Saturday, November 24, 2001

Foreshadowing

Finances down the tubes.  Phone disconnected.  Friends moving away.  Creative outlet blocked due to phantom health problem curse.  Recent realizations about inherent amoral, evil impulses and tendencies.  It’s the end of August and I am in the Safeway at the special services desk buying a second long distance calling card so that I can call back the ENT’s office and get the confirmation on an appointment all the way in distant fucking October.
    “Can you believe this weather we’re having?” asks the lady behind the counter as she rings up my purchase.  She is wearing a lot of makeup to make her skin appear smoother and tauter than it is, but she is still looking good for her age in a Safeway advertisement employee actress sort of way. 
    The weather in question is dark and cold and rainy.  Over the last two days it has appeared as if some huge chunk of December has dropped off and accidentally landed on the tail end of August.
    “Yeah,” I agree, “it seems like a transplant from a different time.”  The lady behind the counter gets distracted by some procedure having to do with my check card as I continue on, “is it supposed to keep going like this, do you know?”  I ask.
    There is no response from the middle aged commercial on the other side of the counter.  Her mind is a few computers away as she negotiates my purchase with big daddy technology.  “Do you know?”  I push on. 
    “Do I know if it is a transplant?” she asks, her voice seeming to come from distant phone lines.
    “Have you heard anything about how long this spell is supposed to last?”  I ask again.  Since I don’t watch the news or read the paper or listen to the morning commute comics on the radio I figure Miss Safeway Middle Aged is probably the closest thing to meteorology I have going.
    “Um,” she finally responds, “ I heard something about an early winter and a hard winter I think.”
She says this as if it is going to be two different winters, one following the other in a marching line of weather realities.  That’s cute, I think, knowing in my very bones that it is going to be both at once along with everything else.

Cat I.D.



1:30 am

“Fucking cat I.D.!”  I call out from the floor.  I am laying on my back with a ¾ full bottle of Guinness Stout in my right hand.  Joseph has just brought out his new toy, his latest grand goof, the transformation of his Official California Drivers License into a “cat I.D.”.  He has replaced his own head-shot photo (the original photo had been pretty damned good itself; he had stuck his abundant mass of curly dirty-blonde hair straight out at all angles right before going into the D.M.V. and then whenever they would try to take the picture for the license, good old Jo would approximate the facial expressions of someone undergoing a surprise electrocution, eyes wide, mouth wider open showing his yellowed fangs.  They tried to tell him that he couldn’t do that and he would explain to them that it was not something he could control.  He just did that whenever someone tried to take a picture of him.  They tried distracting him, giving no warning before suddenly opening the shutter, but Joseph got his shot.) with that of his cat’s.
    “Ah yeah, cat I.D., cat I.D.,” Joseph sings, dancing around the room with his silly I.D. in his hand, “I gots me..” he lets off the maniacal idiot grin I believe he saves only for me, “a cat I.D.!” 
    ‘His expression looks just like the one he seems to get every time he steps into the D.M.V.’ I think, sending me into giggling laughter on the floor.
    “Fucking cat I.D.!” I call out again between gasping laughter.  I’m on Guinness number five, however I had found his little cat I.D. picture pretty humorous from the get go. The picture, simply glued over his old photo, is of his cat “Little” (named by his little sister for the size the cat seemed to be in a perpetual state of as it grew up) staring at the lens straight on.  The glare of the flash is reflected harshly in the eyes of the cat, but there is no “red eye” because the picture is in black and white, giving this tiny creature a very serious and fierce alien-like stare.  Underneath the animal’s head the edge of a glass fishbowl can be seen.
    Joseph is turning up the Tom Waits soundtrack in my bedroom.  Tom is shouting about someone being a “big shot down at the slaughterhouse” over a stopstart stripped-down rhythm.  Joseph comes bounding back into my dimly lit living room where I am still on my back, light as air on my hearty meal of Guinness.
    “I’ve got to do something with this thing.”
    “Indeed you do, Jo,” I say, finally composing myself.  You’d just have to see the picture to understand how funny it is; the expression on Little’s face so much like a little kitty mug shot.
    “Hey...” say Joseph, after a little pause. “Do you need some more beer?”
    “No, no.  I think I’m doin’ okay down here old buddy,” I reply.  “I gotta slow down anyways.”  Joseph doesn’t drink at all and that always puts my alcohol consumption in the spotlight whenever we spend time together, which is quite often. All his other friends say that he doesn’t need it.  I think it’s just that he doesn’t want it.  Joseph doesn’t need anything. Joseph writes his own life.
    “Well", he says with a decisive air, “I think you nee some more beer, my friend.  In fact, I think we need to pay a little visit to the “cownah stoe”!” he declares, affecting the best East Oakland ghetto drawl he can muster.  He has already pulled on his tweed overcoat, car keys jingling.
    Suddenly I leap from the floor, Joseph’s energy temporarily clearing my head of its foamy Guinness fog.  “Meow.” I say in agreeance.  I fetch my coat, hat, turn up the music (just for the landlord downstairs), and we are out the door.

