As I remember it, today is the anniversary of my move to San Francsico. Sixteen years ago I made a rash decision to stay behind while everyone I knew went back home. It’s also my best buddy’s birthday.
The first thing I realized about San Francisco was the old Mark Twain quote about summer being frigid was true. Fog rolls in like an army of ghosts on the march, enveloping everything in depressing dampness.
There were a few people who helped me get a foothold in San Francisco, Suzy and Carlos being the heroes of my earliest days, but it’s my old friend Josh who’s most responsible for the success I’ve had here.
I met Josh outside of San Francisco Scooter Centre when I dropped in to buy some new bulbs for my scooter’s headlight. The wiring harness was all fucked up and it kept blowing bulbs. Josh helped me put a voltage regulator on my bike, which solved the problem. He didn’t charge a thing and he offered me a job as a barback at 330 Ritch St., an infamous nightclub that’s now closed.
Later, when my sublease ran out, he let me move into The Dirty Sanchez, his flat in Lower Haight. Josh likes to tell stories about those days, back when I was still drinking and trying to be a legendary cocksman. Many nights I would fall up the stairs and yack my stomach inside out. More than once he found me using a stack of toilet paper as a pillow, curled next to the toilet.
I never went to AA with him, but Josh was a strong influence on my decision to quit drinking. He’s made a tremendous difference in the lives of many of the city’s night dwellers by his example and thoughtfulness.
Josh was best man at my wedding (with my other favorite Josh). He always championed my relationship and gave me good advice when I wanted to murder Mrs. Lott.
There probably isn’t a more honest, genuine human being in all of the city. If you know him, you know what a good dude he is. If you don’t know him, pay no attention to his hostile glare. Underneath that grizzly silver fox rage is a heart as true and good as any you’re likely to find in this snotty city.