CHEAP EATS There was a man on a tractor talking to a man who wasn’t on a tractor. There were a boy and a girl by the road, in the grass, playing with something in a bucket. There were two men going into a broken down building. There was a woman sitting on her porch steps looking at her hands.
I didn’t cry at the wedding, but the next night I came home from a next-night barbecue, closed the door to my room, and Patsy Clined into a saucy puddle on the bed. The pork chops were beautiful, dressed in halved apricots and peaches, also off the grill. There were grilled squashes, eggplants, and even a cucumber, which I had stuffed with bread and tomatoes and wrapped in bacon.
It was a beautiful evening in upstate New York, and I was surrounded by my friends. San Francisco friends. East Coast friends. Mostly they wanted to know if the hot dogs were ready, but still … I was surrounded. It was beautiful. I don’t mind always minding the grill, but what happens is that by the time I eat there isn’t any salad.
I cried myself to sleep.
In the morning Earl Butter brought me a piece of toast. I was in the shower, and when I came out there was a piece of toast on my journal. Dry. It was the thought that counted.
It is customary, I believe, here in the society section, to say something about the bride. What she wore, for example. Who she was …
Bikkets!!! My old best friend, bandmate, kindred spirit, and ex-podner. She wore a white gown that wasn’t a wedding dress but did have big different-colored sequin butterflies all over it. It was spectacular, outlandish, elegant, beautiful, insane, and perfect. One of her other old best friends is a costume shopper for the movies, and this is what you get when you bring a professional costumer and a tranny with you into the fitting room. You get big colorful butterflies all over your wedding dress.
I was standing by a pond and they were saying their vows next to a brook. Some sunlight dribbled through the maple trees and found her sequins, and I was never more proud not to be there at the wedding, but to have been there in the fitting room.
Honest to Godzilla, while Bikkets was saying her piece, a real live butterfly flitted out of nowhere, circled her head, landed on a stick right next to her, and seemed to pay attention, like it was marking her words or something.
You couldn’t get away with that in the movies, let alone real life! Are you kidding me? I was like: Unh-unh. Nope. No way. The only thing that could have conceivably made the moment more wonderful would have been a big, loud fart.
I am in the back of the van, again, writing to you from the road for the third week in a row. Ohio. Hard rain, lightning, more tornado warnings, Earl Butter at the wheel, and I’m more afraid than I was in Nebraska, driving by myself through something way worse.
In the past 30 miles we’ve seen two overturned accidents. We’re trying to make it to the last gig of our tour, and then, if all goes well, I will be camping in this shit tonight, in wet woods in Mosquitoville, Mich. That’s if things go well. If they go otherwise, I don’t know what. I don’t have tickets, directions, a ride, or exactly a home of my own to come home to.
I have a new favorite restaurant! It’s in the Mission, on 22nd Street between my two favorite bars, the Make-Out Room and the Latin, so when I do finally sally my silly self back to San Francisco, you will find me there, eating tortas and reading the paper, almost all the time.
If only I could remember the name of the place, or what the hell I had. Just kidding. It’s Tortas el Primo, and I had a carnitas sandwich. Which was a goofy thing to order because, as I recall, I’d been eating week-old pork all week that week, the week before I left.
Which is why we have friends in the world. Right? Wayway, who turned me on to Tortas el Primo and went there with me, ordered carne asada and swapped me half of his. Everything was great!
Instead of cake, they had wedding pies, blueberry, apple, peach … Twenty-seven of them, made in two days by Deevee and Phenomenon. I helped. *
TORTAS EL PRIMO
Daily, 7 a.m.9 p.m.
3242 22nd St., SF