Deep in the heart of downtown Pt. Richmond you’ll find the Hotel Mac. It’s been there for almost 100 years. The walls are covered with red velvet. My grandma introduced us to it when I was a young girl, but I believe she had been a regular for years before. Apparently, they make good martinis. We’d meet there for our birthdays, both in October, almost every year while I was in high school. I always ordered the filet mignon and a Coke, with the cherry. Later, when we were roommates in San Rafael, we’d take a trip over the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge for oysters on the half shell and to flirt with the waiters.
As I took this picture, from my car across the street, I heard a man and a woman having a yelling match from opposite sides of the street.
“Git over here so I can kill you,” she said.
“Naw, ma’am, I ain’t goin’ over there.”
“I said, git over here. I’m gonna kill you.”
“Hell no,” he said.
“Why don’t you get yo’ ass over here?”
“Why would I do that?” he said. “You jes said that you gonna kill me!”
As I was attempting to back up, I peered through my windowless rear window, and the woman and I made eye contact. She was seated in a green plastic lawn chair in front of the RosaMaria’s Taquería, holding a large metal cane.
She begged her pardon and asked if I could help her.
I couldn’t pretend not to hear her, because there is no rear window in my car.
“Could you give me some money so I can take a cab away from this terrible man?”
I knew she didn’t have change for a twenty, so I lied and said I was broke.
“Then can you drive me the hell out of here?”
This all happened when I stopped in town to get money at an ATM for the Richmond Bridge toll, on my way home from a bike race, and now I’m too tired to try to think of an ending.