What You’re Missing


Dear Family and Friends

I do not know if you can truly comprehend the amount of visual stimulation you miss by not living in the Bay Area. It really boggles the imagination to think that when you go to the grocery store you haven’t got half the characters that we have here to entertain and amuse in those idle hours in line at the checkout counter.

To counteract the probable boredom you feel from your unfortunate position, I have decided to kindly share with you the person I stood behind in line today while shopping at Lucky’s. I will try to draw for you a true and accurate portrait of one of the more entertaining fellow humans I have gazed upon in these many years.

The man is maybe mid-forties. Lean, well-built, with thick dark brown hair streaked with grey. It is pulled back loosely into a ponytail, which then expands over his shoulders and down his back in thick waves. I dont know if it was brushed this morning or last week, but theres sure lots of hair. His face is pale and shows the residue of a tough time with acne long ago. Sunglasses over his eyes cover his thoughts. He wears a black oxford shirt, covered by an old black leather jacket, the kind that used to be so popular in San Francisco’s Castro district in the wild and wooly 70’s. Laced up the sides, lots of zippers – looks like it was originally purchased then. From the epaulets he has hung, in quasi-military style, a string or two of mardi gras beads on each side – and they wrap under his arms. Sort of like Colonel Flaming Bacchus or something.

Now my gaze lowers and I see, protruding beneath the hem of his jacket, flaring out in all directions, is a plum colored lace skirt, lined in royal blue satin. The lace is rather tattered and worn, but the effect is simply smashing. He wears a pair of sheer black hose and “crunchy” black leather boots with laces that almost reach his knee. I can barely stand there putting my items on the belt as I rub my eyes and try to make sure I am not on some strange drug laced trip. His finger carries a tattooed ring, and he is courteous and refined as he speaks to the checker, who can only see his shirt and jacket.

She rings up his two cases of beer, gallon of wine and potato chips. As she swipes the tampons over the laser upc code reader, he offers “thats the only thing my wife and I don’t share, we share clothes and makeup, but not those”. She smiles and finishes up his order. As he begins to walk away she sees his lacey skirt and darling knees peeking out below. We look at each other and begin to laugh. I am so sorry you werent there to see it.

Hope you can get the picture from this description. Don’t you wish you could shop in Berkeley, too?