Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Everyday at 8 am for the next three days, I rise from my cozy bed at the Quite Mission Room, checked my emails, browse through Facebook, upload photos on flickr, take a quick lukewarm shower, walk the 25th for a bite of a Mission Pie, walk 5 blocks to the 19th, ring Oyet and Jack's doorbell, and go straight to their kitchen for coffee and a smoke.

Today we took Bus No. 49 --- the equivalent of the Hogwarts Bus --- and watch its passengers transform from mostly working class immigrants in their working class clothes to mostly whites in their designer office outfits as we went farther from Mission and got nearer to the heart of Van Ness at San Francisco's City Hall where Oyet showed me where he and Jack applied for a marriage license after which we became unintentional witnesses to an emotional blonde in a white dress being married to an emotionless bearded man in jeans and working shoes, an Asian groom and groom having their wedding photo, and a Fil-Am couple waiting for their turn while a middle aged woman tried in vain to take a selfie with her dog in front of the giant city hall Christmas tree.

All weddings but no funeral so we took Bus No. 19 to affluent Nob Hill then walked to 1111 California Street where I finally came face to face with the cavernous but empty Grand Lodge of California to satisfy a great Masonic itch, an uninterested guard waving us through the elevators to the Henry W. Coil Library and Museum of Freemasonry where I took photos of Oyet and left a Masonic P100 bill before he took photos of me in the balcony outside the library, then rushing to the Grace Cathedral across the street because I need to pee real bad, and to a humorous Christmas wish from a kid named Bella, to the The Fairmont's 22-foot gingerbread house, its lower walls peppered with the marks of innocent bites. 

Then a church, the old St. Mary's Cathedral downhill in the corner of California and Grant Streets, built in 1853 and gutted by fire in 1906 after the Great San Francisco Earthquake, rebuilt in 1909, and today the object of Oyet's CIA-isked recorder, the quartet-that-turned-out-an-octet nailing me to the pew even after Oyet said that we should be leaving after the sixth song, and then the BART where a camouflaged marine nodded to sleep as Oyet triumphantly celebrated the quarter/octet songs stolen by his CIA recorder.

In Berkeley, a fat mental lady carrying a huge bag of newspapers and toting a huge book streaming with post-its cross the street as I vainly search for a missing lighter while Oyet decide lunch, settling on a Korean joint as I haggled a Berkeley souvenir shirt from a Korean saleslady, he ordering something with fried pork belly from a Korean waitress and I settling for a vegetarian Korean noodle bowl not for the food or Korea but for the first SFO pansit for circa 2014.

The only disappointment is the University of California's archive closed early because the archivists and the cute interns have to attend a Christmas party, and perhaps the long BART and Muni rides to the Army and Navy Surplus Store where the pee caught up with me, a chicken barbecue and beer dinner eventually while Oyet prepared an uncooked ham sandwich as Jack rustled four packs of instant noodles, and the long walk back to the Quite Mission Room.

It was a good day with a great friend through the paths of SFO less traveled.

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