Golden Hand Cuff

location: Still San Francisco, CA
time: feb 11, 2007 5:10pm
~~ lba ~~ -prev

San Francisco is a pair of golden cuffs, to which there is no key

John Steinbeck

This city, is a well baited trap. Innocently pearched between Ocean and Bay. Tempting the traveller into forgetting all other destinations. Stay here. Live here. Never leave. From the foggy heights to the atificial cayons of the city below. Even in the drizzle and drips, it is hard, Nay impossible to keep ones self from exploration and discovery.

Informative plaques abound. From its early years as a Mission for the Savages, to the gold boom, to the big booms of 1909 and 1989, this town has been a stew blending and mixing of many flavours. The Ocean is partly responsible. The Bay being the perfect port for various ships of trade. Drawing in various influences and cultures as trade encourages.

San Francisco

Its the Bohemian lifestyle that draws people here. A city conformed to the non-conformist. A place to explore what it is that is. A meeting place for counter culture. A dispension centre for combined effort.

I have become trapped. Frisco may very well be the hardest drug to quit. My original plan called for a 3 day stay, then get the hell out! it has extended two additional days and i fear that number may grow if i am not careful. I could spend a month lurking the streets devouring the visual delicacies and still not be completely satisfied. There is too much here.

I switched hostels yesterday. I am now staying at the Green Tortise. Its a much nicer hostel. They have a ballroom with a crumbling plaster ceiling there. That alone sold the place to me. The best feature about the ballroom is that there is a smoking section. Unheard of in California. Smoke indoors? Taboo! Nevar! They pull it off here. somehow.

Most of the days i have spent here have been wandering. Same with my thoughts. Its been hard to focus on the mission. To much distraction. To much! From architecture to art to museums to pretty girls. I had the great fortune to enter the SFMOMA today. There I saw my second real life Brancuzi “Head of a Negress,” A Miro Nebula, an array of Klee, Duchamp's Urinal, and many others.

I got into the Beat museum for student fare when i told the guy at the turnstyle that “I am currently in a 45 year honorary degree program.” I watched a movie about Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, and Others who were involved in the beat movement. Looked at some memrobilia and talked about books with the less than bored front desk man.

Breakfast was provided by a Gentleman by the name of Adam just the other day. He owns a parking lot here, but doesn't drive himself. He is a writer. I met him one afternoon in Vesuvio whilst tacking away. We had a delightful conversation about travel and freedom. Upon ending the conversation he invited me out for breakfast the next day. He took me to a place called Mama's. Excellent food. I had the usual eggs and pancakes and we talked about our lives, and about art.

I ran into the squinter again. I originally met him in Santa Barbara at the hostel. He is the squinter because he doesn't believe in glasses. Refuses to wear them. He described himself as an Optimist. “The glass in always half full.” I tried to tell him to let go of vanity in exchange for a clear vision of what is in front of him. He was of the opinion that his eyes would get better. Fairly blind optimism.

There is a Mural across from where i am sitting. The colors remind me of a Diego painting i saw today. Very mexican. It is a tribute to the Zapatista movement in Chiapas. There are very domestic qualities to the mural. Rural life, people playing basket ball, peaceful towns, children playing in the river. These scenes are contrasted by the figures of revolutionaries with guns and balaclavas. The red and black of the Anarchists bring a rebel feel to it. I am commenting on this mural because the rain is forming tears on the faces of the normal people. Bringing with it the memory that there is somewhere else besides here. That here is just one place out of millions. That in some places people have to fight revolutions. Not live them. That guns still make decisions.

Part of the reason i am lingering here is that i am unsure what is ahead. I have been reading the journals of a group of people who have walked this supposed Trail. From here up the towns get really spread out. Vast stretches in between. The group had a support vehicle which carried all their crap and would pick them up at the end of the day and drive them to a camp ground. Given my lack luster preformance of the last 100 miles i am not sure that everything will work quite in the right way. That fear thing is creeping back in.

I met someone last night who blew my mind. She is from Charleston South Carolina. Apparently she has just painted her way across america. Something snapped in her life so she picked up her art supplies and started walking. She has told me numerous stories so far. About sleeping with the rats in Central Park in New York. And house sitting for complete strangers. It sounds like she has gotten plenty of rides and didn't just walk here. But the bravery. A lot of girls i meet wish they could go out an have an adventure. The reason they don't is because it is unsafe for girls. I agree with this statement. There are some dirty disgusting perverts out there. I have met one or two. They are but a fraction though. There are tons of decent people. Judging from the stories Julie told me i am only reminded of the fact that decency is way more prevelant than jerkishness.

the intrepid traveller

Soon i must leave this place. It is going to be tough. I'll have to find a really large shoehorn I think.

I am in the ball room. There is a precarious piece of plaster looming above the melon. They've painted it a rather dull brown. Its not the original colour by any means. There are about 7 people around me. engaged in various conversations. Its kinda like i am on a cell phone. Somewhat detached from the world around. There is a copy of Thrasher on the table. A kid is skateboarding in a small patch of open wooden floor. he is on his cell phone. Talking, words, conversations. What is everyone talking about.
“looking bad on the dance floor. I can't dance. I need to much space.”
“switch manuals.”
“its all like a different world.”
“Don't be bothered with the past.”


There are dragons in China Town. The street has been blocked off so they can be free to roam the street. Tents line the sidewalks. LED's are inducing seizures. Small noisemaking electronics murder the ears. there are buddhas and pigs everywhere. Some kind of celebration. Its been going on for two days now. The smell of egg balls fills the air. Distractions.

I don't know if i will ever escape. Focus. Time melts like cheeze on a hamburger.

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