1:42 AM

    “Ding dong, ding dong....”declares the cheery little major-third intervaled door chime as me and Joseph enter the Seven Eleven.  Joseph is in first, his confident strides leading the way, cat ID in his pocket.  I follow close behind trying to keep a straight face.           The whole place is lit up bright with the fluorescents, giving it the feel of a crime scene, which seems glaringly appropriate to the occasion. It appears devoid of people, except for a scrawny speed freak with a handlebar moustache and brown web-backed baseball cap which says “Pope Valley Turkey Shoot ‘96”on it.  He is busy paying the cashier for his hot dog.  The extra relish is dripping onto the counter despite the liberal amount of waxed paper and paper napkins wadded up beneath it.  The cashier appears to be quite miffed about this, despite the freak’s shaky attempts at cleaning up the mess. I follow Jesse to the far right of the store.   
    We both stand in front of the liquor selection, cheap beers, and cheap wines, wine coolers stand before us behind glass like multi-colored soldiers awaiting our command.
    “Now, if I was a cat...” Joseph quietly mutters, sending me instantly into stifled hysterics.  Joseph shoots a glare at me and I manage to gain control over myself.  “...what would I want to drink?” he continues.  “Ah yes,” he declares, a satisfied yet still serious smile crossing his face as he opens the glass door and retrieves a bottle of pink wine “a fine “Wild Vines Strawberry-Flavored White Zinfandel”, choice libation amongst my species!”
    Joseph turns a split second 180 degrees and immediately begins to head up the front counter where Mr. Pope Valley Speed Freak has just finished paying for his green hot dog experiment and is heading for the front door.  I take a longer route along the far isle and meet up with him just as he is placing the bottle before the counterperson.  To this I add a 5 ½ ounce can of Friskies Turkey and Jiblets Kitty Dinner.  I notice much to my satisfaction out of the corner of my eye that this almost gets the best of Joseph, but his dead serious fa├žade remains stone other than a slight liquefying ‘round the eyes, as he lays the ID out with our purchase, slapping it onto the table like a final winning card in a blackjack game.
    The counter man, a very tall Arabian fellow in his late 30’s, takes the ID, looks at it briefly, and then replies, simply and without hesitation, “This is not you.” as he plunks it back down on the counter.  He does it so matter-of-factly that it’s as if he has simply been given an out-of-state or outdated driver’s license.  There is silence, then he repeats: “That is not you.”
    “Oh yeah, I know.  I’ve got to get a new ID,” Joseph says.  “I was so tired when they took that picture.  I really didn’t look like myself.”
    “That is not you.” he replies again, as if Joseph was simply trying to sneak some older brother’s ID past him, like he had been through this countless times before, like he was bored with all these people bringing in their pet’s IDs to try to buy wine.
    “No, no, see, that was before the operation,” Joseph says, changing his story mid-scam, “I just got out of the hospital.  Really, that’s me.”
    “That is not you.” the counterperson replies, not a sliver of humor in his gravely voice.  “That is cat.” He has a nametag on his uniform, it says “DEEP”.
    Joseph gives a stage laugh.  “Oh yeah, I know, it’s just such a bad picture. Really, man, it’s cool.  I’m twenty-two years old, I was born on April 13th, 1975.”
    “That is cat.  Cat.  Not you.  Cat!”  DEEP’s voice is finally picking up.  Joseph follows suit.
    “I am so tired of this!  Look, I had an operation!  I’m 22 years old!  I used to look like a cat.  See?  I got this ID two years ago! Here,” Joseph reaches into his wallet and pulls out his social security card “See?  It says “Joseph Shorpkenoff ”; same name!”
    “That is cat!” DEEP’s temper is taking center stage.  “Get out!  I call police on you!”  The Tranquil Trance of Total Detachment he was exuding before has now been utterly shattered.  All these kids with their fake IDs, and now this! That is not him! That is cat!
    “Look, look, look....” Joseph brings down the volume of his voice, making a “simmer down” motion with his palms turned downward, acting diplomatic, as DEEP stares at him with an angry thick silence.  “Look, see?”  Joseph is pointing at his face, the expression of which he has fashioned into as much of a cat-like form as he can muster, eyes wide, maniacal open mouth with raised upper lip to emphasize fangs.  When he then proceeds to push out his ears with fingers to complete the effect I can contain my silence no longer, blowing an evening’s worth of cool, laughter issuing forth with orgasmic uncontrollability.
    “Get out! Fucking cat man!” DEEP pulls the bottle and can behind the counter.  “You are banned from store!  THAT IS NOT YOU!”
    “Dammit!” cries Joseph, unable to keep a straight face, his voice breaking, yet still pushing the fury through.  “I’m hungry, I need to eat!  Gimme the food at least!”
    “This is cat food! Get out!” screams DEEP, looking as if he may soon blow a blood vessle or something. 
    “Okay, okay.  I’m sorry,” says Joseph, lowering his voice, the hands of diplomacy returning, “I’ll just have a pack of Catnip Lights.”
    “Need ID for cigarettes!”  cries, DEEP.  When he realizes that “Catnip” is not a brand name for cigarettes he becomes transfixed in a wordless fury of supreme magnitude, throwing the cat ID at Joseph and picking up the phone.
    “Go ahead, call the police, they’ll verify it!” Joseph is screaming as I begin to drag him toward the door.  He pretends to fight me in order to remain.  “I got rights!  I was born deformed! I don’t have to put up with this shit!”  He emphasizes “shit!” with a wild arm gesture, his hand catching me on the side of the face.  At this, of all things, Joseph lets out his first laugh.  I continue shoving him, this time with more conviction, toward the door.  Joseph is screaming something about him not fearing the police because of his nine lives as the major-third-have-a-nice-day-happy-chime sounds and then we are outside.

