The Uber driver has Frieda Boccara playing. Why do I like it better when the words are all French? Happy day, though hard. Lost my sunglasses, only have ten of forty calls done so far at work. We’re driving all over Emeryville and Berkeley while a technician waits for me at home. The driver constantly asking me where to turn. I’m thankful for what I have: a ride, the chance to write, peaceful music, a sense of well being. Uber is frothing up the social structure, giving people control over their employment and their travel. My Uber drivers take Uber, and they seem to come from diverse backgrounds, here in the Bay area, not just the recent African transplants from oil work in North Dakota plus women in their sixties making some cash that we met in Seattle. The weakness of Seattle is it’s a caste system despite its hipness. Certain people do certain things.
New day. Had our inspection for the water leak at home. Somehow completed more than 55 outbound sales calls today to close the week above my 200 call goal. Another errand to go, but the downhill side of the week on Friday afternoon. My goal now to recover, recoup, balance the pressured work with deep breathing and small rewards. Sounds like Frank Sinatra, or similar but more gravelly. Burger at the Bistro. Shoe shine, maybe even a back massage. French, Frank, burgers, fries, what does it matter: I recall our trip to the Pacific Northwest, to Victoria which I saw for only a few minutes before boarding the tall ship towering over the grassy Landing. Thank God for recall tying my life together, the promenade deck to my sales and home work engine rooms.
The engine rooms are kind of cool (literally) when I’m not constantly in them. So, a question: who is happier here at the Bistro, those who are escaping a life of work, or those who have nothing to do but be here or make their own work? I see the difference in the make-work. I make lots of work out of writing and am happy in this. Each person here must have their own work and make-work and the work is the engine room that powers human happiness.
What are others doing here at Bistro atop Nordstrom in the City? What does the staff think I’m doing here? The way I’m dressed on Casual Friday I could be the well put-together husband of a woman shopping. I think of that when I come here. I believe that’s what my waitress thinks. But that’s just a guess and I also guess she doesn’t care. I tried several months ago to get my game design partners to meet me here to work. I think they don’t care where we meet, they just don’t want to meet to make work. So here I am not meeting my partners as the clock ticks and my home work in Oakland beckons. And Victoria stands in my past, a distant, familiar, strange place out of sync with everything else. Everyone in that smallish place probably wants to come to San Francisco. Its allure is it seems to be nowhere and everyone there seems blissfully aware of it. A trip to nowhere, a suburb out of place and time and not in the United States even though practically surrounded by it.
French is like that mysterious Other surrounded by ordinary speakers yet not a part of them. So I like it. On the way to the shoeshine I watch a father and son in Polo shirts and shorts travel down the escalator. They seem so unlike me and my son and I’m not sure why I feel that. The boy has a perfect light brown haircut and blue sunglasses. My son doesn’t have that same pretty-boy look, but will he two years from now? The man has the crafted grizzled look of an out-of-work movie star but his eyes are hard, as though he usually tells people what to do. That changes things. I’ve heard that nearly everyone who has money in America works. Think of the irony in that. I suppose the man’s grizzled Polo look trumps either suit-and-tie or my current khaki-and-tie for walking around Nordstom. To what end? That’s the thing with appearances. And of course for value in my book Polo shirts are not exactly mysterious. I’m trying to be fair, here, and not assign value just because it’s counter to the norm. Just think, every year this Nordstrom mall gets a little more out-of-date. And what will replace it? Someplace that father-and-son will go after others have tread, worn and paved a path, or maybe they themselves are mall designer and designer apprentice, and I will follow them. At $2.50, Nordstrom has has the cheapest shoeshine I can remember ever seeing. And on the next escalator I’m behind two Homish guys with what looks like a homemade prayer pillow. Rabbis? There are a lot of different people here and you know I really don’t know what the Polo dudes are up to. Perhaps they play their own deeper game.
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