Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bikinis and swimsuits accepted

The eastern half of Dolores Park is still in sunlight, but I'm in shade. There are bodies scattered over the slope, the woman selling empanadas, the man with marijuana chocolates. Two people are rolled into a blanket, a bare foot showing at one end, a hand at the other.

Just downhill from me is a crusty old man in baggy jeans, no shirt. While I watch, he stands up and unbuckles, sliding the pants down over his hips. Saggy old white man in saggy whities. Or former whities, now nearly transparent and the color of old bones. He reaches a hand down the front of them and roots around in there, and I wonder if we'll get the whole show; nudity is all the rage these days, I'm told. But he pulls his hand free and lies face down on the grass, arms out above his head. He looks like someone flung him there.

I stand up and make my way down the hill, toward Valencia. A boy sitting on a stoop nods at me as I pass, then says something I don't hear. I stop and turn. "You have a great smile," he says.

I'm looking for a cafe described by a Litquake volunteer, and almost miss it. I was distracted by the woman talking about how her bullet hole is still sore.

In the back, by the bathroom, is a poster advertising Halloween festivities here. Costumed guests will get two beers for $8. Bikinis, it says, and swimsuits accepted.

It's dark as I walk home past the tennis courts. I can hear the pok pok of ball against racket, see the green of the balls glowing against black sky.

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