1:51 AM

    When we finished laughing we found that there was nothing left to do so we head back to my house.  On the way home I realize that that was probably the first time Joseph had ever even tried to buy alcohol. I laugh to myself quietly about this, shaking my head in astonishment, as Joseph turns the corner onto my street.
    “What?” he asks.
    “Nothing, nothing...” I say.  I turn up the stereo.  I look over at Joseph, then back to the road.  “Fucking cat ID,” I mutter, continuing to shake my head.

A Moving Violation



The duality of rubber tires spinning impossibly atop asphalt and the sure, yet frenzied motion of my middle and forefingers plunging in and out of vagina was really blowing my mind.  ‘‘Goddamn’’, I was freestyle rhyming to myself , ‘‘I’m Superman! The King of this godammned San Fran!”  Life finally felt like it was picking up speed.  Almost 65 miles per hour at times, within city limits.  I was piloting my small, late seventies European car with my left hand only, crossing over my lap to shift, while my right hand was busy piloting the naked girl seated next to me through her own orgasmic journey.  I was laughing maniacally and calling out profound statements such as “Oh, shit yeah! Fuck yeah! Goddamn, that’s right.”  An S.U.V. pulled up next to us at a red light.  On her side.  She didn’t notice, her eyes closed, her smallish hands pinching her own nipples.  Her window had been opened, so as to invite the cool summer evening San Francisco air to dance across her pale skin, so her cries were quite audible, attracting the immediate attention of the conservative looking 30-something father who had pulled up next to us.  I could barely make out the outline of the top of his occupied baby seat in the back.  Veronica opened her eyes just as I turned on the dome light, casting a faint ambient glow upon my strange mobile San Francisco peepshow, featuring a very naked young passenger, shuddering with orgasms beneath her seatbelt.

