On Friday I headed to SFSU for what seemed to be an interview for a teaching gig this fall. I might instead call it a meeting of two confused minds, but that’s not why I’m writing today.
After leaving the very lengthy interview with a man who knew less about what was going on at the university than I did (he had just returned from nearly a year long sabbatical) I hopped on the MUNI, bus 26. I took bus 26 into the Mission where I planned on meeting Toby for dinner at a favorite tapas place called Ramblas.
We’ve been to Ramblas numerous times. So why did I get lost? I guess because I came at it from a totally different direction. Either way, somehow thinking the restaurant was on Mission and 16th, I overshot my destination and wandered through The Mission, dressed better than usual, and carrying the world’s fattest, most unstable graphic design portfolio.
I tried to call Toby in order to ask him where it was exactly I was to be at 7. But he didn’t answer. I figured he must be on route to me.
I was starting to sweat beneath my black jacket. My shoes were starting to hurt, and my right arm had developed the world’s most uncomfortable charlie horse from carrying the portfolio for so long. I wasn’t feeling too well and I was having my monthly visitor as well. All I wanted to do was sit down and pant. As I was nearing the McDonald’s on Mission in between 16th and 17th, my memory began to come back to me. I suddenly knew where Ramblas was! So it was then, during a brief moment of elation, the begging 20+ indie rock I-smeared-this-Prada-dirt-on-my-face-and-it-cost-me-70-dollars Kid began to talk to me.
Hey, girl! Spare me some change so I can get a hamburger. Please!
I looked at him. I felt like shit. The last thing I wanted to do was stop, put my portfolio down, rummage through my (I am now going to admit to something that will not make me look very good during my seemingly upper-handed situation) Kate Spade bag, and pull out whatever little bits of change I might have so this 25 year old Nike wearing street-living hipster could get a hamburger. A crack-head? For sure, though I’m pretty sure that a crack-head wants nothing to do with any hamburger meat. Either way, I just looked at him. I began to shake my head, politely.
Awwww, COME ON! Just some change for a hamburger? Come on. Please? Everyone else is ingoring me! You didn’t! Please?
I really started to regret my curious eye movement. I really should have ignored this guy like the others had.
I am sorry. I don’t have any change.
I probably lied. But I didn’t know that I had had change, so maybe it wasn’t a total lie. I continued to walk by him and he started to get more worked up. He spat at me these words:
Oh great. Fine. Enjoy the karma, girl.
I am not sure what came over me. Perhaps I was annoyed that someone who claimed to have no money wanted to take my money (which these days is really not mine for the giving but instead, Toby’s) in order to buy quite possibly the shittiest grade of meat America has to offer. Perhaps I didn’t want this little pecker to buy dead cow with my change. Whatever it was something had me reaching for my hare krishna membership card and I had an Ignatius P. Riley moment.
I’m not the one eating meat.
He got agitated, asked me things like “What did you just say?” and “Say that again!” But I continued to walk away, him meatless and annoyed, me sweaty and slightly fearful I might be hit in the back of the head with a 311 cd.