(Lack of) Sex and The City

Summer in San Francisco is notorious for being like fall anywhere else in North America. Once June hits, we have endless days of gray skies, cold winds, people bundled up in sweaters and jackets—and not just those light, worthless “windbreaker” nylon jobs that go swish-swish when you walk and provide almost nothing worthwhile for you in the way of protection form the weather, let alone ‘breaking the wind’, no we’re wearing heavy leather jobs lined with Thinsulate and dead animals. Summer in San Francisco means gloves and scarves and skies the color of tin.
I’m used to it now, but the first couple of years it was nothing short of annoying to the point of madness. You’re all set for summer, right? Sunshine, lollipops, puppies and kitties running along the sidewalks in joyous profusion, tykes in sundresses, pumped up circuit boys topless and tanning, convertibles cruising the avenues filled with teenagers sucking down chocolate shakes while ketchup-coated Freedom Fries explode from the exhaust pipe, sunburned oldsters with parasols and Percodans, baseball games played in the open, everyone taking part, babies asleep in fields of grass, men on stilts wearing Uncle Sam hats waving American flags as balloon animals appear from their pants…

But not in San Francisco. Here, you’re more apt to see children huddled in doorways to avoid the chilling sea air that brings SARS and pollen and dandruff. You’ll see the cabs on fire as people set matches to the upholstery to fight off the drafts coming in from the open windows. People hug sheep to themselves in coffee shops and cafes. Wool, y’know? And all the A) hotdog vendors and B) roasted nut vendors and C) cotton candy vendors (that don’t even exist here) are turning up their A) boiling pans and B) nut warmers and C) whatever the hell it is that makes cotton candy so fluffy and spider-silk-like and probably involves magic. Even the granola-eating hippies whom we all hate and wish, please, would get over their 60’s fixation and realize once and for all that we’ve all moved on to embrace the military-industrial complex are wearing socks with their Birkenstocks, so you know it’s cold outside.
[ASIDE: I am actually totally thinking about the fact that I totally blew it again this morning with the gorgeous gym guy, AKA G3, because I am a dork and a wimp and totally intimidated by his very being and so given the opportunity to ask a simple, “Would you like to have coffee sometime, maybe, perhaps, along with me being there and you and coffee and suchlike?” I instead hopped on my Cannondale and hightailed it away from there before he could come out and see me actually just, like, waiting there for him like some lustful, love-struck little high school freshman trying to ask a Senior to the prom and God I am so lame.]
When the sun does come out, it is always when you are at work. Even if you have a weekend, and even if that weekend lasts three days like a Fourth of July or a Memorial Day or a Labor Day, all the days that you have off will be overcast and cold and blustery and totally not beach weather, not that you would ever find me on a beach because, hello, sunburn, peeling skin, Farmer Tan City. Still, this is, after all, a coastal town and there are ample beaches to be found, quite lovely ones even with world-famous bridges overhanging them and the occasional naked person or very attractive surfer dude/dudette/sexual persuasion of choice and one might expect that one could go to one of these picture-postcard-perfect locales and lay out one’s blanket and one’s box of wine and one’s banana-scented suntan lotion…
[really, what is wrong with me? he’s just a guy, right? just a handsome, fit, beautiful, perfect, hopefully gay guy and what’s the worst that could happen? say I ask him and then he says, “You know, I’d rather walk along an asphalt street and suddenly trip and develop a blood blister that swells to cover my whole foot and then becomes infected and turns into this kind of balloon filled with pus that makes me lame and wander around the city leaking blood and pus and feeling so much pain, the sharp, horrific, soul-killing pain like being eaten alive by weasels or marmosets or some other rodentia or mammel because I’m honestly not sure what a marmoset is, I’m just using it for illustrative purposes, anyway, pain, so much pain that I am blinded by it and stumble in front of an on-coming MUNI train that hits me with such force that I am projected into the bay even though, mind you, there is no MUNI line that comes close enough to the bay that this could ever actually happen except maybe the N-Judah when it’s going around the Embarcadero and even then it’s not actually facing the bay so the angle would have to be this weird, like, ungodly ‘how the hell did that happen’ sort of thing and I would have to be hit so hard that it would be cartoonish and then I was going to add a bit about sharks eating my flesh and I flounder alive with my pus-filled foot and the blood scent is attracting them but you and I both know there are no sharks in the bay but anyway that’s the scenario I picture being more preferable than simply sitting across from you at some anonymous coffee place and not, of course, Starbucks, and sharing a beverage and conversation.” now that might be bad.]
…and then lay back and close one’s eyes and sort of, you know, do nothing for a while in the warm, warm California sunshine, only there isn’t any and what were you thinking, now you’re getting goosebumps and your balls are retreating into your body cavity and you look rather pathetic, like a plucked chicken or turkey, depending on one’s relative size in relation to all the other stupid half-naked tourists who thought that since San Francisco is in California and all the TV you ever watch shows David Hasselhoff walking around bloaty and smiling and half-naked and lifeguardy or fighting vampires or singing in German or whatever the hell he’s up to lately.
Thing is, in December? It’s totally lovely here. In December it’s 70 degrees, the skies are blue, the dogs are running around like chickens, the chickens are running around like chickens and all is right with the world of dogs and chickens. Me, I moved here in December, 1999 from Boston and in Boston in December the chickens are frozen solid and they hurt when people throw them at you…
[He probably wouldn’t say that. But see, I imagine the worst so I’m pleasantly surprised when it doesn’t happen, but this guy, he has me frightened and gunshy and not wanting to ruin the illusion that we could be “more than friends” and spend time in the shower together, I actually dreamed that, even, because my brain is a feverish conglomeration of wanton, neglected passion and lust and fear of passion and lust. have I mentioned that I’ve seen him naked? God, I’m in trouble. where’d I put that bottle of tequila?]
…not that they do that much unless you’re wandering around in Cambridge or Boston Commons looking to score and you’re mistaken for a Forest Ranger who, as we all know, adore frozen chicken.
Anyway, if you’re contemplating coming to San Francisco for the “summer,” please be advised to bring…
[I’m going to ask him next week, just see if I don’t. On the other hand, I’ve been told I should not ever be happy because I write better when I’m miserable, but I’m willing to give it a shot and see if I can be both—sexually and emotionally gratified and funny. And look at it this way, if he rejects me, I’m going to be so miserable that my humor will make your pants explode.]
…a coat.

June 13, 2003

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