We had felt so innocent about an hour or so earlier, skipping naively through the dirty strange complexities of Chinatown.  A typical dating couple.  Stopping at a Chinese restaurant with a sign claiming its kitchen to be “under rabbinical supervision” for a lavish spread, sweet and sour heaven, dancing across our young and expectant tongues.  The food was so damned good that we barely noticed that I was the only man in the entire restaurant without a yarmulke.
The entire day had been light and comfortable.  Giggles.  Sly, strategically placed witticisms launched and received by both parties.  By the time we hit Chinatown I felt as if we were two sweet, innocent, rosy cheeked rag dolls, Raggedy Ann and Andy, strolling hand in hand through this miniature foreign land.
              We had spent the earlier portion of the day doing the other Hallmark “2nd date, this time in The City” sort of things; a trip to the Exploratotium, a visit to the Haight Asbury district, a walk across the Golden Gate Bridge.  There is nothing more beautiful than a girl you have just started to date and haven’t had sex with yet, with the wind blowing through her hair and her tiny jacket buttoned all the way up, on the Golden Gate Bridge around 6:30 PM.  The sun is vague and California golden, cutting through the fog at an off angle.  The wind is cold and you see her shivering through the viewfinder of your camera as you take a picture of her.  She is your woman.  She is in need of your man-warmth.  Go to her.
And of course, after all that wonderful spontaneous posturing, we were off to Chinatown to eat a well deserved meal, as well as to laugh at all the endlessly silly gift/technology/symbolic-Chinese-trinket stores that crowd the streets like far too many strange paperbacks crammed on an old bookshelf.  Battery powered, very loud, metal crickets.  Solar powered, very loud, miniature metal birds.  “Moonstone eggs”.  Chinese teas.  Old license plates.  Endless pink and white hooded sweaters with iron-on cartoons of the Golden Gate.  And pajamas.

She really wanted the pajamas.  They were black and silk and meticulously ornamented with gold and red stitching on them.  They were thirty dollars and she didn’t have any money left over.  She really wanted to have them, however, and when she emerged from the dressing room, I really wanted her to have them as well.  They were child sized and fit her slender body tightly, the pants stopping short at the calves and shirt buttons pulling tight over her breasts like some ultra-hip little Japanese servant girl lingerie.  I paid for the pajamas.
I pulled the car out onto Pine Street.  Traffic was heavy, and although the date had gone well I was growing frustrated with the hours of driving a day in the city requires (especially for those too hip to bring maps).  Tensions felt high.  Someone cut me off and I honked my horn like a mad man.  I cut someone off and they honked their horn and gave me the finger like a mad man.  A homeless midget begin whacking the trunk of my car repeatedly with his fists when I was stuck in a cross walk on a red light, causing me to honk, gesture and holler like a truly mad, mad man.  A Muni bus nearly severed my car in two directly afterwards, and I simply laughed.
“I want to wear my pajamas” was how it started.  I told her to go for it.  I was delighted by this sudden irrational impulse, especially in the midst of all of this swirling mechanized turmoil.
“I can’t, though.  I’d have to take my clothes off.”
“Good,” someone else temporarily inhabiting my body said.  “Take all your clothes off.  Do it right now!”  I was saying this less like an order and more as if I had just discovered the cure for some major disease.  The day had been so freeing, so perfect that my mind was high, and thus delirious, on satisfaction, a feeling I’m not exactly overly accustomed to dealing with.  “Oh yeah.  Right here in my car!  Right here in goddamned San Francisco, for Christ sakes!”  I was speaking in a harsh staccato that sounded and felt like fireworks chain-reacting inside my mouth.
What in the fuck was I saying?
She laughed.  “No...” she trailed off.  She was saying ‘no’ in the form of a question.
“At least take your pants off! C’mon.” I rolled down the window.  “You know you want to.  Oh goddamn yeah.  Let’s do it! Take off your goddamn clothes!”

We had stumbled upon the topic of sexual fantasies in the restaurant.  I had gulped down a large swallow of sweet ‘n sour vegetarian pork in a rather hard manner when she had mentioned her exhibitionist bent.  Told me that she enjoyed masturbating in front of her open window at night.  She lived by an empty field, and she had never seen anybody out there before, but it excited her nonetheless.  I returned the serve with some mentioning of my fondness of being tied up and controlled, as well as to dominate, in bed.  I suppose that this turn of conversational events had planted an itchy, sordid little seed in our minds.  That and the fact that I hadn’t had sex for over a year.  My fantasy life had grown to become a formidable sideshow of erotic oddities swirling through my brain at the speed of electricity.

