Friday, November 27, 2015


One year I lived in San Francisco. For the summer, with a couple, girls, on the steep hillside above the Castro. At first, in the morning, I worked for Chevron, then had my afternoons free to play tennis and go to the gym. That is all I did, by daylight. I spent four to six hours getting exercise, and no one thought that was unusual.

Sometimes I went to the gym twice, often played tennis twice, and no one thought that was unusual.

To this day, I can tell you where lies every public tennis court in the Castro and Noe Valley and Buena Vista and Cole Valley and Hayes Valley and the Mission. If I go as a tourist I care less about anything anybody else cares about and more about re-locating hidden tennis courts on Twin Peaks.

It was uncharacteristically beautiful that year; the fog burned off by noon or one, when I escaped BIG OIL and Metroed back up Market Street. I was so in shape that people stopped me on Castro to comment on my calves. You'd be surprised how quickly you brush that off at 32.

We listened to this album incessantly. And then Alanis Morrisette. Sometimes in the late afternoon I would go to the bars in the Castro; for some reason, almost never at night. I was so early to bed and early to rise. I didn't meet a lot of guys to care about, but when I did they were all listening to the same music. Oh, and Radiohead. But if you spent the night in another guy's bed, he would play Sarah Mclachlan for you at one or two a.m., again with coffee in bed the next day, unselfconsciously.

One guy, a very handsome guy, asked me to dinner. He MADE me dinner. He was courting me. But he started talking to me about his forays into the "leather lifestyle" and I left before the pasta was cooked. He couldn't understand my lack of understanding, and I guess I can't understand it now myself.

But it did save us some time, my cutting losses.

That year I was doing something else; I was writing screenplays. Not like you and I are always writing screenplays, but writing them with a professional promise, the best agent in LA, so everything I was doing was temporary. I was glancing out the window at the abrupt vertical hillside while you made dinner anyway.


  1. "Ice-cream" is the one. I made my friend Lyndsay a CD when she was heart-broken and put that on there. Lots of other things, too, but "Ice-cream" is the only one I still go back and listen to. Also, yes to San Francisco.

    1. Looking back I think it was the end of an era in which beautifully written songs were valued. Does that make me an old man? I can live with that.