…Dizzy and more than a little disoriented I made my way down Sutter Street to the entrance of the Galleria Mall Food Court, a rather upscale “cheap eats” for the corporate crowd — of whom I used to be a participating member. I’ve never quite understood the San Francisco Galleria. Is it retail? Is it business? Is it swank condo living? Is it a hotel? All I know is that the homeless get shoo’d away almost immediately (most likely our Gestapo, uh, I mean mayor, is having them whisked off to some scary-ass shelter for medical experimentation) …but I digress.

Anyway, I had drop’d my magical iPod into my murse as I stepped on to the narrow Galleria escalator. I leaned on the side of the escalator railing a bit too hard which trigger’d my iPod on and up to the very top volume! It was so loud I jumped and yanked the ear buds out! To my horror the buds were booming out Barbra Streisand, Michael Crawford and cast belting “Put On Your Sunday Clothes” …not exactly an act of coolness or a good way to distract attention. And, attention is exactly what it brought me. In the form of a lovely older lady who was riding in front of me. As I tried to scramble without losing my balance to find my iPod and spare the corporate masses the soundtrack to Bab’s 1969 movie,

“Oh my God! I love that song! That has got to be from the movie soundtrack, right?”

“Yeah, I’m sorry. I’m trying to turn it down!

“Oh, no! You’ve made my day! I remember when my mom bought the record. That was her favorite movie!”


“Oh, yes! And, that was one of my favorite songs from it! I used to have the biggest crush on Michael Crawford!”

“Really? I always forget he was in it.”

“I know. My mom had a thing for Walter Matthau! Isn’t that funny?!!? “Would you mind if I listened for just a minute?”

“Sure. No problem.”

I handed her my iPod and she placed the buds in her jewel-stone’d ears. People look so much better when they smile. We should all remember that. There is just something attractive about a smile.

“Oh, you have really made my day! Is the soundtrack really on CD?”

“Yeah, but you would probably have to find it on Amazon or EBay. I’m not sure if it is still in print.”

“Oh, I have to get it! I used to want my hair to look just like Barbra’s from that movie! I remember not believing my mother when she would try to tell me it was just a wig! I love Barbra! I don’t run into many gay guys who like her that much anymore! Mostly just me and my girlfriends. We rented a limo to see her on tour last year! My husband thought we were nuts!”

“That is awesome!”

“Did you see her when she came?”

What!?!? What was wrong with you?!?! It was incredible!”

I took back my iPod and pressed “pause”

“I’m going to give away my age, but I saw ‘Hello Dolly’ at the movies when it came out. I was nine years old. Jesus!” “Well, thank you! Let me buy you some lunch and you can explain how you managed to miss seeing Barbra in concert.”

“Oh, thank you. But, I need to get going…” I was feeling so clammy and panicked. As per usual of late, I wasn’t sure why — but, I needed to get away.

“But, you were coming up the escalator.”

“I know. I guess I got confused.” …feeling horribly rude.

“Well, sweetie, have a great day!”

I turned and stepped on the narrow escalator to return to the street level. There was a gaggle of upscale str8 20-something business men all in pressed three piece suits. Maybe it wasn’t a gaggle. Can four be a gaggle?!?!? Anyway, and without warning, they all turned to the left waiving hysterically —

“Bill! Hey, Bill!”

I turned to the left and saw a nervous man giving a feeble waive and quickly retreating into a door I had never noticed.

“Bill! Toss us some money, dude!” …and, all four of the gaggle laughed.

Then it hit me. That nervous fellow looked a lot like Bill Gates. Had that really been Bill Gates or just someone who looked a great deal like him? I guess I will never know, but this only stirs up more questions about The Galleria off Sutter Street. I walked across the street and down to the post office to mail a card to my brother.

Who knew such adventures could happen on a set of escalators?!??! ***tho, i put much in quotes — I was quite off-balance at the time and I’m not sure I got everything exactly correct, but it is all close enough that I’m tossing out the rules and putting in the quotation marks!

February 21, 2008. Uncategorized.


  1. Miss S replied:

    Oh, Matty, I don’t know why…this random encounter made me happy. I’ve been so sad today. I cried even. That’s probably bad.

    I’ve been thinking of you. I’ve been listening to this song a lot, and it reminded me of you:

    Anyway, it’s like a minute into the video. Maybe you’ll like it. Maybe you won’t.

    Talk with you soon

  2. Miss S replied:

    Rawr. I don’t know if that came out right. It’s “Wild Sage” by the Mountain Goats. I think you’ll like it!

  3. Old Cheeser replied:

    Matty, you have this incredible knack for meeting, well…interesting and charismatic people! What a great story! It’s not every day that you meet a fellow Babs fan in the middle of a corporate building I bet. And she offered to get you lunch as well. How nice.

    I think you must have a really good energy about you, the way complete strangers will strike up a conversation with you like that.

  4. matty03 replied:

    Miss S — I’m so sorry you’ve been sad. I wonder if it is in the air. I hope the crying wasn’t caused by my post, but if it was — and even if it wasn’t — I hope that the crying was some form of relief.

    And, thank you so much for turning me on to the Mountain Goats and that song! …the line, “…when people ask me if I’m OK and I don’t know what to say…”

    I find it interesting that the song is from an LP called “Get Lonely” …I love this song. Thank you.

    kisses and a hug. …you’re so close. we need to try and get together.

  5. matty03 replied:

    Cool Old Cheeser! Sometimes I feel like a magnet for the odd — or odd happenings. It has been that way all of my life. I’m glad, but sometimes I’m not prepared for it. And, this lady wasn’t “odd” she was actually quite funny, cute and attractive. I wish I had been more with it so I could have sat with her and chatted. She seemed like quite a character.

    …Maybe I will try to find her next time I’m downtown.

    I also wish I had the talent to turn these events into stories. Every time I try the tone comes off different than I intend and the readers laugh when I want them to be sad — or, they become sad when I want them to laugh or smile.

    I wonder why.

  6. Java replied:

    Ah, Matty, you’ll get it figured out eventually. You’ve got the ingredients to tell the story, to live in the moment, to carpe the diem. It is happening under the surface. There are wonderful things within your realm and they will burst forth in creative energy in good time. Stay the course.

    I’m glad the dizzies didn’t cause you to fall.

    I think it would suck to be Bill Gates. He’s too rich, too famous, and he cannot live a normal life outside of the spotlight. What does he have? It’s only money. And he’s trapped by it. I wonder, does he have a good buddy to talk to? A friend, not someone he pays to listen and give him good advice? This makes me think of George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life. George was completely out of money, but he was the richest man in town because of the relationships he built and the help he freely gave out of the goodness of his heart. That’s the value of a life.

  7. hot-lunch replied:

    that is so awesome that you made someone’s day like that! With Barbra no less!! Good for you! 🙂

  8. matty03 replied:

    Java! Thank you! I hope you’re right! I’m banking on it! And, yeah. I think it would be really tough to be that wealthy — like Oprah, too. However, I think I’d like to try it for a little while. Actually, I’d settle on $500 right now! lol! kisses!

  9. matty03 replied:

    Hot Lunch! Isn’t it cool?!?!? I love spreadin’ the Barbra joy where and when ever possible! lol!

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