“Oh fuck yeah!  That’s right, oh my god.”  I had my hand on her bare thigh.  She had removed her pants!  We took a right turn onto Van Ness.
“Now, doesn’t that feel good?” I snarled. All I heard was a heavy intake of breath for a response.  “Yeah, doesn’t that feel nice?  It was a hot day, after all...” I felt like a car salesman or something, like I desperately needed the commission to feed my miserable family.  However, this was a car I actually knew she would love.  But I still had to sell.  “Here,” I threw the pants in the backseat.  “Now, your shirt!  That’s the next step!  It’s the next goddamn step!  Take it off!!  AHRRRRRHHRGG!”
 “People will see....”  I could taste the invisible question mark hovering in her brain.  She wanted to do it.
“Who cares?!”  I realized that whatever evil force I had felt taking possession of me before had moved in to stay, at least for a while. “C’mon!  Who gives a crap?!  You’ll never see any of these people again!  They’re all just faces!  Faces, all looking at you!  They’ll all want you.  Take it all the way, my young starlet!  Take it to the fucking stars!  Show yourself to big ol’ mean San Francisco, baby!  Show ‘em what’s what!  C’mon!”  The traffic seemed thinner for a moment as I sped up toward a seemingly permanent yellow light.
“People will see.  I can’t.  No.”  She shook her head like someone finally putting some insidiously desired piece of expensive clothing back on the rack at a department store.  The light suddenly turned red and I slammed on the brakes, the car lurching a few inches into the right lane before coming to a stop.  An old man with a beard in a station wagon gave me the “you’re an irresponsible asshole” look.  I ignored him and stared at the red light ahead of me.  I was feeling kind of like an irresponsible asshole.
               Then, in a motion like that of a picture falling off of a wall that you hadn’t ever noticed was there in the first place, her shirt was off.  She sat there in her underwear, sinking down self-consciously in her seat, adjusting the seatbelt over the white bra clinging to her chest.  I glanced over at the bearded old man, who unfortunately hadn’t noticed.  I honked my horn.  The light turned green. I jammed on the accelerator.
“Yes!  Yes!  You Calvin Klein wonder!  I’ve got a fucking billboard in my car!”  I composed myself only for a microsecond, “okay,” I said calmly.  Then I went right back into the exclamation points. “Okay! The panties!  The panties!  Oh yeah!”
“Mmmmm... No.  That’s borderline illegal.  I won’t,”  she said and traffic slowed up once again.  Behind three cars at a red.  The old man was gone.  This time we were next to a young Asian couple in a shiny new Saturn.
“What are you talking about?!” I screamed.  “It’s totally illegal!  That’s why we have to do it!”
The light turned green.
“Why don’t you do it?”  she said.
“Cause I’m fuckin’ driving, obviously!  Anyway, what’s the difference?  You know you wanna do it, Veronica.”
“No.  Ah....”  she ran a hand nervously through her long , very straight red hair, “no.”
Someone pulled out in front of us.  I honked the horn. “Dammit!”  I yelled, hitting the steering wheel with my fists.
“But....Oh god” she moaned “oh god!”.  Her voice had begun to shoot out erratically in all directions, not unlike her frantic hyperactive glances out the front and side of the car.  The guy who had pulled out in front of me turned right onto Pacific and I picked up a little speed.
“Do it babe!  Do it!  Don’t you want to feel the fog against your, uh, womanhood?” After the words left my mouth, I reread them and laughed briefly inwardly.  But only briefly.  “Ha ha!  The panties!  The panties!”  I said this as a delighted child would say “Barney! Barney!” when encountering the large purple dinosaur in person.
“No.  I won’t.  That’s too far.”
My right hand shot out across the car and rubbed her crotch through her panties.  It was a very quick motion.  One without thought, and met with no opposition.  Only her head shooting back against the seat at the moment of contact.  She was wet through the cotton fabric.  My hand stayed momentarily and then departed as I downshifted in reaction to an upcoming red light.
“Oh shit.  Don’t stop,” she said, her voice suddenly more passive and soft than before.  She pulled the panties down her long white legs with an absent sigh, and threw them onto the backseat with the pants.  I begin to rub her again.  She moaned and writhed in the seat.  I pulled my hand away suddenly as we stopped at the red light.
“Hey!”  The spell was broken.  “Keep touching me, you fucker!” she spat out at me savagely, yet sinking timidly lower into the seat at the same time.
“The bra has to go!  The fucking bra has to go!  Oh my god, we’re so close!  I won’t touch you again until the bra goes!  Be fucking all the way, let’s see it!”  I wasn’t even making sense anymore.  I grabbed uncontrollably for her bra.
“No!  She screamed, and pushed my arm violently away.  I felt a sudden rush of guilt.  I was taking this too far.  I was turning into an animal.
“Sorry.” I said, the first sentence out of my mouth in the last five minutes that wasn’t yelled.  I was behind four normal cars with a lumbering armored car at the lead.   There was a moment of silence.  Something distracted me from outside my window.  It was somebody slamming the back of a large van.  The light turned green.  I slipped in the clutch and then looked back over at my passenger.
“Oh yes!  Goddamn yeah!  You’re my fucking little kidnap victim!  Oh yes yes yes! Ha ha!”
Traffic picked way up.  I slid into third.  On my right her beautifully full pair of breasts were finally greeting the city, with only the thick black seatbelt crossing over her chest diagonally, like a slender country road bisecting a very scenic route indeed.
“Naked.  Totally naked!  How does it feel?” I didn’t wait for a response.  She shifted lower into her seat. “Oh my god, you’re the most beautiful fucking girl I’ve ever seen!  Look outside.  Look at them all!  They can all see you now.  Hey, sit up!  Sit up for christsakes!”
“No.”
“I’ll touch you if you sit up.  I’ll touch you all the way out of this city.  Just sit up.  Just a little.”
She slid her back up the seat cautiously, her breasts pushing the seatbelt out.  My hand returned to its work and I flipped the steering wheel awkwardly with my left hand only, making a dangerously wide left onto Lombard.
