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NOTES & OBSERVATIONS FROM THE CAFE AT WHICH I SEEM TO LOITER WITH MY iBOOK…
So, since last week my days have consisted of waking up just as Alan is getting ready to leave for work so I don’t have to get in his way. Normally, if I were working — i would be up a good hour or so before him. However, right now this is not the case. So, rather than cramp his style and morning rituals (which we all have) — I either sleep or lay in bed till about 8:30am or so. Then I get up, have a cup of sugar free oatmeal, swallow my vitamins, turn on the cell phone, crank on some music with remote in hand for when/if the phone rings and I go onto the various job boards and watch/wait for jobs to which to apply. This routine runs till about Noon.

Then, I make some lunch. Eat. And head out to catch MUNI to whichever area I decide to seek temp/retail/part time employment. Normally, this is a time killer and an interesting way to see how people respond to me when I ask if I can submit my resume or inquire for an application or simply ask if they are taking applications. Then, ’round about 3pm I head over to my fave cafe on Market Street, get a cookie, a Diet Coke, sit my phone on the table and crank on the iBook. Now, the job postings seem to mostly come up in the first part of the day and you want to be the first to respond because in our current SF job market there are approximately 125 people who will respond to every posting within two hours. As someone who works HR and just left a position where I recruited from Craig’s List — you don’t and can’t really bother looking after the first 40 to 50. It’s just too much.

There does tend to be a number of postings that will pop up at the tail end of the day, but I’ve noticed that these are the jobs for which I am either way under-qualified or way-over qualified. So, from anywhere from 3pm to 6pm I am mainly surfing the Net, reviewing emails, making a few calls on jobs that I never heard back on, chatting with the lady who works the counter or just quietly watching and listening to the folks who come and go. There have been a few days where I have skipped out on checking stores/shops and just head straight to the cafe because I enjoy the sunlight, the people watching (ALWAYS great in SF — and particularly in this area) and I take notes.

Today was another beautiful and perfect day in San Francisco. The picture at the top of the post was taken in the summer of 1977 according to Google, but this is what the day looked like. But, it was nice and cool. I was wearing my neat-o Deisel jacket I got for $15 back in January — size small. So, it fits. My goatee is growing back.

I no longer have to ask for what I want, the lady is already pulling it together for me as I walk up. Today, however, there was a very interesting lady at the counter ahead of me. She looked like a ballet dancer gone to seed. I would guess she was in her mid to late 50’s and painfully thin. Her hair was in a tight bun and she dressed very thrift-shop chic. It was clear, tho, that she had money. While her skirt, shirt and sweater was most certainly designer vintage — her shoes were not. Spiked heel’d to the point of fetish with little black ribbons that tied up her calves. Red silk stockings and some very expensive diamond rings — she oozed a sort of classy slut look. The problem was her face. Not enough make-up to match her over-all “look” and the pain of time and mileage were all over her cheeks and around her eyes. She looked somehow frail, tired and pissed off. I could tell as I walked up that the normally happy-go-lucky lady at the counter was not happy. I could also tell that this customer had been at the counter for some time. I will call her Lilly.

Llily stood there with her right foot extended so far I thought she might break out in dance at any moment. Her left hand (with long red finger nails) was placed firmly on the top of the counter and her right hand was touching the side of her face as if she were trying to solve life’s ultimate mystery. Lilly was sighing as I walked up.

Lilly: “Well, they all look divine, but how can you not sell sugar-free pastry?”
no response from my pal
Lilly: “I just don’t know what I want. I’m sorry, but there is both so very much and yet so very little.”
well, here is your tea. why don’t i ring that up and assist my other customer.
(Lilly looks at me. I look at her. She frowns. I smile. Lilly returns her attention to the pastries layed out under glass)
Lilly: “I guess the croissant has the least sugar, but each one probably has a stick of butter. Is that correct?”
no response from my pal
Lilly: “And you say that these ring shaped things are more sugar-like than bread orientation?”
my pal looks at me with a look that seems to scream “I’m gonna kill this white ass biaaatch!”
Lilly: “Well, I need to think just a bit more. Why don’t you help this young man.”
(Lilly turns and watches me and the counter lady closer than she was inspecting the pastry)
I get my cookie and Diet Coke
Lilly: “Excuse me, but do you have any idea how much sugar is in that huge cookie?”
Me: “A lot I should think. You see, this is a pastry shop and this is a chocolate chip cookie.”
my pal laughs out loud
Lilly: “Well, you appear to be in good shape so you must know what you’re doing. I like your jacket. Is it Diesel?”
(Lily touches my jacket with her right hand)
Lady, leave my customer alone. Either order something, pay for your tea or leave my store.
Lilly: “I’ll take an oatmeal cookie, but I would like to see more healthy options!”

Fast forward about an hour — two middle-aged men enter each holding the hands of two little girls. I would guess these two guys to be in their mid-40’s. They are wearing track suits. One is orange and the other is blue. It is an Howard Johnsons kind of moment except they are both gayer than gay. It is quick to note that the two little girls are their adopted daughters. The domestic “life” partner in orange is tall and thin. The other domestic “life” partner in blue is not so tall and a bit chubby. The two girls look like they could be twins. One is in a dress and the other in a little jumper-like thing. I should think that they are both about 5 or 6.

