Friday, August 25

Dear Jim,

How are you? Did you watch the eclipse on Monday? I wasn´t interested.

It was cool on Sunday and very cool on Monday. Monday reminded me of being South of Market. I wonder if the eclipse was why it was so cool.

I´m sitting outside at my favorite coffee shop. It is beautiful. It´s cool but not breezy, so you don´t get colder the longer you sit here. I got here at ten to seven.

I like coming here on Friday because the staff is in their street clothes. Usually they wear black, so their bright clothes bring the place to life.

There wasn´t much in the paper this morning. There was a big fight between a catcher and a batter at a Yankee-Tiger game. The Tigers are way back and the Yankees are 5 games back.

The Giants are 39 games out. Isn´t that funny? In May they weren´t drawing very well, so I don´t know how they are drawing now.

I´ve only been to one game at their downtown stadium. It opened around 2000. I went with dad and his church group around 2005. I can´t remember. It was a beautiful night and it is a beautiful stadium. You would like it.

There is a great view of the bay. The stadium is so nice it would be a wonderful place to sit during lunch, look out on the bay, then walk back to work.

The City has changed a lot. South of Market was a skid row when you started high school. By the time I graduated it was mostly rubble. Now it´s an area of ugly modern buildings, except for the stadium.

There are a lot of expensive apartments and condos, very tall and as ugly as the new office buildings. And there are still a lot of slobs, especially at the Cal Trans station. People who have a ticket can´t sit in the sun outside the depot because all the slobs sit out there and come in to use the bathroom. It´s a disgrace.

A city council guy in Sacto wants to see if there is a way to get the homeless guys working. It sounds like something from the fifties where an employer would come to skid row, pick up a bunch of guys, then drop them off at the end of the day.

I tried to call dad the other day – three times. He has a new friend who he was talking with, so the woman who runs the place kept telling me to call back. After the third call she explained what was going on and asked me to call another day.

Dad needs all the friends he can get. So do I. So did you. It´s amazing, the isolation of the three of us. Dad had mom and has always had God. I don´t think he felt isolated when mom was alive, but he always wished he had more friends. The guy from the navy he loved died in the eighties. The other guy dad really liked got Alzheimer´s in the nineties.

You and I had each other, but that was changing when you died. I tell people we were drifting apart when you got killed, that your death could not have come at a worse time for me. I say, ¨I don´t think we would have become affectionate again.¨

It would have been wrenching if you lived. We would have had to talk things over why I am a failure. If we didn´t, or if we did and things didn´t improve, we both would have lost.

We are different. I am the eccentric. You hated the anarchistic times. You were big on authority and order. I am defiant, so I fit right in to the fuck you society.

Even though today´s America is perverted and anarchistic, it is also very conformist. You can go to the river to get buttfucked, but you are a weirdo if you sit for three hours looking at naked trees. You can scream that you have the right to say any profane thing you want to, but if you quietly say we should remove all the surveillance cameras, people feel threatened by you.

I think you felt that I should have grown up, stopped rebelling, got a career. I look at all the tattooed idiots, all the sluts, all the queers and say, ¨You guys are pretenders. You don´t know what it´s like to be different.¨

We are different Jim. That is what made our drifting apart scary and heartbreaking. I needed you for your respectability. You needed me for my free spirit. I hated the respectable world more as I got older. You felt I needed to rein in my free spirit.

That´s it for now.



Copyright © 2021 by David Vaszko