I was surprised just how freakishly orgasmic this girl was turning out to be.  I had forgotten that some girls are just like that; fourteen, fifteen orgasms a night, no problem.  These highly blessed women exist on a plane of pleasure the likes of which us men can’t even imagine, with our standard issue, mono-climactic sexualities.  Veronica’s whole body was a churning white sea of constant movement.  Her right hand would grasp onto the top of the seatbelt, her eyes closed, and she would lift her body from the seat right before the time of orgasm.  Her whole abdomen would ripple, as if some great electrical current were washing through her body.  She looked to be a woman possessed by evil spirits, with a new one exiting her slender shuddering body in turn every three minutes or so.
And then there was me, of course, with my maniacal grin,  performing the whole exorcism.  We were both  possessed, really.  Quite a pair, I thought, perfect for San Francisco.  All these years of seeing the insane, the sordid and the depraved out of the corner of my eyes throughout my trips to this crowded old city, and now I finally felt as if I was contributing something, as if I was finally involved.
              We pulled up next to a group of young boys with longish hair in an old Dodge Dart who were busy trying to light a small bong pipe with the cigarette lighter from the car’s dash.  The kid on the driver’s side noticed first and then brought his friend’s attention to what we were doing.  Veronica was going through a rather intense one at the time, her face hanging halfway out of the open window.  I quickened my pace with my fingers and sent her to moaning again. I could hear the sound of her occasionally harsh bray echoing off of the tall buildings outside.  She arched her back and lifted her body, giving me the feeling of having her “in my hand”.  I gave the kids a smile just as the light turned green, leaving them behind to find the cigarette lighter they had probably dropped on the floor of their car.
It seemed all greens for an eternity, with my attention divided between the orgasmic display on my right and the task of driving all around me.  I had never felt so in control of things my whole life.  It was as if I was simultaneously playing a virtuoso piano piece, that I had penned myself of course, while at the same time building the piano itself.  I owned this goddamned city.  I was the mayor and the shopkeeper and the fucking banker and everything else.
          At this point Veronica had abandoned dialogue all together, and was simply moaning and cooing phrases such as “Oh, shit.” and the like.  My erection was a trifle uncomfortable, pushing hard against the zipper on my pants (laundry day).  I kept shifting in my seat, and I considered the idea of setting my little friend free, but both of my hands were presently in use.  After almost every climax, she would shift lower in her seat, prompting me to pull my hand away, at which point she would scoot back up and the whole process would start over again.  We kept this up for a while without incident.  I decided to make a series of rights and head back toward the “red light district” on Broadway.  The porno theater, lap-dance section of town, located right next to the more sordid, low brow tip of Chinatow.  “Might as well leap into the vortex at this point” I thought.
“God, where are you headed, uh shit....” my temporarily illiterate nymph asked.
“Never you worry, my little one,” I responded in an overly dramatic b-movie villain sort of manner.  “You will see soon enough.” I followed this with a deep, mad scientist-like cackle.  The fact that neither one of us laughed at this vaudevillian display was highly demonstrative of how deep we had both become ensnared in this strange sexual spell, pulled up into this higher plane of perversion.
The “theater district” unfolded before my eyes in all its Vegas-esque glory.  On the right, the huge lit up sign for “Big Al’s Adult Books” featuring a tall man in a 1920’s-era gangster suit and holding a tommy-gun.  On the left, an even more lit up sign for “The Garden of Eden”, featuring a giant neon snake draped over a very non-biblical looking Eve. We had reached the promised land.
“Oh, fuck you, no way!”  Veronica had finally opened her eyes.
“Oh why not!  Right into the vortex we must go!  This is San Francisco, babe!  We must make our mark....we must.....”  I lost my train of thought as I realized once again that the girl I was talking to in my car was naked and that my hand was buried deep beneath the light, feathery hairs on her crotch.  I pushed my middle finger hard up into her, the way that one fantasizes doing it to a girl in a summer dress seated right next to you in a junior high school mathematics class.  The teacher turns his back on the class to write some meaningless gibberish on the chalk-board and you feel your way up through the light orange folds of see-through fabric of her dress until your hand rests on something warm and wonderful and perfect.  Of course, she is not wearing any panties.  Oh, and she loves it.  And marries you.
Any way, hard like that, causing Veronica to moan, almost shout, her head halfway leaning out the window again.  A few of the desperate, various patrons of the porno shops, strip joints and movie houses began to take notice what was happening in my car.  “Ah yes, you suckers, here is the real thing,” I thought to myself.  We slowed down at a light, and two rather creepy looking men unabashedly approached the car.  One was Phillipino and was wearing an old greasy business suit.  The other a young Caucasian fellow in tight jeans and a huge billowing “49ers” jacket.  Veronica instinctively slumped down, yet seemed more aroused than ever, throwing her long hair back against seat and grabbing her breasts hard.  The two sorry souls were right up in the window of the car by this time, one literally drooling on himself.  The other, the Phillipino, was rubbing himself through his suit.  It hadn’t taken long to attract the sharks with my fresh meat.  These guys had probably already dropped fifty, sixty bucks at the other places without seeing anything nearly this good.  Before we knew what was happening they begin to swarm the car.  Strange men approached from all sides, pushing each other out of the way.  They were all moaning together, seemingly drunk off a combination of alcohol and sheer sexual depravity.  The whole thing was beginning to seem a lot like “The Night of the Living Dead”.  Then, just as an arm reached into the car causing Veronica to scream, the light turned green and we were moving away.
Veronica was a little shaken.  “Okay, okay, that was too fucking scary.  Now, let’s get the hell out of here.”  She was covering her breasts and crossing her legs.  She was right.  This was just plain dangerous to be doing right here.  Plus, I liked the idea more of showing off in front of people who were not ready to deal with it.  These people were too damn thirsty for this sort of thing.  Before I knew it, Veronica was even back in her clothes again.  It took me all the way to Van Ness to get them back off.

