I handle quitting caffeine cold turkey.

Prior to my move to San Francisco, I drank coffee lots. And lots and lots. My new job at Apple, though, has turned me into a nervous sweater the likes of which my armpits haven't experienced since those early high school years. And caffeine (according to online) = nervous sweats, which are disgusting. I find myself lurching around the store halfway through my shift, Frankenstein-style, in an attempt to shield others from the sopping portion of shirt that sometimes trails all the way to my belt line. Stuffing paper towels under my armpits during breaks only makes me look more awkward, and the remedy of wearing a black shirt is only going to take me as far as tomorrow, when I officially don my blue Apple jersey. CertainDri, Dove Clinical Strength Protection, and good old stick deodorant aren't doing the trick, either. So I've abandoned coffee in favor of a constant headache and the occasional giant mug of liquid crack at two in the afternoon on my days off. I'm a junkie, only instead of finding needled solace in the night's grimiest shadows, I take to the Cafes of Divis on sunny afternoons for my coffee fix, a lone rogue among the masses of normal sippers. Why, why, why can't I be normal? At all? Ever?

I should also mention that I haven't eaten yet, which means my head is buzzing (in addition to the headache) and my hands are clumsy and I'm not really sure if these sentences are making any sense (we can most certainly kiss 'clever' as an adjective goodbye, at least for now). Molly woke me up early so we could run to 24-Hour Fitness together, which means I couldn't eat beforehand (in addition to nervous sweats, I cramp easily). Our gym is a legit inner-city type confabulation, with the relevant smells, foreigners, strange workout costumes, poor equipment, and seriously shady smoothie bar included. Every time I walk in and out unscathed I give myself a mental pat on the shoulder for what must be a hardcore, take-neither-my-weights-nor-my-lunch-money face. And then I run back home through Japantown, sweaty and proud, and life is good.

I intended to purchase this open-faced bagel sandwich type thing they serve here at Abir, but the lady just let me on the fact that they don't have bagels so late in the day, which means I'll probably end up scarfing a burrito in another twenty minutes. This city has more burritos than something that should have a lot of something else that's funny, and the salsas are killer.

My apartment is grand. My window looks out on a 35-foot pit of other windows, each one providing a glimpse into the lives of others (no shit, huh?). So far, these include:
- Adjacent: A family from Eastern Europe (or someplace) that occasionally shouts.
- Adjacent 2: Molly's window. Boooring.
- Across: A senile old woman with a smoker's voice who begins her days promptly at 7 am and spends them shouting at her helper Alison, another ambiguous elderly person who always wants to use her phone, the television set ("OH GOD, NOOOOO!!!"), and telephone operators ("I'd like to speak to a representative. I'd LIKE to speak to a representative. I'D LIKE TO SPEAK TO A REPRESENTATIVE. I'D LIKE TO SPEAK TO A REPRESENTATIVE."). Someone should seriously kill the bitch. Seriously.
- Across and below: A girl who spends most of her time lounging in bed, surfing Facebook.
- Below and out of sight: Frequent sex noises. A gay guy who listens to lots of disco and club pop. Bros and their beer pong.

Apple so far is simultaneously completely overwhelming and pretty fun. I also, however, can't fathom the remainder of my life without regular summer breakage, and unless something major changes, I'm carrying out my plan to return to school in two or three years to earn a master's, make an intellectual impact, and morph into a professor so as to spend the rest of my life on a college campus, reading books and writing papers and arguing with those whose opinions are wrong. But more on that later. For now, I included above a picture of the glass staircase at the store where I work, which apparently is some kind of patented technological wonder that doesn't exist anywhere else. All I can think about whenever I look at it is how embarrassing it's going to be when I finally eat shit on its transparent surface and provide the entire watchful store with a painful, sweat-streaked tumble.

What else? I'm determined to start posting more frequently now that the initial month of craziness has come and gone, so there's no need to get too deep with this one. My "internship" rocks, though I'm afraid that now I'm done editing all their extant material they'll have no more use for me. Either way, I come out on top, because if I'm not doing that I'll have more time to focus on my writing, which kind of just stopped as soon as I showed up here. For those of you who aren't aware, check it out:

Which renegade radio station transmits across Dolores Park...?

Until next time, take care. And visit! For christ's sake, visit. Unless you already live here, in which case let's go out! Oh, that's another thing: most of my readership is/are now my neighbors, so I don't really know how to be entertaining while rehashing stuff everyone here already knows about. Tis a tough set of circumstances, tis.

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