Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Jun 02 2018

San Francisco, part 2

It’s been a busy couple of days. Yesterday I got up and went over to Ken’s for a breakfast of bagels and cream cheese, olive bread and conversation in his kitchen, after which I set out for Joe’s place on Hyde Street. The walk took me longer than I’d thought it would, and I ended up being rather late. We walked over to Union Square to meet his friend Jake, and we spent more or less the rest of the day walking around downtown, often encountering other photographers walking up and down Market Street. We walked down to the waterfront, had a snack, and then out onto a pier lined with elderly Asian fishermen. At one point we spent quite a lot of time at the trolly turnaround area, the others talking with a friend of theirs. As the sun set, we went to a market for fixings, and then returned to Joe’s apartment, where we witnessed a truly excruciating attempt by a dude in a Mazda Miata to parallel park. Tacos ensued.

Jake had to go, and I caught a bus back to the Panhandle area where I’m staying, stopping at Target to have a look around before walking back.

This morning I awoke with a headache, so after breakfast and some Aleve, I returned to bed until the pain was more or less receding. Then I took a bus down to Market and walked over to the Best Buy on Harrison to look at speakers. While I was there, a grey-bearded man with a cart strode in, loudly proclaiming, “BEST BUY RUINED MY LIFE!” A clerk hurried over and spoke with him for a minute about his grievance, and then he strode out again, shouting just as loudly, “IT’S OK IT WAS JUST A MISUNDERSTANDING, NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT!”

I wandered over to the camera section to have a look at the new Sonys, and the sales dude came over to ask if I had any questions. “How fast does this wake up?” I said, pointing to the A7rIII.

“Point-six milliseconds,” he said.

“Really.”

“Well, maybe half a second,” he said. I picked up the camera, held down the shutter and switched it on. We both waited until the shutter activated.

“So, a little over a second?” I suggested.

“But there’s literally no situation where you’d need it to do that,” he said quickly, and I couldn’t, try as I might, to suppress a laugh.

“Are…are you a photographer?”

He took umbrage at this. How dare I insinuate that he was not a photographer. “I am a photographer, as a matter of fact.” Challenging glare, arms folded. Ok. I didn’t want to get into it, so I thanked him for his time and left. I know I shouldn’t have been so mean; I’m sure he’s a lovely photographer.

Joe and Rob picked me up in front of the store, but not before I made the elderly white man standing there clutching a printer extremely nervous. Everyone here seems unreasonably nervous, for some reason, like they’re all waiting for something awful to happen.

We drove back to Joe’s place, tried to walk his dog, but the dog, Miller, wasn’t having it. So we left Miller there and headed out again, this time for sushi with Ann, whom I’d met two years ago. We’d expected a wait but were able to head right in. The sushi was good, fresh and not cheap. Fortunately Rob is a CIA agent so he was able to make the check “go away”. Then he drove me back to the panhandle, telling me stories of various famous photographers he’s met.

I walked up to the Lucky grocery store to get some snacks and gifts, but I had to use the restroom first. I walked back to where they were located, and saw a middle-aged white woman kneeling on the floor fussing with her bag. As I walked to the restroom door she started and yelled at me, “What are you doing here?!” in a panicked voice.

Confused, I pointed at the restroom door, saying, obviously I thought, “I want to use the restroom.” But she was shaking her head, and saying she knew what I was up to, no, I couldn’t fool her. I was a sexual predator, apparently, sneaking up on her with the most nefarious of schemes.

Upon seeing my expression, she said, “Oh, and I’m the crazy one? Ha!” I ignored her and tried the handle of the restroom, but there was a keycode because everyone in America is paranoid and narrow-minded. When I gave up and began walking to the register to ask for the code, the woman said snidely, “Oh, I guess you’ve decided not to use the restroom, huh? I know what you’re up to, you pervert!”

I ignored her, went to get the code, used the restroom, picked up my snacks, and headed to the counter, where the woman was just finishing her checkout. As I waited in line, looking at my phone, she chatted with the clerk, looking for all the world like a normal person. I guess that’s the most frightening thing about all of this.

The photo activities are ramping up tomorrow, so that should be interesting.

posted by Poagao at 2:46 pm  

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