Orange: “Honey, why don’t you take care of Kayla and I will take care of Kara”
Blue: “Ok”
the little girls go all hyper and upset Lily who has been sipping her tea, playing with her cookie and staring off into space ever since she sat down. But, the two kids are REALLY noisy.
Orange and Blue seem oblivious to the fact that their little girls’ collective voices rival a sonic boom.
counter lady looks distressed. …she has trouble understanding what the little girls want. I am not sure that either spoke English very well. The odd thing was that the two daddies just seemed to be amused at the chaos.

Enter a very flamboyant pair of boyzzzz. Each wearing tight jeans and mesh power tank tops despite the cool weather. They have perfect bodies but sound like the Gabor sisters.

It only takes a moment before they are both horrified by the noisy children and the ugly track suits.

Lily just can’t take it.

Lily: “Please shut your fucking brats up! This is not a zoo! Some of us are trying to think!!”
Eva Gabor: “You go, Miss Thang!”

…the little girls shut up. Orange looks angry, but Blue looks worried. They get 4 cookies and rush out. The Gabor sisters want a 10 dollar bill broken. Not going to happen. They are annoyed and leave.

I look over at Lily. She seems sad to me.

I sigh and wonder if I will get any call backs today. I don’t. But, I do get some funny emails and a phone call from a friend. As I leave I turn off the phone as I put my iPod ear plugs on/in — Siouxsie & The banshees come on first. …”Jigsaw Feeling” …I decide I’ve been listening to too much Siouxsie & The banshees.

…maybe one of the 3 positions for which I feel most confident will call tomorrow. As I get on MUNI Siouxsie comes back on singing of metal postcards. The guy on my left smells of old shoes, the guy on my right smells of Old Spice but the lady standing across from me smells like one of the Calvin Klein scents. I walk home from West Portal and I’m soooo cold!

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February 15, 2006. Uncategorized.

11 Comments

  1. Karyn replied:

    Ah, “shut your fucking brats up” – a paragon of virtue, your Lilly! Seriously – parents do need to do what they can to foster good manners and behavior in their kids, I’m all on board with that, but that comment is so totally inappropriate and vulgar – to say in front of children – I do not like to contemplate how I might have handled the situation if I were one of the HoJo duo. I thought of you today waiting at nursery school, I was flicking stations and came across Tori Amos 3 times. The universe is saying something! xoxo

  2. Karyn replied:

    And the uptight sugar hating beeyatch should have known better than to end her ejaculatory sentence with a preposition. Suck on that, Lilly. That and a nice sugar frosted chocolate bomb.

  3. Meredith replied:

    I decided to visit your blog after reading your comment on Jungle Jane’s. Anyone who can make unemployment sound so good wins with me! I’m going to get my latte and sit in that corner over there.

  4. matt replied:

    Karyn — Yes. Lilly had issues up the ass! LOL! I think we were all taken ‘aback’ when she said that to the HoJo’s and their evil twins. LOL! But, it was quite interesting to watch it all unfold. I hope I get to see her again, tho. I think I might chat with her.

    Oh, wow! …and I just got a call back from a possible job! I just changed all of the CD’s to Tori and will only listen to her today! For luck!

    By the way, last night I could not sleep so I watched some streaming commentary from her to her vid-clips. I love her and think she is hugely gifted. But, like Bjork. I really think she might be insane. And, it is just creepy when artistes start speaking about themselves in the third person. “…and here Tori is being led by the fairy angel into the freedom provided by the fire. Tori is going to be ok and is on her journey guided by angels, faires and butterflies”

    …well, ok. that is not a fair quote. more of fairly accurate paraphrasing of Tori on Tori in Hey Jupiter vid clip.

  5. jungle jane replied:

    matty that was the best post i ever read in my entire life…i read it twice.

    poor lily. that oatmeal cookie may have been light on sugar but DAMN i bet it was fucking loaded on saturated fat…

  6. matt replied:

    meredith! Thanks for stopping by!!! Jungle Jane is one of my new heros. I guess it all has to do with perspective. I try to stay upbeat, but truth is — being unemployed REALLY SUCKS. But, ya just force yourself out of bed, push thru the rejections and keep reminding yourself that SOMEONE will hire you and you’ll get your life back!!! It has been a rough couple of years.

    Jungle Jane — I’m blushing! Yeah, poor Lily is a lost soul I suppose. She isn’t here today. However, there appears to be a member of The Village People sitting at the table next to me. He is lost in his reading.

  7. thomas replied:

    my dear, that was an excellent entry. i am suitably enraged that i didn’t write it myself.

  8. jungle jane replied:

    matty which one? i always LOVED the red indian….

  9. josh williams replied:

    Nice post Matt. Thanks JW

  10. matt replied:

    Aw, Thomas. Thanks for being so sweet!

    Jungle Jane — I was always partial to the Indian myself. …so taut and politcally incorrect! No, this was the construction man. Same stache and all. Sad, really.

    Commander Josh! Thank you! Hope you’ve not been touching any Eeeeviiiiilll!

  11. ing replied:

    Hey! I think I know this “Lilly”; she is a dancer & she’s a regular customer at the bookstore. Did she have long, gray hair? A little bit of eyeliner? If it’s the same person, she’s really interesting and very well-read! (I’ll tell you more next time I see you.)

    You sound like you have it together. I roll out of bed as late as I can possibly roll (tomorrow, 8am, because of work). Then I procrastinate until the afternoon, spending my time reading and writing and wishing I could make myself get up and pay my bills and so on. Finally, around 5:00, I make myself something to eat.

    Sometimes after that I pour myself a glass of wine and then I call Gina. That’s the plan for tomorrow night after work, I think.

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