September 26, 2012
At the foot of the mountain, you can only imagine what awaits at the top. I remember being a kid and always seeing mountains in the distance. It was like a cartoon. I just figured mountains were straight lines that you would draw on a piece of paper. It wasn’t until you start to get closer that you see, it isn’t a smooth slope all the way to the peak. It’s filled with rocks and crevices and trees covering the whole surface. From far away, they always look easy to scale. But standing at the foothill is where the path is truly revealed.
I have been in San Francisco for a good bit of time now. After leaving Los Angeles, it will most likely be the longest stop. It is more or less a kicking off point. I’m doing my research on the mountains and camp zones and making sure that everything is ready. I had looked up when the Presidential Debates were going to happen and it seems that I will embark on the weekend after the first one (Oct 3), and I want to find a way to catch them in the midst of my journey.
I sometimes feel like my dad, or everyone’s dad, in the sense that I like to watch “the news”. I always remember the days of Dan Rather in the house every evening because it was time to watch the news. Now I’m the one tuning in. The debates are different, though. It is where the circus stands up in front of an audience with no more excuses. The whole idea of our political system is rather limited and even more so when we put people in charge of it. For right or wrong we see how people react to the rhetoric of politicians and the divisive tactics plaguing our society. It demonstrates that for the most part that there are no bounds to the manipulation of people or the depth of their ignorance. It illustrates that competing ideas of moral high ground and selfish justifications don’t have to be consistent. It shows that politicians all have the same goal: Look out for #1. They all just disagree on who gets that title. In the end, it brings you closer to the people around you and shines a light on the people in this country you may never see.
In the meantime, I’m enjoying the hell out of SF. I’ve been to some of the local hotspots such as Roxies (the best place for a sandwich) and had a great bacon cheeseburger at Pearls. It was a little pricey, but fantastic. All in all, it’s just a great city! I’ve visited some of the bars downtown, on market, and in the mission (FYI: I have no idea what any of that means), and their all hip joints. The beers are reasonable, the music is good, and there’s always a pool table on hand. And last but not least, there are so many beautiful women walking around. Just a night last week, a few of us went to late night Vietnamese noodles. The place was packed! Even though the people I was with knew the place, I struck up conversation with the couple next to us to feel out the menu. In the middle of chopstick pinches and a swig of my Sapporo, I smiled at a pretty girl who walked in. And she actually smiled back! I know that doesn’t sound impressive to most of you, but I thought it was pretty perfect. Coming from a city where people only smile on camera, those real human connections are so few and far between. The simple primal pleasure of a woman smiling back is the best a man can want for…. until he wants more.
As I said, I was hanging with some friends. Friends of friends actually, I just met most of them that night. Already there is talk of going up and camping in Mendocino on the upcoming weekend. Needless to say: that was happening.