CHEAP EATS Christ, I love quantum theory, how something can be something, and at the same time something else, and so on, right?
Nobody rides in my pickup truck with me except Earl Butter, because nobody else can handle the mess. When it got to the point where even he was starting to grumble, I decided to say that I had cleaned my truck, without actually doing a thing, same way he says he has hair on his head so now he does.
I cleaned my truck! It’s spotless! It’s clean! Smells nice too … And not only that, but the engine is running just perfectly!
I write to you from under a tree, at the side of a lonely country road, Pepper Road, just north of Petaluma. Beautiful morning, late morning, getting later. One of my favorite things about driving this 20-year-old Chevy Sprint pickup truck, besides the fact that it gets better gas mileage than most hybrids and all other car cars, is that you never know what’s going to happen next.
Sometimes the horn works, sometimes not. Brights, yes. Low beams, no. It generally gets you where you’re going, just a question of when. And anyway, if you’d come visit me more often, you’d know there’s about a 50-50 chance that if your car breaks down, it will leave you somewhere pretty, like here. Although, I don’t say my truck “breaks down”; I say it “surprises me.”
The cows are not interested. The cars and trucks tackling the Cotati Grade, 101, are just far enough away to sound a little bit like a river. And a big white crane just hopped the fence and is standing, I swear, 15 yards away on the road, looking at me.
“Hey, you know anything about cars?”
It shakes its head.
I have some ideas: wires, rotor, gas cap, other parts I might buy to, um, encourage my motor to operate more predictably. Question is: should I?
Yesterday it left me at Bush and Fillmore. I coasted to a stop, I swear, in a legal parking space behind a car that had just surprised its owner too! She had a cell phone and let me use it and was very kind to me and sweet. In fact, if we didn’t fall in love and live happily ever after, it was only because her tow truck showed up before the thought did.
Me, I can’t afford no tow trucks. I’d called my lawyer, told him I’d be a little late for lunch, then hopped a 22 and headed for the Mission. My lawyer Will, Esquire, works for some food safety group, tackling Monsanto and other evil empires from his office, Mission and 22nd, overlooking the whole city and both bridges.
He eats at Tao Yin, that Chinese and Japanese joint on 20th, my new favorite restaurant. Lunch specials are $4 to $5 with soup and rice, between 11am and 4pm. Fish with black bean sauce, yum, vegetarian delight for him. And because I’m not currently being sued by anyone or under arrest, we had nothing to talk about but life’s little pleasantries, like the impending end of the world on account of global warming and whatnot.
By the time I got back to my car, it started! I’d missed my gig, my reason for being in the city in the first place, but I had plenty of time to get over to the East Bay, so long as I was here, and have dinner with Ask Isadora at my new favorite restaurant, Amarin, in Alameda.
Thai food. Chicken curry, eggplant and pumpkin special, pad thai, yum yum yum … and because I have no sex life or relationship issues, we had nothing to talk about but life’s little pleasantries, like zoophilia and, you know, whatnot.
Afterwards: bluegrass jam at McGrath’s! Where (Ask says) two straight guys hit on me but I didn’t see it. So they did, and they didn’t. (Christ, I love quantum theory!)
Tell you what: the food was pretty good both places yesterday but not as good as the sum of the leftovers today, under this tree, all jumbled up and warmed on the engine block wrapped in a ball of old burrito foil found under the seat, because, see, I haven’t really cleaned. SFBG
Mon.–Thurs., 11 a.m.–10 p.m.; Fri.–Sun., 11 a.m.–10:30 p.m.
3515 20th St., SF
Takeout and delivery available
Beer and wine