TALES OF WEST HOLLYWOOD: WEEKEND IN SAN FRANCISCO
I arrived in the City by the Bay first thing Saturday courtesy of Virgin; little did I know I wouldn’t be one after the night’s end. (Riiiiiiiight….) Anyway, it started off like any great San Francisco weekend:catching up with old friends over burritos for lunch on in the Mission, making dinner with more old friends in the Haight, and drinks in the Castro.
On Saturday night, I met up with some friends downtown who were at a Bear party. Now, I’ve started to like guys with somewhat larger builds and body hair sometimes; I’ve also been putting on more muscle and sport some scruff myself. Still, I felt pretty out of place on a dance floor filled with sweaty men much larger than me. The Ecstasy pill my friend forced down my throat (okay, I may have aided by swallowing) helped make me feel a bit more comfortable.
I met a few interesting guys there, but there was one in particular who caught my eye toward the end of the night. He was a compact but built redhead with a beard named Russell. Now gingers usually aren’t my thing, but there was something hot about this one. Our eyes met on the dance floor, and I eventually made my way over and introduced myself. We danced together and made out for awhile. When the club abruptly closed at 2AM, Russell took me to his place, which was near the ballpark.
We entered Russell’s apartment, which was a tiny but very nice studio – blond hardwood floors, new cabinets and stainless steel appliances. He poured us both drinks, and we sat on the bed and talked for a bit. I asked him what he did for a living.
“I’m a yoga cartographer.”
“A what now?” I asked.
“A yoga cartographer,” he repeated.
“So what, you’re charting the latitude and longitude of twisting your leg around your neck?
Russell laughed and explained that he was an out of work cartographer who taught a yoga class a couple times a week at the Y.
After a few drinks and a little more small talk, Russell and I spent the next couple hours practicing our Downward Dog with each other. Boy, that was some good Downward Dog.
We wound up falling asleep in each other’s arms. When I awakened, it was already noon. Shit! I needed to get back to where I was staying, change clothes, and meet friends for a rooftop barbecue later in the day.
I shot right up and started getting dressed. Russell snuck up behind me and pulled me back into bed, and more Downward Dog ensued.
I finally got out of there and did my cab ride of shame back to my friend’s house. I showered, threw some different clothes on, and went to meet up with my group in the Castro.
We hopped in a cab and made our way toward the barbecue. I wasn’t really paying attention to where we were going. We were headed towards the ballpark, which was amusing because it’s where I’d trekked back from earlier.
The cab let us off at 4th & Branson, where we made a pit stop at the grocery store for snacks and drinks. Our ragtag bunch was following my friend Jonny, who knew the girl throwing the party.
We cut through an alley and turned onto a street that looked familiar. Maybe I’d been over here when I briefly lived in SF a few years prior. Maybe this was close to where I’d been last night/this morning.
“We’re here!” Jonny called out from ahead of us. I looked up.
HOLY FUCKING SHIT. The barbecue was on the rooftop of the very building I’d been in just 12 hours earlier.
I immediately told my friends the story, and no one could believe the coincidence. Of all the buildings in San Francisco, I’d been led back to this one. Everyone told me I had to go say hi to this Russell guy, but I thought that would seem somewhat creepy/stalkerish.
After three drinks, I promptly went downstairs and knocked on Russell’s door. He took awhile to answer, and his lights were still off. He thought the story was hilarious and invited me in.
He put on a sweater and pants, and we headed upstairs. He’d never met any of his neighbors in his two years in the building.
Once on the rooftop, I introduced Russell my friends, who made some not-so subtle comments about me coming back for seconds (thirds). Russell was cordial, though the whole thing was a little awkward. It was a strange twist to what had been a very random, crazy weekend by the Bay.
Russell and I have spoken a few times since that weekend, but I doubt I’ll see him again. As for the yoga cartography, well, I hope that’s working out for him.
ABOUT: TALES OF WEST HOLLYWOOD
Seeking a change in his life, the author moved to his own apartment in West Hollywood in 2008. The column is a look at the life of this single 29 year-old who’s enjoying his life while casually looking for Mr. Right…or Mr. Right Now.