    She masturbated for me all the way across the Golden Gate Bridge.  For herself really.  I just happened to be there.  By the time we made it out of the city it was late, so the bridge itself was virtually empty of pedestrians.  Plus we were driving so fast that the scant few who were there never even probably got a chance to see anything.  Well, actually, there was that one time when a rather upset looking mother, with the rest of her family asleep in their old station wagon, became transfixed at Veronica and almost ended up pitching her, Dad and the kids straight into the bay.
But, for the most part we were alone. Yet, with Veronica still naked and doing her thing,  I still felt overcome by this feeling of exhibitionism.  Perhaps it was the bridge itself watching.  It looked so ominous and stately, rising up into the evening fog.  Perhaps it was the eye of God, adding this to his list of reasons barring us from his big resort in the sky.

The rest of the ride home was a tad bit awkward.  Veronica had laid there, inert, for some time as we passed through the Caldacott Tunnel and onto the Waldo Grade, a long downhill stretch that would lead us up north and back to our small suburbias.  I didn’t say anything either.  Neither one of us had ever imagined that date number two would have ended up like this.  Without words, Veronica reclaimed her clothes, which were scattered throughout the back seat, and begin to put them on.  There was something very solemn about it all, and it made me feel a sinking feeling in my chest.  I was suddenly saddened, fearing that I would never again see this beautiful young body.  She was disappearing before my eyes.  I felt like someone who had spent his entire paycheck in a drunken Friday night, and who was awakening the next morning, wondering where his money had gone and how he was going to make rent.  I tried several times to put my hand on her leg as an act of affection and comfort, but each attempt was met with her deft, delicate hand pushing me away.  We said not one word to each other the entire drive home, Veronica staring out the window and me torturing myself mentally.

