part one

i want to do a lot of things today. not a one of them has anything to do with this library.

this could be a problem.

the first thing i would like to do is take a brisk walk in hayes valley. there is something so impossibly bright about san francisco in the daytime. i can’t figure it out. i’ve lived in cities before, and this certainly isn’t one of the cleaner ones. but it remains a picture with the contrast kicked up three notches.

i’m getting this hayes valley walk feeling because i was there yesterday afternoon on my lunch break. one of the contractors here asked me to stop by his office so i could take a look at his library and give him some direction about how to organize it. (yeah, i know, it sounds like a come-on, but it wasn’t. thanks for being overprotective, though. smoochies.) i was hesitant – i have this terrible “make plans then want to back out on them at the last minute” thing that i call my social gag reflex – but i did go. i convinced myself because (a) i’d get out of the office, and (b) i’d get to ride the light rail. say what you want, the light rail is my personal t.s. eliot of public transportation. it fascinates and thrills me. everyone here thinks i am crazy. maybe i am. i’m still in love with the light rail.

there are few parts of this city i’m not in love with. moving on …

i went to hayes valley. granted, i had no idea it was called hayes valley before i went there, but that’s another thing i love about san francisco. it’s a continual process of discovery. i thought that was still part of the civic center, but it’s not. it is yet another darling neighborhood tucked away between larger ones. i want to hug it.

the contractor met me at his office, and the library conversation veered drunkenly off into politics as conversations are wont to do, this week. we talked a lot. i admit to being quite leery of him before we sat down and talked; now i’m still leery but it’s a friendly sort. he took me to lunch at citizen cake for my trouble. butternut squash pizza with pine nuts. that’s all i have to say.

well, no it’s not. i have more to say. we talked about politics some more, and i worried about the time, but mostly i enjoyed myself. it wasn’t until i was heading back to work that i remembered i hadn’t really given him anything in the way of advice. sure, i had thrown around a few suggestions, but i couldn’t tell how well they’d gone over. this person is particularly difficult to read, and i wasn’t trying very hard. i felt strange about the whole instance, happy to be dealt with as a source of information by a coworker, and yet sad that he was the one with his own office in hayes valley, not me.

whoa. where did that come from?

to be continued …

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I give respect and reverence to those who came before me.