I have spider juice in my hair. Or guts. Or mangly arachnid half-legs. Whatever. Whatever it is, it’s in my hair. Right now.
And that’s not even the weirdest thing that happened to me today.
8:00 a.m. I spot a woman wearing a yellow terrycloth towel as a shawl. It was draped artfully about her shoulders, over her pinstriped pantsuit, and secured with a jeweled brooch. I know I did not mistake it for a towel when it actually was a shawl, because I’m pretty sure “Egyptian Cotton Handtowel” is not a brand of shawl.
Where was I, you ask? Where else: China Town.
Dear China Town,
This is America. Get a shirt.
6:45 p.m. I shove myself onto the bus like the last clown in one of those tiny circus cars. I stand in the stepwell, and get off and back on the bus no fewer than four times, so all my fellow financial district clowns can disembark without knocking me over. By the time we have made it all the way to my stop, I am the only person left on the bus. As I collect myself and begin to walk out the door, the bus driver yells after me, “Merry Christmas!”
Dear Bus Driver,
And a very happy Fourth of July to you, sir!
8:00 p.m. I take a house tour of a lovely old residence in the Presidio, San Francisco’s former military base and my dream location for housing. I quickly realize that the Presidio is everyone else’s dream location for housing, and that we are going to fight this out like those fake boobed bimbos on The Bachelor, only with fewer sequins involved. Fighting over a man is one thing, but fighting over a room is something else entirely, and these people were out for blood.
“I like to cook!” one girl says. “Yeah, I like to cook AND bake!” says another. “Yeah, I like to cook AND bake AND clean!” said a third girl, entirely too desperately.
That third girl may or may not have been me.
Low point. Really, low.
9:30 p.m. I leave the house tour. I am strolling through the forest, keeping a sharp eye out for raccoons, but also for any for rent signs. I sit down on the bench at the bus stop, and then I hear an engine roar up behind me.
“Hey, do you need a ride?” says a man in a shiny sports car. The man is wearing a suit, and his car is really nice.
I very briefly entertain a Pretty Woman fantasy in which he looks like Richard Gere and I look like Julia Roberts, but am not actually a prostitute and instead am a nerdy, yet charming librarian who has lost her way in the woods, Red Riding Hood style. And then I call out, “No thanks, I’m good.”
“Are you sure?” he asks again.
I decide that he thinks he does look like Richard Gere, and maybe he thinks I am a prostitute who is dressed as a nerdy, yet charming librarian.
“Yeah, I’m sure,” I say again, and turn away.
Dear Fake Richard Gere,
No I do not want a ride in your car, as I am sitting at the bus stop.
Fake Julia Roberts
9:45 p.m. I am on the bus, talking to The G, telling him how house hunting is like The Bachelor only worse, because in this case you end up homeless instead of unmarried, which, in my opinion, is way worse, when a frizzy haired older man punches me in the left arm.
“Yes?” I say, slightly freaked out.
“Um,” he stutters along. “Well, you seem to have a spider in your hair.”
“A WHAT?” I respond, quite loudly. It wasn’t the crazy man’s fault I had a spider in my hair, but yelling is my default reaction when surprised. He’s lucky he can still hear out of that side of his head.
“Yeah,” he says, more comfortable now that he has cleared his conscience and delivered his horrifying spider news. “Here, turn your head and let me swat it.”
“G, I’m going to have to call you back,” I say, hanging up on my brother immediately, as I submit myself to letting a complete stranger touch my hair and swat about my head with a MUNI brochure that was lying on the seat next to him.
He finally crushes most of it, though he assures me “there’s still some in there.”
He hands me the brochure, now wadded up and full of spider, and says, “Here’s your souvenir!”
I think I would have preferred a t-shirt.
Dear Presidio Spider,
Get the fuck out of my hair.
There is a great cosmic shift occurring in my life. I have been here for six months, and all of a sudden I am finding myself in the midst of a potential new job, a search for a new house, a newfound familiarity with what I have already come to think of as “my” neighborhood in “my” city, juxtaposed with a recent trip home and a deep longing for the life I might have been living there.
What to do?
Like anything in the Capital R Real World, I have to make some decisions. I need to make choices, sacrifices, informed decisions, and I need to do it soon.
Dear Real World,