Surprisingly, she kissed me on the cheek at the bottom of the stairs to her apartment in Santa Rosa.  It was a quick kiss, yet she still said nothing.  Still seemed upset.  I thought about trying to talk to her about things, yet I couldn’t think of the right thing to say.  She begin to enter her house and I grabbed her by the arm.  I wanted to pull this immaculate young adventurist into my arms and kiss her deeply, take her home with me.  We would laugh about this wacky night later on, an explosive event, early evidence of our mad, crazy passion for each other.  Instead of this, however, she just pushed me away, closing the door slowly, a vacant expression on her face as if I was a strange crazy animal that she had no connection to whatsoever.

After calling her repeatedly for a week, I had finally gotten her to agree to meet me in a coffee shop to discuss what had happened.  I desperately wanted another chance.  I was seated alone at a table right in the middle of the large coffeehouse.  If it hadn’t been such a busy night I would have opted for a more intimate table somewhere off in a corner somewhere.  But, unfortunately, these were all taken up, either by couples or other soloists, writing in journals or reading.  I was finding the volume level rather disconcertingly loud as well; there were seventeen or so tables in this place, and they were all filled up.  I hadn’t wanted to have my begging scene played out in front of so many people.  Yet, on the phone, she had insisted upon this place, and I had gone along with it.  Anything, I just had to see her again.
She was over a half-hour late, and I was just about to get up and get my third refill of coffee when I spotted her sauntering through the double doors of the place.  She of course looked ridiculously beautiful; she had no doubt spent some time in front of the mirror finding the right combination of tight sweater and skirt that would torture me the most.  Her dark red hair was pinned up in two complex rolls tight against her head and she was wearing knee high brown leather boots.  My heart had stopped.
She strolled slowly over and sat down confidently opposite me at the table.  I wanted to tell her how sorry I was.  I wanted to tell her how I thought I had jeopardized something very special by letting my pent-up libido get the best of me that night in the city.  I wanted to tell neither her not to hate me, nor herself for that matter, that it was just an event in the past, an event we should forget and move on, as if it never happened.  I wanted to tell her that I was in love with her.
However, upon opening my mouth, I felt an unexpected tickling against my testicles that caused me to jump up a bit.  Veronica was waving her finger back and forth in front of her smiling face in a motion that meant I wasn’t to talk.  She had somehow taken one of her boots off and was fondling my genitals through my pants with her bare foot.  My eyes widened and I felt frozen.  An erection sat up obediently against her nudging foot.  She then pointed at my chest.  I didn’t understand what that meant.  Then I did.  I looked frantically around at all the reading, writing, talking, laughing and yelling patrons of the coffee shop.  I saw that two of them were already staring at us, staring at this beautiful young woman with her foot deep in the young man’s crotch underneath the small table. I looked pleadingly back in Veronica’s eyes and she simply shrugged her shoulders, letting me know that she didn’t care how many people there were.  I could feel my pulse racing and the skin on my face reddening as I pulled my T-shirt off over my head.