8 March << 2001 >> 20 March
Saturday I was to meet the friend of a husband of a friend about the possibility of starting a mutual friendship that might lead to romantic interest. My friend had previously broached the subject by asking if I was seeing anyone, and if not might I be down with meeting a woman who was Chinese, highly educated, tallish, and just a wee bit older than myself? How could I refuse?
A double mocha, a slice of cheesecake, and a short walk in the park later, and I had to say that my friend has good judgement.
So, not to sell the whole cow on the first date, I bade this nice, tall, highly-educated, Chinese woman adieu and continued about my weekend, devoid of plans. I'd been hoping to maybe go out drinking with Angel where the pretty women gather to be admired and flirted with, where I had previously macked the digits off a 6' tall beauty. But alas, Angel had turned his pager off, and didn't hear of my ambitions.
Since I wasn't so hungry, I skipped out on the Shrenks' Pizza Anniversary. Later, I developed a hankerin' for some shredded beef in red sauce on a flour tortilla. Where could I get such a thing, close by, convenient, at this hour, I wondered, and quietly, hungrily debated for many minutes. Chile Colorado, is what I want. Let me go by La Fiesta and sate my appetite.
La Fiesta is across from my house, off the main drag, between various auto mechanics and the like. Why is it always so crowded with families this late on a weekend evening?
After waiting to seat one poor soul, I got uptight and wandered down the street. A few blocks away, Fiesta Del Mar Too seated me promptly at the bar, where I got to watch them making Margaritas. I ordered my Chile Colorado and hey, let's get a margarita. So many to choose from! Well, that first one on the menu, "Top Shelf" ... $8! Heck, I'll have one of those!
"Hrmm? Oh ... yeah, I love salt!"
It wasn't a very large margarita. It was a very strong margarita. As I downed my Chile Colorado, rice, black beans, flour tortillas, I began to feel the onset of drunkenness. Hey, I've come this far down to Castro Street, maybe I should go dancing.
I spotted one of the guys whipping out a Negra Modelo, a good darkish Mexican beer. I had one of those too. Damn, but Negra Modelo is a good beer!
The bill came out to $35. For one man!? Damn! That's insane. But I was nearly finished reading _Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas_ and so inspired by excess, alcohol, and boredom, I decided that tonight I'd go in search of the American Dream! I headed towards Castro Street, passing a coffee shop where a guy flashed two fingers at me from inside. What's that? I popped my head in the door. "We play acoustic rock. We'll be doing another set in two minutes."
I ate the first half, but spilled the rest on the sleeve of my red Pendleton shirt . . . And then, wondering what to do with it, I saw one of the musicians come in. "What's the trouble," he said.
"Well," I said. "All this white stuff on my sleeve is LSD."
He said nothing: Merely grabbed my arm and began sucking on it. A very gross tableau. I wondered what would happen if some Kingston Trio / young stockbroker type might wander in and catch us in the act. Fuck him, I thought. With a bit of luck, it'll ruin his life - forever thinking that just behind some narrow door in all his favorite bars, men in red Pendleton shirts are getting incredible kicks from things he'll never know. Would he dare to suck a sleeve? Probably not. Play it safe. Pretend you never saw it . . .
I gazed down at the pre-amp on the floor. "If it's acoustic, how can you have amplifiers?"
"Well, be here in two minutes and you'll find out."
"Okay, I'll be back later."
I wandered further down the block to Molly McGee's, an Irish pub / slightly seedy dance floor. $5 cover charge. No problem. I just wish the State of California would send me my damn license already so it is easier to get past the door guys. Anyway, the place was still warming up. I got some dancing in, then wasn't feeling so great, so I stepped outside.
Across the street is the Lime Light which has the decor and skinny young Asian crowds, uptight dress code and the $15 cover charge you'd find at a trendy club in the city, but with the convenient location of being in downtown Mountain View, stumbling distance from my house, with plentiful parking. "What's the cover tonight?" I asked of the bouncer with the pierced spiky thing sticking out from just under his lip.
"Do I even meet the dress code?"
His eyes travelled down my body, then he said no. "Well that saves me money then!" I said as I stepped back across the street, registering in my mind that he'd been okay 'til he saw the gym shoes on my feet. Ah, the gym shoes. I hadn't felt like wasting my money, in spite of my half-assed pursuit of the American Dream.
I wandered back by the coffee shop. My second double mocha with whipped cream for the day, served by a respectably big, not fat, interesting-looking Asian women with a piercing on her left nostril. I got nearer to the end of the novel that I had been carrying with me, while listening to pleasingly amplified acoustic rock and roll backed by what looked like an electric bass. I chased the coffee with a bottled water, and a few bucks for the allegedly acoustic rock group, who sounded good enough.
I think I then went back to Molly's. I don't really remember. I headed home early because my tummy didn't feel too good. Something about a big dinner, Mexican food, chocolate, caffeine, dancing. I haven't the stomach for excess that a true gonzo journalist of 1971 would have had to pursue the American Dream. I drive a super fuel-efficient hybrid car, and that only when I'm sober, and I hate the entire state of Nevada.