Sunday, April 11, 2010

The 'hood

Last weekend, in spite of the terrible weather, we stuck with our plan to meet up with Adam and Cheryl on Angel Island for an overnight bike/camp excursion.

Well, we kind of stuck to the plan; we decided to go for the day and not the night. It started spitting rain as soon as we pedaled off down the street, and was in full pissing mode by the time we reached the Pier 41 ferry terminal, where we bought our tickets and got in line behind seven zillion Italian tourists who were all gorgeous and, unlike the two of us, dressed in chic weather-appropriate clothing.

Settling into our seats for the short ride to Tiburon, I watched Jeff's visage morph from flesh-colored to an alien green. "How you feelin'?" I asked. "Not well," he replied, before heading out onto the deck to stare at the wet horizon for a while.

When we arrived at Tiburon, the ferry to Angel Island was nowhere to be found; we sought cover from the elements beneath a too-narrow awning, hoping with crossed fingers that a boat would show. Just then two cyclists rolled up, and one looked awfully familiar. Turns out it was our friend Adam's twin brother David, and his girlfriend Dominique, who'd come down from Santa Rosa and were also headed to the island for the day.

Finally, a couple of adults and two kids popped out of nowhere and said they were expecting us. "There's your ferry!" they said, pointing to a tiny little speck of a boat. Five minutes later we were docked at the Angel Island ferry landing, and not long after that, the six of us shared a lovely picnic of fruit, bread, Tartex, beer, and--because it was Easter--some chocolate eggs.

A week later, it's as wet as ever. (The drought has got to be officially over.) Instead of the usual morning stroll to the dog park, we made a beeline toward Mojo for coffee and a quick stop at the local farmer's market. We didn't get far--the corner of McAllister and Divisadero, to be exact--before we were sidelined.

A local character, a thirty-something blind fellow who always knows you're coming and is fearless when it comes to asking strangers for favors--turned toward us as we waited for the light to change and asked if we were going to the corner store. We said no, but asked if he needed something. He replied yes; could we get him one jar of mayonnaise and another of relish? Sure. Why not? The fellow reached in his pocket and waved a bill at us, saying, "This is a five, right?" and Jeff reached for his arm, steering him toward the store's door, suggesting he might like to avoid the rain by standing inside. He seemed reluctant to get too close to the door, though.

After collecting the condiments, we stood at the counter and told Rami that we actually wanted a bag this time (we normally bring our own). He looked baffled, and we told him it was because we were shopping for the blind guy, who didn't have his own a bag. "Yeah," said Rami, "that guy's not allowed in here." Really? Why not? We wanted to know. "Because he's an asshole."

Blind guys can be assholes, too? I hadn't really stopped to consider that.

God, I'm going to miss this neighborhood.

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