Wiped clean

Pub date May 4, 2010
WriterL.E. Leone
SectionCheap Eats


CHEAP EATS You never know where in the world you’re going to be when the time comes to regroup. Or in my case re-re-re-re-re-re-re-regroup. I keep having to have these little sit-downs with myself. Or lie-downs, if I happen to be at home alone or in the woods, where one can assume a fetal position and howl without attracting too much comment. Is it possible she knows what I’m going through?

For example: Greenbrae.

Must stop wondering. But is it a state of mind, or a suburb of San Rafael? Or Larkspur? Or is it Larkspur? Whatever the fuck, a river runs through it, or at least a creek. And there is also the Bon Air Shopping Center.

The best way to forget Angela Kreuz, according to Forgetting Sarah Marshall, is to meet, make, and fall in love with new people. Since Rachel (Mila Kunis) is a fictional character, I decided to focus my attention on men again. Why not? They are reliable and brave, and, if one day Angela Kreuz changes her beautiful mind, I could just tell my future ex-husband, "Oops, I’m a lesbian."

And what could he say? He would just have to sit there and be brave and reliable — while I explained who Angela Kreuz was: some woman who doesn’t respond to my e-mails but does Google herself; someone I’d known many, many years ago who pretended to be a man but wasn’t, but it didn’t matter because I loved her beyond gender, beyond fear, who tore my heart out one New Year’s Day morning in Germany, before coffee. Then wrote to France to tell me, in some of the most poorly worded English I had ever seen in any language, that I was mentally unstable, she’d been afraid to eat with me in the end because she thought I might poison her —

"Wait!" My future ex-husband, having been handpicked by me from all the world’s really top-shelf men for precisely this purpose, would bravely, reliably interrupt me. "Before coffee?"

So, yeah, so that was pretty much "the plan" as I drove my brother’s shitty van to the Bon Air Shopping Center in Greenbrae. To meet a man I’d met online who must, I don’t know, live in Greenbrae or some such something, because why else would you drink your coffee in a shopping center?

Not to mention meeting your future ex-wife there.

But the really depressing thing is — and after this sentence it’s going to be all sunshine not only to the bottom of the page but sideways into next week, I promise — that I find myself willing to overlook all these crap shortcomings (e.g., drinking coffee in shopping centers) to potentially meet the potential doofus-of-my-dreams, because — hey — who knows? Right?

They know. Immediately. She drives … that? Wait, did she just spit getting out of her car? Is that a sunflower seed shell between her teeth? Hay in her hair? And what’s that smell?

My soccer scrapes and bruises don’t show up on photographs. I do let my adoring male public know, before they behold me in actual person, that I am essentially a chicken farmer, but what’s charming in words, and missing from pictures, breaks deals in person. Or in other words: dudes ain’t buyin’ it. Still. And I had to wonder, sitting by myself at the fake fire pit outside on the sidewalk, Bon Air Shopping Center, beautiful Marin County evening, how much longer … Who? … What? … I just had to wonder.

Which you can only do for so long, in my experience, before you need a hamburger. Or better yet a pulled-pork sandwich with fried onions on it. Besides Peet’s, the Bon Air Shopping Center has a goofy surfer restaurant called Wipeout.

Like a good faux cowgirl chicken farmer, I ate at the faux fire, dripping real pork juice and hot sauce all over my favorite jeans, and I swear, just when I started to think, Fuck Angela Kreuz, I’m going to become a man-hating old-school lesbian … my cell phone shook. An accidental poem from a beautiful woman in Hollywood: "I love your punctuation. Your sentence structure turns me on. Especially your use of colons: like this."


Mon.–Thurs. and Sun 11 a.m.– 10 p.m.;

Fri.–Sat. 11 a.m.–11 p.m.

302 Bon Air Center, Greenbrae

(415) 461-7400


Full bar