Chill Time

I took a few days off from work. There was Rebecca’s birthday on Thursday, the following Friday and Monday, and of course the Fourth of July was Tuesday. All this added up to a six-day weekend and I’m happy to report that I didn’t accomplish shit except play this game on my Android called “Adventure League” where you lead a band of medieval mercenaries and cruise around a hexagonal map where you fight a quickly repetitive assortment of foes. My crew was called the “Diarrhea Desperados” and we kicked ass until we all got killed.

Maybe my claim of total sloth is not entirely true. I did write a blog post on Saturday where I at least splashed around in the shallow end of the suicide-ideation pool. I did an OK job with it, good enough to get me some of that social-media validation I crave far more than is healthy. One thing I would have changed if blogging were more conducive to rewrites would be to ease up on the “I won’t go through with it” disclaimers. Some of those are necessary lest some well-meaning but uninformed friend decide to 5150 my weepy ass for my own good. The number of times I did this was, if you can excuse the expression, overkill.

I’ve also walked around the city more. I needed that. My usual workaday existence consists of an alarm clock going off at 5:45 am, a full day down in San Jose, and a long bus ride going to and fro. When I get home, I’m flopped out on the couch with a glass of wine instead of hitting the town.

It’s a comfortable existence albeit an insular one. I enjoy time I get to spend inside my head, but sometimes I feel like I get lost in there. This is partly true even at work. Sure I’m required a lot of focus and some amount of interaction, but the detachment is still there. There is nothing wrong with my coworkers. I’m just too weird to share my thoughts in a job environment and too enamored by my weirdness to shelve it so I can listen to someone else’s mundane crap.

With much of my life differing little from day to day, it’s not all that surprising that my urban strolls quickly fell into a routine of their own. I would head down to Muddy Waters (aka Trash Muddy’s) for my first cup of coffee, which I would drink in the back room. From there, I would head off to Wicked Grounds, a mile and change further along in SoMa.

On the way, I would pass a number of homeless encampments along the sidewalk near Folsom and 16th Street. I didn’t see too many people. They were either in their tents or elsewhere. Of the few who were around, none panhandled me. That was nice. I like a world where people leave each other alone.

Between the upwardly mobile douchebags on Valencia Street and these unfortunate bastards, I started to feel like I was middle class, an average Joe, a water treader. Then I corrected myself. There is no such thing as middle class in San Francisco, not anymore. You’re either privileged or you’re fucked and as much as I’d like to believe otherwise, I’m privileged as hell. I’m just old and less flashy about it.

When I finally get to Wicked Grounds, I would order an Americano because if you just want a cup of coffee, it’s either that or French press and an Americano sounds like it’s less trouble. It probably isn’t though. I’m sure both are a pain in the ass.

Wicked Grounds, as far as I know, is the only kink-friendly coffee place in the city. You have to be at least 18 to go there, there are floggers and other toys available for purchase, and munches are sometimes held in the back room. There is gender fluidity among both the staff and patrons, and the vibe is relaxed overall.

I like it there. Even though my appearance is conspicuously conventional, nobody gives me any attitude. This is probably because I always tip and neither gawk nor talk shit. I don’t know if they assume I’m vanilla. Is there some BDSM version of gaydar and if so, would I set it off? I definitely have my thing, but it’s a little different from most kinksters are into. (Relax, concerned citizens. It’s all consenting adults.)

It hardly matters. I feel somehow validated knowing I’m different, but in a different way from other different folks. Not a bad trick for such a stodgy-looking doofus. I try my best to conceal my smugness as I drink my coffee before the long walk home.

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