His curt demeanor became even more abrupt after I had handed him my Google card as method of payment. He turned the card over in his hand, looking at the logo for a few seconds longer than necessary, saying nothing more to me. After I left the shop I thought, Was he rude to me because he thinks I'm some Mission-gentrifying Google employee ruining 'his' neighborhood, and, by extension, the City? (I am neither.) Would that be the neighborhood where my grandparents lived on Sanchez and 15th in an apartment with my great-aunt and her family until they were able to afford a place of their own--in the city they were born and raised--out in the Excelsior? Would that be the city to which my great-grandparents came from other countries and worked in as longshoremen, firemen, postmen, municipal railway operators and bottlers? Would that also be the city in which my great-great-grandfather worked as a carpenter, building it a-new after it had been mostly destroyed by the earthquake-related fires in 1906? That city? Would it also be the city in which my parents were raised and from which I was priced out back in the 1990s?
Over the past month, or so, I have consistently been seeing empty peanut shells on the back deck. Not a lot of them, mind you, but enough to make me wonder if birds are bringing their booty to my yard and snacking. We've a lot of crows that hang about out back and, of course, there's the crafty Jay, among other bit players.
This morning I got up early to have a coffee at the kitchen table & contemplate my (birth) day. As I sat I saw a plump squirrel standing by the deck chairs with a peanut in its mouth. The peanut was partially shelled, not yet fully 'enjoyed' by my wee friend. I got up to get a better look out the back window, making the squirrel shoot off, peanut firmly in mouth. No shells on the deck this morning.
One of the few things I like about living along this part of the bay are the many bike/walk paths that dot the shoreline. Last Sunday afternoon, I decided to cycle from my house to the Bay Bridge and back. The bike/ped path is divided into two lanes, one going in either direction, separated by a thick yellow line. Most pedestrians stay to the right as do all cyclists. If one wishes to pass, then one could call out, but it isn't always heard especially by the earbud-wearing crowd. Also, if folk are slow-going and not weaving to and fro, calling out doesn't really seem necessary.
Three weeks ago, I had a rather unpleasant experience on the path. There was a slow-cycling couple towing a dog in a kiddie-cart that I decided to cycle around. After I'd pedaled by, I heard this at my back: WARN WHEN PASSING!!! It sounded like the bloody Queen of Hearts. I hadn't expected to hear British English on the path and it took my brain a few seconds to figure out what the woman had bellowed. WAHHRN? Huh?
Off with her wheels!
Mind you, I am one the slowest cyclists on the road. Most bikes pass me with ease. I am so far from a doped up Tour de France racer it's comical. To have that woman bark at me was startling. By the time I had reached the bridge some three miles later, I had mostly forgotten about the encounter. At this point a chorus of bells rang out and a voice hissed loudly at me from a passing bike: LIKE THIS! Again, WTF? The same woman who'd bellowed at me earlier on the trail was now moving past me with her cycling partner pulling up the rear. Flabbergasted, I could only manage to squeak: that was a bit aggressive. -not like it had any impact on those two.
Since the aggro-incident, nothing of note has happened on the path save for a sighting of a few rambunctious jack rabbits wrestling. I hope that encountering the 'yeller' was a one-off as it would be a shame to have the bike trail, truly one of the only bits I like about living here, be blemished by 'path-ragers'.