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CHAPTER 1 (Opening Paragraphs)

written by: BobDuvet

I was seasonally affected, that much I knew, I used it to my full advantage when subverting any attempts at greatness. The beauty of San Francisco for someone like me was that there was really only one true season year-round. A protracted fall that would only occasionally hint at the California most who weren't from here had come to expect it to be. Eventually, the cold chill and swirling winds emanating off the bay drive you into an unanticipated swaddle of fleece. Fleece should be issued when you got off the plane or a checkpoints just outside the city limits. It becomes a synthetic epidermis protecting all who enter the city from the damp realities that await. The irony of seeing so many tourists walking huddled together, with a look of frozen misery etching their faces, a look that probably mirrored that of a family tree of ancestors whose misery stretched back to the Dark Ages and had only within the last two generations afforded this kind of holiday was not lost on me. Frozen families eating chowder out of bowls made of sour bread. These families were meant for LA. I was meant for LA but always seemed to distract myself with the relative ease of life in San Francisco. A daily reprise, beginning in the late afternoon with the fog entering through the Golden Gate Bridge, swallowing everything in its path. I swear your dreams get lost in that soupy grey, mess, staggering around with everyone else's like disoriented children who have drifted from the sight of their parents. That feeling of panic as each realizes that split second it takes for things to go wrong, for a child to become lost, is upon them. Their cries for help fading into a chorus of foghorns, windwhipped trees and the babble of sea lions. By morning the fog has begun its retreat, taking it all back out to sea. Each day beginning anew, a fresh start no matter how much had been accomplished the day before. Leaving you shipwrecked. Stuck. Dead.

Today I rose from a night of fitful sleep to tackle the latest incarnation of "the dream deferred". Just a faint memory or loose synopsis of the day's previous revelations to guide me. I was tired. The beginning of a new day should not begin with you already in the hole. I longed for the refreshed feeling I was sure others in the apartments surrounding mine were experiencing. Everyone starring in their own coffee commercial, the aroma of brewed beans playfully tantalizing their senses and gently nudging them awake. Sleepy smiles widening across well rested faces. I hated them all. I awake with whatever reservoirs of optimism already being threatened by some advertising version of the perfect way to begin your day. Advertising should be classified no differently than a drug like heroin or meth. It depletes whatever natural chemicals relieve pain or provide pleasure until you become numb to anything that isn't some heightened, packaged, and enthusiastically rendered version of "life", set to a buzzy soundtrack.


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