I finished the paper. I actually received e-mails wondering about that. Apparently my last two video postings were too much for some people. Sorry about that.
So then Miguel and I went on a Mundane Journey. Maybe you remember my last (and only) one? This time, I was so excited because Miguel was the one who suggested it, Saturday night. So Sunday morning, I called the hotline and wrote down the directions by public transit, and Miguel propped himself on the couch to finish watching a movie, a really stupid movie, in fact, about this guy who kills virgins to capture their essence to make perfume, and it wasn’t even a comedy.
“I thought you said you wanted to go on the Mundane Journey,” I said.
“No I didn’t,” he said. I’ll spare you the back and forth conversation that ensued, but it went something like “Yes you did” and “No I didn’t” and “Yes you did” and “I was drunk” for a very long period of time, until he finally caved in and we were on the BART train to the Montgomery exit.
I brought my cell phone with me, so we could listen to the Mundane Journeys hotline recording as if we were on an audio tour. And it was as we were meandering along with all the other tourists from Market Street past the Transamerica Building that I came to realize that Miguel and I were on what I consider to be an “advanced tour.” That is, regular tourists are basic tourists. They have their guide books, they want to see all the sites so they can take pictures to remember all these very important, beautiful things that they saw. Mundane Journeys, on the other hand, are for people looking for that little bit extra, something special, with an edge, just for us, the locals.
We got to 722 Montgomery, and I started the speed dial (I saved the hotline in my phone, so I now have 24/7 access, any time, anywhere).
“Are you sure this is it?” said Miguel. “This building’s under construction.”
“Yes.” As I had already listened to the recording several times before leaving, I already knew which details to look for.
“Here, Miguel. Take advantage of the audio tour,” I said, passing him the phone, stifling my own smugness for having thought of the “audio tour” aspect.
Miguel put my little phone to his ear. It’s such a cute little phone, very feminine, half the size of normal phones. You have to unfold it. James Bond would use a phone like this.
Miguel looked straight up, as per the instructions, revealing the suntan lines from his bike helmet on his head, which I’d never noticed before. He didn’t seem to be looking in the right direction, so I pointed him along.
“Hey, that’s construction padding,” he said. Good. He found it. “What the f—!”
I took a second look at the padding around the wiring of the soon to be reconstructed front entrance of 722 Montgomery, just to take it all in, again.
“Yes, but did you notice how the orange paint goes in a different direction that the blue?” I said. That’s what the instructions said to notice. And sure enough, the orange really did go in a different direction than the blue.
“You brought me all the way out here to look at f—ing construction padding?”
“But I bet you’re seeing it in a whole new way,” I said.
Then we got hot chocolates in an Italian café in North Beach, which I paid for, and Miguel was in a good mood again, kind of, except the music inside was very loud. In fact, we left the establishment more stressed out than when we had arrived. So then we walked to Union Square, which was one of the worst things either of us could have ever thought of, just a few days before Thanksgiving, what with the crowds of angry tourists and shoppers. What I want to know is, what makes Nine West in Union Square any more special than the Nine West in your average Wichita, KS, mall?
I hope I have time to go to next week’s Mundane Journey. I wonder if Miguel will go with me.